SEC: Cobi Hamilton

The votes are in and the people have spoken. We asked you readers in our SportsNation poll who you felt was the biggest snub in our postseason players rankings and it was certainly a close race.

With more than 6,400 votes cast, Arkansas wide receiver Cobi Hamilton narrowly beat Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon by collecting 32 percent of the vote to Yeldon's 29. It's hard not to side with the readers on this one. Hamilton barely missed the cut after leading the SEC in receiving yards and ranking second in the league with 90 receptions. He really was the only true bright spot for the Hogs in 2013.

Yeldon had a tremendous freshman season with his 1,239 all-purpose yards (1,108 rushing) in 2013. He might have been a backup to Eddie Lacy, but he could have easily started for just about every other SEC team.

South Carolina wide receiver Ace Sanders was third with 21 percent of the vote. Sanders was the Gamecocks' top offensive weapon and proved to be one of the best return men in the league. He totaled 11 touchdowns in 2013.

LSU safety Eric Reid and Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief both grabbed 9 percent of the vote. Reid didn't have his best year in an LSU uniform, but he was still one of the league's best safeties and totaled 91 tackles while defending nine passes. Moncrief was one of the league's best offensive weapons during the month of November. He caught 21 passes for 408 yards and five touchdowns during that time.
Now that we've shown you our list of the SEC's best 25 players and given you a group of players who just missed the cut, we thought we'd ask you guys who you thought was most deserving of cracking our list.

SportsNation

Who was the biggest player rankings snub?

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    33%
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    9%
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    9%
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    21%
  •  
    28%

Discuss (Total votes: 6,681)

Was it Arkansas wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, who was the only real bright spot for the Razorbacks last fall? He led the SEC with a school-record 1,335 receiving yards and 7.5 catches per game. His school-record 90 receptions ranked second in the SEC last season. He also collected four 100-plus-yard receiving games, including getting 303 yards against Rutgers, and caught six or more passes in nine games this past season.

Maybe Ole Miss receiver Donte Moncrief deserved to crack the top 25. He only had 979 receiving yards, but he was easily the Rebels' best and most consistent offensive weapon in 2012. Plus, he was working with a new offense. He had four 100-plus-yard receiving games and registered 21 catches for 408 yards and five touchdowns in the month of November.

LSU safety Eric Reid didn't have his best season with the Tigers, but he proved to be a valuable safety net for LSU's secondary. He was still considered one of the league's best safeties, collecting 91 tackles and defending nine passes with two interceptions.

South Carolina wide receiver Ace Sanders wasn't just the Gamecocks' best offensive weapon, he proved to be one of the best return men in the SEC. He caught a team-high 45 passes and nine touchdowns last fall. He also finished the year with two touchdowns on punt returns.

Then you have Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon, who made quite the college debut. He racked up 1,239 all-purpose yards in 2013, with 1,108 of those yards coming on the ground. He also rushed for 12 touchdowns and caught another one. Yeldon might have been a backup to Eddie Lacy, but he would have started for just about every other team in the SEC last season.
Now is the time where we reveal our list of players who just missed the cut in our postseason player rankings.

Only 25 players could make the final cut, but we pleaded with the math gods to allow us to fit a couple more guys in there. They weren't budging, so we were stuck with that number.

We understand that a handful of players were very deserving of making the cut, and here are some of them:

Chris Low's just-missed list:
  • Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas, Sr.: One of the few constants for the Hogs last season, Hamilton led the SEC with a school-record 1,335 receiving yards and 7.5 catches per game. His 90 receptions were also a school record.
  • Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama, So.: If Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel was the SEC’s top left tackle in 2012, Kouandjio was a solid No. 2. He was an integral part of the best offensive line in college football.
  • Eric Reid, S, LSU, Jr.: Even though his junior season might not have been on par with his sophomore season, Reid still ranked among the top safeties in the SEC and finished third on LSU’s team with 91 total tackles.
  • Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina, Jr.: He was the Gamecocks’ top playmaker on offense and came up big in some key situations. Not only did he catch nine touchdown passes, but he also returned two punts for touchdowns.
  • T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama, Fr.: One half of Alabama’s dynamic running back tandem, Yeldon had a sensational freshman season with 1,108 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry in SEC play.
Edward Aschoff's just-missed list:
  • Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M, Fr.: He was only a freshman last season, but he was still one of the league's best wideouts, ranking third in the SEC with 82 catches for 1,105 yards and had five touchdowns.
  • Hamilton: He battled double-teams all year, but still led the SEC in receiving yards. It's still tough to look at our list and not see his name on there.
  • Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss, So.: Moncrief was one of the SEC's best offensive weapons in the month of November, registering 21 catches for 408 yards and five touchdowns.
  • Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt, Sr.: He was the workhorse yet again for Vandy's offense and became the school's all-time leading rusher after ranking fifth in the league with 1,141 rushing yards and adding 10 touchdowns.
  • D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina, Sr.: He was a tremendous safety net at the back of South Carolina's defense, was one of the hardest hitters around and had a knack for making plays all over the field, registering 62 solo tackles and seven pass breakups.

Wrapping up the SEC player rankings

February, 26, 2013
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And just like that, we're done with the 2012 SEC player rankings.

