Monday, December 07, 2009

Belly of the Beast Year-End Awards

Today, the SEC announced its 2009 AP All-SEC Team, which you can find here. While being named to this team is certainly a great honor, it pales in comparison to what is handed out here at the Belly of the Beast. You see, I don't just point out the obvious and say that a particular player is a great player. Everyone knows that Tim Tebow is awesome. That doesn't need to be said again. And again. And again. And again. But what I'm looking for are players that are so fantastic, I'd look into getting an apartment with them. So in order of most prestigious to least prestigious, I give you those of which the Belly of the Beast is most fond (And my apologies to offensive linemen. I know you exist, especially when you screw up, but I will not be getting an apartment with someone who would eat all of my food and put a giant divot in the couch. Plus, I assume they'd keep the A/C on like 65 at all times and drive our power bill up by 200%.).


Shay Hodge, WR, Ole Miss

I'm not joking when I say this, but Hodge was the first wide receiver in the history of Ole Miss football to gain 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Seriously, the first. And he did it with a quarterback who was as reliable as Brandon Jacobs is in fantasy football (GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR FOR THE PLAYOFFS, BRANDON). As I've said before, Hodge was responsible for something like 85% of Jevan Snead's limited success this year.

A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
I would be remiss if I didn't include someone who made the Ginger Ninja look like a competent quarterback at times.

Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
I maintain that he's the greatest player (not quarterback) to ever play in the SEC. I know he gets obnoxious amounts of media and man love (most of which is deserved), but it cannot be denied what an outstanding player he is. I can name no team that wouldn't trade their current quarterback for him.

Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
He and Trent Richardson tied for the guys who run the ball the hardest. When they run, it's totally different than watching anyone else. Every play is 350 MPH and first contact doesn't slow either one of them down (Sorry Trent, you didn't make the list. Perhaps next year we can talk.).

Anthony Dixon, RB, Mississippi State

I loved Dixon this year because he got himself into unbelievable shape (watch the runs from his previous years and see how much quicker this year), shook off a dumb decision which resulted in a DUI before the season began and had a great season despite not having a quarterback that could throw an effective forward pass.

Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Ole Miss
Even if he just had the Tennessee game alone to go on, he'd be listed here. I stand by that it was the greatest individual performance I've ever seen in person. Assuming the real Oklahoma State defense shows up, he'll go over 1,000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving. Plus, every time he touches the ball you sort of lean forward thinking that what you're about to watch could blow your mind. Like say, this:

And this:

Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
It's like Nick Saban in 1988 knew that he would be the head coach at Alabama and needed a linebacker that understood everything he preached and had all the physical attributes to execute his plan. I'm convinced McClain was grown in some sort of lab for this very purpose. If you didn't get to see him play in person (or the Alabama defense in general), you can't appreciate how good he is.

Sorry to every other school, but this is just for Ole Miss guys. I couldn't deal with someone else bringing their school's business into the house. Ole Miss gives me too much to worry about to actually pretend like I care about your school's crap. Plus, Peria Jerry probably doesn't want them there. Hey, if I had 150 extra pounds of muscle, I'd challenge him. But he's a pretty big guy.

Shay Hodge and Dexter McCluster
I hope they end up somewhere close to Atlanta or Peria is going to be pissed that we have to move.


While good players, this group never struck me as capable of dominating a game. I would enjoy them visiting and living close by, but they don't deserve roommate status.

Randall Cobb, RB/QB/WR, Kentucky
The man does it all. He can run, throw and catch the ball (as long as Mike Hartline isn't throwing it to the other team). I consider him one of the most underrated players in the SEC. If he played at school that mattered in the media's eyes, everyone would know who he was. 15 TDs by way of running, receiving, passing and returning kicks (he was second behind Mark Ingram).

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Perhaps if he had pulled off the Florida or LSU upset he would have made the previous list. But in his first year in the SEC, he lead the league in TD passes, efficiency and yards. And amazingly in 367 pass attempts only threw seven interceptions, which is 2,000% better than the quarterback in which I was forced to support.

Riley Cooper, WR, Florida
I'm not really sure how in the hell Tim Tebow's roommate actually got open, but somehow he did. He wasn't that fast, not that big and was the only legitimate deep threat on Florida's team. Normally, he wouldn't belong here, but I appreciate those without the greatest amount of skill getting more than what their abilities say they should get.

Jerrell Powe, DT, Ole Miss
Dammit, I love Jerrell Powe. While not totally able to replace Peria Jerry, Powe certainly did a pretty good imitation. Left for dead by the Mississippi Public School system, Powe (with the help of Ed Orgeron) eventually got himself into school and has made the most of his opportunity. Plus, it's always nice to have a neighbor who knows his way around a kitchen, which Jerrell certainly does.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
I think it's always important to have neighbors with street cred. Therefore, they can vouch for you when crap goes down or shady people show up. Hernandez not only is a great receiver, but his 3/4 arm tattoos give this credibility. I've often wondered what is involved in each tattoo, but both look like giant murals. He's down with me.

