Comparing two preseason All-AAC teams

Athlon Sports and Phil Steele have unveiled their preseason choices for the first All-American Athletic Conference teams, so I thought it would be interesting to compare the selections for the two first teams.

There is a near consensus between the two.

Athlon and Steele only differed on two choices on the first-team: Steele has Gerald Christian of Louisville at tight end, while Athlon went with Alan Cross of Memphis; and Steele has Betim Bujari of Rutgers at center, while Athlon has Austin Reiter from USF. Steele does have Charles Sims listed as his first-team running back, though I am giving him a pass because Sims decided to transfer from Houston after the Steele preseason magazine went to press. Athlon has Savon Huggins of Rutgers on the first team at running back, and Steele had him on the second.

There were more differences on defense: Athlon had Jamil Merrell of Rutgers at defensive end (Steele had Ryne Giddins of USF); Brandon Dunn of Louisville and Jordan Stepp of Cincinnati at defensive tackle (Steele had Roy Philon of Louisville and Johnnie Farms of Memphis); and Deven Drane of Cincinnati at cornerback (Steele had Byron Jones of UConn).

They differed on the two return specialists as well: Athlon chose Ralph David Abernathy IV of Cincinnati and J.J. Worton of UCF; Steele went with Bobby McCain and Keiwone Malone, both of Memphis.

What will be most interesting is seeing how some of the players on the new teams fit in. Take Memphis for example -- you see the differing viewpoints on players like Cross and Farms in these two lists. Where Athlon had Cross as a first-teamer, Steele projected him on the fourth team. Where Steele had Farms on the first team, Athlon projected him on the third team.

Looking forward to seeing how everything plays out this season.