Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Shamrock the Vote | by Pat

We've closed the voting on the all-stars and now it's time to take a look at the results. Who won? Who got snubbed? (And just how many mistakes did I make?)

First off...the most popular poll was Lou Holtz with 1059 votes. Here's the breakdown of votes per poll.

  • Holtz - 1059.
  • Willingham - 1052.
  • Davie - 784.
  • Ara - 522.
  • Faust - 518.
  • Devine - 477
Now then, on to the results. Remember, if there are two choices for a position, then 50% should be the highest a player can get. For linebacker, make that 33%. For the complete results of the polls, click on the coach's name.

Also, all players who were named to All-American lists, according to this link, are highlighted in green.

QB - Brady Quinn (75.50%)
RB - Julius Jones (50.54%)
RB - Darius Walker(34.18%)
FB - Tom Lopienksi (49.37%)
WR - Arnaz Battle (38.97%)
WR - Rhema McKnight (24.93%)
TE - Anthony Fasano (90.94%)
OT - Ryan Harris (37.50%)
OG - Bob Morton (27.22%)
C - Jeff Faine (95.61%)
OG - Dan Stevenson (27.22%)
OT - Jordan Black (24.89%)
K - Nicholas Setta (83.16%)

DE - Justin Tuck (46.25%)
DT - Darrell Campbell (30.96%)
DT - Cedric Hilliard (37.53%)
DE - Kyle Budinscak (24.72%)
LB - Courtney Watson (31.78%)
LB - Mike Goolsby (29.31%)
LB - Brandon Hoyte (20.65%)
CB - Vontez Duff (45.94%)
CB - Shane Walton (48.56%)
S - Glenn Earl (36.83%)
S - Gerome Sapp (33.86%)
P - Joey Hildbold (72.17%)

Not too many surprises on this list. After all, you only have a three year window of choices. The recent pass defense struggles seem rather obvious when you consider that Vontez Duff and Shane Walton grabbed 94.46% of the cornerback vote. Julius broke 50% of the RB vote, which means that some people voted for him for both RB spots. On the offensive line, I thought Mahan and Milligan would win but I guess I was wrong as Morton and Stevenson edged them out in a tight race.

The Rodney Dangerfield "No Respect" Award: Ryan Grant. Julius was pretty much a no-brainer in the RB category, but the fact that Darius Walker picked up over twice as many votes as Grant was a bit surprising. Sure Darius looks like he could be a great one, but you would think that Grant's 1762 career yards (to Darius' one year 786 yard total) might have earned him better than only 15% of the vote. My guess is that he's being punished by fans who are still upset at how the previous coaching staff limited the number of carries for Julius (and Darius to some extent).

QB - Jarious Jackson (68.01%)
RB - Autry Denson (50.43%)
RB - Tony Fisher (48.05%)
FB - Joey Goodspeed (87.97%)
WR - Joey Getherall (31.17%)
WR - David Givens (39.50%)
TE - Jabari Holloway (85.56%)
OT - Luke Petitgout (44.23%)
OG - Mike Gandy (41.63%)
C - John Merandi (60.36%)
OG - Jerry Wisne (22.79%)
OT - Mike Rosenthal (42.90%)
K - Jim Sanson (64.17%)

DE - Anthony Weaver (38.84%)
DT - Lance Legree (43.39%)
DT - Corey Bennett (20.71%)
DE - Renaldo Wynn (30.38%)
LB - Rocky Boiman (27.19%)
LB - Kory Minor (24.83%)
LB - Anthony Denman (19.90%)
CB - Allen Rossum (47.79%)
CB - Ivory Covington (20.24%)
S - Deke Cooper (37.47%)
S - Tony Driver (44.31%)
P - Hunter Smith (100.00%)

Givens was the far and away winner of the WR category. The question is, are ND fans factoring in his NFL success, or giving him points for being mis-used by Davie? Because looking at the numbers, his career totals lag behind Bobby Brown in nearly every category. Bobby Brown finished his time under the Dome with 1563 receiving yards, a 15.9 yard per catch average, and 12 touchdowns. For his ND career, David Givens ended up with 814 receiving yards, an 11.3 yard per catch average, and 3 touchdowns. Even if you mix in Givens' rushing stats (146 yards, 4 touchdowns), it's still pretty obvious that Brown had a better career at ND.

In one of the closer races, Ivory Covington nabbed the second CB slot over Brock Williams by only four votes. Was it his game-saving hit on the Army TE in '95 that propelled him over Williams, who was a third round draft pick? Perhaps. Williams was a better cornerback, but didn't have that one, big play that cemented his name in people's minds.

Dangerfield Award: Brad Williams. The former High School All-American started as a true freshman on the offensive line against Navy in Dublin, but was moved back to the defensive line shorthly thereafter. Playing the "what if" game, I agree with those who contend he would have made an excellent offensive lineman if he hadn't been switched back. But he was, and while his career didn't live up to its lofty expectations, he certainly played well enough to garner more than 11 measly votes.

