CBSSports.com Senior Writer Dennis Dodd:
Look who didn't make it.
Matt Leinart didn't make it -- a Heisman winner who directed two national championships. LaDainian Tomlinson was a mere second-teamer. All L.T. did was rush for the fifth-highest single-season total in history (2,158 yards in 2000), and rumor has it did OK in the NFL.
Miami has led the world in first-round draft choices, 26 to be exact since 2000. Twenty-two of those elite Hurricanes didn't make it.
Oklahoma had two Heisman-winning quarterbacks. Nada for each. Thanks for playing, Jason White and Sam Bradford.
misterjimi: One name that often gets overlooked in these discussions is Elvis Dumervil, defensive end for Louisville. This guy won the Nagursky Trophy in 2005, set the NCAA single-season record for forced fumbles, set the single-game record for sacks (6 vs. Kentucky), and still holds the Big East career sack record. By the way, he's also the dude whose leg Marcus Vick stomped on while he was on the ground during the 2005 Gator Bowl. That incident effectively ended Vick's football career.
At least one Roy Williams made it -- Oklahoma's rock-hard defensive back. Texas' spectacular receiver with the same name didn't.
As if they aren't ticked enough in Austin these days, Vince Young didn't make the list. Young was perhaps the best athlete of the decade, the sixth-winningest quarterback in history. Once again, not good enough.
It is an elite club, this CBSSports.com all-decade team. With a season left in The Golden Decade, it is time to recognize on the players who made it that way.
Did we say elite? Some of the best players in the sport's history passed through the sport since 2000. The fact that a large chunk of those Miami first-rounders didn't make it says more about how great the program is than about their exclusion. We only have 24 spots, so all the Hurricanes couldn't make it onto the first team.
• Central Florida's Kevin Smith came within 26 yards of Barry Sanders' single-season rushing record. A distant memory from 2007.
• With apologies to first-teamers Dwight Freeney and David Pollack, TCU's Tommy Blake might have been the best defensive end if he finished his career. Blake's senior year descended into an unfortunate abyss while he fought depression.
• Boise State won more often than anyone in the decade. Zippo mention here. That's more a salute to the Broncos' coaches this decade -- Dirk Koetter, Dan Hawkins and Chris Petersen -- than a slight at the players.
• Four of the top five passers of all time have played this decade. None of them made the team.
• The selection process was especially hard at receiver and linebacker. There was an abundance of great ones this decade.
It's hard to argue against Michael Crabtree and Larry Fitzgerald, but it's also hard to forget USC's greats alone -- Dwayne Jarrett, Mike Williams and Steve Smith. Or Rice's Jarett Dillard, who obliterated the career touchdown record. His 60 touchdown receptions surpassed the previous mark by 10.
That's why this list is elite. Many on our all-decade team have a chance to become all-time greats.