FWAA 75th Anniversary All-America Team: 5 Glaring Misfires By The Voters

    Analyzing where the FWAA 75th Anniversary All-America Team, which was released on Thursday, missed. Here are five things the voters got wrong.

    August 20, 2015

    The FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) released its 75th Anniversary All-America Team on Thursday with three teams full of some of the greatest names and legends in the history of college football.

    But there were plenty of misfires.

    I’m a member of the FWAA and cast my ballot, so at least I got to officially throw in my two cents. There aren’t any massive, embarrassing errors on the FWAA’s team – these are the cream-of-the-crop historical voters – but there are several inconsistencies.

    Here’s the thing about creating a team like this or talking in any sort of sports historical context – you either have to go all opinion, or all fact. This team mixes the two.

    For example, the greatest college football quarterback in terms of pure talent was probably John Elway. If you want to read love letters, read the NFL scouting reports on the guy in the all-time class of quarterbacks. Talk to any pro scout, and Elway was the gold standard.

    But he didn’t even go to a bowl game.

    It might not be fair, and it might not be right, but when doing this, you have to go on accomplishments. Player X did this, Player Y did that, pick between the two.

    So with that in mind, here are the five most glaring misfires in the FWAA 75th Anniversary All-America Team.

    Roger Staubach over Tim Tebow

    Say what you will about Tebow and America’s fawning over him, but based on resume, he’s probably the greatest player in college football history and is definitely the college quarterback of all-time. Remember, this isn’t on talent, it’s about what he did. As great as Staubach was, Tebow’s two national titles, an SEC championship away from a third, being the first sophomore to win the Heisman, he should’ve won a second, and being the first in the 20-20 rushing/passing touchdown club makes him the easy choice.

    No Ron Dayne or Ricky Williams

    College football historically has been a running back sport – those are the stars. It’s hard to argue with Archie Griffin as a first-teamer with the whole two Heisman thing, but he’s also probably the most overrated college football player of all-time because of it. He made the first team, along with the no-doubt-about-it pick of Herschel Walker. No real beef with Tony Dorsett – national title, Heisman, left as the all-time yardage leader – on the Second Team, or Barry Sanders. SMU’s Doak Walker on the Third Team? Okay, but the FWAA tends to love him too much. Bo Jackson on talent deserves to be on the list, but not on accomplishments.

    Ricky Williams on talent as well as rushing yardage needed to be part of this, and Ron Dayne – no matter what you think of his style or the Wisconsin system – has to be a part of the team considering he’s the all-time leading rusher, won a Heisman, and carried the Badgers to two Rose Bowls.

    But if you are going purely on talent when it comes to running back …

    Again, it’s just about impossible to go wrong on the all-time greatest running backs. However, if you’re really going to do this, O.J. Simpson has to be considered among the six greatest college football running backs of all-time. Someone has to be left off the list, but it’s hard to think that Simpson, Jim Brown, and Earl Campbell aren’t a part of any grouping of greatest college running backs. Also …

    Jerry Rice shouldn’t be among the greatest college football wide receivers

    Wide receiver is a strange lot, considering college football wasn’t a passing game until recently. Rice made the FWAA First Team, and while he’s obviously one of the greatest football players of all-time, playing at Mississippi Valley State in a gimmicky offense sort of skewed things. If you’re going to do that, then Walter Payton absolutely has to be one of the all-time All-America running backs.

    Lawrence Taylor is probably the greatest pass rusher of all-time

    Before he became the prototype NFL hybrid pass rusher, LT was an absolutely dominant college player at North Carolina earning 1980 ACC Player of the Year honors as a record-setting dominant force. This is a hard, hard, hard list to make as a linebacker or a defensive end, but it’s also hard to have a proper one without him.

    Also, it’s nitpicky, but …

    Mike Singletary made a bazillion tackles at Baylor, and Derrick Thomas is up there with LT on the list of all-time greatest college football pass rushers, and Tommy Nobis is a no-brainer, but Brian Bosworth has to be a First Teamer, somehow. He might have been a pain, he might have been nailed for various issues, and he might not be the collegiate ideal, but purely as a football player, he belongs on the First Team over Singletary.

    And by the way. You take Johnny Rodgers to return a kick, I’ll take the Deion Sanders.


    QB Roger Staubach, Navy
    RB Archie Griffin, Ohio State
    RB Herschel Walker, Georgia
    WR Larry Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh
    WR Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley State
    TE Keith Jackson, Oklahoma
    OL John Hannah, Alabama
    OL Orlando Pace, Ohio State
    OL Will Shields, Nebraska
    OL Ron Yary, USC
    C Dave Rimington, Nebraska

    DT Lee Roy Selmon, Oklahoma
    DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
    DE Leon Hart, Notre Dame
    DE Ted Hendricks, Miami
    LB Tommy Nobis, Texas
    LB Mike Singletary, Baylor
    LB Derrick Thomas, Alabama
    DB Ronnie Lott, USC
    DB Deion Sanders, Florida State
    DB Jack Tatum, Ohio State
    DB Charles Woodson, Michigan

    P Ray Guy, Southern Miss

    K Kevin Butler, Georgia
    RS Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska

    QB Tim Tebow, Florida
    RB Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh
    RB Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State
    WR Fred Biletnikoff, Florida State
    WR Randy Moss, Marshall
    TE Mike Ditka, Pittsburgh
    OL Bill Fralic, Pittsburgh
    OL John Hicks, Ohio State
    OL Calvin Jones, Iowa
    OL Jonathan Ogden, UCLA
    C Chuck Bednarik, Penn

    DT Merlin Olsen, Utah State
    DT Randy White, Maryland
    DE Hugh Green, Pittsburgh
    DE Bruce Smith, Virginia Tech
    LB Brian Bosworth, Oklahoma
    LB Dick Butkus, Illinois
    LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
    DB Champ Bailey, Georgia
    DB Kenny Easley, UCLA
    DB Jerry Gray, Texas
    DB Ed Reed, Miami

    P Russell Erxleben, Texas
    K Mason Crosby, Colorado
    RS Raghib Ismail, Notre Dame

    QB Tommie Frazier, Nebraska
    RB Bo Jackson, Auburn
    RB Doak Walker, SMU
    WR Anthony Carter, Michigan
    WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech
    TE Gordon Hudson, BYU
    OL Barrett Jones, Alabama
    OL Willie Roaf, Louisiana Tech
    OL Jerry Sisemore, Texas
    OL Dean Steinkuhler, Nebraska
    C Jim Ritcher, N.C. State

    DT Steve Emtman, Washington
    DT Reggie White, Tennessee
    DE Bubba Smith, Michigan State
    DE Jack Youngblood, Florida
    LB Jack Ham, Penn State
    LB Lee Roy Jordan, Alabama
    LB Chris Spielman, Ohio State
    DB Dré Bly, North Carolina
    DB Dave Brown, Michigan
    DB Troy Polamalu, USC
    DB Roy Williams, Oklahoma

    P Rohn Stark, Florida State
    K Tony Franklin, Texas A&M
    RS Derek Abney, Kentucky

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