McCarron: The Coaches’ All-American

 

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This is pretty cool:

Every Division I head coach is eligible to vote for the team, with the balloting then taken into account by a selection committee that makes the final decisions. AFCA media relations official Vince Thompson told CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd that a majority of the ballots returned named McCarron at quarterback — but that the committee considered Winston and several other signal-callers as well.

“(Winston) was discussed heavily as were McCarron, Johnny Manziel, Jordan Lynch and Derek Carr. They were all top vote getters,” Thompson told Dodd. “They had a lively discussion. McCarron led voting. The majority of head coaches picked McCarron. It’s everybody’s own opinion.”

Don’t think this isn’t a shot at Winston.  It has to be.

It also indicates, I believe, the tremendous respect that coaches across the country have for McCarron.

Congrats, AJ.  Well deserved.

 

 

 

 

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McCarron Named All-American; Now Eligible for the HOF

HOF, BABY

College football fans can now breathe a sigh of relief:

The Walter Camp All-American team voters say AJ McCarron holds the honor.

The senior from Mobile was named to the first team over Heisman Trophy favorite Jameis Winston of Florida State.

McCarron was one of three Alabama players who made the first team. Left tackle Cyrus Kounandjio made the offensive side while linebacker C.J. Mosley was one of the three linebackers.

The first-team selection makes McCarron eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame down the road.

That last sentence is the money one.

Though he isn’t the stat hound of the nation’s other top quarterbacks of his era, there has been no better field general over the last three seasons.  McCarron not eligible for the hall would have been a travesty.  I’m glade we won’t have to worry about that now.

Will McCarron Qualify for the Hall of Fame?

AJ McCarron’s college football career is almost over.  One more game and then it’s done.

On the field, he’s accomplished more than others could begin to dream about.  Namely, he’s quarterbacked his team to two BCS national championships and served as the backup on a third title team.

He’s also owns most every Alabama passing record.

In the view of many, he’s the best quarterback Alabama’s ever had.

But all of that may not be enough to ensure that McCarron is one day elected to the Collegiate Football Hall of Fame.

Why you say?  Well, take a look at the eligibility requirements

Hall of Fame Criteria:

  1. FIRST AND FOREMOST, A PLAYER MUST HAVE RECEIVED FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICA RECOGNITION BY A SELECTOR RECOGNIZED BY THE NCAA AND UTILIZED TO COMPRISE THEIR CONSENSUS ALL-AMERICA TEAMS.

  2. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the NFF’s Honors Court ten years after his last year of intercollegiate football played.

  3. While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.

  4. In accordance to the 50-year rule*, players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years. For example, to be eligible for the 2013 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1961 or thereafter. In addition, current professional players and / or coaches are not eligible until retirement.

  5. A coach becomes eligible three years after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years old. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage*.

That first one could be the problem.  He must be named a first-team All-American by one of the selecting groups used to identify consensus All-Americans.  Who are those selectors?

As of 2009, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recognizes the All-America teams selected by the APAFCAFWAASporting News, and the WCFF to determine consensus All-Americans.

It’s entirely possible for AJ to receive this distinction, but there are also a lot of great quarterbacks in college football this year like…

  • Derek Carr, Fresno State
  • Sean Mannion, Oregon State
  • Bryce Petty, Baylor
  • Aaron Murray, Georgia
  • Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
  • Jameis Winston, Florida State
  • Tajh Boyd, Clemson
  • Marcus Mariota, Oregon

It’s definitely not a given that he’ll earn the AA distinction, but it would be a shame if he wasn’t eligible for the Hall one day.

McCarron Invited to Heisman Ceremony

Got rings? AJ does.

From an AP report:

Florida State’s Jameis Winston, Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Alabama’s AJ McCarron, Auburn’s Tre Mason and Boston College’s Andre Williams were chosen Monday as the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.

Six finalists invited to ceremony in New York are the most since 1994. The winner will be announced Saturday.

I see no conceivable way that McCarron wins this award, but the contrast between he and the other finalists will be stunning.  McCarron has been part of three national championship teams – the starter on two – and besides a conference championship or two, the other five have one nothing.

It’s a nice tribute to a great college quarterback and he will have another well-deserved moment in the sun.  And it’ll be part of a great way to end his college career.

“Do you have a process to keep AJ focused?”

A fan had a chance to ask Nick Saban this question and got back this answer:

“AJ has been trained to be a good leader and the players love him,” Saban said. “Football’s important to him. I wouldn’t even know he was dating anyone if you didn’t tell me that because he’s there every day doing what he’s supposed to do. He really is. I have no question about that.”

Given how much AJ has been in the news since the BCS title game vs. Notre Dame, I think this is a fair question.

The answer, given by coach Saban, shouldn’t be surprising, either.

In my opinion, this is one of the top issues heading into the 2013 season.  Well, not so much is there “a process to keep AJ focused,” but rather, will all of this stuff add up to a distraction.

My opinion right now – and how’s this for wordsmithing? – is it won’t be a distraction unless it becomes one.  This will be AJ’s third season as the starting quarterback at Alabama.  He was a highly recruited player out of high school.  He’s been part of three national championship seasons and he’s also been a part of an under performing team.  He’s also been a key part of winning two BCS title games.  A huge part.  To sum it up, he has more experience than most people will ever have.

By the evening of September 14, 2013, after games against Virginia Tech and Texas A&M – we’ll know how this season will go.  Cruise past these two games and it’s business as usual.  Stumble in either of these – or, horrors, both – and McCarron will see pressure like he’s never seen it and we’ll see blamed pile up on the off-season activities.

 

 

McCarron Speaks from the Manning Passing Academy

There’s a couple of interesting quotes coming out of AJ McCarron who was interviewed at the Manning Passing Academy.

First, the obligatory LSU blah blah blah:

“It’s definitely going to be fun. I love playing in Death Valley,” McCarron said. “When we played there in 2010, it was definitely a special moment, even though I was back-up. It was pretty cool to have that whole experience. You’ve got LSU fans on each side, tapping on the bus, shaking the bus, all types of stuff, there’s little kids out there, that’s what makes it fun. I love LSU fans, they’re wild.”

That’s not a bad quote.  Nothing there to get the opponent too fired up.

But check this one out:

“Too many guys got out of the team and into themselves,” McCarron said of the Crimson Tide’s 2010 team. “That’s not what our program is built on and that’s not the way coach Saban runs things. In 2010, the bad part of that was that we had so many big-name guys returning, that the spotlight was on all the big-name guys so it was kind of hard for everybody to focus on the team. This year, there’s no big-name guys. We don’t have a Trent Richardson, we don’t have a Julio Jones, we don’t have a Marcell Dareus, so there’s none of that.”

I think McCarron may take some heat for this one, although in general, he may be accurate.  For a 10-3 team that was only a few plays and a few minor injuries away from playing for a second consecutive national title, the 2010 team sure takes a lot of heat.  It starts at the top with Nick Saban, so if he thinks that’s what happened in 2010, then I guess that’s all that matters.

This quote kind of sounds like Richardson, Jones and Dareus were problems.  Like I said, if Saban says there were some attitude problems, I guess he’s right.  But from their reputations, Richardson and Jones don’t seem like the kind of players that let up that season.  I’m not sure about Dareus.  He had some off the field issues that hurt him and some nagging injuries that hampered his play and definitely hurt the team, but I’m not sure what kind of attitude he had.

I think in general this quote is accurate, but McCarron will probably wish he had not named names.