Khalil Mack finally is recognized as the best defensive player in the MAC after years of being overlooked. However Khalil couldn't help his teammates who were again overlooked. UB had arguably the 2nd best defense in the conference, however they only managed 2 first team and 2 third team defenders.
Roosevelt Nix? Really? Nix with 13 Tackles for Loss, 3.5 sacks and the anchor of by my calculation the #8 defense line in the MAC. That is first team?
No Question on Toledo's Jayrone Elliott who was a Khalil Mack away from being MAC DPOY, with 9 sacks (2nd to Mack), 14 TFLs (2nd to Mack) and 5 forced fumbles (tied 1st with Mack). Ball State's Jonathan Newsome was likewise impressive with 8 sacks, 11.5 TFLs, and 2 forced fumbles.
With 59 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1 sack and 1 INT, Ken Bishop of NIU was put on the 1st team, which I don't mind as he was the anchor of by my calculation the #1 defensive line in the MAC.
I do have a problem with the exclusion of Colby Way. .
Buffalo is tied with NIU for best defensive line in the MAC and Way put up 7.5 TFLs, 29 tackles and 5 sacks. Bishop, Way and Nix put up similar numbers but since Buffalo and NIU were dominant defensive lines, Way and Bishop should have garnered 1st team status, while Nix should have fallen to 2nd team.
Wes Williams of Miami had 20 tackles, 6.5 TFLs and 3 sacks, playing on the #10 defensive line in the conference. Why he is 2nd team All-MAC over Way, I do not know.
Underrated with Way was Akron's 3rd Teamer Nico Caponi. Not just a fun name to say in an Italian Accent, Nico had 5.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 2013, I rate Akron's defensive line at #5, a surprising group that helped Akron win some big games.
Totally snubbed, EMU's Kalonji Kashama, EMU was no good against the run this year, but Kashama had 32 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 9 TFLs and 2 forced fumbles.
Defensive Back: Najja Johnson was named 1st team All-MAC, a selection many UB fans will scoff at, I think Najja was 2nd team at best this year, but love that he got 1st team honors. Johnson bumped Akron's Malachi Freeman who landed on the 2nd team after 3 INTs and 12 passes broken up. Completely snubbed was WMU's Ronald Zamort, again, WMU was bad, but Zamort with an amazing 18 passes broken up onthe season should have earned him at least 3rd team honors.
Linebackers: Khalil Mack, 94 tackles, 10.5 sacks 19 TFLs 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 6 Passes broken up, 6 QB hurries and 5 Forced Fumbles, was an easy choice. I think the rest of the choices need some work. the first team includes NIU's resident band assaulter Jamaal Bass who was on a great defense but wasn't particularly great himself with 73 tackles, 2 sacks 3.5 TFLs and 2 INTs. He's a 3rd teamer at best in my eyes. I'd keep Junior Sylvestre at 1st team, he had a monster season, but I'd bump Jatavis Brown to 3rd team, great season, with 107 tackles, 2 sacks and 6.5 TFLs, but I can build a 1st team with better numbers and results overall.
Adding CMU's Justin Cherocci (121 Tackles, 9.5 TFLs 4 sacks 1 INT) and Toledo's Chase Murdock (109 tackles 9 TFLs 4 sacks and 1 INT) to Sylvestre and Mack, I think we get the true LB 1st Team.
On the 2nd Team, I like the selectoin of DJ Lynch of Bowling Green, however Gabe Martin was a bad pick. Martin played in 8 games amassing 36 tackles, 2 sacks and 3.5 TFLs. Martin in my eyes is not even a 3rd teamer this year. Moving Ball State's Ingle to 3rd team because he only managed a half sack on the season, I add in Adam Redden (voted 3rd team) of Buffalo, Shamari Benton (voted 3rd team) of CMU and Ohio's Ben Russell. Redden provided 11.5 TFLs, Benton had 111 tackles and 10.5 TFLs, and Ben Russell pitched in 82 tackles, 3 sacks and 7.5 TFLs, for the Ohio defense that we forget was really good before November.
On the 3rd team, I stack two Zips, Jatavis Brown (voted 1st team) and Justin March (voted 3rd team). March earns his way on the list with 3 interceptions, including a pick-6 at Michigan, tied Khalil Mack for most interceptions in the MAC by a linebacker. Jamaal Bass (voted 1st team) of NIU and Ben Ingle (voted 2nd team) of Ball State also land at 3rd team in my eyes.