I've made it pretty clear over the years how worthless I think watch lists, semifinalist lists, etc., are. (Spoiler: pretty worthless.) I didn't understand the point of these things before Danario Alexander went unnamed as a Biletnikoff Award finalist in 2009, and after that, I mostly stopped paying attention.
Kudos, then, to an award committee that figured out a way to get me to write about awards again.
Here is your list of Butkus Award semifinalists:
- Kendall Beckwith, LSU
- Su'a Cravens, USC
- Kyler Fackrell, Utah State
- Leonard Floyd, Georgia
- Deion Jones, LSU
- Blake Martinez, Stanford
- Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State
- Antonio Morrison, Florida
- Reggie Ragland, Alabama
- Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
Good linebackers, all. This would be a perfectly acceptable list if it included one more name: Kentrell Brothers'.
Holy crap. I mean ... holy crap. Not only is the Butkus committee telling us Brothers isn't one of the nation's 10 best linebackers, they're telling us he's not one of the five best in the SEC.
Let's go to the stats.
|Player||Tackles||% of team||TFLs||Sacks||Passes Defensed||Def. S&P+ Rk|
Oh yeah, and Brothers has blocked two kicks, too.
On this list, Brothers is No. 1 in tackles, No. 2 in the percentage of his team's tackles, No. 3 in tackles for loss, No. 4 in sacks, and No. 3 in passes defensed, and he's played for a defense that quite a bit better than LSU's (which had two linebackers included), USC's, Utah State's, Georgia's, Stanford's, or Notre Dame's. With the season Morrison is having, I didn't figure Brothers would be the favorite to win the award, but not including him as a semifinalist is an absolute embarrassment.
Brothers is being punished because his offense stinks, and that's inexcusable.
Sometimes that's how the cookie crumbles— Kentrell Brothers (@Kentrell_Mizzou) November 2, 2015
Kentrell is taking the high road, and that's probably for the best, but I'll say it for him: Butkus voters should be ashamed of themselves. They had one job, and they didn't do it.
But on the bright side, if Brothers was looking for an even bigger chip to carry on his shoulder...