The Art of the All-State Team

When I woke up yesterday morning and saw that Ryan junior defensive lineman Nolan Robinson made the Associated Press Class 5A All-State Team, I was half-way surprised.

Now the story ran in today’s paper and it’s online, if anybody’s inclined to check it out.

Robinson finished the regular season with 55 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, two sacks, and a defensive touchdown. Those numbers showed he had a good season, but I don’t know if they were enough to merit an all-state selection.

I cast my ballot during the middle of the voting period. And when I looked at the ballot and saw Robinson’s numbers, I had to pause. It had him with 22 sacks, 20 more sacks that he actually had.

We emailed the Associated Press and they changed the number back to the original amount that we had sent it. But based on how the voting played out, I figured the mistake was the deciding factor in having Robinson on the first team.

Wrong. I talked to Schuyler Dixon at the Associated Press on Thursday when the teams were announced and I asked him about it. Turns out Robinson earned more votes with two sacks than he did with 22 sacks. The number of sacks he had didn’t matter.

Now this is just an educated guess, but Robinson’s first-team selection may have been partly caused by the school he plays for. Ryan’s been historically known for churning out stellar defensive lineman (Mario Edwards, Jarvis Moss, Derek Lokey), so it’s highly possible sports writers across the state credited Robinson for his school’s heritage as well as his stats.

I still find it amusing that he earned more votes with two sacks than he did with 22 sacks. It just shows how the system can work at times.