Published September 20, 2012 - 10:45am
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
New to SDS this season is the Bo Jackson Award. Throughout the season we will track the performance of the top players in the SEC, free of bias against age or position. Simply put, we’re looking for the best player in the best conference in college football.
A reminder, this award is in no way affiliated with Bo Jackson himself, the name is a tribute to one of the greatest athletes in American history.
Last weekend was the beginning of the weeding out period. We needed to see if Tyler Bray was really as good as he looked against NC State and Georgia State, a Georgia college for the armless. He wasn’t. Tyler Wilson was on the sidelines watching his teammates eat their own feces against Alabama. Connor Shaw got hurt, again. Bo Wallace and Mississippi played a real team. Marcus Lattimore isn’t quite 100%. They’ll all have time to bounce back, but here is where we stand after three weeks of football.
Aaron Murray – QB, Georgia
Georgia’s toddler tailback tandem has been grabbing a lot of the headlines, and for good reason. But while you were watching videos of Todd Gurley doing the Stanky Leg in a diaper or Keith Marshall learning to eat solid foods, Aaron Murray has quietly separated himself from the rest of the quarterbacks in the SEC. He’s completed 63.8% of his passes, throwing for eight TDs against two INTs. Georgia’s schedule is about as easy as it can get in the SEC, so Murray should win a lot of games and get a lot of attention. Matt Barkley was the quarterback getting all the Heisman hype over the off-season, but after his rough performance against Stanford, somebody needs to fill the void as best quarterback in the country. It might be Aaron Murray.
Mike Gillislee – RB, Florida
After three weeks and two SEC road victories, Mike Gillislee is the leading rusher in the SEC and has already passed his career high for yards in a season (346). He’s found the end zone four times, including Florida’s only two touchdowns against Texas A&M. He’s been the anchor in the two wins that Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt called, “maybe the most impressive thing that has happened in the country, let alone our league.” Quarterback Jeff Driskel got all the attention and awards for the win last week against Tennessee, but it’s been Gillislee carrying this team back into the big leagues. Let’s see if he can stay healthy.
Jones did not play week three in Georgia’s 56-20 win over Florida Atlantic, resting a nagging groin injury. After his dominant performance against Missouri the previous weekend which included nine tackles, two sacks, a fourth quarter interception (which led to a 1-yard TD), and a fourth quarter forced fumble (which led to a 5-yard TD), I’m sure his groin does need some rest. Am I right, or am I right?
Tyler Russell – QB, Mississippi State
The good: 244 yards, Three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The bad: 11/26 passing and it was all against some guy named Troy… oh, Troy the College… Does that make it better? Still, on the season he has eight TD’s, Zero interceptions, and still has a few cupcake games (South Alabama and Kentucky) to keep racking up stats and confidence.
Johnny Manziel – QB, Texas A&M
After the first half of the Florida game it looked like Johnny Manziel was the next Cam Newton, but then Florida made some adjustments and, well, he looked like a freshman. Still, you had to keep an eye on him against SMU to get a feel for who he really is. Well, it’s pretty clear that he’s really good. I mean, maybe the best player in the SEC good. Seriously. 294 yards and four touchdowns was his passing line. 124 yards and two touchdowns was his rushing line. 418 total yards and six touchdowns is unreal against anyone. The SMU fans in the crowd must have been wondering, “Is that kid running all over us or did we get some bad coke?” If he keeps throw out games like this, he’ll be impossible to ignore.
In the Discussion
Todd Gurley – RB, Georgia, Jeff Driskel – QB, Florida, Jadeveon Clowney – DE, USC, Brad Wing – P, LSU, Johnthan Banks – CB, Mississippi State, Marcus Lattimore RB, South Carolina