There are many who will argue the Southeastern Conference is not the best conference top to bottom as some other conference (say the remnants of the Big XII). But when the upcoming 2011-2012 national championship game features two teams from the conference (LSU and Alabama), it’s hard to argue how dominant the league is across the board. When you have top teams, you have top coaches and players, and it is time to recognize our nominees and winners for the third annual BC Sports SEC Awards.
For more detailed statistics on this season’s SEC teams, click HERE.
Coach of the Year:
Les Miles – LSU
2011 Record: 13-0
Nick Saban – Alabama
2011 Record: 11-1
Mark Richt – Georgia
2011 Record: 10-3
James Franklin – Vanderbilt
2011 Record: 6-6
Winner: James Franklin – Vanderbilt
You are scratching your head right now. A guy with a 6-6 record? Really? Yes, really. Richt, Miles and Saban have better records but they also play with way more talent. Franklin got a lot out of less and has instilled a new attitude at Vanderbilt. Through ups and downs, changes, and with their backs against the wall often, Franklin’s Commodores shined and earned a much-deserved bowl berth.
Offensive Player of the Year:
Tyler Wilson, QB – Arkansas
3422 yds., 22 TD, 6 INT
Trent Richardson, RB – Alabama
1583 rush yds., 327 rec. yds, 23 total TDs
Aaron Murray, QB – Georgia
Jordan Rodgers, QB – Vanderbilt
Winner: Trent Richardson, RB – Alabama
Richardson’s status as a game breaker was solidified again and again this season. He was really the only thing that worked against LSU in the first game and he will be a big part of what Alabama wants to do in the BCS National Championship Game next month.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Jarvis Jones, LB – Georgia
Courtney Upshaw, LB – Alabama
Melvin Ingram, DL – South Carolina
Morris Claiborne, DB – LSU
Winner: Morris Claiborne, DB – LSU
There are a lot of talented defenders on LSU’s team, but one of the most consistent is Claiborne. He has a nose for the ball, makes solid tackles, and is a legitimate shutdown cornerback. He’s also a special teams threat.
Special Teams Player of the Year:
Cody Parkey, PK – Auburn
Tyrann Mathieu, PR – LSU
Joe Adams, PR – Arkansas
Drew Butler, P – Georgia
Winner: Tyrann Mathieu, PR – LSU
LSU’s explosiveness doesn’t come on offense. It comes when teams foolishly kick the ball to this guy who can flip the field (and momentum) in a hurry.
Freshman of the Year:
Isaiah Crowell, RB – Georgia
Jadeveon Clowney, DL – South Carolina
Kenny Hilliard, RB – LSU
Cody Parkey, PK – Auburn
Winner: Cody Parkey, PK – Auburn
Parkey routinely kicked balls through the back of the end zone, forcing teams to drive the length of the field all season. On a team with a better defense, he’d have been an All-American. Once he gets some control on the FGs, he’ll be even more of a threat.
So, there you have it. Agree or disagree? Feel free to say so in the comments section.