Cam Newton: Where Does the Auburn QB Rank Among SEC's Greatest of All Time?

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer INovember 27, 2010

Cam Newton: Where Does the Auburn QB Rank Among SEC's Greatest of All Time?

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    Going into his last game of the season, Auburn QB (or is he a running back...I can't tell) Cameron Newton has 21 passing touchdowns and 17 rushing touchdowns, as well as a receiving touchdown.

    If he's able to rush for three TDs against SEC opponent South Carolina next week, Newton will join former Florida QB Tim Tebow as the only player in college football history to pass for 20 touchdowns and rush for 20 touchdowns in a single season.

    After a stunning performance against Alabama Friday, Newton got us at Bleacher Report thinking about the top players in SEC history and, naturally, if Newton should be included.

    Here are SEC's greatest football players of all time.

    Those who won Heismans and won championship games were ranked highly.

20. David Pollack

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    I considered giving this spot to former Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis, but Pollack's play at Georgia simply cannot be denied.

    His awards speak for themselves.

    He was the only three-time All-American in Georgia's history besides Herschel Walker, he was a two-time winner of the Ted Hendricks Award, and he won the Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award and Lott Trophy in 2004 to become the most decorated defensive player in Georgia history.

19. Glenn Dorsey

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    The most dominant defensive lineman in SEC history, LSU's Glenn Dorsey was a two-time All-American.

    In addition to winning SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award, he won the Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award, Nagurski Award and Lott Trophy in 2007 while leading LSU to a national championship.

18. Pat Sullivan

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    The two-time All-American threw for over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns while leading Auburn to a 9-2 Sugar Bowl season.

    He also set an NCAA record for most yards per play and tied the mark at the time for most total touchdowns at 71.

    He won the 1971 Heisman in his senior season.

17. Darren McFadden

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    Darren McFadden rushed for rushed for 3,477 yards and 30 touchdowns in his last two years with Arkansas.

    In his freshman season, he rushed for 1,113 yards—a school record for most rushing yards by a freshman—and 11 touchdowns.

    McFadden was a two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp National Player of the Year in 2007.

    He's now leaving NFL defenses in the dust as the No. 1 back for the Oakland Raiders.

16. Billy Cannon

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    The quarterback, kicker, and kickoff and punt returner was known for his athleticism in the late 1950s with LSU.

    He was the leader of the Tigers when they captured their first national championship in 1958.

    In 1959, he followed that up with a Heisman, largely attributed to a historic 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss in which he broke seven tackles.

15. Cameron Newton

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    What Cameron Newton has done this season has been nothing short of extraordinary.

    He has 21 passing touchdowns to go with 17 rushing touchdowns, and he led No. 2 Auburn back from a 24-0 deficit against a stout Alabama defense to keep the Tigers one win away from going to the BCS National Championship Game.

    But it's hard to rank him higher than some other guys on this list with just one good (albeit superb) season.

    But his performance in 2010 will go down in Auburn's history books.

14. George Rogers

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    Despite South Carolina being an independent school in 1980 and not prominent in the nation's spotlight, running back George Rogers changed that in a heartbeat.

    He ran for 1,894 yards while capturing the Heisman.

    He rushed opposite Herschel Walker against Georgia in 1980, rushing for 168 yards to Walker's 219.

13. Steve Spurrier

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    Steve Spurrier exuded confidence.

    That's why he bristled so many media members—and opponents—when he was with the Florida Gators as a quarterback and coach.

    A two-time All-American, Spurrier won the 1966 Heisman with over 2,000 yards passing and 16 touchdowns.

    He earned the nickname "S.O.S."

12. Danny Wuerffel

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    Florida QB Danny Wuerffel had the highest passing efficiency rating in college football history (163.56).

    He also won the Heisman in 1996 while passing for 3,625 yards and 39 touchdowns. Oh ya, and he led the Gators to the national championship.

    He was coached by—you guessed it—Steve Spurrier.

11. Frank Sinkwich

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    In 1942, Georgia's Frank Sinkwich passed for a SEC record 1,392 yards and 17 touchdowns, while running for 10 scores.

    He captained the Bulldogs to an 11-1 record and a win over UCLA in the Rose Bowl that year. Did I mention he was playing with not one but two ankle sprains that game?

    Sinkwich was one of the toughest players to play in the SEC.

    He used to say, "You got Sinkwich'ed" when he beat opponents. OK, I made that last part up.

10. John Hannah

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    Named to the Alabama All-Century team, offensive lineman John Hannah was a two-time All-American.

