Athlon Awards

Athlon Awards: Ranking the Best Units in the SEC

South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore should be one of the top running backs in college football this year.
<p> The Athlon Awards for 2011 continue with a look at the best units in the SEC.</p>
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Kickoff for the 2011 season is just a few weeks away. To help pass the time before the opening weekend, Athlon will be taking a look at the best units by conference. 

A "1" signifies the best unit in conference, while a "12" indicates the worst.

Athlon's 2011 SEC Unit Rankings

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Athlon Awards: Ranking the Best Units in the ACC

EJ Manuel should be one of the top quarterbacks in the ACC by season's end.
<p> The Athlon Awards for 2011 continue with a look at the best units in the ACC.</p>

Kickoff for the 2011 season is just a few weeks away. To help pass the time before the opening weekend, Athlon will be taking a look at the best units by conference. 

The ACC has a lot of turnover at quarterback this year, but should be pretty strong on defense. Florida State takes home an Athlon award for two units on defense and for the receivers on offense. The Seminoles are Athlon's pick to win the ACC crown and they fare quite well in the overall unit rankings at each position.

Athlon Awards: Defensive Back Units

Alabama's Mark Barron leads the nation's top secondary.
<p> Athlon Sports ranks the best defensive back units in college football for 2011.</p>

They're the teams within the team - those cohesive little units bound together by their shared responsibilities within the larger team context.

Whether it's the offensive linemen firing off time after time into those familiar blocking sleds, or the defensive linemen drilling repeatedly on how to shed blockers, or the defensive backs breaking on ball after ball - these teams in miniature hone their tasks on the practice field until those tasks become second nature.

Athlon Awards: Linebacker Units

Vontaze Burfict leads one of the Pac-12's best defenses at Arizona State.
<p> Athlon Sports ranks the best linebacker units in college football for 2011.</p>

They're the teams within the team - those cohesive little units bound together by their shared responsibilities within the larger team context.

Whether it's the offensive linemen firing off time after time into those familiar blocking sleds, or the defensive linemen drilling repeatedly on how to shed blockers, or the defensive backs breaking on ball after ball - these teams in miniature hone their tasks on the practice field until those tasks become second nature.

Athlon Awards: Best Offensive Line Units

Even with two starters gone from last year's line, Wisconsin is in great shape up front.
<p> Athlon Sports ranks the best offensive line units in college football for 2011.</p>

They're the teams within the team - those cohesive little units bound together by their shared responsibilities within the larger team context.

Whether it's the offensive linemen firing off time after time into those familiar blocking sleds, or the defensive linemen drilling repeatedly on how to shed blockers, or the defensive backs breaking on ball after ball - these teams in miniature hone their tasks on the practice field until those tasks become second nature.

Athlon Awards: Best Defensive Line Units

Florida State boasts one of the nation's top defensive lines.
<p> Athlon Sports ranks the best defensive line units in college football for 2011.</p>

They're the teams within the team - those cohesive little units bound together by their shared responsibilities within the larger team context.

Whether it's the offensive linemen firing off time after time into those familiar blocking sleds, or the defensive linemen drilling repeatedly on how to shed blockers, or the defensive backs breaking on ball after ball - these teams in miniature hone their tasks on the practice field until those tasks become second nature.

Athlon Awards: Wide Receiver Units

Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles leads one of the nation's top receiving corps.
<p> Athlon Sports ranks the best wide receiver units in college football for 2011.</p>

They're the teams within the team - those cohesive little units bound together by their shared responsibilities within the larger team context.

Whether it's the offensive linemen firing off time after time into those familiar blocking sleds, or the defensive linemen drilling repeatedly on how to shed blockers, or the defensive backs breaking on ball after ball - these teams in miniature hone their tasks on the practice field until those tasks become second nature.

Athlon Awards: Running Back Units

Oregon's LaMichael James is back for another run as the Heisman.
<p> Athlon Sports ranks the best running back units in college football for 2011.</p>

They're the teams within the team - those cohesive little units bound together by their shared responsibilities within the larger team context.

Whether it's the offensive linemen firing off time after time into those familiar blocking sleds, or the defensive linemen drilling repeatedly on how to shed blockers, or the defensive backs breaking on ball after ball - these teams in miniature hone their tasks on the practice field until those tasks become second nature.

Athlon Awards: Quarterback Units

With Andrew Luck returning, Stanford ranks as the top quarterback unit for 2011.

They're the teams within the team - those cohesive little units bound together by their shared responsibilities within the larger team context.

Whether it's the offensive linemen firing off time after time into those familiar blocking sleds, or the defensive linemen drilling repeatedly on how to shed blockers, or the defensive backs breaking on ball after ball - these teams in miniature hone their tasks on the practice field until those tasks become second nature.

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<p> Athlon Sports ranks the best quarterback units in college football for 2011.</p>
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