The first of many All-America football teams has been released and there are at least two surprises -- Stanford has two players named and neither of them is named Andrew Luck.
Luck was passed over in favor of Auburn's Cam Newton for the American Football Coaches' Association All-America team, which was released Monday. The Cardinal, however was still well-represented by center Chase Beeler and fullback/linebacker Owen Marecic.
Beeler, a senior, has anchored a Stanford offensive line that has allowed the second fewest sacks in the nation while help paving the way for a young Cardinal rushing attack that has averaged 211 yards on the ground during an 11-1 season. Beeler's presence has also allowed Luck to compile the seventh-highest passing efficiency rating in the country at 166.10.
Marecic, who starts on both sides of the ball at fullback and linebacker, was named to the AFCA All-America team as the all-purpose player. The senior, widely regarded as the best blocking fullback in the nation, has carried 20 times for 42 yards and four touchdowns this season. Marecic also ranks as Stanford's sixth-leading tackler with 45 total stops, including 4.5 tackles-for-loss and two interceptions.
Stanford is one of four schools to have more than one player represented on the AFCA All-America squad, along with Auburn, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin.
The Cardinal, ranked fifth in this week's AP poll and fourth in the latest BCS standings, finished its regular season with an 11-1 record and a 8-1 conference mark.
2010 AFCA All-America Team
WR -- Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
WR -- Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
TE -- Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin
OL -- Lee Ziemba, Auburn
OL -- Rodney Hudson, Florida State
C -- Chase Beeler, Stanford
OL -- Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State
OL -- Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
QB -- Cam Newton, Auburn
RB -- Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
RB -- LaMichael James, Oregon
DL -- Da"Qoun Bowers, Clemson
DL -- Adrian Clayburn, Iowa
DL -- Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh
DL -- Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
LB -- Luke Kuechly, Boston College
LB -- Greg Jones, Michigan State
LB -- Tank Carter, TCU
DB -- Reggie Lambert, Air Force
DB -- Patrick Peterson, LSU
DB -- Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
DB -- Quinton Carter, Oklahoma
P -- Kyle Martens, Rice
PK -- Will Snyderwine, Duke
All-purpose -- Owen Marecic, Stanford
In other football news:
Luck is one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award, given to the top quarterback in the country. He is also a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, as well as for the O'Brien and Maxwell Awards.
The award, named in honor of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning, takes into account the regular season as well as the bowl season to determine its winner.
Among the winners, nine players represent 10-win programs, including 11-1 Stanford. The 10 players have combined to throw for over 28,000 yards and 257 touchdowns, while rushing for 5,847 yards and 70 combined rushing touchdowns.
Luck is among that diverse group of rushers, ranking second on the team with 438 net yards with three touchdowns, three times running for 50 or more yards.
Overall on the year, Luck has completed 245 of his 349 passes for 3,051 yards, while throwing for a single-season record 28 touchdowns this season. Luck, the only Stanford quarterback to throw four touchdowns three times in a season, broke the single-season TD mark of 27, held by John Elway and Steve Stenstrom, on Saturday.
Luck's pass-efficiency rating of 166.10 ranks seventh nationally and leads the Pac-10.
Also on Monday, Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas was named the Pac-10 Conference's Defensive Player of the Week following a career-high nine tackles, 2.5 sacks and the third shutout of the season, over Oregon State, 38-0.
Thomas ranks second on the team with 66 total tackles and ranks first with 47 solo stops. His 11.5 tackles for a loss is a team high, as is his 7.5 sacks. The third-year Georgia junior also has one interception. This is the second time this season Thomas has made nine tackles on the year.
The Stanford defense, which is allowing 17.8 points per game, leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense and ranks 11th nationally. The Cardinal are allowing 325.8 yards per game, 24th-best in the nation.
It is the third time this season Stanford has posted a Pac-10 shutout, a first since 1969.