Johnny Manziel appropriately capped things off in our countdown to No. 1, so it's time to take a closer look at how things played out in our rankings. Remember, we could only put 25 players on our list. I wasn't a math major, but I'm pretty sure you can't squeeze 30 players into a list made up of 25. Trust me, we wanted to, but we just couldn't figure out a way to do it.

When ranking players, we looked at stats, progress through the season, impact, and importance to their team on and off the field.

Some very good players were left off the list ... but we'll get to that later. For now, let's see a breakdown of our countdown:

TEAMS

Alabama: 7
Georgia: 4
Texas A&M: 4
Florida: 3
LSU: 2
Mississippi State: 1
Missouri: 1
South Carolina: 1
Tennessee: 1
Vanderbilt: 1

A lot of readers displayed their disapproval of all those Alabama players who made it. I believe some even referred to it as a "love fest" with the Crimson Tide. Well, look at the seasons those players had and that team had. Look at where some of the Alabama players on our list are ranked in mock drafts. Six Alabama players were All-Americans. It's hard to leave any of those players off.

Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Ole Miss were the only schools without any representatives. Now, there certainly were deserving players on each of those teams, but, again, space was limited.

The biggest complaint from readers dealt with us not having Arkansas wide receiver Cobi Hamilton on our list. He was in our first couple of drafts, but when the final list came out, we decided to go with Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews. Yes, Hamilton had 12 more receiving yards than Matthews to lead the SEC, but Matthews finished with three more touchdowns, had 130 more receiving yards in conference play, led the SEC with seven 100-yard receiving performances and grabbed five touchdowns in SEC play compared to Hamilton's one.

We also felt Matthews meant more to his team last fall. Someone had to be left off, and this was by far the toughest decision we had when it came to cutting players. As for the other receivers, Amari Cooper was arguably the SEC's best wide receiver during the final stretch of the season, and Cordarrelle Patterson was the most versatile receiver out there and led the league in all-purpose yards.

POSITION

LB: 4
OL: 4
DE: 3
QB: 3
RB: 3
WR: 3
CB: 2
DT: 2
S: 1

Offense: 13
Defense: 12

No surprise that our list featured a heavy number of big fellas. Some of the top offensive linemen in this year's NFL draft hail from the SEC, and two of NFL draft guru Mel Kiper's top linebackers are SEC players. We also had five defensive linemen. In the quintessential line-of-scrimmage league, we had nine big uglies on our list, showing yet again how important it is to control things up front in the SEC.

Also, it was nice to see the quarterbacks return to real relevancy in the SEC this season. Manziel led the countdown and was the nation's best player, and Alabama's AJ McCarron and Georgia's Aaron Murray were the nation's most efficient quarterbacks, combining for 66 touchdown passes last fall.

We'll take one last look at our top 25 later today when we check out the players who just missed the cut, so stay tuned.
Now that we've checked out last season's 3,000-yard passers and 1,000-yard rushers from the SEC, it's time to look at which players ended the year in the 1,000-yard receiving club.

Before last season, we looked at seven receivers we thought could reach the 1,000-yard mark in 2012. At season's end, the SEC had five players reach 1,000 receiving yards. That's three more than in 2011.

Here's a look at how the seven wide receivers we looked at before the season did in 2012:

1. Emory Blake, Auburn: Without much of an offense to speak of on the Plains last fall, Blake was the only bright spot in the receiving corps. He led the team with 50 catches for 789 yards and three touchdowns. He was Auburn's only player to catch more than 18 passes last fall.

2. Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas: He certainly made us look really good in 2012. Hamilton was one of the best receivers in the league, catching 90 passes for a league-high 1,335 yards and recorded five touchdowns. He also led the SEC by averaging 111.2 receiving yards per game.

3. Justin Hunter, Tennessee: Hunter seemed to get better as the year progressed. He seemed hesitant at first after coming off his knee injury, but his knee didn't seem to bother him after the first few games, and he finished the year leading the Vols with 73 catches for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns.

4. Tavarres King, Georgia: Quarterback Aaron Murray had a lot of targets to throw to in 2012, but King proved to be his most reliable. King led the Bulldogs with 42 catches for 950 yards and nine touchdowns. His 22.6 yards per catch weren't too shabby, either.

5. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt: He could have easily forgone his senior season with the year he had in 2012. Matthews was arguably Vanderbilt's best offensive weapon, leading the SEC with 94 catches and registering 1,323 yards with eight touchdowns. He also collected seven 100-yard receiving games.

6. Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee: Rogers might have cracked the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight year, but he was dismissed from Tennessee's football team before the season. He ended his college career at Tennessee Tech, catching 61 passes for 893 yards and 10 touchdowns.

7. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M: Swope ended his Aggies career with a very productive senior season. He was second on the team with 72 catches for 913 yards and led the Aggies with eight touchdowns. He had five 100-yard receiving games last fall.

