Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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Daniel Shirey-US Presswire

If you have been looking for the national championship trophy in the past six seasons, it has been hiding out in the Southeastern Conference. January 7th 2012, we’ll find out if it will stay there for a seventh consecutive season.

The 2012 college football season was the dawn of a new era for the conference with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M. While the Tigers struggled to turn their swagger into results on the football field, the Aggies had no trouble turning heads in their inaugural season-in large part to freshman phenom Johnny Manziel

While Manziel stole the show through the course of the season, plenty other young guns stood out. Georgia's dynamic backfield duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall turned plenty of heads while Alabama boasted TJ Yeldon in the backfield and Amari Cooper on the parameter. But just when it seemed like the conference’s elite underclassman would secure the spotlight it wasn’t long before the league’s veterans cranked their performance up to 11.

While the offensive performances were elevated in 2012, the SEC never strayed too far from its roots as home of the country’s top defenses, placing three in the top 10. Jadeveon Clowney and Jarvis Jones spent their time sending quarterbacks running, while Jonathan Banks and Dee Milliner stole their passes.

The following is a list of the top 10 plays in the Southeastern Conference this season. While some of the plays on this list may not come as a surprise, there is a good chance the top spot on this list may come as one. Without further ado, here are the top plays with the videos to help relive the memories.

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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Kevin Liles-US Presswire

10. Todd Gurley Kickoff Return

In his very first game at Georgia, Gurley wasted no time bursting on the scene. Yes, the game was against Buffalo, but late in the first quarter as he lined up to return the kickoff, he showed everything you would hope to see in a running back-speed, strength, patience, and then ability to tight rope the sideline. In addition to this 100 yard kickoff return, the true freshman collected 8 carries for 100 yards and two more touchdowns.

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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Kim Klement-US Presswire

9. Florida Gators Punt Block v. ULL

If this play was against the likes of Florida State or Georgia, there is no question it would probably be posted near the top of this list. However, this play was against UL-Lafayette which brings it down a little bit because the Florida Gators should have never been in the position to begin with. Nevertheless, it was a great play and the Gators would not be playing in the Sugar Bowl this January without it.

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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John Reed-US Presswire

8. Arkansas Double Reverse

The trickeration was believed to have walked out the door with former Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bobby Petrino, but oh how wrong we were. Tyler Wilson takes the snap, then hands it off to his running back on the sweep, but instead of taking it around the corner he flips it back to wide receiver Brandon Mitchell, the former quarterback, who slings a pass to Javontee Henderson in the corner of the endzone. Without question, it was a great play, but it was against Auburn-the Tigers made a lot of people look good this year. Therein lies the reason this play is at number 8.

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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Crystal LoGiudice-US Presswire

7. Kadron Boone catch v Texas A&M

I am not sure anyone realizes how close Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies were to playing in the national championship game. In a game where every point mattered, if Kadron Boone does not pull in this pass from Zach Mettenberger in front of the 12th man, you have to wonder how the game may have played out; after all it was decided by just 5 points. If A&M beats LSU, then Alabama two weeks later, you have to wonder if we would be looking at a Notre Dame-Texas A&M title game.

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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Beth Hall-US Presswire

6. Jarvis Landry’s One Handed Grab

Watch this video. On first review it is easy to notice the one handed catch which was spectacular in itself. However, in looking at this film multiple times, you begin to notice the way that LSU’s Jarvis Landry not only makes the catch, but has enough body control to turn 180 degrees to make the grab. All of this while making sure to secure possession in bounds as his momentum was pulling him out. Phenomenal

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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John David Mercer-US Presswire

5. AJ McCarron to Amari Cooper in the SEC Championship Game

Alabama has traditionally been known for possessing one of the most crushing running games in the country so naturally the 5th play on this list is a passing play. Down by just three with just a few minutes it would have been easy for Alabama to run the clock, set up for a field goal and play for overtime-or the way Alabama was running the ball, work the clock, get the touchdown and leave no time (as I thought they would). However, as Georgia crept up to the line of scrimmage, 19 year old wide receiver Amari Cooper sped past his man, slowed down, and then accelerated the defensive back again to haul in the game winner from AJ McCarron.

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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Daniel Shirey-US Presswire

4. Ace Sanders Punt Return Georgia

While not quite on the same level of former Arkansas Razorback Joe Adams punt return last season, you can not help but be impressed with this Ace Sanders return for South Carolina. First he muffs the punt, maintains his composure enough to regain possession, then accelerates-in a hurry. What is impressive to me is his ability to maintain his speed while weaving in and out of defenders before eventually taking it to the house

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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Crystal LoGiudice-US Presswire

3. Escape in Death Valley

With just under 90 seconds on the clock in the middle of Death Valley, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron did the impossible-he sputtered all game and just when the LSU Tiger crowd couldn't roar any louder he patiently worked Alabama down the field, eventually setting up the screen pass to TJ Yeldon for 28 yards. While the play was big at the time, it proved to be even bigger as the regular season ended. If Alabama loses this game there is no SEC Championship, nor any chance to repeat.

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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John David Mercer-US Presswire

2. Johnny Manziel, fumble, TD Pass v. Alabama

Johnny Manziel had a great season, but he does not win the Heisman trophy, nor does he win this game without this particular play. At this stage in the game, the score is just 7-0 and Texas A&M has all of the momentum-a turnover here would have easily put it back on the Alabama sidelines and perhaps the Aggies don’t jump out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. This play was huge not only for what it helped bring Manziel, but its impact on potentially keeping the SEC out of the national championship.

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Top 10 Plays of the SEC College Football Season

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Scott Olmos-US Presswire

1. Baylor and Stanford Upset Wins on November 17th

The top spot on this list comes from two different games. While these plays didn’t take part in the Southeastern Conference per say, the impact they had on the SEC was unparalleled. The conference has built itself on being the best conference in the country in large part because of their success in the national championship game. With Johnny Manziel’s heroics a week earlier, knocking Alabama off the top spot, it looked as if the SEC would be shut out of the national title game for the first time in 6 years. But because of Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson's clutch field goal and the combined efforts of the Baylor Bears' defensive back Joe Williams' interception and Lache Seastrunk's 80 yard run late in the 3rd quarter against Kansas State, that will not be the case.

Baylor vs. Kansas State Highlights

Stanford vs. Oregon Highlights

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