The Best of 2012
By Southern Pigskin Staff
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin. Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page
The best of southern college football and country music for 2012.
Looking back on the 2012 college football season, there are many great stories and moments that will be remembered for years to come. Here is a collection of the 2012 “Best of Southern College Football".
Best Play: Ace Sanders - South Carolina
I would hate to be the radio play-by-play announcer trying to paint a picture of Ace Sanders' punt return against Missouri. He became a human pinball, bouncing off his own teammates while avoiding the attempted strip and amazingly returning the ball to the four-yard line.
Best Catch: Jarvis Landry – LSU
Jarvis Landry’s one-handed touchdown catch against Arkansas was not only one of the crucial plays in the game, but earns him best catch for 2012. Not even using his left hand, Landry was able to hold on to a dart with his right hand running at full speed.
Best Run: Andre Ellington – Clemson
Ellington’s 68 yard run against Auburn at the beginning of the year showed great balance and speed. He ran for 228 yards that night, which included the most impressive run of the year, where he kept his balance while being slung down by a defender, and then scampered across the field.
Best Team: Alabama
The 2012 SEC champions have proven they are the team to beat and are becoming a dynasty in the South. They are favorites going into their third National Championship Game in four years, with one of the top defenses in the country. Let’s not forget, Alabama won the national championship in 2012.
Best Defense: Alabama
Losing many starters on their defense after the 2012 national championship, Alabama has seemed to reload this past season. Alabama gave up an average of 10.7 points per game and only 246 yards per game, which is second and first in the nation respectively in 2012.
Best Player: Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M
Going from unknown to legend in the making, Johnny Manziel put together one of the most impressive seasons in college football history. He has a list of honors longer than my grocery list, with the Heisman Trophy promptly at the top. Here are just a few of his accomplishments this past season:
- 2012 Heisman Trophy
- Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award
- First-team All-American
- 2012 SEC Offensive Player of the Year
- Most games with 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a career (3)
Best Freshman: Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M
What’s the best thing about Johnny Manziel? Well, if you’re an Aggie fan, they might say that, “he is a freshman.” Johnny Football’s freshman accomplishments include:
- The first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy
- Freshman Record: Rushing Yards by a Quarterback in a Season (1,161)
- Freshman Record: Total Offense in a Season (4,600)
- First Freshman with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards
- Nine-time SEC Freshman of the Week
- 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year
Best Coach: Will Muschamp – Florida
The Gators opened their season ranked #23, but rose to national championship contenders with a fiery coach at the helm. The Gators beat four top 10 teams, led by one of the best defenses in the country. One less turnover against Georgia, and Florida could be playing for the national championship.
Best Game: SEC Championship – Alabama vs. Georgia
A drama-filled game through all 60 minutes, the 2012 SEC Championship Game between #2 Alabama and #3 Georgia was an epic battle, with the winner earning the right to play in the National Championship Game. The final play, with Georgia down by four and the ball on the eight-yard line, will be the most memorable play of the contest. Aaron Murray's pass was deflected by Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and caught inbounds by Chris Conley. Murray, realizing there was not enough time to get another play, pulled his chin strap off as the clock ticked to zero, giving Alabama the 32-28 victory.
Best Tailgate: Ole Miss
Tailgating at The Grove is so good, even the team wants to come two hours before kickoff. The tradition of the Walk of Champions, which began in 1983 by head coach Billy Brewer, gives Rebel Fans a chance to cheer on their team while still enjoying their cold beverage.
Best Cheerleaders: Florida State
They have had a great season and have tumbled their way to the top of the cheerleading rankings. They have “fired up” the crowds to help the Seminoles to an ACC championship along with a trip to the Orange Bowl.
Honorable Mention: The LSU Golden Girls
I know they are not cheerleaders, but they have done a great job in front of the band all season.
Best Band: Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band – Texas A&M
One of the best additions to the SEC this year was the largest military marching band in the world: the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. They are not just a band, but a military unit performing from the largest of stadiums to Presidential Inaugural Parades.
Best Fan: North Carolina State
This alpha dog of the Wolfpack is celebrating the North Carolina State upset win over Florida State. Not even security staff could control this fan's excitement.
Country music is a key component to any tailgate for college football fans in the south. For that purpose, here is a look at the 2012 "Best of Country Music".
Best Song/Music Video: Take A Back Road - Rodney Atkins
Best Album: Tailgates & Tanlines – Luke Bryan
Best Performer: Jason Aldean
Best Up-and-Coming Artist: Joel Crouse