Who was overlooked:
  • Amari Cooper, Alabama: He wasn't even supposed to be the Crimson Tide's best freshman receiver, but he looked like the league's best receiver during the latter part of the season. He finished the year with 59 catches for 1,000 yards and was second in the SEC with 11 receiving touchdowns. He registered 100 yards receiving in four of Alabama's final five games.
  • Mike Evans, Texas A&M: Even with Swope lining up with him, Evans broke onto the SEC scene during his freshman year with a monster season. He led the Aggies with 82 receptions for 1,105 yards and also had five touchdowns. He caught at least four passes in all 13 of Texas A&M's games.

Looking back at the Senior Bowl

January, 28, 2013
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The South defeated the North 21-16 this past Saturday in the Senior Bowl, and there was a huge SEC representation in the game.

Here are a few highlights from the game and the week:
  • Alabama tight end Michael Williams caught a 20-yard touchdown pass on a nice over-the-shoulder grab from Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel, who was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player.
  • Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson completed 8 of 11 passes for 40 yards.
  • Georgia noseguard John Jenkins was among the five best players during the week of practice, according to ESPN analyst Todd McShay.
  • Florida running back Mike Gillislee and Kentucky guard Larry Warford also helped their draft stock with strong performances during the week, according to McShay. Gillislee impressed with his instincts and quickness, while Warford further established himself as one of the top guards in the draft.
  • Arkansas receiver Cobi Hamilton was impressive during red zone work during the week. Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc. said Hamilton scored points with how physical he was in his route running, his strong hands and his ability to use his frame to shield defenders from the ball. Weidl said Hamilton was able to consistently win battles in the red zone.
  • Gillislee rushed for 46 yards on 10 carries.
  • Williams caught two passes for 39 yards.
  • Georgia receiver Tavarres King caught two passes for 19 yards.

2012 SEC Super Seniors

December, 27, 2012
12/27/12
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For the fourth straight season on the SEC blog, we pay homage to the top seniors in the league.

We’ve selected the best 12 seniors in the league, period, and not one senior on each team. These guys all rose above and beyond in terms of on-the-field production, leadership and their overall impact on their teams.

There were a lot of tough calls and a lot of terrific seniors in the league again this season, meaning several deserving players were left off. We looked hard at how players fared against league competition, their consistency and whether or not they were able to make it through the whole season.

Here’s introducing our 2012 SEC Super Seniors. They’re listed in alphabetical order:

Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks: The 2012 Thorpe Award winner as the top defensive back in college football, Banks has four interceptions on the season and 16 for his career, which matches the school record. He's been a playmaker on that Mississippi State defense since he was a freshman.

Florida RB Mike Gillislee: Without Gillislee, who knows where the Gators would be right now? He was the heart and soul of their offense and became the first Florida player since Ciatrick Fason in 2004 to rush for 1,000 yards. He has 1,104 yards and 10 touchdowns heading into the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton: It wasn't a season to remember at Arkansas, but Hamilton helped keep things from completely unraveling on offense with a record-setting performance. He set school marks with 90 catches for 1,335 yards -- both tops among SEC players -- and caught five touchdown passes.

Alabama C Barrett Jones: One of the most decorated student-athletes in SEC history, Jones made the transition to center this season and earned All-America honors for the second straight year after playing left tackle in 2011. He's smart, tough and the kind of leader and player that makes everybody else around him better.

Vanderbilt RB Zac Stacy: One of the toughest runners in the league, Stacy rushed for 1,000 yards for the second straight season. He's one of only eight players in the SEC to do that over the past 10 years. He has 1,034 rushing yards entering the bowl game and is averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

Florida PK Caleb Sturgis: Florida coach Will Muschamp didn't shy away from calling Sturgis the best kicker in college football, and Sturgis' numbers certainly warrant that praise. He has great range, but is equally clutch on the pressure kicks. He's made 23-of-27 field goals this season and has six field goals of 50 yards or longer in the past two seasons.

South Carolina S D.J. Swearinger: One of the top safeties in the league, Swearinger is second on South Carolina's team with 70 total tackles. He's a big hitter and one of the main cogs in a South Carolina defense that collected an SEC-high 40 sacks and also forced 22 turnovers.

Texas A&M WR Ryan Swope: With Johnny Manziel playing his way to the Heisman Trophy, Swope was Mr. Dependable for the Aggies and led them with seven touchdown catches. He had 11 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown in the 29-24 win over Alabama.

Tennessee OG Dallas Thomas: The Vols' offensive line developed into one of the best in the league, and Thomas showcased his versatility by sliding inside to left guard after starting at left tackle in 2010 and 2011. He was a second-team All-SEC selection and is rated as one of the top guard prospects in the upcoming NFL draft.

Kentucky OG Larry Warford: A three-time All-SEC selection, Warford became the first Kentucky lineman to earn All-America honors in more than 20 years when he was named third team by the Associated Press this season. He didn't allow any sacks this season from his right guard spot and graded out at 90.3 percent.

Alabama OG Chance Warmack: Already one of the most dominant interior offensive linemen in the country, Warmack also emerged as one of the Crimson Tide's strongest leaders this season. He's a mauler inside at his left guard position and a big reason Alabama had two 1,000-yard rushers this season.

Georgia S Shawn Williams: In a season that saw Georgia's defense ravaged by injuries and suspensions, Williams has been a steadying force for the Bulldogs. He's second on the team with 87 total tackles and lit a much-needed fire under the defense with his comments prior to the win over Florida that propelled Georgia to the SEC championship game.

