Thorpe Drops the Ball on A.Z.

Alan Zemaitis

College football is a sport of subjective perception. So it should not come as a surprise that controversy is a regular part of the sport, whether it comes to team rankings, national championships or player honors. While there is often room for debate on most topics, I don't see any when it comes to Alan Zemaitis being left off the list of Thorpe Award finalists.

The Thorpe Award, given to "the best defensive back in college football," has just named its three finalists for the 2005 season — Jimmy Williams of Virginia Tech, Tye Hill of Clemson and Michael Huff of Texas.

All three defensive backs have shown they are fine, consistent players who have played an intergral role this season for their teams' defensive units.

Each player's statistics this season are:

Jimmy Williams:

Total Tackles: 34 (17 solo)
Tackles for Loss: 2
Sacks: 1
Interceptions: 1
Pass Breakups: 4

Tye Hill:

Total Tackles: 49 (37 solo)
Tackles for Loss: 5
Sacks: 1
Interceptions: 3
Pass Breakups: 6

Michael Huff:

Total Tackles: 74 (36 solo)
Tackles for Loss: 2
Sacks: 1
Interceptions: 1
Pass Breakups: 9

Let's compare Alan Zemaitis' numbers to three finalists' statistics this season:

Alan Zemaitis

Total Tackles: 47 (34 solo)
Tackles for Loss: 1.5
Sacks: 0
Interceptions: 5
Pass Breakups: 10

Zemaitis had as many interceptions as all three finalists combined. This is simply another example of the subjective nature of college football, but in this case the Thorpe Award committee dropped the ball.

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