It's been a while since Shawn Oakman became a meme for wearing his shirt up and showing off his abs. Sure, that's cool, he works out, as I would hope a Division I defensive end would. Almost at seven feet tall and weighing 275, he is quite the athletic specimen. But his stats have hidden behind the meme for too long now.
In 2013, Oakman had two sacks while playing in all 13 games for the Bears. In 2014, I'll give it to him, he had 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. He had a good year and deserved some recognition for that year. However, he wasn't. Ogbah got Big 12 defensive player of the year and people are still hyping Oakman. The hype has spilled into this year and it's not making any sense.
Through six games for Baylor in 2015, Oakman has three sacks. That's tenth in the Big 12. There are two guys in Ogbah (7.5) and Dale Pierson of ISU (6.0) who have at least doubled the sack total for Oakman. He's eighth in the league in tackles for loss with 7.5 while Jimmy Bean and Emmanuel Ogbah have 21.5 between the two of them.
Now, some are going to come with the argument that he is changing the way teams are game planning and instead are going away from Oakman and his side. But does that really explain why he isn't getting sacks? Does that mean he should be on any midseason award list, because I'm pretty sure awards are there for stats, not for schematic changes. Here's what ESPN has for the defensive line awards:
Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award (outstanding lineman)
Ted Hendricks Award (top defensive end)
5. Shaq Lawson, Clemson
How does this make sense? Oakman is ahead of two guys with more sacks than him for the Ted Hendricks Award and that's obviously not how it should be. I'll listen to an argument for Oakman playing a role in the defense that you won't see on the stat sheet, we've got one of those on offense in J.W. Walsh and David Glidden (though Glidden does put up stats).
However, I'm not sure putting him at a national award is appropriate. I'm putting a pole at the end of this, feel free to vote and I know that likely the overwhelming result will be "no". But I'm still going to put it up regardless.
Also, before you say it's ESPN and they have a bias against Oklahoma State, they put Ben Grogan in second for the Lou Groza Award.