Wednesday, November 3, 2010
SEC superlative tracker
By ESPN.com staff
Our weekly look at the Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year races in the SEC:
Offensive Player of the Year
1. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton: He even caught a touchdown pass last week in the 51-31 win over Ole Miss. Newton leads the SEC with 1,122 rushing yards. He also has 15 touchdown passes and 14 touchdown runs.
2. Kentucky receiver Randall Cobb: Coming off career highs of 12 catches for 171 receiving yards last week in the 24-17 loss to Mississippi State, Cobb is now third nationally with 1,619 all-purpose yards.
3. South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery: Not only does Jeffery have seven touchdown catches, but they’ve all come in SEC games. He leads the SEC with 935 receiving yards and is averaging 18 yards per catch.
4. South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore: When he’s healthy and in the lineup, the Gamecocks are a completely different offense. Lattimore is second in the SEC in rushing (103.1 yards per game) and has also scored 13 touchdowns.
Defensive Player of the Year
1. Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley: He’s second nationally with 18 tackles for loss, including 7.5 sacks, and has easily been the most consistent disrupter among interior defensive linemen in the SEC.
2. Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston: In conference games only, Houston leads the way with seven sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. He’s emerged as the most feared pass-rusher in the league.
3. LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis: Right behind Fairley as the SEC’s top interior defensive lineman, Nevis has 11.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He didn’t play his best game two weeks ago at Auburn.
4. Mississippi State linebacker Chris White: He’s steadily climbing his way up the list and had a career-high 15-tackle performance last week in the 24-17 win over Kentucky. White leads all SEC linebackers with 13 tackles for loss.
Coach of the Year
1. Auburn’s Gene Chizik: Everybody thought the Tigers would be good and at least challenge in the West, but Chizik has them unbeaten and one of the front-runners to play for the BCS national championship.
2. Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen: The Bulldogs are easily the most improved team in the league, and they head into their bye week having won six in a row. If they get to nine regular-season wins, Mullen may move to the top of the list.
3. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier: The Head Ball Coach has the Gamecocks positioned to do something they never have -- play in the SEC championship game. It’s going to come down to the Florida game in two weeks.