LEXINGTON, Ky. — All outlets have released their annual all-conference awards by this point, and arguments over bias and the selection process happened again. Especially among the Kentucky faithful.
Some Cats fans wanted sophomore safety Mike Edwards to appear on every All-SEC list. Others were confused that freshman running back Benny Snell was passed over. Nick Saban won SEC Coach of the Year, as he should’ve, but a case could’ve been made for Kentucky coach Mark Stoops.
First, here’s a breakdown of the Kentucky selections.
AP All-SEC first team: Senior center Jon Toth
AP All-SEC second team: Sophomore linebacker Jordan Jones, sophomore safety Mike Edwards
Coaches’ All-SEC first team: none
Coaches’ All-SEC second team: Jon Toth, Jordan Jones
Pro Football Focus All-SEC first team: none
Pro Football Focus All-SEC second team: Benny Snell, offensive guard Nick Haynes, cornerback J.D. Harmon (for special teams)
ESPN All-SEC team: none
ESPN True Freshman All-America team: Benny Snell
Alabama dominated the All-SEC selections on all fronts as an undefeated and seemingly unbeatable team should. And given the rest of the all-conference selections, Stoops said there’s not much separation. He was proud of players like Toth, Jones, Edwards and Snell.
“If you’re making first team or second-team All-SEC you’re up there with the best in the country,” Stoops said Saturday. “I was pleased. I know Jon (Toth) got first team on one of them. Obviously very deserving of that. And there’s a lot of good players across the league. With Jordan (Jones) and some of the other guys that made second team, there’s good ‘backers. I think you’re splitting hairs with first and second team with a lot of that.”
Kentucky will have all but Toth and Harmon back from the players who were named all-conference in some capacity. Jones and Edwards lead the defense as sophomores and Snell became Kentucky’s all-time leading freshman rusher.
Kentucky will continue bowl practices on Thursday in preparations for its TaxSlayer Bowl matchup with Georgia Tech. The Wildcats and Yellow Jackets kick off at 11 a.m. Dec. 31 in Jacksonville, Fla.