Anticipation of the Phil Steele college football preview magazine is becoming a national phenomenon. Every little bit that gets dripped out early is devoured by a football starving public and today is no different. Phil Steel has now placed on his website his selections for four full All-Big East teams. Just a few observations:
- As is his custom, Steele makes his teams and rankings based on how he thinks they'll finish the season, so, it shouldn't come as a surprise to see Rutgers true freshman running back Savon Huggins on the third team.
- Steele recognizes the health and return of Louisville running back Victor Anderson as well, also placing him on the third team. Anderson was Big East freshman of the year in 2008 and is finally healthy again. He should have a big year. His only drawback in terms of putting up numbers is he will likely still share carries with sophomore Jeremy Wright.
- Interesting that Steele has Mo Petrus the second team center when it is Joe Madsen and Mario Benavides, the third team center, that were nominated for the Rimington Award.
- The Big East will have an impressive set of quarterbacks as I feel confident that Geno Smith, Zach Collaros, and Tino Sunseri will combine for 12,000 yards this season between them.
- I can't figure out how Steele thinks that both Demetris Murray and Darrell Scott are going to have noteworthy years. USF isn't THAT ground oriented to where both will, say, rush for a thousand yards like UConn had two years ago. I take a wait and see attitude on Scott until he actually performs on the field.
- I don't take issue with much on the defensive side, really just more skeptical of a few picks. On the first team defensive line, I understand picking Brandon Lindsey, but, has Steele considered that he'll be playing in a new system without the benefit of Jabaal Sheard on the other side getting all of the attention? And Julian Miller on the first team at defensive tackle surprises me considering all of the shuffling West Virginia has done up front.
- You have to be encouraged if you're a Louisville seeing players on the defensive line, linebackers, and in the secondary honored. Additional benefit: all will be back in 2012 except for Dexter Heyman. If there's a Louisville defensive sleeper, watch out for defensive tackles Brandon Dunn and Roy Philon. Both took their lumps as freshmen in 2010 and will be tough in 2011.
- Steele has a lot of faith in Jeff Casteel and the Mountaineers' unique version of the 3-3-5 defense. Five West Virginia defenders are on his first team defense. It will be interesting to see what happens to the defensive numbers at West Virginia once the offense is putting up a lot of points. Garbage time yards and scores may begin to skew the yardage and points allowed to make it look like the defense is perhaps not quite as good as it will be.