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Tag:Mark Barron
Posted on: December 2, 2010 2:43 pm
 

Silver lining to Barron injury for Tide?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's hard to imagine that Alabama' s Iron Bowl loss (at home, having been ahead 24-0, vs. archrival, etc.) could be any more painful than it already is, but the Tide may have found out differently today as All-American safety Mark Barron will miss his team's bowl game after torn pectoral muscle suffered against Auburn. Barron underwent successful surgery for the injury Friday and will be out for somewhere in the neighborhood of four months.

The news is not good for Alabama in the short-term; their secondary is the thinnest and youngest part of their roster (Barron could be replaced by Will Lowery , a former walk-on), and Barron by far its most experienced and reliable member. The Tide have struggled with mental lapses in pass defense throughout the season, and will be even more vulnerable in their bowl game without Barron's steady hand.

But in the longer term, Barron's injury could prove to be a blessing in disguise. A junior widely regarded as one of the best safeties in the country, Barron was widely expected to test the draft waters and possibly move on to the NFL after this season. It's possible the injury has brought an end to his Alabama career. But if the surgeyy puts too big a dent in his stock, he could decide to return to Tuscaloosa for his senior season. Of course, he could decide to bolt anyway, just as he could have decided to stay anyway before the injury. But the surgery and his potential inability to work out for scouts ahead of time certainly won't boost his NFL standing or the chances of an early departure.

The Tide can also take some very minor solace in that they're not the only SEC team forced to play their postseason game without a major contributor; Mississippi State will be without the services of leading receiver Chad Bumphis after ther sophomore found out earlier this week he had suffered a broken collarbone in the Bulldogs' win over Ole Miss. The silver lining for MSU fans? Unlike with the Tide and Barron, they know they'll get to see Bumphis back in a Bulldog uniform next season ... and that compared to the potential drama with their head coach , one missed game for one player doesn't seem like such a big problem.

Posted on: November 2, 2010 6:56 pm
 

Award semifinalists (mostly) skip non-AQ players

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If there's been one defining, overarching narrative to the 2010 season to date, it's been ... well, maybe it's been the upheaval at the top of the polls that's seen preseason outsiders Oregon and Auburn seize control of their national championship destiny with four weeks remaining in the season. But if there's been two co-defining narratives, the second, without question, would be the rise of non-AQ teams like Boise State , TCU , and Utah into not only the BCS bowl picture but the BCS national championship picture.

So it's perhaps something of a shame that the lists of semifinalists for the Lombardi Award and the Thorpe Award -- given to the nation's best down lineman or downhill linebacker and best defensive back, respectively, and both announced within the past week -- do little to acknowledge that rise. The lists:

Lombardi Award

Sam Acho, Defensive End, Texas, 6-3, 260, Sr., Dallas, TX
Jeremy Beal, Defensive End, Oklahoma, 6-3, 267, Sr. Carrollton, TX
Da'quan Bowers, Defensive End, Clemson, 6-4, 275, Jr., Bamberg, SC
Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End, Iowa, 6-4, 285, Sr., St. Louis, MO
Jared Crick, Defensive Tackle, Nebraska, 6-6, 285, Jr., Cozad, NE
Nick Fairley, Defensive Line, Auburn, 6-5, 298, Jr., Mobile, AL
Cameron Heyward, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State, 6-5, 288, Sr., Suwanee, GA
Rodney Hudson, Offensive Guard, Florida State, 6-2, 282, Sr., Mobile, AL
Greg Jones, Linebacker, Michigan State, 6-1, 240, Sr., Cincinnati, OH
Ryan Kerrigan, Defensive End, Purdue, 6-4, 263, Sr., Muncie, IN
Jake Kirkpatrick, Center, TCU, 6-3, 305, Sr., Tyler, TX
Drake Nevis, Defensive Tackle, LSU, 6-5, 285, Sr., Marrero, LA

Thorpe Award

Prince Amukamara, Sr., Nebraska
Mark Barron, Jr., Alabama
Chimdi Chekwa, Sr., Ohio State
Brandon Harris, Jr., Miami (Fla.)
Cliff Harris, Soph., Oregon
Tejay Johnson, Sr., TCU
Joe Lefeged, Sr., Rutgers
Rahim Moore, Jr., UCLA
Patrick Peterson, Jr., LSU
Tyler Sash, Jr., Iowa


Congratulations are in order for all 22 of these players, each of which is, without question, an outstanding college football athlete and certainly deserving of the honor of becoming a semifinalist.

But it feels remiss not to note that in this year of unprecedented prominence for non-AQ programs, only two of those 22 players represent a non-AQ team, and those two -- TCU 's Jake Kirkpatrick and Tejay Johnson -- each represent the same team. The other 53 teams? Nothin'.

This can be explained, to some extent, by the undeniably true fact that most of the game's best athletes and players ply their trades in BCS leagues. But no one on the Boise State defense that currently ranks third in both scoring and total defense (or Utah's, which ranks sixth in both categories) is worthy of inclusion? Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry , tied for third nationally with 9.5 sacks and seventh nationally with 13.5 tackles for loss (one of only four players to rank in the top 10 in both categories) can't get a nod? Strong safety Domonic Cook of Buffalo leads the country in both passes broken up and interceptions; there's not room enough for him here?

There's no question that it's always going to be an uphill climb for non-AQ players who rarely play on national television and even more rarely receive the sort of fawning from scouts and writers that helps buoy campaigns for national honors, and that's fine. But it's worth wondering whether, in a season like this one, if the climb ought to be quite this steep.

Pictured: Boise State defensive lineman Ryan Winterswyk.
 
 
 
 
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