    He helped lead Alabama to an SEC championship and was a consensus All American his senior year in 1972.

    Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant would later call him the greatest lineman he ever coached.

    Hannah was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

    He played for the Patriots upon entering the NFL and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

9. Tommy Casanova

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    One of the greatest LSU football players of all time, Tommy Casanova was a running back, a kick and punt returner, and a defensive back. In his three years at LSU from 1969-1971, Casanova was selected as a member of the College Football All-America Team.

    He was a part of upsets against No. 6 Auburn in 1970 and No. 7 Notre Dame in 1971.

8. Lee Roy Jordan

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    The former Alabama linebacker and center played from 1960-1962.

    In 1960, he was an integral part of an 8-2-1 Alabama team. He was named MVP of Alabama's last game of the season against the University of Texas at Austin that ended in a 3-3 tie.

    The next season, he helped Alabama go undefeated and win a national championship.

    Jordan was a first team All-American in his final season and helped the team go 10-1. He was named the Outstanding Player of the Rose Bowl that season.

7. Archie Manning

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    The father of current NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, Archie Manning was a quarterback himself at Ole Miss.

    For three years, he was the heart and soul of the team.

    In his first nationally televised game, he threw for 436 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 104 yards in a heart-breaking 33-32 loss to Alabama. The 540 yards are still an SEC record for most total yards in a game.

    Manning threw for 4,753 yards and 56 touchdowns in his college career. In 1969 and 1970, he was named to the All-SEC team. His jersey was retired by Ole Miss.

    He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.

6. Bo Jackson

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    We all know Bo.

    The multi-sport athlete was a media magnet in his college and NFL careers.

    As a running back for Auburn, Bo Jackson ran for 4,303 yards, the fourth-most yards in SEC history, right behind Herschel Walker.

    His career 6.6 yards per carry set the SEC record.

    In 1983 as a sophomore, Jackson rushed for 1,213 yards on 7.7 yards per carry, the second-best single-season average in SEC history. He helped Auburn win the Sugar Bowl that year and was named the MVP of that game.

    Jackson was one of the most athletic players ever to play in college football. Period.

5. Jack Youngblood

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    Jack Youngblood was a one-man defensive force that opponents tried to steer clear of when he was with Florida from 1968 to 1970.

    Although sack stats weren't recorded until the mid-1970s, it's fair to say the defensive end/tackle threw the quarterback to the ground a fair amount of times.

    Youngblood first gained attention after a five-sack performance against rival FSU in a Florida 21-6 win in 1969.

    He went on to be named an All-American and SEC Lineman of the Year in 1970.

4. Joe Namath

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    Joe Namath led Alabama to a 29-4 record in his three seasons with the team.

    From 1962-1964, Namath passed for 2,713 yards and 25 touchdowns, and ran for 655 yards.

    In 1964, Namath led the Crimson Tide to a national championship.

    Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant called him the "greatest athlete I ever coached."

3. Peyton Manning

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    During his tenure with Tennessee, Peyton Manning became the school's all-time leading passer with 11,201 yards and 89 touchdowns. As a starter, he went 39-6, breaking the SEC record for wins.

    Manning came in sixth in Heisman voting in his sophomore season.

    He decided to return to Tennessee for his senior year despite being projected as a No. 1 pick in the 1997 NFL Draft.

    Not a bad idea. He was a consensus first-team All-American, the Maxwell Award winner, the Davey O'Brien Award winner, the Johnny Unitas Award winner and the Best College Player ESPY Award winner.

    Despite all of this, he placed second to Charles Woodson in Heisman voting.

    His number was retired by Tennessee in 2005.

2. Herschel Walker

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    At Georgia, Herschel Walker set an NCAA freshman rushing record and led the team to the national championship in his first year.

    He earned consensus All-American honor three consecutive years, set 10 NCAA records, 15 SEC records and 30 Georgia all-time records.

    In his junior and final year in 1982, he was awarded the Heisman Trophy.

1. Tim Tebow

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    What Tebow did was astounding during his career. He was the first player ever to throw for at least 20 TDs and run for 20 TDs (32 passing, 23 rushing) and the first sophomore to win a Heisman trophy in 2007.

    He led the Gators to a 12-1 record in 2008 and an SEC title, and later, a national championship.

    In 2009, Tebow broke Herschel Walker's RUSHING TOUCHDOWN record with 51 for his career.

    In the 2010 Sugar Bowl, in his last game, Tebow had 533 total yards of offense—a record for a Bowl Championship Series game—and accounted for four touchdowns in a 51-24 win against Cincinnati.