QB - Tony Rice (64.60%)
RB - Reggie Brooks (35.78%)
RB - Ricky Watters (34.30%)
FB - Jerome Bettis (85.31%)
WR - Tim Brown (48.58%)
WR - Raghib Ismail (43.43%)
TE - Derek Brown (59.10%)
OT - Andy Heck (41.37%)
OG - Tim Grunhard (36.54%)
C - Tim Ruddy (71.85%)
OG - Ryan Leahy (22.78%)
OT - Aaron Taylor (46.78%)
K - Craig Hentrich (62.69%)

DE - Frank Stams (45.34%)
DT - Bryant Young (36.54%)
DT - Chris Zorich (45.95%)
DE - Scott Kowalkowski (24.33%)
LB - Michael Stonebreaker (28.85%)
LB - Demetrius Dubose (21.80%)
LB - Ned Bolcar (17.04%)
CB - Todd Lyght (37.70%)
CB - Bobby Taylor (35.71%)
S - Jeff Burris (48.83%)
S - Rod Smith (14.56%)
P - Craig Hentrich (91.06%)

Is Ricky Watters another case of a player who benefiting from a productive NFL career? Look at these career rushing yards: Randy Kinder - 2295 yards. Tony Brooks - 2274 yards. Lee Becton - 2029 yards. Mark Green - 1977 yards. Ricky Watters - 1814 yards. Unless the voters were factoring in east/west rushing yards, it would seem that Watters falls a bit short of the others on the list. To be fair, he did score more rushing touchdowns so I suppose a case could be made, but he appears to lack either the one big year like Reggie Brooks and his 8.0 yards/carry or the career production of others on the list. He was a great running back, but he wasn't the only one under Holtz.

The tight end results are interesting in that Holtz is the only coach poll where the winning tight end didn't get over 85% of the vote. So the question I ask you, is that a result of better depth among Holtz tight ends or the lack of the true superstar tight end.

Dangerfield Award- Wally Kleine. Perhaps the lack of votes for Wally Kleine is a sign that people didn't agree with him being placed in the Holtz poll. Maybe he would have done better as a Devine player. But while I didn't expect him to beat out Junior Bryant and Chris Zorich, I was surprised that an All-American and 2nd round NFL draft pick couldn't pick up more than 3 votes.

Errata. Ok, I screwed up. Pat Terrell should have been in the safety category. Really no excuse for that mistake. Odds are that Terrell would have been selected alongside Covington. Sorry about that Pat.

Also, it seems that the poll didn't add up the votes for Ray Zellars. Looking at the code, it seems all of his votes went to Anthony Johnson and all of Anthony Johnson's votes were added to Marc Edwards total. So while Bettis did still win by a landslide, Zellars did not get a goose egg.

QB - Steve Beuerlein (88.27%)
RB - Allen Pinkett (53.76%)
RB - Greg Bell (25.64%)
FB - Larry Moriarty (87.64%)
WR - Joe Howard (41.56%)
WR - Milt Jackson (30.73%)
TE - Mark Bavaro (94.39%)
OT - Tom Doerger (28.32%)
OG - Larry Williams (33.95%)
C - Mike Kelley (60.97%)
OG - Tom Thayer (39.63%)
OT - Phil Pozderac (33.14%)
K - John Carney (96.84%)

DE - Eric Dorsey (37.37%)
DT - Bob Clasby (24.00%)
DT - Mike Gann (45.92%)
DE - Mike Golic (42.46%)
LB - Mike Kovaleski (23.57%)
LB - Mark Zavagnin (20.44%)
LB - Tony Furjanic (16.02%)
CB - Mike Haywood (35.39%)
CB - Stacy Toran (39.64%)
S - Dave Duerson (50.33%)
S - Joe Johnson (32.74%)
P - Blair Kiel (73.57%)

Like Julius, Allen Pinkett broke the 50% barrier so some people thought he was good enough to vote for twice. Ditto Dave Duerson. Blair Kiel made up for his 2nd place finish at quarterback by winning the punting category, which is sort of like losing Prom King but getting voted "neatest shoes". It was this theory that being a punter is slightly less glamorous than being a Notre Dame quarterback that led to us bending the rules and allowing him be a choice in two categories.

Dangerfield Award: Tony Hunter. Hunter came into Notre Dame as a wide receiver and played there for two years before switching to tight end for his final two years. The four years starter and All-American was more of a "big" wide receiver than pure tight end, but still led the Irish in receiving yards for 3 straight years and still holds on to 6th place on the all time receiving yards list. Mark Bravaro was a great tight end for the Irish, but so was Hunter. Certainly better than the 5.6% of the votes that he received.

