NCF Nation: Jadevon Clowney

Where is the love for Damontre Moore?

November, 15, 2012
As you know, the five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award were announced Thursday. Of those five finalists, three -- Dee Milliner, Jarvis Jones and Jadeveon Clowney -- reside in the SEC.

All three have been great and they deserve plenty of attention.

But there's a name missing from the list -- a very important name, mind you. A name that has struck fear into the hearts of many SEC quarterbacks.

It's Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore, and although he might not have the SEC history that the trio mentioned earlier has, I don't see how he was left off this list. He's just been way too dominant this year.

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Thomas Campbell/US PresswireDamontre Moore, the nation's leader in tackles for loss, was inexplicably passed over to be a Bronko Nagurski Award finalist.
The award is given annually to the nation's best defensive player, and Moore has certainly been one of the best defensive players in the country this season. He might be one of the best overall players, too.

Let's take a look at some of his key stats from the season:

Tackles: 74 (leads team)
Tackles for loss: 20 (leads nation)
Sacks: 12.5 (tied for first nationally)

Moore has three more tackles for loss than Jones and Clowney. He also has two more sacks than Jones and three more than Clowney. He also has way more total tackles than either Jones or Clowney.

As for the other two finalists, Moore has 4.5 more sacks than Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner and 7.5 more tackles for loss. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has been an absolute beast. He has 92 tackles right now, with 5.5 for loss. He has also recorded a team-high six interceptions.

But Moore deserved to be on this list. He's just been too good this season. He's been almost unblockable and has true game-changing ability.

Moore is averaging 1.25 sacks per game, which is more than 15 FBS teams. He's also averaging two tackles for loss a game, which is tied for second nationally. The last defensive lineman to lead Texas A&M in tackles was Sam Adams, who led the Aggies with 78 tackles in 1993.

When I spoke with Moore last week about the lack of national attention he was receiving, he shrugged it off to an extent. He said he wasn't bothered about being overlooked by guys looking up at him in the stat book, but he did say that it motivated him on the field. He feels he's had to prove something every week this year and it pushes him to outplay his opponents each game -- which he has.

You have to think that deep down this kind of stuff gets to Moore. He's way too talented to be overlooked like this, but I'm sure he wouldn't trade any of the Aggies' wins for accolades.

Still, where's the love?

Halloween in the SEC

October, 31, 2012
We're saying Happy Halloween to everyone from the SEC blog. It's been another scary good year for the SEC, and all of this southern success must be truly frightening for the rest of the country.

Also, it's Nick Saban's birthday. You can't make this stuff up.

I can't wait to see all the Honey Boo Boos (not) and PSY (Gangnam Style) costumes parading around Atlanta tonight. But before we all go trick or treating, check out our most spine-chilling post of the year:

[+] EnlargeGene Chizik
Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesGene Chizik's Auburn squad has been scary bad this season.
Cursed: Two seasons removed from winning a national championship, Auburn is sitting at the bottom of the SEC with eight straight conference losses dating to last season. Auburn has the SEC's worst offense and is second to last in total defense. The Tigers are also near the bottom of the offensive barrel nationally. Auburn is on its third starting quarterback of the season, and coach Gene Chizik's seat is getting hotter and hotter on the Plains, as Auburn enters the weekend with a 1-7 record.

Trick: This spring, Arkansas was considered a real SEC championship contender, then, Bobby Petrino took that now infamous motorcycle ride. After Petrino, who thought he had a national championship-caliber team, was dismissed and John L. Smith took over, the thought was that there was still enough talent for this team to make a run in the SEC West. However, two weeks into the season, we found that not to be the case, as the Razorbacks lost in overtime to unranked Louisiana-Monroe. Alabama then shellacked the Hogs, and Arkansas went 1-4 in September. Arkansas' bowl chances are all but gone with a 3-5 record and blood-curdling November coming up.

Treat: Heading into the season, not much was expected from Ole Miss. But Hugh Freeze has played a perfect Dr. Frankenstein, creating a monster at Ole Miss. The Rebels might not be as menacing as Frankenstein's original monster, but they've been more challenging than the past two years. Oh, and Ole Miss is a win away from being bowl eligible for the first time since 2009. Freeze is just hoping that his monster doesn't have a tragic end like the one with the bolts in his neck.

Boo (boo): No question, the biggest injury of the season occurred over the weekend when South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore suffered that gruesome season-ending knee injury against Tennessee. Not only was the injury hard to watch, but you hate to see bad things happen to good people like Lattimore. He is one of the most respected individuals in college football, and the sport seemed to temporarily stop when word spread about his devastating injury.

Thriller: The play of the season right now might be Jarvis Jones' wicked fumble forced on Florida tight end Jordan Reed last week. Georgia's linebacker was having a monster game already, and capped it by sealing the game for the Bulldogs when he poked the ball out of Reed's hands as he tried to jump into the end zone for a potential game-tying touchdown. The ball flew out of Reed's hand, bounced off his knee and fell into the back of the end zone, where the Bulldogs fell on it.

The Walking Dead: Kentucky's football team looks like something right out of the minds of Robert Kirkman and Frank Darabont. It hasn't been healthy all season. Starting quarterback Maxwell Smith has suffered shoulder and ankle injuries and is out indefinitely. Backup Patrick Towles then suffered his own ankle injury. Former starting running back CoShik Williams is out for the season, and running back Josh Clemons, who might be the Wildcats' most talented back, has been out all season. Starting safety Dakotah Tyler is also out for the season. This team has had to play a handful of freshman because of all the injuries piling up.

House of Horrors: LSU has won a school-record 22 straight games at home. It's the nation's longest home winning streak, and it will be put to the test against No. 1 Alabama. But expect all those rabid Tigers fans to try to make the Crimson Tide's experience frightening.

Scary: As in just how scary good Alabama has been this season. The Tide has totally dominated the competition this season. It hasn't even been close. Alabama has one of the nation's most balanced offenses (1,776 passing/1,715 rushing) and is first nationally in scoring, rushing and total defense.

Scariest: Tennessee's defense has been downright terrifying to watch this season. New defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri's 3-4 scheme just hasn't translated well with his players, and the Vols have been beaten up by opposing offenses. Tennessee is last in the SEC in total defense (453.4 yards per game) and scoring (33.9), and 13th in passing (271.9) and rushing (181.5) defense.

Halloween costumes: LSU coach Les Miles/The Mad Hatter (just too easy, again); Jarvis Jones/Predator; South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney/Michael Myers (doesn't talk much, but he's terrifying on the field); Tennessee defensive tackle Daniel McCullers/Great Smokey Mountain; Vanderbilt coach James Franklin/College football bowl planner; Florida coach Will Muschamp/Lionel Messi (separated at birth?); Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel/Iron Man/Johnny Football; Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott/Mighty Mouse.