Thursday, January 29, 2015

ACC Player of the Year?

On December 10 the ACC posted their postseason awards. I had been looking out for them and still missed it. The awards must not be a big deal any more, at least here in Yellow Jacket Country. Perhaps because the results were questionable. The ACC Player of the Year Award was given to the league’s leading rusher James Conner (above), the best player on a losing Pitt team.

Voting for the awards took place after the regular season and before the ACC Championship Game and the bowl season, when Tech quarterback Justin Thomas really shined. While Thomas was voted second team All-ACC, he received no votes for conference player of the year nor offensive player of the year. This despite finishing fourth in the nation in TQBR and leading the conference in yards per attempt and fewest interceptions. The Orange Bowl MVP led a Tech offense that was first in the conference in total offense, points per game, and rushing yards per game. Of the elite group below, Thomas was the only player to lead his team to a bowl victory.
yards / TD / int / YPA / QBR
1705 / 24 James Conner
3972 / 28 / 18 / 8.37 / 19 - Jameis Winston
2805 / 26 /  6 / 9.19 /  4 - Justin Thomas
3856 / 34 /  9 / 7.17 / 30 - Marquise Williams
3075 / 24 /  8 / 5.96 / 50 - Anthony Boone
2807 / 24 / 10 / 7.06 /  8 - Tyler Murphy

James Conner ACC Player of the Year
6 votes for ACC player of the year
8 votes for ACC offensive player of the year.
1675 yards rushing and 144 points led ACC.
24 rush TDs set ACC record & broke Tony Dorsett’s Pitt record
Ranks 10th on the Pitt all-time rushing list.
Only 5 receptions for 40 yards and 0 TDs
Armed Forces Bowl: Pitt upset by Houston 35-34

Jameis Winston 1st team QB - 39 votes
2 votes for ACC player of the year
3 votes for ACC offensive player of the year
19 rank ESPN total QB rating.
Rose Bowl: FSU blown out by Oregon 59-20
3907 yards 25 TD 18 INT 65.3 CR
8.37 YPA 18 sack 65 rush 3 TD

Justin Thomas 2nd team QB - 18 votes
0 votes for player of the year/offensive player of the year.
4 rank ESPN total QB rating
GT led ACC in total offense, PPG, & rush YPG (2nd nationally)
Orange Bowl MVP: GT upset Miss St 49-34
ACC Championship game: GT edged by FSU 37-35
1719 yards 18 TD 6 INT 51.3 CR
9.19 YPA 10 sack 1086 rush 8 TD

Marquise Williams: 3rd team QB - 8 votes
30 rank ESPN total QB rating
3068 yards 21 TD 9 INT 63.1 CR
7.17 YPA 26 sack 788 rush 13 TD
Quick Lane Bowl: UNC upset by Rutgers 40-21

Anthony Boone: honorable mention QB - 7 votes
50 rank, ESPN total QB rating
2700 yards 19 TD 8 INT 56.3 CR
5.96 YPA 13 sack 375 rush 5 TD
Sun Bowl: Duke lost to Arizona State 36-31

Tyler Murphy did not place in ACC Awards
8 rank ESPN total QB rating
1623 yards 13 TD 10 INT 57.0 CR
7.06 YPA 21 sack 1184 rush 11 TD
Pinstripe Bowl: BC upset by Penn State 31-30

That Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy’s great season went unrecognized by the conference is a travesty. Ninth in the nation in QB Rating and third in the conference in rushing.

After committing repeated transgressions that cost him playing time on both the gridiron and diamond, for FSU’s Jameis Winston to be the unanimous first team All-ACC quarterback is another sham. While he piled on the yards in the Seminoles’ pass-first offense he also piled on the interceptions. Most of his second half comebacks were due to his slow starts. To play the season while haunted by the threat of suspension and jail time is not what a unanimous All-ACC player should be about. For this the conference should be ashamed – if anyone is even paying attention.

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