Clay Hillyer, a NESCAC grad, on and off writer on C2C, and all around pot stirrer recently tweeted something interesting about the D3 All American list. It went exactly like this:
And yes, that is me, the lone Favoriter and Retweeter. I think it’s interesting. Hence the post. Let’s look a little deeper into the numbers, shall we?
Two NESCAC teams were awarded the majority of the AAs, with Tufts taking the lion’s share with 7, and NCAA qualifier Amherst garnering a couple of their own (3). Bowdoin, Middlebury, and Wesleyan each got one. Tufts was the only team with a player on the first or second teams, and they had 3 players on those lists, with a 4th on the third team. Amherst’s Quinn Moroney was the only non-Tufts player on any of the top 3 teams from the NESCAC.
And then you get to Stevenson, who has four players on the first and second teams combined, and then three more on the third team. Salisbury has four players on the first team, 1 on the second, and none on the third. Why am I bringing them into the mix? Why not, they are 21-1, playing for a title, and they have 10 AAs. RIT has three players on the first and second team and two on the third team.
I’m not knocking these selections, and I know it’s hard, but these do seem like weird numbers to me. Should the first and second teams be loaded up with lots of players from certain schools only? Should certain schools get a full starting line up while other Top 20 programs get none at all? It’s all interesting, so don’t take it personally!
Another potential complaint could come from WAC. Sure, they have a bunch of guys up top, but not nearly as many in the lower portions of the list, totaling 5 AAs. Didn’t WAC just beat Stevenson in the quarterfinals, go 18-2, with both losses coming to Salisbury? They did. So how do they not get rewarded with All Americans?
Let’s look at Tufts and WAC’s number vs Stevenson and RIT’s numbers for the first two teams:
Tufts – 3, WAC – 4, Total – 7
RIT – 3, Stevenson – 4, Total – 7
I actually think that’s pretty fair.
Let’s look at that third team:
Tufts – 1, WAC – 0, Total – 1
RIT – 2, Stevenson – 3, Total – 4
That seems… less fair? In contrast, Salisbury had 5 on the first two teams and 0 on the third.
The Honorable Mention category is where things get a little bizarre for my tastes. But I must stress that this is nothing more than personal feeling on the matter, as almost all of this is purely subjective any way.
Stevenson garners five more All Americans, which total 12, or, two more than a starting line up. Now, I get that there are now specialty positions included (which helps inflate numbers overall), but 13 AAs on one team seems like an awful lot. I can see it if a team goes undefeated and wins a national title, but to lose in the quarterfinals and take two regular season losses, even if they are to the number 1 and 2 teams at the time? It just doesn’t work for me. Maybe I’m old fashioned.
And my real complaint is actually not that the NESCAC should have more All-Americans. 13 is fine for the conference, honestly. My real complaint is for also not for WAC. They got a bunch of guys plaques. Five should be considered a fantastic showing.
My REAL issue, when I looked closer, came with teams like the University of Mary Washington. This team was good this year. Very good. They went 14-4, played both York and Salisbury tight, and people knew they were good. Luke Dick made the second team at attack and… that’s it. Seriously? ONE guy for UMW? That makes no sense.
You want an even weirder one? Ok, here you go. Christopher Newport, of “we knocked off Salisbury 8-7 in OT and went 10-6” fame got ZERO All-Americans. I’m sorry, but any team that has the only win over a 21-1 team playing for a national title has at least ONE All-American on it. AT LEAST one. I know I’m yelling a lot, but I’m vexed beyond Commodus.
In the end, I can still understand rewarding the “good” teams with more All-Americans. But here is the thrust of my thought process right now: I simply don’t believe that any one team in the Top 20 of D3 is really 11 or 12 All Americans better than someone only a handful of spots behind them. We’ve been sharing the wealth in D3 when it comes to tournament bids, and it seems to be working for increased parity. Perhaps it’s time we do this in the All-American realm as well.
Congrats to all the guys who were named. We know you worked hard and deserve this honor. It’s not a knock on any of those guys, even the players at the schools with the most numbers. The fact is, there a lot of good players out there on a lot of different teams, and a more diverse set should probably be recognized.