SEC Weekend Recap
By Jeremy Hillman
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Week Six of SEC play was characterized by surprises and huge performances from a pair of SEC East teams.
In one of the most fun and crazy weekends of SEC football in recent memory, week six of Southeastern Conference football shook up the conference and national college football scene.
There were surprises, upsets and huge performances along the way, and a sense that every game will need to be played before we truly know who will sit atop of the SEC at the season's end.
Here is my weekly review of the SEC action:
Biggest Win: Florida 14 LSU 6. The Swamp was rocking as Will Muschamp and the Florida Gators upset top five nationally ranked LSU. Now, the Gators find themselves with an impressive 5-0 record and a top five national ranking of their own.
Worst Loss: Arkansas 24 Auburn 7. The home Auburn crowd, and much of the nation, was stunned as the train-wreck that was the Arkansas Razorbacks convincingly beat the Tigers. Is Arkansas bouncing back after an unfocused start and an injury to QB Tyler Wilson? Or is Auburn really this bad? Probably a mix of both.
Offensive Player of The Week: Florida RB Mike Gillislee. The senior running back got a huge 34 carries in the game and came up with 154 big yards and two touchdowns in the win over LSU.
Defensive Player of The Week: Texas A&M DB Steven Jenkins. The talented Aggie defensive back came up with five tackles, including a tackle for a loss, and a game-changing interception that he returned for a touchdown in the close win over Ole Miss.
1. Florida. The defense is stingy, holding a talented LSU run game to just 1.7 yards per carry. The offense is efficient, pounding the ball at opposing defenses with running back Mike Gillislee and quick short passes from QB Jeff Driskel. Florida has now put themself in position to be able to battle for a conference and national title.
2. South Carolina. In the shocker of the weekend, South Carolina disposed of highly ranked Georgia early and often, rolling to a 35-0 lead late in the 4th quarter. Quarterback Connor Shaw is playing inspired football and star running back Marcus Lattimore is grinding out important yards on the ground. The defense may be one of the very best in the nation and features NFL-ready players like Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor. The Gamecocks have also put themselves in position to contend for titles.
3. Texas A&M. Slowly but surely, the Aggies are proving they belong in the SEC, as they now have a nice 4-1 record on the season. Johnny Manziel is showing that he is one of the very best play-making quarterbacks in the country and has Texas A&M ranked in the top 25.
1. Auburn. With just one win in five games, Auburn’s 2012 season is off to a disastrous start. To struggle with top 25 teams like Clemson, Mississippi State and LSU is one thing, but to struggle mightily against an Arkansas team that was reeling with losses to Rutgers and La-Monroe is another. Auburn has awful quarterback play and has far too many turnovers to be competitive. It is going to be a long bowl-less season on the Plains.
2. Missouri. The inaugural SEC season is not going well for Missouri. With an 0-3 conference record, including a bad loss to Vanderbilt at home on Saturday, the Tigers must regroup if they have any hopes of making a bowl game. Fans are already frustrated, and No. 1 Alabama comes to town next Saturday.
3. Georgia and LSU. The two teams many people had playing for the SEC title in Atlanta later this season both went down in flames this past weekend. Georgia and LSU struggled in their respective games and have an uphill battle to get back into title contention.
Updated Bowl Projections:
BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Vs Oregon
BCS Sugar Bowl: South Carolina Vs Kansas State
Capital One Bowl: Florida Vs Nebraska
Cotton Bowl: Georgia Vs Texas
Outback Bowl: Texas A&M Vs Wisconsin
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Mississippi State Vs NC State
Gator Bowl: LSU Vs Michigan State
Music City Bowl: Tennessee Vs Georgia Tech
Liberty Bowl: Vanderbilt Vs Tulsa
Compass Bowl: Troy Vs Temple (No SEC team available)
Updated Top 10 Players Ranking (based on performance, not potential):
1. Texas A&M DL Damontre Moore
2. Florida RB Mike Gillislee
3. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
4. Georgia LB Jarvis Jones
5. South Carolina DL Jadeveon Clowney
6. Alabama QB A.J. McCarron
7. Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson
8. South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
9. Tennessee WR Justin Hunter
10. Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton
Updated Awards Projections:
SEC Coach of The Year: Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
SEC Offensive Player Of The Year: Florida RB Mike Gillislee
SEC Defensive Player Of The Year: Texas A&M DL Damontre Moore