Considering ballots had room to include four choices for defensive linemen, and Clowney is coming off a consensus All-America season, it does seem a little puzzling.
But keep this in mind: The Southeastern Conference credentialed 1,239 folks for the league’s media days. All of them were emailed instructions on how to vote, if they wanted to do so. The league wasn’t exceptionally particular about who it credentialed for media days. (That’s a good thing, because there’s no reason not to allow a media member through the door, if you have room for them.)
However, this doesn’t include just the guys who report for significant publications, Internet sites or television networks. It also includes guys who show up wearing the colors of the team they support. It includes guys who call home and tell whomever answers, “Guess what?!? I got to ask Coach Saban a question!!!” Not all of those guys are the most clear-thinking voters. How many do you think voted with their favorite team in mind?
In addition, the ballot asks voters to go to a website, drag names from a list and drop them onto their list. It’s possible some guys could drag over the wrong name and not realize it until they’ve hit “send.”
Also, consider this: Clowney didn’t make a lot of friends at opposing schools Tuesday when he told reporters that Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, former Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson and a third unnamed SEC quarterback had fear in their eyes when they faced him.
Don’t you think a few voters (maybe some who happen to wear Georgia or Arkansas colors) looked over their ballots and decided Clowney didn’t need their vote.
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @MarkSportsStar.