For Smith, it was Isaiah Pead who would be Offensive Player of the Year. Was it a good year for Pead? Yes. He rushed for over 1,000 yards, and accounted for 11 touchdowns. However, that was dwarfed by the year Smith had...the best a WVU quarterback has ever have. Smith entered the bowl season with over 3,900 yards passing and 26 touchdowns. He also guided his team to a win over Pead's on their way to the Orange Bowl. Not only were his numbers more impressive, but he was also much more valuable to his team. Cincinnati slid when they lost quarterback, Zach Collaros, not Pead.
Needless to say, Smith losing was surprising, but doesn't compare to what is about to happen to Kevin Jones. If the reports are true, and Jae Crowder is the Big East Player of the Year, then it's a smack in the face. Jones has the better numbers, and is so much more valuable to his team...and I'm not sure it's even close.
Don't get me wrong, I like Crowder. He is a fun basketball player to watch. He can go inside and outside. His energy level is outstanding. He has a high basketball IQ, but isn't the Big East Player of the Year. Hell, I'm not even sure if he is the best player on his team. Darius Jonson-Odom may have something to say about that. But, even if the argument is made that he is a more versatile player than Jones, there is absolutely no way anyone can say he is more valuable.
Marquette is still a tournament team without Crowder. Johnson-Odom, Vander Blue, Todd Mayo, Davante Gardner and company would still be a Top-6 team in the Big East. Meanwhile, WVU without Kevin Jones is DePaul. I'm not even sure the Mountaineers would be NIT-bound. Truck Bryant, Denis Kilicli, and a mound of freshmen is a recipe for disaster.
Even if you want to give the edge to Crowder due to the record, statistics would push the argument back to Jones. Points per game? Jones (20 to 17). Rebounds per game? Jones (11 to 8). Field Goal Percentage? Jones (.515 to .512). Free Throw Percentage? Jones (.77 to .74). To Crowder's credit he does have more steals and assists, but Jones also dropped 20 Double-Doubles. Crowder had 11.
The value argument and stat argument side with Jones. The record sides with Crowder. Is that enough to tilt the argument towards the Marquette man? It shouldn't, but it sounds like that is the case.
Should this be surprising? No. Jones was already not a unanimous selection for Big East First Team. How ridiculous is that? The man who led the league in scoring and rebounding (by the way, the only other two to do that won POY) wasn't a first teamer in some coach's eyes. It obviously shows that bias has certainly reared its ugly head in these selections.
Again, should this be surprising? A school that sued the league to get out early, which already had a quarterback get completely jacked out of an award? I think you all can put it together.
So, in the immortal words of Jake Taylor from Major League...there's only one thing left to do..."win the whole f***ing thing". Maybe then Kevin Jones would get some respect. Doubtful in this league, though.