ATLANTA -- To the victors go the spoils.
The 1990 All-Southeastern Conference football team announced Wednesday by United Press International was virtually a three-school affair as Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee combined for 17 positions on the 24-player squad.
Florida, the SEC's top offensive team, had six all-stars -- sophomore quarterback Shane Matthews, senior wide receiver Ernie Mills, junior offensive lineman Cal Dixon, linebackers Tim Paulk and Huey Richardson, and sophomore defensive back Will White.
The Gators, 9-1 going into Saturday's game at No. 8 Florida State, are banned from the SEC championship, a bowl berth and the UPI Coaches' rankings because of NCAA probation.
Alabama, unranked because of an 0-3 start but winner of six of its last seven games and the top defensive team in the SEC, also had six representatives on the all-star team -- senior offensive linemen Terrill Chatman and Roger Shultz, senior placekicker Philip Doyle, senior defensive lineman George Thornton, junior linebacker John Sullins, and senior defensive back Efrum Thomas.
Tennessee, ranked No. 10 nationally and expected to win at least a share of the SEC championship and a berth in the Sugar Bowl, was represented by five players -- running back Tony Thompson, sophomore wide receiver Carl Pickens, 310-pound offensive lineman Antone Davis, former junior college defensive back Dale Carter, and freshman punter Joey Chapman.
Auburn, which would also have at least a share of the SEC crown and a probable Fiesta Bowl berth if the 20th-ranked Tigers beat Alabama Saturday, had three All-SEC performers -- junior offensive lineman Ed King, senior defensive lineman David Rocker, and senior defensive back John Wiley.
Others named to this year's team were running backs Randy Baldwin of Mississippi and Harvey Williams of Louisiana State; and defensive lineman Marc Boutte of LSU and Kelvin Pritchett of Mississippi.
All three of Auburn's all-stars -- King, Rocker and Wiley -- as well as Chatman, Schultz, and Richardson were all repeaters from the 1989 UPI All-SEC team.
Matthews, a slender, 6-2 sophomore from Pascagoula, Miss., was the dominant passer in the SEC this season. With a game to go, he had thrown for 2,601 yards and 21 touchdowns. Matthews threw for 351 yards and three TDs against Mississippi State, 344 yards and three TDs against Georgia, 332 yards against Oklahoma State, and 303 yards and four TDs against Kentucky.
The three All-SEC running backs went into the final week as the league's top three rushers. Thompson, a stumpy senior who got his chance when Chuck Webb was injured, has rushed for 1,025 yards and 12 TDs; Williams, returning to action this season after a long layout, had 973 yards and seven TDs; and Baldwin, a junior and the only one of the three expected back next year, had 970 yards and 11 TDs.
Pickens, a 200-pound sophomore, goes into Saturday's game at Vanderbilt with 50 receptions for 861 yards to his credit. Mills, a senior lettering for the fourth straight year, had only 34 catches for 644 yards, but leads in TD receptions with nine.
Doyle, a senior from Birmingham, was edged out last year for the honor of being All-SEC placekicker by David Browndyke of LSU. Without Browndyke to compete against this time, Doyle was the odds-on favorite as he kicked 21 of 26 field goals in the Tide's first 10 games -- three of those in Alabama's biggest victory of 1990, a 9-6 decision at Tennessee.
Tennessee grabbed the punting slot for the second year in a row. Last year's All-SEC punter was Kent Elmore, who averaged 40.2 as a senior after leading the league in 1988 but failing to make the all-star squad. Chapman, with a game to go, was averaging 41.6 yards per punt in his inagural season.