Trust me, I know how this works.
Over the years, I've participated in any number of preseason, mid-season, and end of year All-whatever teams for all kinds of websites. Generally, if you've not paid much attention to other teams in the conference, it largely becomes a statistical thing. Often, you'll see guys on those teams that put up the best numbers because unless you're watching a lot of games, it's hard to come to any kind of reasonable conclusion as to who belongs.
With Pitt coming into the ACC just this year, I figured there'd be a lot of that when it came to deciding what Panthers should make the preseason team. That didn't appear to be the case, though.
Aaron Donald, likely the biggest snub, had the 2012 stats to be on the team. Last season, the defensive lineman had 5.5 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss, and 64 tackles. Those numbers trumped the two interior linemen that made it by a good bit. Nikita Whitlock had only three sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 51 tackles. The second lineman that made it, Timmy Jernigan, wasn't even a starter last year and had only 1.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 46 tackles.
I get that stats aren't everything, but Donald's were so overwhelmingly better than the alternatives that it almost makes you wonder if voters forgot that Pitt was actually a member.
Despite strong numbers in 2012 by Devin Street, he was also left off the team when you can make a very good case he should have made it. Last season, Street had 73 catches for 975 yards and five touchdowns. Sadly, despite being better than most of the alternatives, he didn't even crack the top four:
Sammy Watkins: 57 catches, 708 yards, three touchdowns
Michael Campanoro: 79 catches, 763 yards, six touchdowns
Stefon Diggs: 54 catches, 848 yards, six touchdowns
Rashad Greene: 57 catches, 741 yards, six touchdowns
It's also worth pointing out that Street's 13.4 yards per catch were better than everyone's with the exception of Diggs.
I'm not doing this to kill the media, but man, I'd love to hear more of the thought process in not including either on the team. And in Street's case, his numbers could be even better this season without Mike Shanahan, who split targets with him last year.
We'll see how it goes and I'd much rather have guys on the end of season team than this one, but at first glance, it looks like Pitt players were a bit underrated.