In typical classless Sparty fashion, they can't just congratulate a good player for winning an award. They have to be outraged that their player didn't get it. This morning The Only Colors, SBNation's Michigan State blog, takes exception with the coaches' decision to award Jared Odrick the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by listing him three times on his top five errors made by the coaches.
5. Jared Odrick, Coaches' Defensive Player of the Year.There's no doubt that Odrick was one of the top five or six defensive linemen in the conference. However, here were the other All-Big ten first team defensive linemen named by the coaches: Adrian Clayborn, Brandon Graham, and O'Brien Schofield. If I gave you those names, where would you rank Odrick? Third? Fourth? And he's the one the coaches named defensive player of the year?
Then there's this...
3. Seriously, Jared Odrick? I mean, Pat Angerer can't get some love? Tyler Sash? If you were asking me, "Name two players on the same team who deserved the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award", those would've been the first two names out of my mouth.
1. JARED ODRICK? I don't want to bash Odrick, he's been a great player for Penn State all season. I'm happy that Greg Jones got the honor from the media, but I would've understood if he didn't receive the award. After all, I'm pretty sure Graham Zugscored again on a wheel route, and the failures of the MSU secondary drags the whole defense down, fair or unfair. However, I would've named Schofield, Graham, Angerer, Sash, Amari Speivey, Navarro Bowman, or Sean LeeDPOY before Odrick. Once again, Odrick deserved the honors he received as All-Big Ten, but there were several more deserving players this year in the Big Ten to be defensive player of the year.
In his comments TOC shows they either didn't watch Penn State this year or they understand nothing about football. A lot of people are pointing out that Odrick didn't even make the media's First Team All-Big Ten, but let's remember these are the same people that voted Terrelle Pryor the preseason player of the year. They don't know squat about football and can't evaluate a player unless they have a stat sheet and their Rivals recruiting ranking in front of them.
The coaches, on the other hand, watch hours of film. They know everyone's defense and they know who gave them the most fits this year, and they said that player was Jared Odrick. Sure, his stats may not be as flashy as Greg Jones, but then Greg Jones didn't have two 300 lb. linemen smashing him in the face on every play. Odrick had to fight double teams all season long, and teams still couldn't stop him. He got six sacks, and he repeatedly collapsed the pocket and flushed the quarterback into the arms of Jack Crawford or Eric Latimore or a blitzing linebacker. And most teams didn't even bother trying to run up the middle on Penn State, because Odrick was there to either tackle the ball carrier for a loss or shove the guard back in his face as soon as he got the handoff. There was no player that kept offensive coordinators up at night planning more than Jared Odrick, and when he gets drafted next April before any other Big Ten defensive player maybe it will make more sense to the Spartans.
If you want a real travesty of the All Big Ten selections, how does Daryll Clark not win Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year? Especially after the snub the media gave him in favor of Terrelle Pryor in the preseason. John Clay? Seriously? The dude only had 1224 yards rushing against arguably the worst schedule in the Big Ten. Wisconsin didn't even play a BCS conference team in their out of conference schedule. Say what you want about Penn State's schedule, but at least they played a BCS team, and don't knock Temple who has won seven in a row and is on the verge of winning the MAC.
Critics say Clark didn't win the big games, but Wisconsin lost to Iowa and Ohio State too. How did Clay do in those games? 59 yards rushing against the Buckeyes and 75 against the Hawkeyes. No touchdowns against either team. So I guess he gets a pass for not showing up. Clay had just 120 yards more than Evan Royster, and we all saw the offensive line Royster had to deal with. Give Royster the 53 extra carries Clay got and he would smash Clay's numbers by a couple hundred yards. I guess Clay just lucks out because Wisconsin had no other offensive weapons.
Clark was clearly the best quarterback in the league for the second year in a row. He led the conference in pass efficiency and was one of the more exciting players in the league. And he did it with a different offensive line and group of wide receivers from 2008. If you want a real travesty of the All Big Ten selections, look on offense. Not at Odrick.
(Yes, I realize my first paragraph about being classless for not congratulating a player got blown up here at the end of the post when I trash Clay and lobby for Clark. The rant got a little out of control there. Congrats to Clay for winning. But I still think Clark was more deserving.)