2015 All-MW Football team: UW’s Hill left off first team, how I voted

There was an uproar among Wyoming fans this afternoon when the All-Mountain West football team was released by the league.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

Sophomore running back Brian Hill was left off the first team.

Despite leading the MW with 1,631 yards — a single-season UW record — and four 200-yard games, Hill garnered enough support by the 12 head coaches and selected media members to earn second team honors.

Here is the link from the MW for the first and second team members, along with honorable mentions and other individual awards.

http://www.themwc.com/news/mwfb-15-allmw

When a team like UW finishes 2-10 overall and 2-7 in conference play, I get that there won’t be many — if any — first team all-conference players.

But Hill’s omission makes no sense. Teams knew UW would run Hill, and for the most part, no one could stop him. That should make what he did even more impressive.

Hill is a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award — given to the top running back in college football. He’s the only MW player as a semifinalist, yet he’s not good enough to be First Team All-Conference?

San Diego State junior Donnel Pumphrey and San Jose State senior Tyler Ervin were the league’s two First Team running backs. Pumphrey also was the MW Offensive Player of the Year. That’s fine, and as one of the selected media members who voted, that’s who I had as my OPY.

Ervin was very good, and was more involved as an all-purpose back. But I still don’t think he was better than Hill simply running the football.

Eddie Yarbrough

Eddie Yarbrough

I also was a bit surprised that UW senior Eddie Yarbrough didn’t make the first team for the third year in a row. Yes, the Cowboys’ defense was dreadful this season, but Yarbrough wasn’t — despite constant double teams.

He led the MW in tackles for defensive linemen with 62, and was fifth with seven sacks. The four guys who made the first team all had more tackles for loss than Yarbrough, but only two had more sacks.

As is the case many times when these teams are voted on, overall records of teams outweigh individual performances.

For what it’s worth, I had Hill and Yarbrough on my first team ballot.

Was happy to see junior offensive guard Chase Roullier and true freshman free safety Andrew Wingard both earn second team honors.

No surprise that San Diego State, the West Division champs, dominated the individual awards with the offensive, defensive and special teams players of the year, along with coach of the year in Rocky Long.

My vote for coach of the year went to New Mexico’s Bob Davie. New Mexico was expected to be better, but I don’t think anyone thought the Lobos would win seven games. Long is a great coach and deserves credit, but the Aztecs also were expected to do well this season.

Here is how my All-MW ballots looked:

FIRST TEAM
QUARTERBACK
1 #7 Nick Stevens – QB – Colorado State
2 #4 Brett Rypien – QB – Boise State
RUNNING BACK
1 #19 Donnel Pumphrey – RB – San Diego State
2 #8 Brian Hill – RB – Wyoming
3 #7 Tyler Ervin – RB – San Jose State
4 #13 Jeremy McNichols – RB – Boise State
WIDE RECEIVER
1 #82 Thomas Sperbeck – WR – Boise State
2 #82 Rashard Higgins – WR – Colorado State
3 #83 Devonte Boyd – WR – UNLV
4 #4 Hunter Sharp – WR – Utah State
TIGHT END
1 #47 Jarred Gipson – TE – Nevada
2 #86 Kivon Cartwright – TE – Colorado State
OFFENSIVE LINE
1 #71 Pearce Slater – OL – San Diego State
2 #58 A.J. Ruechel – OL – Air Force
3 #71 Sam Carlson – OL – Colorado State
4 #51 Eden Mahina – OL – New Mexico
5 #73 Chase Roullier – OL – Wyoming
6 #59 Austin Stephens – OL – Utah State
7 #72 Wes Schweitzer – OL – San Jose State
8 #56 Nico Siragusa – OL – San Diego State
9 #71 Ben Clarke – OL – Hawai’i
10 #72 Marcus Henry – OL – Boise State
DEFENSIVE LINE
1 #31 Cory James – DE – Colorado State
2 #55 Eddie Yarbrough – DE – Wyoming
3 #87 Alex Hansen – DL – Air Force
4 #51 David Moala – DL – Utah State
5 #91 Nik D’Avanzo – DL – New Mexico
6 #8 Kamalei Correa – DE – Boise State
7 #94 Lenny Jones – DE – Nevada
8 #58 Alex Barrett – DE – San Diego State
LINEBACKER
1 #41 Nick Vigil – LB – Utah State
2 #9 Kyler Fackrell – LB – Utah State
3 #4 Christian Tago – LB – San Jose State
4 #31 Ejiro Ederaine – LB – Fresno State
5 #33 Kevin Davis – LB – Colorado State
6 #54 Calvin Munson – LB – San Diego State
DEFENSIVE BACK
1 #4 Darian Thompson – DB – Boise State
2 #16 Trent Matthews – DB – Colorado State
3 #23 Damontae Kazee – DB – San Diego State
4 #7 J.J. Whittaker – DB – San Diego State
5 #13 Tim Hough – DB – UNLV
6 #28 Andrew Wingard – DB – Wyoming
7 #8 Weston Steelhammer – DB – Air Force
8 #25 Roland Ladipo – DB – Air Force
PLACEKICKER
1 #40 Brent Zuzo – PK – Nevada
2 #49 Tyler Rausa – PK – Boise State
PUNTER
1 #17 Michael Carrizosa – P – San Jose State
2 #49 Hayden Hunt – P – Colorado State
RETURN SPECIALIST
1 #20 Rashaad Penny – RB – San Diego State
2 #82 Andrew Rodriguez – RS – Utah State
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
1 #19 Donnel Pumphrey – RB – San Diego State
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
1 #23 Damontae Kazee – DB – San Diego State
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
1 #17 Michael Carrizosa – P – San Jose State
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
1 #4 Brett Rypien – QB – Boise State
COACH OF THE YEAR
1 Bob Davie – Coach – New Mexico