Let’s put conference pride on the line this week. Which conference has the
worst best all-bust team? Today, it’s the S-E-C, and we’ll move to the other power conferences (Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, ACC).
The teams will be for players from each conference since 1992. Why 1992? Well, that’s the year that the SEC expanded to 12 games and Florida State joined the ACC, and a year later, Penn State made the Big Ten Conference officially a misnomer. The Big 12 Conference was formed from the Big 8 and four Texas schools a few years later.
When putting together the all-conference teams, players were assigned to the conference where they played in the last year of eligibility. We’ve seen some conference moves in the last few years, but, for example, Blaine Gabbert would be a Big 12 player, though Missouri is now in the SEC.
To be eligible for the all-bust team, players had to be drafted in the top 50 picks of the NFL Draft. There are few centers taken that highly, so five offensive linemen are selected (and since many busts move from tackle to guard, we are covered there).
Let’s break it down for the SEC, as we start the tale of the tape for bragging rights with other conferences:
If You Lose Games at the Line, SEC is Set: No other conference has the depth of busts along the defensive line that the SEC can throw at you. Yeah, the Big Ten probably has more bust name recognition, but Tennessee and Florida alone could field a team. The depth here is so good that Robert Ayers, Johnathan Sullivan, and David Pollack have a hard time getting on the field.
Jamarcus Russell: Purple Drank is the official sideline drink sponsor of the all-SEC bust team. The first overall pick relegates Heath Shuler to the bench, and sets the offense up for success. Tim Couch can’t even get on this roster.
A Deep and Disappointing Receiving Group: Another group that is long on depth even if the big names may reside in other conferences. Troy Williamson once tried to replace Randy Moss as the 7th overall pick. This team won’t have any problem replacing him, as it could turn to Matt Jones or Craig Davis if necessary. Chad Jackson and Marcus Nash also round out the starters.
At tight end, let’s opt for David LaFleur over Ben Troupe, because we want to not stretch the field as much as possible with his 8.5 yards per catch average. Just think what Russell could do with him.
Troubled Linebackers: The SEC has been pretty solid at linebacker, if the players can stay out of trouble. Rolando McClain and Odell Thurman make this team based on off-the-field contributions.
Heisman Running Backs and Miami Dolphins busts: The choices at running back come down to a pair of Alabama teammates, and Miami draft picks. Miami went to both John Avery and J.J. Johnson and got nothing. Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson have collectively sucked. Richardson will still get opportunities, so Ingram gets the nod for now.
Concerns in the Secondary: If there is one area that could really hurt this team in a comparison with other conferences, it’s in the secondary. While there are disappointments, there are not as many outright busts as other conferences, especially with top picks. We know you have to not stop the pass in today’s game to really become terrible. This is a make-or-break year for Morris Claiborne, but he doesn’t make this team. Teams will have to settle for picking on Ahmad Carroll.
Here’s the full first team selections, all-SEC: