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Re-ranking the SEC's best 25 players

10/13/2011

We all make mistakes.

I'll be the first to admit it.

None of us are perfect and that's how it will always be until scientists create a pill for that.

So in honor of our follies and the midway point of the season, fellow SEC blogger Chris Low and I have come up with our own rankings of the top 25 players from the first half of the season. Oh the changes that we have made.

I'll go first since I'm "The Kid" and beauty always trumps age. You guys can compare, agree and ridicule our lists. We expect it and we want you to. We always love a good conversation.

Check back in about an hour to see Chris' top 25.

Well, here's the old college try on my revised player rankings:

1. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: He should be right at the top of the Heisman talk and has rushed for 100-plus yards in five consecutive games, including putting up a career-high 181 against Florida in the Swamp.

2. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: Lattimore was the hottest running back in the country during the first couple of weeks and still leads the conference in rushing yards (779) and carries (146).

3. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU: The Honey Badger has taken what he wants this season, forcing six turnovers this year (four fumbles and two interceptions), and he leads LSU in tackles (41) and has five for loss.

4. Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina: Ingram not only leads the league with 5.5 sacks but he has three total touchdowns (one on a 65-yard run) and has two interceptions.

5. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee: Before his injury he was the most consistent quarterback in the SEC during the first half with his 315 yards per game and 14 touchdowns to just two interceptions.

6. Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama: If you're looking for someone to be the ultimate team player, look no further than Jones, who has played just about every position on the offensive line this season.

7. Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas: Wright has been a big play waiting to happen for the Hogs and is one of the most productive wide receivers with his 33 catches for 554 yards and six touchdowns.

8. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas: The big arm we were waiting to see from Wilson has emerged in the last few weeks and this Arkansas passing game is flying behind his SEC-high 1,779 yards and his 12 touchdowns.

9. Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama: He might not have the most eye-popping stats, but Upshaw has been a beast by making plays all over the field and leads Alabama with 8.5 tackles for loss and returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.

10. Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn: Dyer is proving he won't have a sophomore slump by being Auburn's best weapon with his 113 rushing yards a game and eight touchdowns.

11. Antonio Allen, LB/S, South Carolina: He moved to the hybrid Spur position and has been an animal, leading South Carolina in tackles (50), collecting six turnovers for 100 yards, scoring two touchdowns and forcing three more fumbles.

12. Mark Barron, S, Alabama: Barron has been a nuisance for quarterbacks all year by finding ways to get close to the ball. He has defended five passes and is second on the team with 30 tackles.

13. Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas: Adams makes plays catching the ball, running the ball and returning the ball. He leads the Razorbacks with 601 all-purpose yards (284 receiving, 136 rushing and 181 returning).

14. Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU: Mathieu might be getting most of the attention at LSU, but Claiborne has done a great job taking his side of the field away from quarterbacks and has defended six passes with two picks.

15. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU: A year removed from his serious knee injury and Montgomery is playing like he was never hurt by being a royal pain for opposing backfields with is 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.

16. Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt: Hayward remains a quarterback's nightmare and should have more than the four interceptions he already has.

17. Chris Rainey, RB, Florida: Before Alabama and LSU stuffed him, Rainey was starting to get national attention with his ability to run, catch and terrorize on special teams.

18. Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee: Now that Justin Hunter is gone, Rogers is Tennessee's best receiving option and he's currently second in the league with 513 yards and has six touchdowns.

19. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina: Despite double teams and poor quarterback play he still leads South Carolin with 427 yards and four touchdowns.

20. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia: He has struggled here and there, but as he searches for more consistent receiving targets he's still third in the league with 1,327 yards and 13 touchdowns.

21. Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama: The knee is definitely fine as he's been able to find his way to get in on play after play out there and leads Alabama with 34 tackles.

22. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have a talented secondary, but Banks has been the best at disrupting opposing passing games and has 35 tackles, two for loss, one sack, four interceptions and seven passes defended.

23. Danny Trevathan, LB, Kentucky: There haven't been a lot of positives when talking about Kentucky, but Trevathan continues to be the Wildcats' best player and leads the league with 72 tackles.

24. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Georgia: Crowell hasn't looked like a true freshman of late, as he's fourth in the conference in rushing (573) and has proven to be more than ready to be the No. 1 back at Georgia.

25. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia: The coaches said he might have more upside than Justin Houston and Jones has been quite productive, with his 33 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four sacks and 12 hurries.