SEC Senior Bowl invitees

December, 27, 2012
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Here’s a look at the most recent list of SEC players confirmed for the 2013 Senior Bowl on Jan. 26 in Mobile, Ala.:

How they fared vs. SEC competition

December, 12, 2012
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The SEC prides itself on being a cut above everybody else in college football.

So it makes sense when we’re evaluating players and deciding who had the best seasons that we look closer at how those players fared against SEC competition.

Sometimes, statistics can get skewed when you add in the non-league games against lesser teams.

With that in mind, here’s a quick checklist of the league leaders and their numbers against SEC foes (not counting the SEC championship game):

RUSHING

1. Todd Gurley, Georgia: 762 yards, 5.8 yards per carry
2. Eddie Lacy, Alabama: 725 yards, 6 yards per carry
3. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 698 yards, 5.5 yards per carry
4. Mike Gillislee, Florida: 649 yards, 4.2 yards per carry
5. Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt: 629 yards, 4.7 yards per carry

TOUCHDOWNS

1. Eddie Lacy, Alabama: 11
2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 10
2. Christine Michael, Texas A&M: 10
4. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina: 9
5. T.J. Yeldon, Alabama: 9

PASSING YARDS

1. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, 304.7 yards per game
2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 286.1 yards per game
3. Bo Wallace, Ole Miss, 265.8 yards per game
4. Aaron Murray, Georgia, 257 yards per game
5. Tyler Bray, Tennessee, 254.8 yards per game

PASSING TDs/INTs

1. Tyler Bray, Tennessee: 19/11
1. Aaron Murray, Georgia: 19/6
3. AJ McCarron, Alabama: 15/2
4. Tyler Russell, Mississippi State: 14/5
5. Connor Shaw, South Carolina: 13/5
5. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas: 13/9

RECEIVING YARDS

1. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt: 109.8 yards per game
2. Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas: 92.9 yards per game
3. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M: 89.9 yards per game
4. Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State: 83.6 yards per game
5. Mike Evans, Texas A&M: 80 yards per game

TOUCHDOWN CATCHES

1. Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State: 8
1. Amari Cooper, Alabama: 8
3. Tavarres King, Georgia: 6
3. Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss: 6
5. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M: 6

ALL-PURPOSE YARDS

1. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee: 145.6 yards per game
2. LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State: 127.3 yards per game
3. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt: 123.9 yards per game
4. Todd Gurley, Georgia: 114.2 yards per game
5. Eddie Lacy, Alabama: 110 yards per game

SACKS

1. Jarvis Jones, Georgia: 9
2. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M: 8
3. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina: 6.5
3. Chris Smith, Arkansas: 6.5
5. Sam Montgomery, LSU: 6

TACKLES FOR LOSS

1. Jarvis Jones, Georgia: 14.5
2. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina: 13.5
3. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M: 12.5
4. Chase Garnham, Vanderbilt: 11
5. Trey Flowers, Arkansas: 9.5
5. Chris Smith, Arkansas: 9.5

2012 ESPN.com All-SEC team

December, 10, 2012
12/10/12
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All that remains of the 2012 college football season are the bowls, which means it’s time to select our All-SEC team.

In this league, that’s never an easy task. There are more deserving players than there are spots. In selecting the team, we placed a heavy emphasis on performance in big games and how a player impacted his team both on and off the field. When it was close, we looked at SEC-only statistics as the tiebreaker.

Without further ado, we introduce you to the 2012 ESPN.com All-SEC Team:

OFFENSE
  • QB: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, Fr.
  • RB: Todd Gurley, Georgia, Fr.
  • RB: Eddie Lacy, Alabama, Jr.
  • WR: Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas, Sr.
  • WR: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt, Jr.
  • TE: Jordan Reed, Florida, Jr.
  • AP: Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, Jr.
  • OL: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, Jr.
  • OL: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M, Jr.
  • OL: Chance Warmack, Alabama, Sr.
  • OL: Larry Warford, Kentucky, Sr.
  • C: Barrett Jones, Alabama, Sr.
DEFENSE
  • DL: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, So.
  • DL: Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, Jr.
  • DL: Sharrif Floyd, Florida, Jr.
  • DL: Sam Montgomery, LSU, Jr.
  • LB: Jarvis Jones, Georgia, Jr.
  • LB: Kevin Minter, LSU, Jr.
  • LB: C.J. Mosley, Alabama, Jr.
  • CB: Dee Milliner, Alabama, Jr.
  • CB: Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State, Sr.
  • S: Eric Reid, LSU, Jr.
  • S: Matt Elam, Florida, Jr.
SPECIAL TEAMS
  • K: Caleb Sturgis, Florida, Sr.
  • P: Kyle Christy, Florida, So.
  • RS: Marcus Murphy, Missouri, So.

Did you know?

