Cannon faces Newton in SEC Greatest Player Tourney

BY foxsports • September 25, 2013

Two Heisman Trophy winners facing of, a matchup of a pair of legendary running backs and a meeting of two of the SEC's best defensive players of the last 10 years.

There is no shortage of intrigue as we complete the second round of voting in the SEC Gridiron LIVE Greatest Player Tournament presented by Direct Auto Insurance.

In the offense's Vaught Region, LSU's Billy Cannon, the fifth seed, takes on No. 4 seed Cam Newton (Auburn), while another former Auburn star, second seed Bo Jackson, meets No. 7 Darren McFadden (Arkansas).


Cannon led LSU to a national championship in 1958 and became the school's only Heisman winner the following season. He would end his career with 2,389 total yards and 21 TDs.

Cannon will take on Newton, who spent jut a year at Auburn but it was arguably the single greatest season in history. He threw for 2,854 yards and 30 TDs and ran for 1,473 yards and 20 more scores. He powered the Tigers to a national title and won the Heisman, Davey O'Brien, Maxwell, Manning and was a consensus All-American.

Jackson ended his Auburn career with 4,575 yards and 45 total TDs 99 43 rushing and two receiving -- and would win the Heisman in 1985. Fourth on the SEC's all-time rushing list with 4,303 yards, Jackson's numbers were hampered by a junior year in which he had just 475 yards on 87 carries due to injury.

His second-round opponent, McFadden, was a two-time Heisman runner-up  in 2006 and 2007 and in both of those years he won the Doak Walker Award and was a consensus All-American. He is No. 2 on the SEC's career rushing yards list with 4,590 and is seventh with 41 rushing TDs.

The top defensive matchup sees Tennessee's Eric Berry, the No. 2 seed face 10th-seeded Patrick Willis of Ole Miss.

Berry, who ended his Volunteers career with 14 interceptions and a SEC record of 494 return yards, was the Jim Thorpe Award winner in 2009 and a unanimous All-American twice.

Willis led the SEC in tackles in both 2005 and '06 and claimed the Butkus, Lambert and Conerly awards in '06 and was also the conference's defensive player of the year that season.

Below is a list of all this week's available matchups -- which are votable through Tuesday, Oct. 1 -- and for a look at the live bracket, click here.

· No. 1 Tim Tebow vs. No. 8 Terry Beasley
· No. 5 Billy Cannon vs. No. 4 Cam Newton
· No. 6 Frank Sinkwich vs. No. 3 Peyton Manning
· No. 7 Darren McFadden vs. No. 2 Bo Jackson

· No. 1 Glenn Dorsey vs. No. 9 John Henderson
· No. 12 Morris Claiborne vs No. 4 Reggie White
· No. 6 Cornelius Bennett vs. No. 3 Rolando McClain
· No. 10 Patrick Willis vs. No. 2 Eric Berry