2+2 still equals 4, right?
I’m about a day late on this one, but I’ve been in mourning for the last 24 hours after the debacle that occurred last night on ESPN. At about 10:10 ET, the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award for best defensive back was announced.
The finalists were:
Eric Berry, SS (Tennessee): Berry led the nation in interceptions with seven, two of which were returned for touchdowns. He also broke the record for interception return yards in a single season with 265 and became the SEC’s all-time interception return yards leader, as a sophomore. On top of that, he had three sacks, 72 tackles and helped lead Tennessee to a Top 10 overall defense.
Malcolm Jenkins, CB (Ohio State): Jenkins was a turnover machine this season. He had three forced fumbles and two blocked kicks on the season. However, the man only had three interceptions for a combined seven (as in count ’em on your hands seven) return yards for those three interceptions. That’s a whopping 2 return yards per interception.
Taylor Mays, S (Southern Cal): Now, this is taking nothing away from a spectacular season by Taylor Mays, but this contest was a two man race from the onset. Yes, Mays plays on the Number 1 Defense in the country at Southern Cal, but his stats include seven pass break ups and 48 tackles. That’s good, but you can’t put him up against the season’s that Jenkins or Berry have had and expect him to have a fighting chance.
I understand that as a biased observer I can’t be counted on to make a decision based solely on the stats. But you can’t tell me with a straight face that anyone deserves that award but Berry.
However, at 10:10 ET last night, the winner was announced… Malcolm Jenkins. That’s right, just like Peyton Manning, another Tennessee player was screwed out of an end of the season award by someone from the Big 10. The politics of college football are becoming ridiculous. Players from bad teams no longer winning awards, and it’s making these awards meaningless. Who cares whether or not the player was on a winless team, or on an undefeated team? These aren’t team awards, they are decided based on an individual’s performance.
Let’s just hope that Karma is a bitch, and Berry is walking up to the podium in two years time (or even next year for that matter) to accept the Heisman Trophy after beating out a Big 10 QB like Terrell Pryor. Mmmm.. sounds good, doesn’t it?