The Big East Top 25 players countdown is now officially over. So let's break down the numbers.
Here's how many players each school placed on the list:
West Virginia: 6
South Florida: 1
It makes sense that the three tri-champions of the league would have the most players on the list -- which, remember, judged performance and impact -- and that West Virginia would have the most, given how well so many Mountaineers defenders played. South Florida had only one, but this was a team even Skip Holtz said in the preseason would be a no-name collection; the Bulls succeeded on depth and teamwork more than individual stars. Rutgers gets shut out after a truly miserable season.
Here's the offense/defense/special teams breakdown:
It doesn't get much more even than that. Let's face it, these lists usually lean more toward the skill players, whose impact we can see and quantify much more easily. The fact that so many defensive players made it -- and that there were easily a few more I could have included -- illustrates how the defenses dominated play in 2010.
Now by position:
Running back: 5
Defensive line: 5
Wide receiver: 3
Defensive back: 3
Offensive line: 2
Now let's go by class:
Of the seven juniors, three of them -- West Virginia's Robert Sands, Pitt's Jon Baldwin and UConn's Jordan Todman -- declared for the NFL draft, and sophomore Dion Lewis did likewise. That means six players from our Top 25 are returning in 2011. They are:
Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati
Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
Kendall Reyes, DL. Connecticut
Brandon Lindsey, DE, Pittsburgh
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Barring unforeseen developments, you can expect to see all six of those guys on the preseason 2011 Top 25 list.
Now let's hear your thoughts. Agree or disagree with the list or order? See some major snubs? Email me and I'll include your thoughts in a future post.