November, 16, 2012
11/16/12
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It's that time of the week where we take a look at SEC notes and facts from the league and ESPN Stats & Information:

Arkansas at Mississippi State
  • Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell has tossed 30 career TD passes, good for fifth on the school’s all-time list. Last weekend, Russell broke the MSU single-season record with his 17th TD pass of the year.
  • Arkansas wide receiver Cobi Hamilton holds the Arkansas single-season records for receptions (73) and receiving yards (1,149).
  • Arkansas has 18 players who have made their first collegiate start this season, the most in the SEC and tied for the fifth-highest total in the country.
  • Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis, with 144 career catches, needs 18 receptions to tie the school record of 162 set by David Smith in 1970. His 2,024 career receiving yards are ninth in school history.
  • Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, with 7,181 career passing yards, needs 241 yards to move into second on the school’s career list and 312 yards to become the school’s career leader (7,493 yards by Ryan Mallett, 2009-10).
Western Carolina at Alabama
  • Alabama enters the game 39-for-42 in its red zone trips, tied for fifth nationally (93 percent).
  • Over the past four years, Alabama’s starting quarterbacks have thrown 16 interceptions in 1,205 pass attempts (one interception every 75.3 pass attempts), while the defense has recorded 73 interceptions in 50 games.
  • Jeremy Shelley is the only kicker in the nation yet to miss an extra point (46-46) or field goal (10-10) this season.
  • Alabama is third in the nation in three-and-outs on defense per game at 5.2 (52 in 10 games).
  • Alabama averaged 4.7 yards per rush on designed running plays against Texas A&M, its second lowest in a game this season (Ole Miss, 4.2). The Tide averaged 3.2 yards on such plays in the second half, their lowest for any half this season.
  • AJ McCarron has one career interception in 88 red zone attempts (20 TD). McCarron’s one interception came on his last red zone attempt last Saturday against Texas A&M.
  • McCarron has completed 64 percent of his passes thrown 20 yards or longer this season, including 7 of 8 attempts when targeting freshman Amari Cooper. McCarron completed 38.6 percent of such throws last season.
  • Alabama has allowed just 11 100-plus-yard rushers since 2005, least in NCAA FBS.
Jacksonville State at Florida
  • In school history, 14 Florida teams have started a season 9-1 or better through 10 games. Before this season, the most recent year was 2009, going 10-0.
  • According to the NCAA, Florida currently has the No. 1 strength of schedule. The opponents’ record tally is 60-30 (.667).
  • Florida's four-win improvement in conference play matches the best in program history.
  • Florida has the fourth fewest receptions (29) in the FBS that gained at least 15 yards.
  • Florida has 43 missed tackles this season, 15 fewer than any other SEC team.
  • Florida’s offense has had 83 plays that lost yards this season, tied for the ninth most in the FBS.
Wofford at South Carolina
  • With a win over Wofford, Steve Spurrier would tie Rex Enright for the Carolina school record with 64 coaching wins.
  • South Carolina is eighth in the nation in sacks (33) and 13th in total defense (308.90 yards per game allowed). The 33 sacks this season for Carolina is second in school history (41, 2010).
  • Connor Shaw is averaging 5.3 yards per carry on designed runs in South Carolina’s wins this season and 0.9 the Gamecocks’ losses.
  • South Carolina has scored 10 touchdowns in one minute or less, tied for the most in the SEC (Tennessee, Alabama).
Alabama A&M at Auburn
  • Auburn’s field goal defense unit has blocked three kicks this season. The Tigers have 12 blocked kicks (four FGs, three punts, five PATs) in the Gene Chizik era at Auburn.
  • Auburn wide receiver Emory Blake is fifth in school history with 123 receptions and tied for seventh in reception yardage with 1,946.
Georgia Southern at Georgia
  • A win Saturday would mark the 20th time in school history that the Bulldogs have reached 10 wins in a season. Georgia last had back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2007-08.
  • Georgia has 34 plays of 30 yards or more this season, the third most in FBS. The Bulldogs had 23 all of last season. The only game that the Bulldogs did not have at least one such play was at South Carolina in their only loss of the season.
  • Aaron Murray has completed 75.2 percent of his passes on first downs this season with 10 touchdowns. Of his 96 completions, 26 (27.7 percent) have resulted in a gain of 20 or more yards.
  • Georgia averages 8.2 yards on first down, tied for the highest average in FBS this season (Oklahoma State).
  • Running back Todd Gurley is third in school history for rushing yards by a freshman with 973. Gurley has had seven 100-plus-yard rushing games this season.
Ole Miss at LSU
  • Ole Miss has scored in 33 of its 35 red zone trips (94.3 percent) this season, second-best in the nation and tops in the SEC. Ole Miss is the only SEC team without a turnover in the red zone this year and has gone 22-for-22 in the red zone against league opponents.
  • LSU has sent five or more pass-rushers on 22.8 percent of its opponents’ drop-backs this season. When blitzing, the Tigers have allowed six passing touchdowns, including two touchdowns in their past two games. When dropping seven into coverage, LSU has allowed just four pass touchdowns in 243 attempts.
  • With an 8-2 mark, LSU has now won at least eight games for a school-record 13 straight seasons. That ties Boise State for the longest current streak in college football.
  • Ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery have combined for 31 of the Tigers’ 58 quarterback hurries, including four hurries on passes that were intercepted. Additionally, they have nine sacks when LSU does not blitz.
  • LSU has allowed opponents to complete just two of 21 passes thrown 25 yards or longer and have not allowed a touchdown on such a pass this season.
  • LSU has gone 46 straight offensive possessions without a turnover (284 total plays).
Sam Houston State at Texas A&M
  • Quarterback Johnny Manziel is ranked in the top three of all FBS freshmen in eight major statistical categories (1st – Passing Yards per game/Total Passing Yards/Completions/Total Offense per game/Points Responsibility per game; 2nd – Rushing Yards per game/Scoring per game; 3rd – Passing Efficiency).
  • Manziel has gained 728 of his SEC-leading 1,014 rush yards on scrambles. That is 51 more yards scrambling than Marcus Mariota, Denard Robinson, Braxton Miller and Collin Klein have combined. Manziel has scrambled for 31 first downs this season, including 20 first downs on third down.
  • Manziel is 56-of-73 (76.7 percent) with six touchdowns and no interceptions when targeting Ryan Swope this season.
  • Texas A&M has five touchdown drives that lasted at least five minutes. The Aggies had one such drive in 2011.
  • A&M’s 545.4 total offensive yards per game is ahead of SEC record pace, set by Florida in 1995 (534.4 ypg).
  • The A&M defense has had 29 sacks this season from 13 different players.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt
  • Tennessee has scored at least 40 points five times in 2012, the most in a season since the 196 team also recorded five 40-plus games.
  • Vanderbilt is searching for its fifth straight win this season, which last happened in 2008 and before that, 1982.
  • UT quarterback Tyler Bray has 64 career passing TDs, which is fourth in school history. Bray also has 509 career completions, which is fifth in UT history (with five more completions, would move to fourth).
Syracuse at Missouri
  • The Tigers are looking for its sixth win of the season and hopes of achieving bowl eligibility for a school-record eighth-straight season.
  • Missouri has won a school-record 18 straight games against nonconference foes at home. Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel is 25-2 (.926) in his Tigers career at home against nonconference teams.
  • The Missouri defense has had a takeaway in 28 straight games (last game was Oct. 30, 2010 at Nebraska).
  • Quarterback James Franklin is eighth in Missouri history with 4,254 passing yards and eighth in total offensive yards (5,498).
Samford at Kentucky
  • Kentucky is looking for its third consecutive win in a home finale.
  • Kentucky is sixth in the nation in most true freshmen played with 14, only two behind the national leader . Of Kentucky’s 80 recruiting scholarship players, 55 are freshmen or sophomores.
  • Kentucky is fourth in the nation for most total freshmen (true and redshirt frosh) played with 26, only two behind the national leader.
  • Linebacker Avery Williamson leads Kentucky and the SEC in total tackles with 115 and tackles per game with 11.5. Williamson ranks third nationally in tackles per game and has double-figure tackles in seven of 10 games this season, including three in a row.

