Published October 16, 2012 - 9:15am
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Week seven has come and gone, and with it, more than 50 percent of the season is out the window. Gone. It’s like a carrot they dangle in front of your face, and about the time you reach out to grab it, it’s December. Enjoy the last half while you still can – even you, Arkansas and Kentucky fans.
SEC East Supreme
We can now say with confidence the East is better than the West – or can we? Florida, South Carolina and Georgia all look better from an eye test than Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State, or do they? Well, what about Texas A&M? Florida has beaten both TAMU and LSU, while South Carolina and Tennessee have recorded losses to the West. However, we can say at least the SEC East has closed the gap and looks to surpass the West from top to bottom. I’m not ready to say the SEC East is supreme just yet, because Ole Miss and Arkansas are far better than Kentucky and Missouri through the first half.
Surprise Team: Florida Gators (6-0, 5-0)
Who thought Florida would be sitting 6-0 and ranked #2 in the BCS after week seven? Gator fans would have been happy with a 4-2 start, hoping to reach nine wins. Now, Florida looks to play for a national championship, and we’ll find out in the next two weeks whether they will play for an SEC Championship in December. Florida averages over 233 yards per game on the ground and is fourth in total defense. Just exactly how Will Muschamp drew it up, right? Speaking of Muschamp, he’s transformed his team from a soft, weak-minded attack into a grind-it-out, physical football team. What Florida did to LSU was very impressive.
Biggest Disappointment: Arkansas Razorbacks (3-4, 2-2)
There’s little doubt the Hogs are the first half’s biggest disappointment as at team. It was ugly in a few games, but Texas A&M was the low point. Still, the Hogs have won their last two games, and they are going to make a strong push for six wins and a bowl berth. With players like Tyler Wilson, Knile Davis and Cobi Hamilton, we thought this season had a chance to be special for the Hogs. What about Davis? His draft stock has basically plunged, and he was benched for Dennis Johnson.
Best Offensive Player: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Coming off of breaking his own record for all-purpose yards in a game, Manziel has hoisted himself square into the Heisman talk as a freshman, and he has his team sitting 5-1 believing they can win the SEC West. He totals 2,356 offense yards and 24 touchdowns. Johnny Football has electrified the Aggies’ fan base and has taken the SEC by storm.
Best Defensive Player: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Holding true to his “Freak” nickname, Clowney is a force to reckon with at DE, and he’s the best defensive football player in the country. I do feel confident saying that much. He’s lived up to the high school hype, and he’s just a sophomore. Clowney totals 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He’s having a beastly season.
Means the Most to His Team: Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida
Florida is 6-0, but they wouldn’t have six wins if not for RB Mike Gillislee. Even though he doesn’t lead the SEC in rushing yards, Gilly has transformed Florida’s running game into a spread attack that featured jitterbugs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps to a downhill, power attack offense. He averages 102.5 yards per game with seven touchdowns.
Best First-Half Game: #3 South Carolina at #9 LSU
There were several great games in the first half, including Florida-Texas A&M and Florida-LSU, but the best overall game goes to South Carolina-LSU this past weekend. Maybe it’s just fresh on the brain? Whatever’s the reason, that’s why we love SEC football. It featured two fast, physical future NFL players going to work with power running games. It just so happened the Tigers pulled out the victory.
Mid-Season All-SEC Team
QB – Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
RB – Todd Gurley, Georgia
RB – Mike Gillislee, Florida
WR – Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
WR – Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
TE – Jordan Reed, Florida
OL – Barrett Jones, Alabama
OL – Chance Warmack, Alabama
OL – Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
OL – Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
OL – Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
DL – Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DL – Sam Montgomery, LSU
DL – Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
DL – Shariff Floyd, Florida
LB – Kevin Minter, LSU
LB – Jarvis Jones, Georgia
LB – CJ Mosley, Alabama
DB – Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
DB – Dee Milliner, Alabama
DB – Eric Reid, LSU
DB – Matt Elam, Florida
Kicker – Caleb Sturgis, Florida
Punter – Kyle Christy, Florida
PR – Marcus Murphy, Missouri
AP – Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee