When the Rimington Trophy Watch List for 2016 was announced Wednesday, it was no surprise that among the 61 players on the initial honor roll did not include Alabama’s Ross Pierschbacher.
The Rimington Trophy is presented each year to the nation’s outstanding center. Pierschbacher, who was a member of the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team last year, is poised to be Alabama’s starting center this year after starting at left guard last season. He has never played center, but was outstanding in spring work at the critical position.
There is no cause for disdain of the Rimington Trophy selection committee for its snub of Pierschbacher on the watch list. It would have been unreasonable to expect him to be included. In any event, the list was determined by nominations of college football teams of their starting centers.
But our guess is that Pierschbacher would hold up well in a competition against many of those who are on the list.
The winner is determined by a player making one or more of three post-season All-America teams (Walter Camp, Sporting News, and Football Writers) and presented Jan. 14, 2017, in Lincoln, Neb.
Certainly, there is no anti-Alabama bias by the Rimington Trophy committee. Alabama’s last two starting centers, Barrett Jones in 2012 and Ryan Kelly last year, were recipients of the Rimington.
Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.