Hogs' Cobi Hamilton on Biletnikoff list

November, 13, 2012
11/13/12
1:42
PM ET
Arkansas' Cobi Hamilton is the lone SEC player to make the list of semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually to the top receiver in college football.

Hamilton, a senior, leads the SEC with 73 catches and 1,149 receiving yards. Both are Arkansas school records, surpassing the marks Jarius Wright established last season.

Below is the complete list of Biletnikoff semifinalists:

Did you know?

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
10:00
AM ET
It's that time when we check out news and notes from the SEC and ESPN Stats & Information:
  • The Texas A&M at Alabama matchup is one of the two most efficient offenses in the SEC. The Aggies lead the SEC in highest average points per drive (3.09 / 336 points in 110 offensive drives) with the Tide second at 3.07 (332 in 108) points per drive. The Tide leads the SEC in overall scoring-efficiency percentage (50.9 percent / 55 scoring drives out of 108 total drives) and the Aggies are second at 49.6 percent (60 of 121). In touchdown scoring efficiency, the Aggies lead the SEC at 40.5 percent (49 TD drives out of 121 overall drives) while the Tide are second at 38.9 percent (42 of 108).
  • The Vanderbilt at Ole Miss game is the fourth most competitive series in the SEC since 2000, with an average winning margin of 11.17 points per game. Seven of the 12 games in the series since 2000 have been decided by nine-points-or-less.
  • At its current pace, SEC offenses are passing for more yards per game (227.7) since the 2001 season (245.1). Since 1992, the 227.7 average would be fourth highest in SEC behind 2001 (245.1), 1997 (234.7) and 1998 (232.4). Passing is accounting for 57.5 percent of SEC offenses this season while running (168.5 yards per game) is 42.5 percent.
  • There have been 215 scoring drives in the SEC this season that have been less than two minutes compared to 59 scoring drives of more than five minutes.
  • Of the 22 offensive drives that have been for 15-plays-or-more, eight have ended in touchdowns, nine in field goals, two in missed field goals, one in a turnover and two on downs.
  • Arkansas’ Cobi Hamilton has 14 plays of more than 20 yards this season against FBS teams with winning records. That total is third in the nation (Austin Hill, Arizona, 1st with 17; Terrance Williams, Baylor, second with 16).
  • The SEC had the top three in sacks against teams that are ranked in the AP Top 25-- Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, 1st with 6.5 sacks; Corey Lemonier, Auburn, 2nd with 5.0 sacks; Jarvis Jones, Georgia, 3rd with 4.0 sacks.
GAME NOTES