QB - Joe Montana (98.52%)
RB - Vagas Ferguson (51.40%)
RB - Terry Eurick (28.67%)
FB - Jerome Heavens (90.44%)
WR - Pete Holohan (43.63%)
WR - Kris Haines (38.43%)
TE - Ken McAfee (94.88%)
OT - Tim Foley (43.15%)
OG - Tim Huffman (43.27%)
C - John Scully (58.53%)
OG - Ernie Hughes (27.64%)
OT - Rob Martinovich (21.94%)
K - Harry Oliver (69.50%)

DE - Ross Browner (49.61%)
DT - Jeff Weston (32.48%)
DT - Scott Zettek (31.86%)
DE - Willie Fry (45.02%)
LB - Bob Crable (31.49%)
LB - Bob Golic (34.63%)
LB - Bobby Leopold (13.61%)
CB - Luther Bradley (47.08%)
CB - Dave Waymer (36.77%)
S - Jim Browner (38.14%)
S - Joe Restic (39.42%)
P - Joe Restic (86.84%)

For only coaching for six seasons, Devine really has a impressive collection of some of the most famous names in ND history....Joe Montana, Vagas Ferguson, Ken McAfee, Ross Browner, Willie Fry, Bob Crable, Luther Bradley.

At this point I'd like to thank our friend John who helped out with many of the names for the Devine and Ara polls. He also gave his 2 cents on some of the results. Here's what he had to offer for the Devine poll:
My only surprise in the Devine era was at kicker. Dave Reeve was better than Harry Oliver, but Harry had that one great kick against Michigan.
Dangerfield Award: Quarterbacks not named Joe Montana. When you're on a Notre Dame popularity contest and running against Joe Montana, you really can't expect much. And yet, Montana still blew away the field by a huge margin. Out of 473 votes cast, the QNNJM totaled 6. Ouch.

QB - Joe Theismann (45.51%)
RB - Nick Eddy (30.97%)
RB - Rocky Bleier (25.23%)
FB - Larry Conjar (41.05%)
WR - Jim Seymour (34.51%)
WR - Tom Gatewood (31.39%)
TE - Dave Casper (92.49%)
OT - Bob Kuechenberg (37.76%)
OG - Gerry DiNardo (32.81%)
C - George Goeddeke (48.60%)
OG - Larry DiNardo (19.56%)
OT - George Kunz (37.00%)
K - Bob Thomas (70.49%)

DE - Alan Page (49.95%)
DT - Pete Duranko (24.08%)
DT - Mike McCoy (24.95%)
DE - Walt Patulski (34.78%)
LB - Jim Lynch (29.29%)
LB - Bob Olson (13.15%)
LB - Jim Carroll (10.68%)
CB - Clarence Ellis (29.10%)
CB - Mike Townsend (30.63%)
S - Nick Rassas (30.92%)
S - Tom Schoen (36.93%)
P - Brian Doherty (65.71%)

Quite the collection of All-Americans I'd say. Ironically, Bob Kuechenberg wasn't named All-American but was the leading vote getter in the offensive tackle list. Ahead of All-Americans Steve Sylvester, Paul Seiler, John Dampeer, and Jim Reilly. And according to the official roster list, after his one year at offensive tackle (1966) he moved to the defensive side of the ball. Here's John with some additional background on Kuechenberg:
Kuechenberg started at OT as a sophomore on the 1966 national championship team, but he moved to defensive end in 1967 due to need. He started ahead of classmate George Kunz in '66 but Kunz later got his chance and became an AA. Kuechenberg did not make AA as a defensive end, but he was a fine athlete and agreed to play out of position to help the team.

Kuechenberg returned to his natural OT position in the NFL. Both he and Kunz were high draft picks and played well for a long time. Both were All-Pro type players, but Kuechenberg may remembered by more folks because he was a stalwart on the great Miami Dolphin teams of the early 1970's.
John chimes in again with the rest of his take on the Era of Ara.
My reaction to the QB result is that Theismann's success as a player in the NFL carried some weight - even more so than his current ESPN exposure. His ND career is arguably no better than Clements or Hanratty and he did not win a NC. As a pure passer, however, he was the best of the three.

The rest of the results were consistent with my own opinions, although I was surprised by the number of votes for Eric Penick. His 1973 run against USC made him memorable, but the rest of his career was unremarkable.

I think Gerry DiNardo got more votes than his equally talented brother by virtue of his NCAA coaching career.
Dangerfield Award, and it's a big one: Steve Niehuas. By far my biggest mistake was omitting Niehaus from the all-star poll. A two-time All-American and #2 pick in the NFL Draft, Niehaus had more than enough credentials to stake a claim as one of the better defensive tackles to play under Ara and Devine.

So that's it. A big thanks to everyone that participated in the poll. Hope you had fun with it. Now of course the question becomes, which unit would you take?