I seriously considered not awarding an ATVSSECOSPPOW award this week. Given my new rule of only rewarding players for teams that actually played someone with a pulse, and the fact that 4 of the teams that played someone were in a defensive slugfest, there are no real high-falutin' numbers to look at.
No, games against UAB, Western Kentucky, North Texas, Samford, or MTSU do not count as playing teams with a pulse, even if MTSU almost beats you.
I mean, where do you go with this? Do you reward Auburn's Ben Tate, who had 97 yards of offense in a game that ended 3-2, and who averaged less than 5 yards per touch? Do you go with Chris Nickson of Vandy, who scored a couple of touchdowns on the ground but only had 71 yards passing on 16 attempts? Do you go with Moe Brown or Chris Smelley of South Carolina, who both put up nice numbers but lost? It's very hard to pick an ATVSSECOSPPOW from a team that lost and only got in the end zone once.
Without further fretting, consternation, or ado, here is your Week #3 ATVSSECOSPPOW:
Yeah, that's the punter.
Well, I realize this is an unconventional pick. After all this is the And The Valley Shook SEC Offensive Skill Position Player of the Week.
One of the charms and joys of writing a blog is that I get to do whatever the hell I want. In this strange week of SEC football, in which two winning teams combined to score 1 touchdown, a punter stood out as the single most effective mover of the ball.
And let's be fair here. Brian Mimbs of Georgia had a great game. He tried five punts and averaged 52.2 yards per punt, and that included downing 2 inside the 20 and not causing a single touchback.
While that's a very nice night of punting right there, let us look at one punt in particular. Georgia had been stopped by the South Carolina defense at their own 12 yard line midway through the 4th quarter. Ahead by 7 points against a team that had started moving the ball well, and punting to a dangerous return man in Captain Munnerlyn, Georgia figured to probably have to give the ball to South Carolina near mid-field. Mid-field, after all, would have been a 38 yard net, which isn't that bad.
But Brian Mimbs had other ideas. He boomed a punt that sailed over Munnerlyn's head, dropped, and bounced all the way back to the South Carolina 11 yard line. It was a 77 yard punt that didn't go in the end zone and wasn't returned. And it wasn't a flukey shank-and-roll punt like you see every so often. He creamed the ball and sailed it over the head of a very fast return man, who had to just let it go.
It flipped the field and made South Carolina's job that much harder. Instead of having to go about 50 yards, they had to go 89 yards to tie the game. They made it 58 yards before turning the ball over on downs. If that drive had started on the 50, who knows?
Even then Mimbs wasn't done. Georgia couldn't do anything with the ball upon getting it back, and Mimbs again pinned USC back with a 50 yard punt that was downed inside the 10. Once again, South Carolina moved the ball but couldn't get those last few yards.
Yes, he is a punter rather than a QB, RB or even WR. But darnit, he's the only one worthy this week.
There will be no honorable mention this week.