SEC Football: Ranking Top 10 Performances from Week 6

Jeff Bell@@JrayBellCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2013

SEC Football: Ranking Top 10 Performances from Week 6

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    LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.
    LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    For all the talk about how the SEC is a little down this year, there don't seem to be many easy outs.

    Kentucky hung with South Carolina, Tennessee nearly beat Georgia and Auburn is clearly on the rise after a win over Ole Miss.

    But elite teams like Alabama and LSU continue to win, and the best players continue to make jaw-dropping plays each Saturday.

    Even if the Pac-12 has risen up to challenge for the title of best conference, the depth at both running back and quarterback in the SEC is unmatched.

    Some familiar faces will find themselves on this list, and some new guys will enjoy a moment in the spotlight.

    Check out the Top 10 performances in the SEC from Week 6.


    All stats via ESPN

10) Zach Mettenberger, LSU

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    LSU QB Zach Mettenberger
    LSU QB Zach MettenbergerStacy Revere/Getty Images

    LSU suddenly has a myriad of weapons on offense, not the least of which is quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

    The leader of the offense has long been touted for his physical tools but we're finally starting to see it equate to real production on the gridiron.

    After a fantastic performance at Georgia, Mettenberger completed 25-of-29 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns against Mississippi State.

    The most surprising fact may be that it was low on the totem pole of best offensive performances for the Tigers. Still, the senior signal-caller is in a great rhythm this season and he'll need to stay sharp for next Saturday's game against Florida.

9) Alabama Quarterbacks

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    Alabama QB AJ McCarron
    Alabama QB AJ McCarronKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Alabama did everything it was supposed to do in a 45-3 victory over Georgia State, so it wasn't easy to pick out the best performance.

    In the end, however, it was to be the play of quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Blake Sims that gets the nod. The two combined to complete 29-of-34 passes for 296 yards and five touchdowns without an interception.

    The most impressive aspect of the passing attack may have been the distribution. 15 different guys caught a pass, and each one of the five scores went to a different receiver.

    Great teams can sometimes look sluggish in games against vastly inferior opponents, but Nick Saban's team looked as sharp as ever.

8) Rajion Neal, Tennessee

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    Tennessee RB Rajion Neal
    Tennessee RB Rajion NealScott Cunningham/Getty Images

    It was fair to question Tennessee after a close win over South Alabama.

    Running back Rajion Neal made sure those questions ceased against Georgia. In a losing effort, Neal piled up 148 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries.

    His effort helped give the Volunteers a chance to knock off the Bulldogs, who were coming off a monstrous win over LSU.

    Despite the fact that the record will show nothing more than another mark in the "L" column, Neal's strong play has to give fans hope that Tennessee can hang with the SEC elites.

    The Volunteers have a week off before playing host to South Carolina.

7) Tyler Murphy, Florida

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    Florida QB Tyler Murphy
    Florida QB Tyler MurphySam Greenwood/Getty Images

    You hate to see quarterback Jeff Driskel hurt and unable to play, but the injury may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Florida offense.

    Tyler Murphy has stepped in and led the Gators to solid victories over Kentucky and Arkansas.

    Against the Razorbacks on Saturday, Murphy completed 16-of-22 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. His ability to lead this offense without making mistakes gives Will Muschamp's team a real chance at the SEC East title.

    The real test for Murphy will come in the next three weeks when he faces LSU, Missouri and Georgia. If the junior can continue to play mistake-free football, he'll likely get comfortable with this weekly list.

6) Aaron Murray, Georgia

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    UGA QB Aaron Murray
    UGA QB Aaron MurrayJim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

    Georgia's game against Tennessee wasn't supposed to be close. Quarterback Aaron Murray made sure it wasn't a loss.

    The senior didn't have his best day, completing 19-of-35 passes for 196 yards and three scores. But stats don't tell the whole story, and just looking at that, you'd be unable to see what he did in the fourth quarter.

    Make that the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, where Murray led his team on game-tying touchdown drive with the score coming in the final few seconds.

    His late heroics put the game into overtime where the Bulldogs prevailed. We know Murray can put up big numbers against great teams as he did last Saturday against LSU. But we're also learning that he has a pretty special clutch gene, too.

5) Jeremy Hill, LSU

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    LSU RB Jeremy Hill
    LSU RB Jeremy HillStacy Revere/Getty Images

    Todd Gurley and T.J. Yeldon are often discussed as the best running backs in the SEC, but Jeremy Hill deserves a place in the conversation.

    The LSU back had another outstanding performance on Saturday, rushing for 157 yards and two scores on just 16 carries.

    With the emergence of Mettenberger at quarterback, the Tigers suddenly have one of the more dynamic offenses in the game.

    The effort gives Hill three 100-yard games on the season, and it's his second with at least 150 yards. His biggest test comes next Saturday when LSU takes on Florida, which has a defense that allows just over 12 points per game.

4) Nick Marshall, Auburn

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    Auburn QB Nick Marshall
    Auburn QB Nick MarshallShanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

    It may be a while before college football discovers another Cam Newton, but Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall is doing his best to launch the Tigers back into the realm of winning programs once again.

    Marshall played a key role in the Tigers' upset victory over Ole Miss on Saturday by completing 11-of-17 passes for 93 yards. He failed to throw a touchdown, but didn't record an interception, either.

    While the passing attack needs some work, Marshall's effort on the ground is what gives him the number four spot on the list. The junior quarterback rushed for 140 yards and two scores on just 14 carries.

    The win puts Auburn back into the conversation of teams who should be ranked, and the Tigers are no longer an easy out for teams like Alabama and Texas A&M.

3) Solomon Patton, Florida

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    Florida WR Solomon Patton
    Florida WR Solomon PattonRob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

    It's been a while since Florida could say it had a ton of weapons on offense, especially at the receiver position.

    On Saturday, Solomon Patton's performance gave the Gators a passing attack that played a key role in a 30-10 win over Arkansas.

    The senior wide receiver caught six passes for 124 yards and a pair of scores.

    Florida will need Patton to continue this momentum next week when he and the Gators take on LSU in Death Valley.

2) James Franklin, Missouri

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    Missouri QB James Franklin
    Missouri QB James FranklinDon McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

    Not to sound like a broken record, but Missouri quarterback James Franklin is quietly playing some of the best football in the country.

    On Saturday, he completed 19-of-28 passes for 278 yards and four scores in a 51-28 victory over Vanderbilt.

    Oh, and he rushed for 63 yards as well.

    Franklin's effort week after week suddenly has the Tigers sporting a 5-0 record and eying a spot in the rankings.

    He'll need to continue his strong play with a tough road game at Georgia next week.

1) Odell Beckham Jr., LSU

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    WR Odell Beckham Jr.
    WR Odell Beckham Jr.Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

    One week it's Jarvis Landry. The next week it's Odell Beckham Jr.

    On Saturday, the latter was the one who made the most plays and found himself in the top spot on the list of best SEC performances from Week 6.

    Against Mississippi State, the junior caught nine passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned five kicks for 111 yards giving him nearly 300 all-purpose yards on the day.

    Beckham has speed, great hands and a knack for making plays when the offense needs it the most. This won't be the last time he makes the list, or the top spot for that matter.

    Beckham and Landry will get a chance to prove themselves against Florida next Saturday. As great as the Gators' secondary is, the advantage right now goes to LSU's outstanding wideouts.