We're all familiar with all-conference teams, yes? In non-stuffy conferences you still get them in the preseason, which might not be more than a simple blip on the summer radar but I do enjoy having those selections as part of the historical record.
That's because I know that at some point 15 or 20 years from now I'm going to be researching something and that research will somehow lead me to a question like, "who was the best nose tackle in the Mountain West Conference in 2019?" Knowing who people thought that person was at the start of the season, and what happened from there, is sort of valuable in that scenario.
I guess the point is if you don't care about preseason all-conference teams, just wait 20 years.
Or, maybe have some fun with the concept itself.
McIllece Sports has been releasing all-conference coaching lists in recent weeks, and the Big Ten list was published on Wednesday. I like this concept. It's based on a mix of factors, including a coach's impact on his team's score, and the end result is a letter grade. Highest letter grade at each coaching position––head coach, offensive coordinator, QBs coach, etc.––earns the all-conference nod.
Scott Frost grabbed the head-coach spot in the Big Ten with an A grade. That's after just three seasons as a head coach, but one of the nice things about McIllece's method is that his time as a coordinator and a position coach is factored in here. It's not solely about taking UCF from 0-12 to 13-0 in two years. In fact, in the calculation of weighted experience the UCF years are equal to the Oregon years.
Frost is the only Husker coach to make the list, which is dominated by Michigan. Wolverine assistants have the top grades at five of the 10 assistant spots. New offensive coordinator Josh Gattis takes that title (and wide receivers). Jay Harbaugh (RB/ST), Ed Warriner (OL), DC/LB Don Brown, and DB Mike Zordich also make the list. Gattis, Warriner, Brown and Zordich all earn A+ grades.
It really is time for the Wolverines to win at least a division title.
Frost was one of just three coaches from the West to earn all-conference honors. Iowa defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Phil Parker (A) and Wisconsin linebackers coach Bob Bostad (A+) are the others.
What about the rest of Nebraska's assistants? Based on the McIllece grades, tight ends coach Sean Beckton (B+) was probably the closest followed by quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco. If you want access to all of the coaching evaluations, check out McIllece Sports College Football Atlas 2019. It’s 800 pages.
The Grab Bag
- There are bigs shoes to fill at outside linebacker, but the Huskers have some intriguing options on the outside.
- True freshman defensive back Quinton Newsome is already earning some early camp buzz.
- Here’s a little more on the young defensive backs from Greg Smith.
- Here are updated “Game of the Year” lines for college football. Some interesting moves there for Nebraska from where they opened.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.