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#CAAFB All-Conference Voting: A look inside the process

Nov 19, 2012, 9:19 PM EDT

CAA Football announced its All-Conference picks earlier today. A lot can be made of who earned a spot on what team. Some fans may feel their team or a player on that team got slighted. To help everyone who may feel that way, I thought I’d use this forum to enlighten our CAA Football fans on the unique process used to determine the 104 award winners for the 2012 season. I describe it as unique, because when comparing other leagues’ processes ours is unlike any other out there.

The 2012 process began late in October and culminated last night with a 2.5 hour conference call. Each program is given the opportunity to nominate a specific number of players per position…if we honor a group of players for one position then it is likely our programs can nominate multiple athletes in that position. All those nominations are compiled and sent back out to our coaching staffs. All 11 staffs then have almost two weeks to cross-check the nominations, look at opponent video and rate who they plan to vote for the day after the regular season ends. Some staffs also request names be removed from their nominations and other may request additional athletes be added to the list from their programs.

Once the ODU/JMU game went final this past Saturday we wrapped up the stats and provided the coaching staffs one last up-to-date ballot. The following day came the all-conference ending. Most league’s ask their coaches to utilize a fax machine, some submit votes via email and some may fill out an online ballot…not CAA Football. All 11 head coaches dialed into a conference call at 4pm, Sunday, and proceeded to work as a group to formulate three All-CAA Football squads and a total of 97 honorees. Each coach is given the opportunity to speak about their respective nominations, then each casts first, second and third team votes in the open forum of the call for tabulating purposes. The essence of the call is that no coach or program can hide behind a private ballot and every program has a say on whether or not an amendment be made to a specific position.

Sunday’s voting for First Team safety clearly illustrates that point. After all 11 coaches cast their votes aloud for First Team safety, Towson’s Jordan Dangerfield and JMU’s Dean Marlowe were the leading vote-getters. I proceeded to call out the names of the athletes who were just outside of the First Team recognition but still received first team votes so nobody would get overlooked for Second Team honors. The first name I read off was Richmond’s Cooper Taylor, a very close miss in terms of First Team accolades. Without hesitation there were three coaches, from three different programs, called out saying “put him on the first team too!”. As you can see from this afternoon’s release, Taylor was a First Team All-CAA Safety.

Without the 2.5 hour conference call, Taylor, a legitimate pro-prospect and possible All-American, would have been left off the league’s First Team. That likely would not have hurt his chances of playing on Sundays, but the likelihood of a Second Team All-Conference honoree being named an All-American are historically very slim.

Every conference names all-conference squads and major award winners, but I am certain there is not a league out there whose group of coaches spends 2.5 hours working together to honor the best athletes which play in their league.

Congrats to the athletes who occupy those 97 honors…and if you haven’t seen our coaches’ list of All-CAA Football athletes then click here.