SEC Honor Roll: Week 12
NOV 18, 2012 12:38p ET
With both No. 1 Kansas State and No. 2 Oregon losing within an hour of each other Saturday night — the first time the two top-ranked BCS teams have lost on the same day in five years — the SEC Championship, to be played between Alabama and Georgia, suddenly looks to be a play-in game for the national championship game in Miami. That all hinges on victories over Georgia Tech and Auburn, but larger obstacles have been overcome before.
But, for the moment, it was a successful weekend for the conference and likely had commissioner Mike Slive openly celebrating long into the night. The SEC's streak of six straight titles is still alive.
Here's a look at the top performers in Week 12:
Big Men on Campus
Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss: The 6-foot-2 receiver gave the LSU secondary fits Saturday in a losing effort, catching six passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. It was his touchdown reception in the fourth quarter that put Ole Miss ahead, and in position to score a monumental upset in the second straight week in the conference. But it was not to be (thanks to an Odell Beckham punt return). Still, Moncrief and his teammates deserve recognition for a strong showing in Baton Rouge.
LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State: It was nice to see Perkins, a junior, get back on the right track after a few tough weeks against top competition. With two receiving touchdowns, Perkins finished off Arkansas with 131 total yards. While it was not Alabama, LSU or Texas A&M (the Bulldogs' previous three opponents), an SEC win is an SEC win.
Aaron Murray, Georgia: Murray continued to dominate lesser competition in a clinic against Georgia Southern. Murray was 18-of-28 passing for 330 yards and four touchdowns on the afternoon, putting the FCS opponent away early in the second half. The redshirt junior now has nine touchdowns and just one interception against non-conference opponents this season.
Jeremy Hill, LSU: The beast of a redshirt freshman showed once more why Les Miles has slowly morphed his running-back-by-committee approach to making Hill the feature back in his offense. In a tight affair with Ole Miss, Hill rushed for 77 yards on 20 carries, including three touchdown runs. His final touchdown broke a 35-35 tie with just 15 seconds remaining.
Player of the Week
Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt: His performance on the outside of the Commodores' offense eventually led to a coach's dismissal, as Derek Dooley was fired early Sunday following the 41-18 loss to Matthews' team. For his part, Matthews caught seven passes for 115 yards and one touchdown. In addition, his one running play went 47 yards for a score to officially put the game out of Tennessee's reach in the third quarter. He's submitted a strong resume for All-SEC consideration this season.
Disappointment of the Week
South Carolina offense: With all due respect to the firing of Dooley, that was a long time coming. A loss to Vanderbilt changed very little. But South Carolina was still sleep-walking Saturday afternoon against Wofford, entering the fourth quarter tied 7-7 with the Southern Conference opponent before pulling away. For a team still in the hunt for a BCS bowl (you never know with this insane college football season), the Gamecocks need to come out with more focus, especially with high-flying Clemson on the schedule next weekend.
Coach of the Week
Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss: So what if he lost? The Rebels were the worst program in the SEC last season — registering just two wins, both out of conference — and Freeze has quickly transformed them into a respectable opponent. His team just marched into Baton Rouge, one of the toughest places in the country to play, and came within 15 seconds of taking a BCS-quality LSU squad into overtime. Bravo, Mr. Freeze.
+ SHOW COMMENTS +