MORGANTOWN - The All-Big East football teams announced by the league Wednesday pretty much sum up West Virginia's season.
There are four players from the Mountaineers on the first-team defense and three on the second-team defense. There are no offensive players on the first unit and only four on the second.
That seems fairly appropriate for a defense that finished second in the nation in scoring defense and third overall, and an offense that was the culprit in virtually every poor game the Mountaineers played during a 9-3 season.
West Virginia's first-team selections on the all-league defense are nose guard Chris Neild, linebacker J.T. Thomas, cornerback Keith Tandy and safety Robert Sands. Sands and Thomas are two of six repeat selections to the first team from last season.
West Virginia's second-team picks are tackle Scooter Berry, pass-rushing defensive end Bruce Irvin and cornerback Brandon Hogan on defense, along with receivers Jock Sanders and Tavon Austin, tackle Don Barclay and quarterback Geno Smith on offense.
With just four first-team picks, West Virginia was behind the two teams with which it shared the league title. Connecticut had six first-teamers - three on offense, two on defense and one specialist. Pitt had five - two each on offense and defense and one specialist. Louisville also had four first-teamers, followed by South Florida with three, Cincinnati with two and Syracuse one. Rutgers was shut out.
The league's top awards went to UConn running back Jordan Todman (offensive player of the year), Pitt end Jabaal Sheard (defense), USF returner Lindsey Lamar (special teams) and Louisville safety Hakeem Smith (rookie). Connecticut's Randy Edsall and Louisville's Charlie Strong shared the coach of the year award.
While Sands and Thomas - along with UConn offensive lineman Zach Hurd, Pitt receiver Jonathan Baldwin, Pitt tackle Jason Pinkston and UConn linebacker Lawrence Wilson - made the first team for the second year in a row, two West Virginia players on last year's first team didn't make the list this season - running back Noel Devine and kicker Tyler Bitancurt. Neither of last year's first-team running backs - Pitt's Dion Lewis joined Devine - made this year's first or second team.
There were five unanimous selections to the first team - Todman, Sheard, Hurd, Louisville guard Mark Wetterer and Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.