Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tudor's Take: UNC got plenty of support on all-ACC team

If there’s a media bias against North Carolina football player Marvin Austin and his teammates, it wasn’t apparent in the voting for the preseason all-ACC team that was released today.

Austin, a senior defensive tackle and a target of NCAA questions about possible improper dealings with professional agents, easily was voted to the team, which was selected by more than 300 media representatives at the league’s summer interview sessions Sunday and Monday in Greensboro.

Among the four defensive front players picked, Austin trailed only teammate Robert Quinn in votes received.

Quinn got 47 votes from those who participated. Austin received 32, five more than fellow tackle pick Jarvis Jenkins of Clemson.

What’s more, three other Carolina defenders were selected -- linebacker Quan Sturdivant and defensive backs Kendric Burney and Deunta Williams.

The only defenders who landed more than 40 votes were Quinn, Williams (41) and Clemson defensive back DeAndre McDaniel (48).
Speculation about Austin and Carolina’s perception within the media began Monday, when the same voters picked the Tar Heels to finish fourth in the six-team Coastal Division.

A theory quickly evolved that UNC (8-5 overall, 4-4 ACC last season) was low-balled because voters believed Austin and the team were in line for sanctions.
The all-star voting instead underscores the apprehension about the team’s offense against a schedule that includes LSU and Rutgers outside the ACC and games against Florida State, N.C. State and Clemson from the league’s Atlantic Division.

Including his three years at Carolina and six years at Miami (1995 through 2000) before its membership in the ACC, Butch Davis is 1-3 against State and 1-6 against FSU.

The voting outcome also reflects the influence of preseason NFL prospects lists. The five UNC defenders, plus linebacker Bruce Carter, are predicted to be first, second or third-round picks in the April, 2011 draft.

Less voting attention obviously was paid to the fact that Carolina’s defense, with those same players plus standouts Cam Thomas and E.J. Wilson, gave up 1,260 yards in its final four 2009 games against Miami, Boston College, State and Pittsburgh.

Finally, of course, there’s a huge disconnect in the all-star and standings predictions.

Virginia Tech, an overwhelming choice to win the ACC title, had only one player on the preseason team -- running back Ryan Williams.

Among the overlooked Hokie defenders were two of the very best players in the conference -- cornerback Rashad Carmichael and tackle John Graves.

Even more surprising was the voting at quarterback. Last season’s first-team all-conference pick, Georgia Tech’s Joshua Nesbitt, could not out-poll Florida State’s Christian Ponder, who didn’t even make the second-unit after the ’09 season.

While preseason votes are soon forgotten and don’t carry much weight, it’s for certain there will not be five Carolina first-team picks on the postseason first unit if the team can’t finish higher than fourth in the Coastal.

-- Caulton Tudor


Anonymous said...

Not sure I understand the point about 1260 yards over the final four games. Tudor makes it seem like that is terrible, but by my math, that is 315 yds/game..which I suppose is higher than UNC's average for the season(269). However, that same average would have ranked them 22nd in the country in defensive yards/game...not sure I would consider that a negative point. Each of those offenses other than BC (who UNC completely dominated on defense forcing like 5 TOs) averaged over 390 yds/game, so UNC held them considerably lower than their season averages.

Either way, it's true some of those teams did well on UNC's defense, but I don't think the defense was so bad in those games that it should be considered an indictment of the talent on the team.

Anonymous said...

Tudor Turtle is an old fart that needs to be put out to pasture.

WDB said...

As I posted on Tutors other Blog about this, can someone objectively explain to me how a guy who has played football for 3 years and who's career stats are 103 tackles, 56 solo tackles, 9 sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, and 1 interception deserve to make this team?

Thats 34 tackles, 19 solo tackles, 3 sacks, .3 Forced Fumbles, and .3 interceptions a year. Assuming he's played every game of a 12 game season (even though UNC I know UNC has played at least one 13 game season), this comes out to 2.8 tackles per game, 1.6 solo tackles per game, 0.25 sacks per game, and 0.025 FF/Int per game.

Just last year (a 13 game year) he averaged 3.3 tackles per game (a career high), 1.7 solo takcles per game(another career high), and .33 sacks per game (ties his Frosh year). I it's worth noting that his lone forced fumble came last year. Is this really All-ACC worthy?

(And yes, I know this doesn't factor in double teams drawn, as I know he is frequenly double teamed, but I would imagine everyone recieving vote has been double teamed)

Anonymous said...

The key for UNC will be generating turnovers again. I know it's a meaningless 'what if', but if UNC had not gotten 5 turnovers in the BC game or the 3 long INT's against Miami, etc. they would have given up a lot of yards. Teams were able to move the ball. But UNC was so good at making big plays. Will that continue is the question.

Anonymous said...

1. John Blake isn't going to survive this. Too much concern within the athletic department (not even the ncaa at this point) over the Blake, Gary Wichard, and Marvin Austin connection. My guy said "put it this way, Blake is like Austins dad over there, he's his position coach, and they see each other on a daily basis, anything Marvin is doing you can bet that Blake is advising him or knows about it, I mean its common sense"....Butch rarely spends time with individual players that's up to the position coaches, so Butch may have known also but turned a blind eye but easily may not have known. Also there is continued fear over there that the NCAA has compiled more evidence since their "initial" investigation and will be coming back for round 2 at some point. Too many agents, past recruits, maybe disgruntled administrators are ready to spill the beans he said.

2. Austin is gone. Nobody expects him back. In fact he's heard Austin has moved back to the DC area. The funny part about this IS if or more likely when MA is suspended for the year he can just drop out of school and start accepting money from agents that day. ironic.

3. 6 or more players will be suspended for the LSU game.

Anonymous said...

Explanation: Butch Davis is a bum when it comes to coaching.

All that talent and mediocre results. Sound familiar UNC? No, look at last years 7 All American Bball team.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you this about UNC — if this goes where it appears to be heading, everyone connected to the football program, including the AD, will be gone.

I’d rather UNC remain a women’s soccer university than become home to the John Blakes of the world.