Eric Norwood, LB, South Carolina
Even though this asshole destroyed Ole Miss in the Thursday night game back in September, I still enjoy watching him. I hate him, but dammit, I respect him.

Tyler Campbell, P, Ole Miss
A punter? Surely you jest, Gray. Unfortunately, no. But I was so damn happy to see a punter that doesn't totally suck at Ole Miss for the first time that I can ever remember, I award him appropriately (2nd in the SEC in punting average with 43.6 yds/punt).

Marquis Johnson, CB, Alabama
Every time I watched an Alabama game this guy was involved in some sort of spectacular pass defense. He plays with extreme confidence (motivated by death threats from Nick Saban) and other than the next guy on the list, I would consider him the top cover corner in the SEC.

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
I didn't watch all of LSU's games, but I saw a fair amount and during that time I only saw one guy, Shay Hodge, really work Peterson over. But that's excusable because Shay Hodge is freaking awesome. Other than that, Peterson was outstanding this year. It's unfortunate Les Miles is in charge of his college career.

This group is composed of guys that I just looked at the statistics and was impressed by. I'm sure if I had gotten to know them better they could have moved closer to us.

Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee

Third in the SEC in rushing and scored 12 touchdowns on the ground. Imagine if Lane Kiffin had leaned on him earlier in the year instead of letting Jonathan Crompton hand out interceptions like soup at a homeless shelter.

Ben Tate, RB, Auburn
In five of eight SEC games, he went over 100 yards rushing. Unfortunately, he could not also throw effective forward passes.

Stephen Garcia, QB, South Carolina
I've given much grief to the former keyer of professor's cars, but he really turned in a pretty solid season, especially since his team had no running game to support his efforts. The Garcia we used to know would have vomited out at least 17 INTs (only nine in 2009) and committed multiple acts that would have embarrassed himself, his parents and the University of South Carolina.

Broderick Green, RB, Arkansas
I have no recollection of Green from this season, but 12 touchdowns gets you in the gate of my apartment complex.

Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
Not only did he survive a "mild stroke," but Adams was nearly killed by LSU's Chad Jones:

Somehow, he lived to tell the tale and scored eight touchdowns on the year.

Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU

Had he been involved with a team that had a veteran quarterback, a decent run game and a real head coach, LaFell might have been the best receiver in the SEC. Unfortunately for him, none of those three were true.

Dennis Johnson, RB, Arkansas
What a tough son of a bitch. He's like 5'6" and can't weigh more than 190, but he never stops running. He really impressed me in the Florida game (although I never saw him after that) and I hope to see more of him.

Rennie Curran, LB, Georgia
Apparently, he is really good at tackling people. 10.2 a game and 122 for the season.

Chris Marve, LB, Vanderbilt

Just behind Curran at 10.1 and 121 on the year.

Antonio Coleman, DE, Auburn
If you lead the SEC in sacks and tackles for a loss, you get your name here. A tip of the hat to you, good sir.

Mark Barron, CB, Alabama
Same goes for the SEC's interceptions leader.

Nothing against those who live on campus because you have to for one reason or another, but this group goes to those who disappointed and created considerable wailing and gnashing of teeth among SEC fans. In other words, the Eric Oliver's of the league.

Jevan Snead, QB, Ole Miss
The 2009 Awww-Shit Trophy Winner. A greater regression into suck I cannot recall.

Joe Cox, QB, Georgia
The Ginger Ninja proved to be spectacularly bad during 2009. If not for Georgia Tech's awful run defense, he could have racked up at least three more interceptions.

Quarterbacks, Vanderbilt
As I documented last week, all of them stunk. 0-8 in the SEC isn't easy, it takes long hours of terribleness.

Chris Todd, QB, Auburn
Yes, his stats were impressive until you actually looked at them. When you did, it turns out he was one of the worst quarterbacks in conference play. If only he could play Furman or Ball State every game.

Cordera Eason, RB, Ole Miss
Who? Exactly. If you're not an Ole Miss fan, they you're probably a little confused as to why he's on the list. It's because he was the starting running back until his love of fumbling eventually sent him to the bench for good. His body of work includes a fumble in last year's Cotton Bowl and his last fumble of 2009, which came in the Arkansas game.

Tyson Lee, QB, Mississippi State
Although it doesn't seem fair to include him because it wasn't his decision to name him the starting quarterback when he has no discernible SEC talent, but his performance lands him here. However, as much crap as I've given him over the past two years, let me assure you that I have nothing against him as a person (or anyone I criticize here because I don't know them). From everything I've read and have been told, he's one of the good guys, and I am 18 billion percent sure he'll be better at whatever he ends up doing than his time playing quarterback at Mississippi State.

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