SEC: Sterling Sharpe
Below are the candidates who played or coached at current SEC schools:
- Brandon Burlsworth, OG, Arkansas: 1998 first-team All-America and first-team All-SEC selection … Helped Arkansas to two postseason berths and to SEC Western Division titles in 1995 and ’98 … Former walk-on who later started 34 consecutive games.
- Tony Franklin, PK, Texas A&M: Two-time first-team All-America (1976-consensus, ’78) … Led A&M to four bowl appearances … Set seven NCAA records, including most 50 yards-plus field goals made (15) and most points scored by a kicker in a career (291).
- Leotis Harris, OG, Arkansas: 1977 consensus first-team All-America who led Razorbacks to wins in the 1976 Cotton Bowl and ’78 Orange Bowl … First African-American All-American player at Arkansas … Led Arkansas to 1975 SWC co-championship.
- Bobby Majors, DB, Tennessee: 1971 unanimous first-team All-America … Led Vols to wins in 1971 Sugar Bowl and 1972 Liberty Bowl … Holds school records for punt returns in a career (117 for 1163 yards, 4 TDs) and season (42 for 457 yards, 2 TDs).
- Buddy McClinton, DB, Auburn: Three-time All-American who earned consensus first team honors in 1969 … Auburn’s all-time leader in interceptions (18) and holds record for interceptions in a season (9 in 1969) … Set SEC career interception record (18).
- Paul Naumoff, LB, Tennessee: Named first-team All-America and all-conference in 1966 … Named team MVP in 1966 … Played in the College All-Star Game and Senior Bowl in 1967.
- Sterling Sharpe, WR, South Carolina: 1987 first-team All-America … Two-time first- team all-conference … Set nearly every school receiving record by career’s end, including career receptions (169), single-season receiving yards (1,106) and career receiving yards (2,497).
- Art Still, DE, Kentucky: 1977 Unanimous first-team All-American … Two-time first-team All-SEC performer who led Cats to 1976 SEC championship … 1977 SEC Defensive Player of the Year who set school record with 22 TFL in 1977 (still standing).
- Matt Stinchcomb, OT, Georgia: Two-time first-team All-America selection (consensus-’98) … Two-time first-team All-SEC and 1998 recipient of Jacobs Blocking Trophy … 1998 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy recipient and NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
- Derrick Thomas, LB, Alabama: 1988 unanimous first-team All-America and Butkus award winner… Led Tide to four consecutive bowl berths, earning 1988 SEC Defensive Player of the Year … Set SEC record for sacks in a season (27) and finished career with 74 TFL.
- Jackie Walker, LB, Tennessee: 1970 and ’71 first-team All-American … Set NCAA record for career interceptions returned for TD by a linebacker (5) … Two-time first-team All-SEC selection who helped Vols to 1969 SEC championship.
- Wesley Walls, TE, Ole Miss: 1988 first-team All-America and first-team All-SEC selection … Played as a two-way player his senior season (DE-TE) … Tallied 36 receptions for 426 yards and three touchdowns in one season at tight end … 1988 NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
- Scott Woerner, DB, Georgia: Named first-team All-America, all-conference and team Most Valuable Back in 1980 … Twice named Georgia’s Outstanding Special Teams Player of the Year (1977, 1980) … Led team to the 1980 national championship.
- Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida: 1996 winner of NFF Campbell Trophy, Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp, Maxwell, and consecutive Davey O’Brien awards … Two-time SEC Player of the Year who led Gators to 1996 national championship and four SEC championships.
- Jim Carlen: Coach at West Virginia (1966-69), Texas Tech (1970-74) and South Carolina (1975-1981). Led teams to eight bowl games and 13 winning seasons in 16 years as head coach … 1973 National Coach of the Year …Three-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year … Coached Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers at South Carolina.
Both are strong candidates to be selected when the 2012 class is announced in May. The induction ceremonies will be held in New York City in December.
Fulmer had a 152-52 (.745) record from 1992-2008 at Tennessee. He led the Vols to SEC championships in 1997 and 1998, marking the last time a team has won SEC championships in back-to-back seasons. The Vols also went 13-0 in 1998 to win the national championship.
Wuerffel led the Gators to the national title in 1996 and also won the Heisman Trophy that season. He set an SEC record with 114 career touchdown passes.