Arkansas at South Carolina: These teams have played every year since they came into the league in 1992, with Arkansas leading the series, 13-7. In games played in Columbia, the series is tied, 5-5.
  • Arkansas has won eight straight games against opponents from the SEC Eastern Division, the longest current interdivisional streak in the SEC and the longest win streak against Eastern Division foes in school history.
  • Arkansas has 17 players who have made their first collegiate start this season, the most in the SEC and tied for seventh-highest in the nation.
  • Connor Shaw is 14-3 as a starting Gamecock QB, which, at 82.4 percent, is the highest winning percentage for a Carolina starting QB since 1971.
Missouri at Tennessee: This is the first meeting between the two teams.
  • Tennessee has won eight consecutive November games against SEC opponents at Neyland Stadium since a 17-12 win over Kentucky on Nov. 25, 2006. The Vols have won eight consecutive home games in the month of November, dating to a 28-10 win over Kentucky on Nov. 29, 2008.
  • Mizzou is 3-0 this year in games which it gains a fourth-quarter turnover, while the Tigers are 0-3 this season when committing a fourth-quarter turnover.
  • T.J. Moe is sixth in Mizzou history with 178 career catches and 8th in career receiving yards with 1,972.
  • Tennessee has scored 42 touchdowns in 2012, 11 more than the 2011 full-season total of 31.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Florida: Florida is 4-0 all-time against the Ragin’ Cajuns. The last meeting was in 1996, when the Gators took a 55-21 decision. In that game, Florida scored four defensive touchdowns.
  • The Gators are 64-22-2 all-time in Homecoming games.
  • Florida has been held under 15 points in each of its past two games, and overall in two seasons under Will Muschamp the Gators have been held under 15 points eight times. Consider that in Urban Meyer's six seasons at Floirda, the Gators were held under 15 points eight times.
  • This season, Florida is plus-11 turnover margin, improving on last season’s minus-12 turnover margin.
  • Through nine games, Florida has outscored its opposition, 138-38, in the second half. The defense is averaging 64.4 yards allowed in the third quarter and 75.8 yards allowed in the fourth.
Texas A&M at Alabama: Alabama leads the series history, 3-1. It’s the first visit to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Aggies. The teams played in the 1942 and 1968 Cotton Bowls, in 1985 at Legion Field in Birmingham and 1988 in College Station.
  • Alabama’s Jeremy Shelley is the only kicker in the nation not to miss an extra-point (40-40) or field goal (9-9) this season.
  • The Aggies are 1-10 in games against No. 1 ranked teams, with the lone victory being a 30-26 win over Oklahoma in 2002.
  • A&M has scored first in every game in 2012, and in 14 straight games dating back to 2011.
  • Johnny Manziel has already broken A&M’s record for quarterback rushing yards in a season (922).
  • Manziel is the only player in FBS to average at least 10 yards per rush and 10 yards per pass attempt in those situations, and his 11 touchdowns responsible for in those situations are three more than any other FBS player. He has gained 634 rushing yards on scrambles. That is 182 more yards scrambling than Denard Robinson, Braxton Miller and Collin Klein have combined. Manziel has scrambled for 28 first downs this season, including 18 first downs on third down.
  • Manziel is completing 71.8 percent of his passes on first down this season, one of only six players to complete at least 70 percent of his passes on first down this season (min. 140 attempts).
  • Alabama is 21-6 against the AP Top 25 during the last four seasons and 12-4 against AP Top 10 teams.
  • Alabama QB AJ McCarron has gone 204 pass attempts this season and 289 dating back to last season without an interception. Since 2000, he is the only player in FBS with at least 25 career touchdown passes (38) and as few as five interceptions.
  • The Tide defense averages 5.44 three-and-outs per game and its 45.4 percent rate is second highest in the nation.
  • The Aggies and Tide have shared three head coaches in their histories -- Bear Bryant (A&M 1954-57; Alabama 1958-82), Gene Stallings (A&M 1965-71; Alabama 1990-96) and Dennis Franchione (A&M 2003-07; Alabama 2001-02).
Georgia at Auburn: Georgia leads the South’s Oldest Rivalry, 54-53-8. The teams have played every year since 1944. Georgia has won seven of the last 10 matchups in the series.
  • The Bulldogs defense ranks third nationally forcing 50 three-and-outs, an average of 5.5 per game.
  • Auburn is 97-139-6 all-time against ranked opponents.
  • Auburn is 3-for-11 passing for 14 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in the red zone this season. That's a passer-efficiency mark of 1.6.
  • Georgia has 31 plays of 30 yards or more this season, tied for third most in FBS. They had 23 in all of last season. The only game that the Bulldogs did not have at least one such play was in their only loss of the season at South Carolina.
  • Auburn’s Onterio McCalebb is just the second player in SEC history to tally more than 2,000 yards rushing (2,469), 1,000 kick return yards (1,246) and 500 receiving yards (528).
  • Georgia’s Todd Gurley is fifth in school history for most rushing yards by a freshman (857).
  • Auburn has blocked three field goals this season, two by Angelo Blackson and one by Corey Lemonier.
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss: Ole Miss leads the series 47-37-2. In games played in Oxford, the Rebels lead, 22-5. Ole Miss has won 13 of the past 19 meetings dating back to 1992.
  • Ole Miss has already surpassed last year’s total number of wins, points, touchdowns and yards.
  • Vanderbilt has won its past three games. The last time Vandy have won four in a row was in 2008.
  • Ole Miss has scored in 28 of its 30 red zone trips (93.3 percent), which is tied for fourth-best in the SEC and second in the SEC. Ole Miss is the only SEC team without a turnover in the red zone this year.
Mississippi State at LSU: LSU leads the series 69-33-3.
  • In games played in Baton Rouge, the Tigers lead, 46-18-1. LSU has won 10 straight in the series and 19 of the last 20 meetings.
  • LSU faces a Top 25 team for the fifth straight game -- a first in school history.
  • The Mississippi State offense has scored 277 points through its first nine games, its most through the first nine contests since the 2000 squad scored 307 points.
  • Bulldogs QB Tyler Russell is one of seven QBs nationally with 15-plus passing TDs and three or fewer interceptions this season.
  • LSU’s Les Miles is 18-1 in games following a loss. Last time LSU lost back-to-back games under Miles was in 2008 (Ole Miss, Arkansas). LSU hasn’t lost back-to-back games in Tiger Stadium since 2001 (Florida, Ole Miss).
  • The Bulldogs have lost 21 straight games against AP Top-10 teams. Their last win against an AP Top-10 team came against third-ranked Florida in 2000.

