Cam Newton biggest snub on 75th anniversary All-American Team
The Football Writers Association of America selected its 75th Anniversary All-America Team, celebrating the association’s All-America teams from near the end of World War II through the 2014 season. Seventy-five players were selected from 41 schools, making up first-, second- and third-teams by positions.
The three QBs were all superb: Navy’s Roger Staubach, Florida’s Tim Tebow and Nebraska’s Tommie Frazier. The biggest omission on this whole team: Cam Newton.
Yeah, Newton only had one season at Auburn, but it was an awesome year. In my 20 years of covering the sport, he was the most dominant player I ever covered. Defensively, I’d say Ndamukong Suh would get that honor. (He made the FWAA first-team.)
The other fantastic QB that came to mind that was also missing was Vince Young from Texas. His game carrying UT over an amazing USC team in the Rose Bowl is the best single performance I’ve ever seen. I’d totally be on board if Young were on this team, too. But here’s what really jumped out at me that separates Newton from the others. He was the team in 2011. VY was surrounded by some other great talent. That UT team had the best group of DBs in the country. Michael Huff won the Thorpe Award that year, with Jonathan Scott, Rodrique Wright making the 2005 Associated Press All-American Team. Justin Blalock and Aaron Harris were picked for the third team.
Auburn on the Cam team had a bunch of other starters who were essentially never heard from again in football circles. There were only two other starters on offense who were even drafted, and that was as a fourth-rounder (RT Brandon Mosley) and seventh-rounder (LT Lee Ziemba). No other skill player was drafted. Now, on D, Nick Fairley was a terrific college player and left as a first-rounder. DT Zach Clayton, another seventh-rounder, was the only other starter drafted. Heck, when the SEC picked all-league players that year. ‘Bama had three times as many guys selected (12 to the Tigers 4). LSU had eight that year. Even Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina all had two more than Auburn’s team had.
Didn’t matter though. Auburn had Cam. Without Cam, I’m not sure that Tigers team is more than a seven-win team. After all, with him they went 14-0, beating six top-20 teams, five of which were in the top 12. The year before and the year after Cam: 8-5.
Incidentally, Nebraska had the most players selected, with six, followed by Ohio State (5), Pittsburgh (5), Alabama (4), Oklahoma (4), Texas (4), Florida State (3), Georgia (3), Michigan (3), USC (3), Florida (2), Miami Hurricanes (2), Notre Dame (2), UCLA (2).