Here's a look at the other players on the 2012 ballot with SEC ties:
- Charles Alexander, RB, LSU, 1975-78
- Paul Crane, C/LB, Alabama, 1963-65
- Willie Gault, WR/RS, Tennessee, 1979-82
- Bobby Humphrey, RB, Alabama, 1985-88
- Bobby Majors, DB/RS, Tennessee, 1969-71
- Paul Naumoff, LB, Tennessee, 1964-66
- Matt Stinchcomb, OT, Georgia, 1995-98
- Derrick Thomas, LB, 1985-88
- Wesley Walls, TE, Ole Miss, 1985-88
- Scott Woerner, DB, Georgia, 1977-80
- This season, the SEC has had eight teams ranked in the AP top-25 poll a total of 59 times after the first 10 weeks — above the league's average for the past five seasons.
- Using the latest published depth charts from the 12 SEC teams, South Carolina has the youngest offensive starting lineup and the most experienced defensive starting lineup in the league.
- Using a numerical formula of 1 point for freshmen, 2 points for sophomores, 3 points for juniors and 4 points for freshman, the Gamecocks average 2.33 on offense and 3.45 on defense.
- The most experienced offense is Kentucky at 3.25, the least experienced defense Florida at 2.36.
- On defense, there are just eight freshman starters in the SEC, three of them at Tennessee. On offense, South Carolina starts four freshmen and Ole Miss three.
- Mississippi State starts six seniors on offense, followed by Alabama, Kentucky and LSU with five each. On defense, Arkansas, Kentucky and South Carolina start five freshmen each.
- Alabama has started slowly in the first quarter this season, but has quickly turned things around and finished strong. The Crimson Tide have outscored its opponents 243-25 in the final three quarters of games this season after holding just a 72-30 edge in the first quarter. The disparity has grown even wider over the past six games, when Alabama owns a 44-27 scoring edge in the first quarter and a 196-10 edge in the final three quarters. Alabama has outscored its opposition in the second half of the past six games by a score of 142-7, but has not allowed a second-half point in the past four. Arkansas, in Week 4, was the last team to score against Alabama after halftime.
- Arkansas has won five consecutive games against opponents from the SEC Eastern Division, the longest winning streak against Eastern Division foes in school history and the third-longest current interdivision win streak in the SEC. Arkansas’ previous record for consecutive games won against the Eastern Division was three (1992-93 and 2006). Arkansas is off to its best start under Bobby Petrino and is 7-1 for just the third time since joining the SEC in 1992.
- With its victory over Ole Miss, Auburn has extended its Jordan-Hare Stadium winning streak to 13 games, its longest at home since winning 13 in a row from 1993-94. It is tied for the sixth-longest home winning streak in school history. The Tigers are 25-4 in night games (5 p.m. or later) at Jordan-Hare dating back to the 2000 season.
- Florida quarterback John Brantley returned from injury to start last week against Georgia, throwing for 245 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 20.4 yards per completion, the highest of his career as a starting quarterback. The mark is the highest in the SEC and eighth-best in the country this season for quarterbacks with a minimum of 10 completions). In his career, the fifth-year senior has completed 332 of 541 passes (61.4 percent) for 3,893 yards and 25 touchdowns, with 14 interceptions and a passer rating of 131.9.
- Georgia senior Brandon Boykin and junior Branden Smith are seeing action on defense, offense and special teams this season. Boykin has four career kickoff returns for touchdowns, and against No. 5 Boise State, he had an 80-yard rushing touchdowns on his first career carry. He had a school-record seven kickoff returns and tallied 198 all-purpose yards against No. 12 South Carolina. Smith and Boykin split time as punt returners while Boykin is one of the top kickoff returners in the nation.
- Kentucky seniors Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy are the SEC’s top two tacklers. Trevathan charted a career-high-tying 17 tackles last weekend and is now the league’s top tackler with 94 to Guy 's 83. The duo are tied for fifth and 16th, respectively, in the nation with 11.75 and 10.38 tackles per game.
- LSU went the entire month of October without a turnover. The Tigers have turned the ball over just three times this season (two fumbles, one interception), with their most recent turnover coming in the fourth quarter against Mississippi State in Week 3. LSU has gone 336 offensive snaps, 59 possessions and 174 minutes and 52 seconds of possession time since its last turnover. LSU has given up just 41 points in the first five SEC games, the fewest since 1985, when the Tigers also allowed 41 points in their first five league games. LSU has won 17 consecutive games when winning the turnover battle. Under Les Miles, LSU is 33-4 when forcing more turnovers than it gives up.
- Six true freshmen and three redshirt freshmen have started for Ole Miss this season. True freshmen have made a combined 18 starts, while redshirt freshmen have made a combined 10. Freshman wide receiver Donte Moncrief is tied for fifth in the nation among true freshmen with four touchdown receptions.
