May 25, 2010

Phil Steele Releases His Preseason All-Big Ten: Which Lions made the Cut?

It's no secret here at LBU that our love of everything Phil Steele borders on that of teeny-bopping Justin Bieber fanaticism*. Thus, when Steele recently released his Preseason All-Big Ten Team on his website, it was a godsend for us during this 'dead period' that plagues the college sports blogosphere. It sure beats trying to invent ways to preview the upcoming season that you think are original and clever before you realize that every other blog has done a post at some point in time comparing football programs to Simpsons characters.

Making the 1st team (to nobody's surprise) were Preseason All-Americans running back Evan Royster and offensive guard Stefen Wisniewski. Wide receiver Derek Moye and defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu helped to comprise the 2nd team, while the 3rd Team was anchored by defensive end Jack Crawford and safety Nick Sukay. Rounding out the list on the 4th team were linebacker Bani Gbadyu and wide receiver Graham Zug.

Look, I realize there isn't a whole lot separating 3rd and 4th team picks (hardly any college football publication goes as deep with preseason all-conference picks) but Zug got snubbed, period. Yes, Derek Moye led the team in receptions (48) and receiving yards (785) and deservedly earned 2nd team honors but you know who was right behind him in those categories? That's right, Graham Zug. And the stats were fairly close as well (46 catches, 600 yards), not to mention Zug led the team in touchdown receptions last season with seven to Moye's six.

Fourth team? FOURTH F*CKING TEAM?! I'll show you my 'fourth team...' ZUG SMASH!
Anyone who watched Penn State play last year saw how critical Zug was to the receiving corps: Sure, he wasn't the most dazzling, barn-burning receiver out there, but he sure knew how to get open and make the catch with his hands of glue. At the very least, Zug deserved to be named to the 3rd team given how critical he was to the receiving corps last year. Speaking of which, Michigan State's Keith Nichol is listed as a 3rd team receiver ahead of Zug...and he's an effing quarterback. I really hope this was merely a misprint on Phil's part and was meant to include perhaps, MSU receiver Keshawn Martin (1st team punt/kick returner) instead.

Other notable picks on Phil's list include Terrelle Pryor being named 1st team QB over Iowa's Ricky Stanzi. The combination of Pryor's maturation as a true dual-threat QB along with Iowa's patented Stanziballs gave the slight edge to Pryor. Indiana QB Ben Chappell failed to crack the list, as Michigan State's Kirk Cousins (3rd team) and Scott Tolzien (4th team) rounded out the quarterbacks. Considering how much love is given to IU's receivers Tandon Doss (1st team) and Darius Willis (3rd team), this could easily be the second-worst snubbing on the list.

As with any preseason list, this will be an afterthought come September when the games actually start and the only results that matter are those that occur on the field as opposed to a keyboard. For the next few months though, we've got ourselves something to hold us over...

* However, it has nothing to do with the fact that Mike also writes for

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  1. Sukay over Astorino? i do not see that

  2. I agree with that, Astorino will anchor the backfield.

  3. Sukay has a ton of potential, but still needs to learn control over his talent. I know, that's kind of scary, considering he's a rising junior with three years already under his belt. But I like the makeup of this year's defensive backfield. There's a ton of depth (much more than any of us realize, I think) and talent to work with.

    Plus, if the LBers don't impress right away (I doubt that), we could see a bunch more nickel packages, with someone like Andrew Dailey as the 5th DB.