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Phil Steele releases 2012 preseason All-American teams

SEC Cover PROOF 043012

You know what those words mean, right?  Yep, a new college football season is right around the corner.

Annually the most anticipated preview magazine thanks to both its in-depth analysis and accuracy, the release date for Phil Steele’s preseason dead-tree offering is viewed in most corners of the college football world as Christmas in June.

Ahead of its release June 7, however, Steele has released his annual All-American teams that are, as always, four teams deep.

The list contains the expected cast of characters on the first team, from USC quarterback and preseason Heisman favorite Matt Barkley to his teammate and wide receiver Robert Woods to South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore — coming off a torn ACL — to linebackers Jarvis Jones (Georgia) and Manti Te’o (Notre Dame).

As is ofttimes the case, even for Nostrsteelemus, there are at least a couple of head-scratchers.

Chief among them, at least from this vantage point, is the absence of Marquise Lee — on any of the four teams.  As a true freshman at USC last season, Lee caught 73 passes for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns, all second on the Trojans to first-team Steele All-American Woods.  Granted, there are a ton of talented players at his position in the country, but there’s no way you can justify Lee not being one of the top 12 receivers — Steele placed three receivers on each of the four teams — in the collegiate game.

Also, somewhat surprisingly, Steele placed Oklahoma’s Landry Jones as his second-team QB, ahead of Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson (third-team) and West Virginia’s Geno Smith (fourth-team).  Not only did Jones see his production dip drastically following the emergence of true freshman Blake Bell — Jones had just one touchdown pass the last four games, while Bell rushed for 10 touchdowns in that same span — but there’s also the little issue of what receiver will be available, at least for the early part of the season.

A total of 51 schools are represented, with last year’s title game contestants, with Alabama and LSU*, pacing the four teams with eight and seven players, respectively.  The Tide had the most players (three) named to the first team, with all three of those being offensive linemen.

Two other SEC or soon-to-be SEC schools had five apiece — Texas A&M and Arkansas — as did USC.  Wisconsin, Florida State, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Oklahoma State all placed four players each on Steele’s teams.

Conference-wise, seven of the 11 conferences in Div. 1-A (FBS) are represented — The Big Six, plus Conference USA.  As expected, the SEC far and away leads all conferences with 38 selections; no other league had more than 18.  Of the 14 teams that will play in the conference this season, 11 had at least one player on one of Steele’s four teams, the lone exceptions being Missouri, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

The Big 12 (including WVU) and Pac-12 were next with 18 players each, followed by the ACC with 18, the Big Ten with 14 and the Big East and Conference USA tied at two apiece.

Independent football programs Notre Dame and BYU had two and one players selected, respectively.

Below is a screen snap of Steele’s four All-American teams:

(*Tyrann Mathieu was named to the first-team as both a cornerback and punt returner.)

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9 Responses to “Phil Steele releases 2012 preseason All-American teams”
  1. suprmous says: May 28, 2012 3:51 PM

    Happy to see where somebody’s got sense enuff to say LSU’s a contender this year. Its been speculated more times than I can count that we’re goin to have a losin season. To which I can only say, oh ye of l’il faith. It’s either ignorance or down right stupidity to think that with the likes of the Honey Badger, Big Sam Montgomery, and Brad Wing that we’ll have a losin season. I anticipate a lot of fireworks this year not to mention the Honey Badger makin a run at the Heisman, So for you naysayers, just sit back and enjoy the Tigers from the Bayou do their thing and that would be win win win. GEAUX LSU !!!!!!!!!!

  2. burntorangehorn says: May 28, 2012 5:59 PM

    There are some games missed to overcome by some of those other guys, not just Jones due to his receivers. Bacarri Jones popped positive for drugs again, so he’s missing four games. IIRC Sharrif “Urban Meyer talks to god about me” Floyd played DE last year, and is expected to do it again this year. With disappointing production (1.5 sacks, among other things) and not even being expected to play DT, it’s a wonder he’s projected as third-team AA.

    Anyway, we could all poke holes, but I do realize Steele knows more than I do–and probably more than any of us, for that matter.

  3. bleed4philly says: May 28, 2012 7:23 PM

    Steele is the most overrated analyst out there covering sports, if you wanna make some money, go to Vegas and bet against every pick he makes.

  4. thegamecocker says: May 28, 2012 7:53 PM

    Jadaveon Clowney 4th team All-America? And that is why Phil Steele has little credibility as far as I am concerned. All he is a sports handicapper and I don’t buy his mag rag because I do not gamble and if I did, I still wouldn’t buy it.

  5. jtfris says: May 28, 2012 10:47 PM

    The fact that people listen to this guy amazes me. His predictions seem to align closely with the size of the supporting fanbase. It all looks a lot like an infomerical to me.

  6. zrockatm says: May 29, 2012 1:30 AM

    I wonder why Jake Matthews (OT Texas A&M) is 2nd team All American, but 3rd team SEC? ;-)

    http://blog.philsteele.com/2012/05/28/2012-preseason-all-big-ten-and-all-sec-teams/

  7. jonanthans says: May 29, 2012 1:49 AM

    No Barkevious Mingo on ANY of the defensive squads?

    Steeles mag is nothing more than a betting service..

  8. texbornlsufan says: May 29, 2012 2:11 PM

    I have seen at least one draft projection having Mingo as the #1 defensive player in the draft next year but he isn’t even on this list! Steele your a joke!

  9. papabush88 says: May 29, 2012 2:14 PM

    Glad JT pointed out that the absence of Marqise Lee is a travesty. His Frosh numbers next to Woods’ Frosh numbers are incomparable. The fact that Woods had the season he had while being injured the whole way not only speaks volumes about his NFL readiness, but also Lee’s when he you take into account what he did as a freshman. Woods is great. Lee is better.

    Glad TJ McDonald was recognized for his greatness. I think Boyett is a little overhyped. Having said that, I think DeAnthony Thomas is under-hyped. He is my Heisman favorite.

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