- Mississippi State has won nine consecutive non-conference games dating back to head coach Dan Mullen’s first season in 2009. Mullen’s teams have posted a 10-2 non-conference mark, with a pair of losses in 2009 to nationally ranked Georgia Tech and a Houston team that received votes in both polls the week of the game. The Bulldogs’ 10 consecutive out-of-league wins marks the longest such streak since an 11-game run from 1989-91.
- Junior wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (167 receptions for 2,748 yards) needs just 33 yards to match Kenny McKinley (2,781) as South Carolina’s all-time leader in receiving yards. He needs three catches to pass Sterling Sharpe (169) for second all-time in career receptions. He also needs three touchdown catches to tie Sidney Rice on the school’s all-time list for touchdown receptions at 23. Jeffery is also tied for first at South Carolina with 11 100-yard receiving games and is sixth in school history with 16.5 yards per reception.
- Three of Tennessee’s six leading tacklers are freshmen in A.J. Johnson (1st with 57), Curt Maggitt (fourth with 34) and Brian Randolph (sixth with 31), making the Vols the only team in the country with freshmen as three of its top six tacklers. Tennessee is the only team in the country with two true freshmen among its top four tacklers. In fact, there are only a pair of schools – Miami (Fla.) and Army – that even have two in their top six.
- Vanderbilt’s Casey Hayward knocked down six Arkansas passes last weekend – tied for most in any one game in the country this season with Duke’s Matt Daniels, who did it against Richmond. Hayward was named this week as one of 15 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive back. Hayward is tied for fourth nationally with five interceptions and is the SEC active leader in career picks with 13.
- Mississippi State is 27-16 against non-conference foes since 2000 and has a nine-game win streak against out-of-SEC competition.
- South Carolina and Arkansas are 1-2 in the SEC in non-offensive touchdowns scored this season. Carolina has five (four defense/one punt return) while Arkansas has four (one defense/one kickoff return/two punt return) and tied with LSU and Vanderbilt.
- Florida leads the SEC with 291-game scoring streak. The last time Florida was shut out was Oct. 29, 1988, when it lost 16-0 to Auburn.
- South Carolina is 3-0 in SEC road games this season. The Gamecocks have never gone 4-0.
- Vanderbilt’s scoring drives average 6.77 plays, fewest in the SEC.
- South Carolina is 21-37 against the Western Division and Arkansas is 24-34 against the Eastern Division. Arkansas has won five in a row against the Eastern Division.
- Ole Miss’ Brandon Bolden is the SEC’s second active leading rusher with 2,426 yards, trailing active leader Trent Richardson of Alabama by only 14 yards (2,440).
- Georgia leads SEC with 21 scoring drives of less than two minutes.
- South Carolina is second in the SEC in holding opponents to three-downs-and-out at 42.5 percent (45 of 106).
- Georgia sophomore QB Aaron Murray is already SEC’s leading active player in total offensive yards (5,077), completions (344), TD responsibility (48), TD passe (42) and passing yards (4,871).
- Tennessee is one of four SEC teams not to allow a non-offensive touchdown this season (Alabama, LSU and South Carolina).
- Georgia has scored first in seven of its eight games this season, second in the league to LSU, which has scored first in all eight.
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
The 2009 College Football Hall of Fame ballot has been released, and 13 of the players are from SEC schools.
There are no SEC coaches on the ballot this year.
The FBS Hall of Fame class will be announced live on ESPNEWS at a noon press conference in New York City on April 30 and inducted at The National Football Foundation's annual awards dinner on Dec. 8, 2009, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
The players from SEC schools on the ballot include Ole Miss fullback Billy Ray Adams (1959-61), LSU running back Charles Alexander (1975-78), Arkansas center Ronnie Caveness (1962-64), Auburn fullback Ed Dyas (1958-60), Tennessee receiver Willie Gault (1979-82), Alabama running back Bobby Humphrey (1985-88), Alabama linebacker Woodrow Lowe (1972-75), Tennessee defensive back Bobby Majors (1969-71), Auburn defensive tackle Ken Rice (1958-60), Georgia defensive back Jake Scott (1967-68), Tennessee receiver Larry Seivers (1974-76), South Carolina receiver Sterling Sharpe (1984-87) and Ole Miss offensive/defensive guard Marvin Terrell (1957-59).
Alexander, Humphrey and Rice are on the ballot for the first time.
