Navy's Will Worth omitted from All-AAC team
On the surface, the 2016 All-American Athletic Conference football team, chosen by the league's coaches, appears decent.
Few can reasonably question the Offensive Player of the Year (USF's Quinton Flowers), Defensive Player of the Year (UCF's Shaquem Griffin) or Rookie of the Year (Houston's Ed Oliver).
But upon second glance, there's a glaring snub of the year, and it warrants questions about the team's structure and selection process.
Nowhere on the squad -- not first team, second team or even honorable mention -- will you find Navy QB Will Worth, who leads the nation in scoring (13.6 ppg) and rushing touchdowns (25).
A career backup (and Newsome High alumnus), Worth was thrust into action when Midshipmen starter Tago Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury in Game 1. Since then, he has led Navy to a 10-2 record. On Worth's watch, the Navy triple-option has averaged 52.8 points its last four games, punting only four times in that span.
Good enough to clinch the West Division title, but apparently not good enough for a smidgen of all-conference recognition.
And while apparently nothing can be done to rectify the oversight this year, perhaps Navy's plight will foster change for the future.
Such as the addition of a utility and/or athlete position to the first and second teams.
As it stands, the teams chosen by the coaches are pretty standard: The defense consists of four linemen, five linebackers, two cornerbacks and two safeties. On offense, there are three receivers, a tight end, two tackles, two guards, a center, quarterback and two running backs.
Essentially, each coach casts a ballot for first and second team at each position, league spokesman Chuck Sullivan said. The honorable-mention list consists of players named on at least half the ballots who didn't make first or second team.
And that's where Worth fell through the cracks.
Evidently, a majority of coaches tabbed USF's Quinton Flowers and Houston's Greg Ward Jr. as their first- and second-team quarterbacks, or vice versa. Tough to argue with either.
But in a year that screamed for a utility spot (or at the least, a more liberal honorable-mention policy), there was none. Worth either was going to be chosen as a quarterback, or not at all.
Unfortunately for the senior, who's headed for the Marine Corps, the latter fate befell him.
Not that Worth will spend a lot of time bemoaning his omission. The kid's never been about individual honors, and besides, he's got a conference title game for which to prepare.
We'll chalk this up as a live-and-learn thing. Worth will live, and hopefully the conference will learn.
By adding a couple of extra spots (utility, athlete) to future all-conference teams.