Of course, there is no way the Associated Press will ever be forgiven for the travesties of stacking the deck in favor of Notre Dame to win national championships in 1966 (when the Irish played for a tie while Alabama was going 11-0) and 1977 (when Bama was the top-ranked bowl team to win, stomping Ohio State by 35-6 in the Sugar Bowl, and got poll-vaulted by a Notre Dame team that lost to Ole Miss).
But those grievous errors were a long time ago. In the spirit of the 2016 season, when Alabama is unanimously ranked first in the nation, the AP should be recognized for its selections for All-Southeastern Conference this year.
For one thing, the AP recognized that its Coach of the Year award should go to the coach who did the best job, not the one who did marginally better than the expectations for him.
In other words, the AP SEC Coach of the Year is the Crimson Tide’s Nick Saban.
And the AP also recognized that it shouldn’t matter what class a player is in when it comes to handing out awards. It was easy to select Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts as the Newcomer of the Year, but congratulations to the AP for also selecting Hurts as the Offensive Player of the Year.
Defensive Player of the Year was an easy one, too, Bama defensive end Jonathan Allen.
In addition to Hurts and Allen, the All-SEC first team selections from Alabama by the Associated Press are offensive tackle Cam Robinson, linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, and punter JK Scott.
Tide players named to the AP second team All-SEC are offensive tackle Jonah Williams, offensive guard Ross Pierschbacher, wide receiver ArDarius Stewart, tight end O.J. Howard, and linebacker Tim Williams.
Here are the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference players for 2016:
Quarterback — Jalen Hurts, Alabama, 6-2, 209, Fr., Channelview, Texas.
Running backs — Derrius Guice, LSU, 5-11, 222, So., Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Kamryn Pettway, Auburn, 6-0, 240, So., Montgomery, Alabama; Rawleigh Williams III, Arkansas, 5-10, 225, So., Dallas, Texas.
Tackles — u-Cam Robinson, Alabama, 6-6, 310, Jr., Monroe, Louisiana; Dan Skipper, Arkansas, 6-10, 322, Sr., Arvada, Colorado.
Guards — Braden Smith, Auburn, 6-6, 300, Jr., Olathe, Kansas; Alex Kozan, Auburn, 6-4, 310, Sr., Castle Rock, Colorado.
Centers — Ethan Pocic, LSU, 6-7, 309, Lemont, Illinois; Jon Toth, Kentucky, 6-5, 310, Sr., Indianapolis, Indiana.
Receivers — Fred Ross, Mississippi State, 6-2, 207, Sr., Tyler, Texas; Christian Kirk, Texas A&M, 5-11, 200, So., Scottsdale, Arizona.
Tight end — u-Evan Engram, Mississippi, 6-3, 227, Sr., Powder Springs, Georgia.
All-purpose player — Christian Kirk, Texas A&M, 5-11, 200, So., Scottsdale, Arizona.
Kicker — Daniel Carlson, Auburn, 6-4, 218, Jr., Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Ends — u-Jonathan Allen, Alabama, 6-3, 291, Sr., Leesburg, Virginia; u-Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 257, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee.
Tackle — Montravius Adams, Auburn, 6-4, 309, Sr., Vienna, Georgia
Linebackers — Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt, 6-4, 238, Jr., Pinson, Alabama; Reuben Foster, Alabama, 6-1, 228, Sr., Auburn, Alabama; Ryan Anderson, Alabama, 6-2, 253, Sr., Daphne, Alabama; Arden Key, LSU, 6-6, 231, So., Atlanta, Georgia.
Cornerbacks — Teez Tabor, Florida, 6-0, 201, Jr., Washington, D.C.; Tre'Davious White, LSU, 5-11, 191, Sr., Shreveport, Louisiana.
Safeties — Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama, 6-1, 203, So., Old Bridge, New Jersey; Jamal Adams, LSU, 6-1, 211, Jr., Lewisville, Texas.
Punter — JK Scott, Alabama, 6-6, 202, Jr., Denver, Colorado.
Quarterbacks — Josh Dobbs, Tennessee, 6-3, 207, Sr., Alpharetta, Georgia; Chad Kelly, Mississippi, 6-2, 215, Sr., Buffalo, New York.
Running backs — Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt, 5-10, 205, Jr., Gainesville, Florida; Leonard Fournette, LSU, 6-1, 230, Jr. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Tackles — Robert Leff, Auburn, 6-6, 299, Sr.; Fairhope, Alabama; Jonah Williams, Alabama, 6-5, 296, Fr., Folsom, California.
Guards — Josh Boutte, LSU, 6-5, 342, Sr., New Iberia, Louisiana; Martez Ivey, Florida, 6-5, 305, So., Apopka, Florida; Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama, 6-4, 304, So., Cedar Falls, Iowa
Center — Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, 6-5, 312, Jr., Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Receivers — ArDarius Stewart, Alabama, 6-1, 204, Jr., Fultondale, Alabama; J'Mon Moore, Missouri, 6-3, 190, Jr., Missouri City, Texas; Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M, 6-4, 190, Sr., San Antonio, Texas.
Tight end — O.J. Howard, Alabama, 6-6, 251, Sr., Prattville, Alabama.
All-purpose player — Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia, 5-8, 170, Jr., Miami, Florida.
Kicker — Gary Wunderlich, Mississippi, 6-0, 193, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee.
Ends — Myles Garrett, Texas A&M, 6-5, 262, Jr., Arlington, Texas; Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3, 255, Jr., Kansas City, Missouri; Carl Lawson, Auburn, 6-2, 253, Jr., Alpharetta, Georgia.
Tackles — Caleb Brantley, Florida, 6-2, 297, Jr., Crescent City, Florida; Darius English, South Carolina,6-6, 245, Sr., Powder Springs, Georgia.
Linebackers — Tim Williams, Alabama, 6-4, 252, Sr., Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jordan Jones, Kentucky, 6-2, 220, So., Youngstown, Ohio; Kendall Beckwith, LSU, 6-2, 252, Sr., Clinton, Louisiana.
Cornerbacks — Aarion Penton, Missouri, 5-10, 190, Sr., St. Louis, Missouri; Quincy Wilson, Florida, 6-1, 213, Jr., Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Safeties — Marcus Maye, Florida, 6-0, 210, Sr., Melbourne, Florida; Justin Evans, Texas A&M, 6-1, 195, Sr., Wiggins, Mississippi; Mike Edwards, Kentucky, 6-0, 200, So., Cincinnati, Ohio.
Punter — Johnny Townsend, Florida, 6-1, 210, Jr., Orlando, Florida.
Coach of the year — Nick Saban, Alabama
Offensive player of the year — Jalen Hurts, Alabama
Defensive player of the year — Jonathan Allen, Alabama
Newcomer of the year — Jalen Hurts, Alabama
u-denotes unanimous selections