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
First of all, thanks for your input on the Mount Rushmore selections for all 12 of the SEC football programs.
Whew, what a task.
Narrowing it down to four at each school was impossible to do. You can't without leaving off so many deserving individuals.
But with your input, as well as discussions with several others around the league, here's my best shot. We'll do the Eastern Division first and come back with the Western Division later Wednesday.
The four individuals who make up that school's Mount Rushmore are listed alphabetically, and I'll also include a few people who just missed the cut:
- Urban Meyer: A member of the Florida family for only four years, but he already has two BCS national championships.
- Steve Spurrier: The Head Ball Coach won a Heisman Trophy as a player at Florida and revolutionized the SEC as a coach.
- Tim Tebow: Meyer has called him the greatest college football player of this era, and he still has another year.
- Danny Wuerffel: He's known simply as "Danny Wonderful" and is one of most beloved players in school history.
Just missed the cut: Jeremy Foley, Wilbur Marshall, Emmitt Smith, Jack Youngblood.
- Vince Dooley: He's the most successful coach in Georgia history and also juggled athletic director duties for much of his career.
- Larry Munson: His famous calls over the radio airwaves are as much a part of Georgia lore as any coach or player.
- Uga: He's been dubbed as the nation's most well-known mascot. Uga VII debuted during the 2008 season.
- Herschel Walker: Many consider him the greatest player in SEC history. He attained near-mythical status as a freshman in 1980.
Just missed the cut: Champ Bailey, David Pollack, Mark Richt, Frank Sinkwich, Fran Tarkenton, Charley Trippi.
- Bear Bryant: The Bear merits Mount Rushmores at two different schools. Can you guess the other?
- Jerry Claiborne: Played at Kentucky under Bryant and returned to coach his alma mater.
- Nat Northington: The first black player to sign with an SEC school and go on to play in an SEC game in 1967.
- Babe Parilli: A two-time All-American who led the Wildcats to their only outright SEC title in 1950.
Just missed the cut: Tim Couch, Fran Curci, Lou Michaels, Derrick Ramsey, Art Still.
- Joe Morrison: The Man in Black took the Gamecocks to unprecedented heights in the 1980s before dying of a heart attack.
- George Rogers: The 1980 Heisman Trophy winner is the greatest player in South Carolina history.
- Sterling Sharpe: Rewrote the receiving record books at South Carolina and had his No. 2 jersey retired.
- Steve Wadiak: The first real sports idol at South Carolina. He was killed in a car crash in 1952.
Just missed the cut: Jim Carlen, Todd Ellis, Jeff Grantz, Bob Fulton, Tommy Suggs.
- John Majors: A legendary single-wing tailback at Tennessee who returned to win three SEC titles as head coach.
- Peyton Manning: The modern face of Tennessee football and one of the best pure passers in SEC history.
- Gen. Robert Neyland: The father of Tennessee football who served three different stints as coach wrapped around military duty.
- Reggie White: The Minister of Defense is one of the greatest defensive ends to ever play the game.
Just missed the cut: Doug Atkins, Doug Dickey, Phillip Fulmer, Bob Suffridge, Al Wilson.
- Jay Cutler: Broke nearly every Vanderbilt passing record during his career (2002-05) and was taken in the first round of the NFL draft.
- Bobby Johnson: Entering his eighth season as coach, Johnson brought Vanderbilt its first bowl victory in 53 years.
- Dan McGugin: Coached Vanderbilt for three decades, retiring in 1934 with 197 wins. The current football complex bears his name.
- Bill Wade: One of the Commodores' most celebrated players, Wade went on to a 14-year professional career.
Just missed the cut: Earl Bennett, Watson Brown, Josh Cody, Jamie Duncan, Carl Hinkle.
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Excuse me, Mr. Sharpe ...
I know the University of South Carolina honored you a few years back and retired your No. 2 jersey. But we'd like to have it back. No offense, but we're running out of numbers and there's this really big-time receiver we signed that we sort of promised it to during the recruiting process.
You remember the recruiting process, don't you? Anything goes. The ends justify the means ... as long as you get the player.
Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads-up.
OK, the above passage isn't real. I made it up.
But in essence, isn't that what Steve Spurrier is saying to former South Carolina great Sterling Sharpe?
It doesn't sound like Sharpe is real fired up about his No. 2 possibly coming out of retirement. I can't say I blame him.
I do agree with Spurrier on one thing. When you start retiring numbers in college football, that's a dangerous path to go down.
Retire the jersey, but not the number.