The SEC's Best

Kentucky's Trevathan joins a lot of Auburn Tigers in our SEC postseason awards.

Kentucky's Trevathan joins a lot of Auburn Tigers in our SEC postseason awards.

Athlon will be awarding postseason honors to each BCS conference in the country. Today we look at the SEC’s best for 2010.

For the sake of this exercise, the Heisman and Bednarik will function as MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards. The Outland will be given to the offensive lineman of the year while the Lombardi will be given to the defensive lineman of the year. Two fictitious awards, the Adrian Peterson Freshman of the Year honor and the Desmond Howard return specialist of the year award, will be given as well.

Heisman Trophy (MVP/POY): Cameron Newton, Auburn
The list of superlatives is endless. Newton was the dominant player on and off the field this fall. He is the clear-cut Heisman front-runner and led his team to an SEC title. He joined the 20-20 TD club (with Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick), became the SECs single-season rushing leader by a quarterback, and oh by the way, posted the most efficient season by a passer in NCAA history. His 188.16 QB rating tops Colt Brennan’s 186 as the NCAA all-time single-season mark.

Chuck Bednarik Award (Def. POY): Nick Fairley, Auburn
Much like Newton, the defensive lineman was a junior college transfer who had his polarizing moments. Fairley was the most dominant defensive player in the league, racking up a league-leading 21 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He also knocked three quarterbacks out of the game, hurried the passer 21 times, forced a fumble, picked off a pass and recovered two fumbles.

Davey O’Brien Award (QB): Cameron Newton, Auburn
See Heisman Trophy above.

Doak Walker Award (RB): Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Lattimore is the most complete, most talented running back in the nation. So he certainly was the best the SEC had to offer. His 1,198 yards were second in the SEC to Newton, and he literally carried his team to the SEC title game — 37, 23, 29, 40 carries against Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida, respectively. He also finished with 26 catches for 365 and 19 total TDs.

Fred Biletnikoff Award (WR): Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
Jeffery and Alabama’s Julio Jones were the only two wide receivers to get to 1,000 yards this fall. Randall Cobb was Jeffery’s biggest competition because of how versatile and important he was to his team.

John Mackey Award (TE): D.J. Williams, Arkansas
Williams was the league’s only tight end in the top 20 in yards and top 15 in receptions per game. The unanimous first team selection finished sixth in catches (4.08 rpg) and 12th in yards (49.1 ypg).

Outland (O-Lineman): Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
Four-time SEC lineman of the week, Sherrod helped lead the Bulldogs to 215.8 rushing yards per game — second only to Auburn’s ridiculous 287 ypg and good enough for 16th nationally. Also, the MSU scoring, total and passing attack all improved in the rankings from a year ago.

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Athlon offers its postseason awards for the SEC in 2010.

Dick Butkus Award (LB): Danny Trevathan, Kentucky
Justin Houston is really a defensive end and Kelvin Sheppard did slightly less with much more around him. Trevathan led the SEC tackles (10.8 pg), forced fumbles (4) and led all linebackers with 16 tackles for loss (third in SEC overall). He added three sacks and three passes defended for good measure.

Jim Thorpe Award (DB): Patrick Peterson, LSU
The most physically gifted coverman in the nation finished the year with four interceptions, six passes broken up, a blocked kick and 30 total tackles. Like many great cover corners, Peterson rarely gets tested as the opposing team stays away from his side of the field as much as possible.

Lombardi Award (D-Lineman): Nick Fairley, Auburn
See Chuck Bednarik Award above.

Adrian Peterson Award (freshman): Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
See Doak Walker Award above.

Lou Groza Award (K): Josh Jasper, LSU
Jasper’s 2.17 field goals made per game led the nation and his 26 makes this fall were eight better than his next closest SEC competitor (18 for Blair Walsh). He was 26-of-31 for the year.

Ray Guy Award (P): Chas Henry, Florida
If you lead the nation in punting — like Henry did with a 46.4-yard average — then you're going to claim Punter of the Year honors for your given conference.

Desmond Howard Award (KR/PR): Patrick Peterson, LSU
Peterson was second in the league in kick returns at 29.4 per (29 for 851 yards) and second in punt returns at 16.1 per (26 for 418). He also scored twice on punt returns. He was the most dynamic return man in the league this fall.

Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (HC): Gene Chizik, Auburn
I feel like Dan Mullen, Steve Spurrier and Joker Phillips all deserve mention here — mostly due to the fact that Chizik had the most dominant player in the nation. But an undefeated SEC championship, and subsequent trip to the BCS title game, speaks for itself.

Broyles Award (Asst Coach): Gus Malzahn, Auburn
The tale of two Dales. Malzahn’s offensive wizardry took him from high school coach in Springdale, Ark., to OC of the national championship game in Glendale, Ariz., in a matter of five years. Yes, Cam Newton fell into his lap this year, but his teams have been incredibly productive at his every stop. Arkansas, Tulsa and, now, Auburn know just how good he can be at putting together an offense.

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