When Johnny Manziel was done with No. 1 Alabama, finishingoff the top-ranked Crimson Tide by taking a knee, he handed off his helmet andthe game ball to a team manager. The manager then handed to a coach for safekeeping.
When asked what the plans for the balland helmet were, the coach simply replied, We just want to hang on to them.
Though the message was bland, it rangloud and clear: Johnny Football, the SECs newest star, is submittingperformances worth remembering none bigger (so far) than his dismantling ofNick Sabans defense.
But Manziel wasnt the only Aggie, orSEC player, to submit elite performances on Saturday. Heres this weeks SECHonor Roll:
Big Men on Campus
Ryan Swope, Texas A&M: TheAggies big-play senior receiver, who coach Kevin Sumlin calls the programsbiggest recruit this offseason, delivered against Alabamas secondary. He foundsoft spots down the field all night, finishing with 11 catches for 111 yardsand a touchdown. He became just the second receiver joining Michigans JeremyGallon to finish with 100 or more receiving yards against the Crimson Tidethis season.
Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall,Georgia: The appropriately-dubbed Gurshall was at it again thisweekend, both surpassing 100 yards rushing against rival Auburn to help clinchthe SEC East title. The two true freshmen have been a revelation in Athens, amuch-needed boost after the teams dismissal of last seasons SEC Freshman ofthe Year, Isaiah Crowell. Both players now rank in the top-15 among SECrushers, with Todd Gurley ranking second with 973 yards and 11 touchdowns.
C.J. Mosley, Alabama: Though his defense was less than spectacular for the second-consecutive week,Mosley proved once more that hes one of the nations best. He finished with 11.5tackles and a sack (never an easy accomplishment against Manziel) and madeplays all over the field Saturday night. The junior is a force.
Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt: Withhis NFL superstar brother (Aaron Rodgers) watching from the stands, Rodgershelped the Commodores become bowl eligible for the second-consecutive seasonfor the first time in school history. In a 27-26 win over resurgent Ole Miss,Rodgers passed for 267 yards and two scores. His final touchdown pass came withjust 56 seconds remaining to clinch a bowl berth.
Tyler Bray and James Franklin,TennesseeMissouri: Tyler Bray in a losing effort has replacedformer Arizona quarterback Nick Foles place in the national vernacular, as bothhe and Franklin were extraordinary in four overtimes Saturday afternoon.Franklin (226 yards, four touchdowns) got the 51-48 win, but Bray (404 yards,four touchdowns) posted better numbers. With the win, the Tigers improved to2-4 in SEC play. Its hard to see Bray (or coach Derek Dooley) sticking aroundafter this dismal season.
Disappointment of the Week
Tennessee: A quickword (again) on Tennessees defense: The Volunteers became the first defense inSEC history to allow 38 or more points in six straight games. Safe to say, thetransition to defensive coordinator Sal Sunseris 3-4 defense has been rough.And with Dooley posting a 1-13 record in his past 14 SEC games, the loss toMissouri looks like the nail in the coffin.
Player of the Week
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: What canbe said about Manziel that hasnt already in the past 24 hours? He threw for253 yards (24-for-31) against Nick Sabans defense, including two touchdownpasses. He ran for another 92. Hes firmly planted in the Heisman Trophy raceas just a redshirt freshman, as he leads the nation in total offense whilecompeting in the most defensive-minded league around.
Coach of the Week
James Franklin, Vanderbilt: With all duerespect to Kevin Sumlin, who should be the frontrunner for the National Coachof the Year race after his teams win over Alabama, it would be a crime to notalso recognize Franklin. The Commodores enthusiastic head coach has approachedthe academically-restricted job and churned out a consistent product. His teamis heading to its second straight bowl game. Hes one of the hottest coachingcommodities in the country. After losing three of the first four games thisseason (to tough competition), the Commodores rebounded to pull off whatsnever been done before in school history.