SEC helmet stickers: Week 10

November, 4, 2012
11/04/12
9:00
AM ET
Now that we are through Week 10, it's time to take a look at the weekend's top performers:

Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas: It was another big afternoon for the Razorbacks' top wide receiver. He caught 11 passes for 177 yards in Arkansas' 19-15 victory over Tulsa. Hamilton finished the game with 69 receptions on the season, which broke Jarius Wright's single-season school receptions record of 66, set a year ago. He moved into second on Arkansas' single-season receiving yards list (1,077; record is 1,117 by Wright in 2011). It was also Hamilton's fourth game this season with 10 or more catches and second in a row. He helped set up Dennis Johnson's winning 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter with back-to-back catches of 41 yards and 14 yards.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Real shocker to find Johnny Football back on this list. He hurt Mississippi State running and throwing in the Aggies' blowout 38-13 win in Starkville, Miss. He completed 30 of his 36 pass attempts for 311 yards and ran the ball 21 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns. He really sucked the life out of the Bulldogs' defense early in the second quarter when he zigged and zagged his way through the defense for a 37-yard touchdown run that put the Aggies up 21-0.

Tre Mason, RB, Auburn: In Auburn's second victory of the season, Mason had his best game as a Tiger, recording a career-high 152 yards and a touchdown in the 42-7 romp over New Mexico State. He averaged 6.9 yards per carry along the way. The Tigers desperately needed some sort offensive spark, and Mason's play definitely helped. He had a long of 40 yards, but did most of his damage with very physical runs against the Aggies defense.

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama: He certainly didn't have his best game -- until the very end. After completing just 1 of 7 second-half passes before the Tide's final drive against LSU, McCarron stepped up and showed some mettle by hitting four of his final five pass attempts, including a 28-yard screen pass to running back T.J. Yeldon that delivered the 21-17 victory. McCarron stood tall on the biggest drive of his career and kept the Tide on its path to not just the SEC title but the national title.

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia: A week after having a dreadful performance in the Bulldogs' victory over Florida, Murray was stellar in the 37-10 win over Ole Miss. He hit on 21 of his 28 passes for 384 yards. Three of his four touchdowns went for 40 or more yards, including a 66-yard strike to Marlon Brown on a perfectly executed play-action fake to give the Bulldogs their first points of the game. The Murray we all saw last week was nowhere near Sanford Stadium on Saturday.

Johnson, Arkansas survive Tulsa test

November, 3, 2012
11/03/12
5:35
PM ET
Arkansas' bowl hopes are slim, but they're still there.

It wasn't pretty, but with the Razorbacks' 19-15 win over Tulsa on Saturday, they are now two wins away from becoming bowl eligible after going 1-4 in September.

With running back Knile Davis dealing with a hamstring injury, Arkansas (4-5, 2-3 SEC) got another big day from Dennis Johnson. He carried the ball 22 times for a game-high 109 yards and had two touchdowns. His 1-yard touchdown run with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter gave Arkansas the lead for good.

Tyler Wilson threw for 272 yards and an interception, but got a major lift from wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, who caught 11 passes for a game-high 177 yards. Hamilton now has 69 catches for 1,077 yards this season. His 69 receptions break Jarius Wright's school record of 66 catches in a season.

Arkansas' defense had a solid outing against a pretty good offense. The Razorbacks held Tulsa to just 328 yards of offense and three second-half points.

This was a game that Arkansas absolutely had to have. If the Razorbacks are going to make it to a bowl game, a win had to happen on Saturday. The rest of November is going to be very tough, with two road games against Mississippi State and South Carolina before the season finale against LSU. Finding wins in the next three weeks definitely won't be easy, but there's definitely still some pride left in Fayetteville.

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