My 2011 all-Big Sky team
Before I get to the things I wish I’d written about the Cat-Griz game – and there’s plenty – here’s my prediction for the all-Big Sky Conference football team.
It’ll be released Tuesday, and I have to say: I am laughably bad at these things. But I suppose that’s part of the fun, and I probably won’t be any farther off than the media was in its preseason all-Big Sky team. Anyway, here goes.
QB – Bo Levi Mitchell of Eastern Washington. The job Mitchell did – 341 passing yards a game in league play – behind a patchwork line, with no Taiwan Jones and no Brandon Kaufman, gives him the edge over the Cats’ DeNarius McGhee.
RB – Cody Kirk, Cats, and Zach Bauman, Northern Arizona. Kirk’s a flat-out stud; Bauman was the toughest back for the Griz to handle in 2011. Special mention to PSU’s Cory McCaffrey, who tore his Achilles against UM.
FB – Do I really have to pick one? OK. Tevia Tolutau, Weber.
TE – Deszon Walker, Northern Arizona, but it’s tough not to go with Greg Hardy or Kavario Middleton. Josh Hill caught a ton of passes with ISU, too.
WR – Rodrick Rumble, Idaho State, and Nicholas Edwards, Eastern Washington. I sure liked the way MSU’s Elvis Akpla played Saturday, though.
OL – Jon Opperud, Griz; J.C. Oram, Weber State; Alex Terrien, Cats; John Taylor, Sac State; Stephen Sabin, Griz. Ack. Would I really leave out a pick from the Big Sky’s top rush defense? Kyle Ritt, Portland State.
K – Zach Brown, Portland State. I want to pick McKnight but Brown went 20-for-23 on field goals in eight league games.
Return specialist – Jabin Sambrano, Griz. He’s the only Big Sky player to return a punt and a kickoff for a TD this season. Easily one of the top playmakers.
DE – Brad Daly, Cats, and Zack Nash, Sac State.
DT – Bryan Waldhauser,Griz; Zach Minter, Cats. Where have you gone, Renard Williams? Waldo and Minter are the best, period.
LB – Caleb McSurdy, Griz; Ryan Rau, Portland State; A.J. Storms, Idaho State; Anthony Morales, Weber State. I like Clarence Bumpas of Northern Colorado and Clay Bignell and Jody Owens of the Cats, too. And Alex Shaw and John Kanongata’a give the Griz the best LB corps in the league. Exclamation point.
S – Joe Larche, Sac State, and Donovan Henley, Idaho State.
CB – Trumaine Johnson, Griz, and DeShawn Shead, PSU. Tru is the Louis Wright of the Big Sky. I’m showing my age here, but Wright used to be so good with the Denver Broncos, nobody threw his way. The Cats were about the only team to go Tru’s way this season (and I loved the way Houston Roots played on the other side, under serious pressure). Portland State seemed to hit its stride defensively when Shead moved back to corner from safety.
P – Brody McKnight. With David Harrington still in the league, this is a long shot. But McKnight was money with the rugby punt, and he doesn’t kick in a dome and, dammit, he’s a first-teamer somewhere.
- Fritz Neighbor