This is only the 2nd year of the All-Mack team, but it could be the last. Many suffered needlessly because of it. Check it..
Christian Ponder – I thought he was a Heisman favorite, but he didn’t quite live up to that. Had a decent season, but he was bitten by the injury bug right before the ACC Championship game and he missed it.
Mark Ingram – The Monday before the first game of the season, he tweaks a tendon in his knee, has to have arthroscopic surgery and was never the same all season. He showed flashes, but after his huge first game against Duke, Ingy was never quite the same all season. He made some 2nd team all-conference teams, but it was mostly out of respect. He didn’t produce much at all this season.
Neol Devine – A guy who was one of the most electrifying players in all of college football for the past 2 seasons was largely invisible this year.
A.J. Green – Bogusly suspended for the first 4 games of the year for selling his own football jersey.
Julio Jones – In the season where he was supposed to be finally healthy, he broke his hand. Surprisingly, though, after the broken hand, he turned into the receiver that his hype coming out of high school said he would be. Julio is the first player to sort of escape the All-Mack Team curse.
Mike Pouncey – I picked this guy as center of my pre-season All-Mack team and as it turned out, he couldn’t even get the ball to the QB!! His plethora of bad snaps early in the season was the first sign that things weren’t all good in Gainesville, and while the season showed flashes of promise, it ultimately started to roll downhill and culminated with Urban Meyer stepping down for the 2nd time in as many years.
Marcell Dareus – Suspended for the first two games of the season for attending a party in South Beach thrown by a runner for an NFL agent, he started getting dinged up toward the end of his first game back (against Duke) and got a high ankle sprain vs. Arkansas that he never fully recovered from. Based on what he was able to do last season and what he was projected to do, this season was the epitome of subpar for Dareus.
Dont’a Hightower – Coming off surgery to repair torn ligaments in his knee, it was expected that Bama’s defense wouldn’t miss a beat after losing 2009 Butkus Award Winner Rolando McClain, because many observers thought that Hightower was better than McClain because of his versatility and combo of size & speed. That may have been so…pre-surgery..Hightower often looked like he was running in mud, slow to the point of attack and was largely invisible most of the season aside from huge games against Florida and Auburn. He ultimately turned over his defensive play calling duties to true freshman backer CJ Mosley and sophomore backer Nico Johnson.
Mark Barron – Coming in, he was supposed to be the top safety in the country. And he was for the most part, but starting alongside 3 and sometimes 4 new starters in the defensive backfield, he was often left exposed and took bad angles to runners. And in the most inappropriate time, the All-Mack curse struck Barron. During the 2nd quarter of the Iron Bowl, Mark was caught out of position and beaten on a pass. And in an effort to club the ball from the receiver, he tore his pectoral muscle. In an attempt to soldier on, that injury hurt him even more in the 3rd quarter. On a poorly thrown pass from presumptive Heisman trophy winner Cameron Newton to WR Terrell Zachary, Barron was in perfect position to intercept the pass, knock the ball down, take the receiver’s head off, or (worst case) tackle the receiver. But because of the torn pectoral muscle, he could do neither, and it resulted in a TD for Auburn. Even worse for Mark, he had put together a decent enough season to at least test the NFL Draft waters, but because recovery from his surgery will be 3-4 months, he may wind up returning to Alabama for his senior season.
After all this, I’m seriously considering never doing the All-Mack team again. But if I do, there will NEVER be another Alabama player on the team.