The Season: The best at every school

Thomas' 27 sacks would be an NCAA record if the NCAA had considered it an official stat at the time. His 1988 season is still considered the gold standard for defensive performance in the SEC.

Honorable mention: Harry Gilmer 1945, Lee Roy Jordan 1962, Mark Ingram 2009

Ronnie Caveness

Arkansas: Ronnie Caveness, LB/C, 1964

Led top scoring defense with 155 tackles

A two-way player on Arkansas' 1964 national championship team -- the Hogs' last national title -- Caveness registered 155 total tackles as a linebacker and was an All-Southwest Conference center.

Honorable mention: Madre Hill 1995, Darren McFadden 2006, Darren McFadden 2007

Cam Newton

Auburn: Cam Newton, QB, 2010

4,494 yards of total offense; 50 touchdowns

Newton made the most of his one season at Auburn, leading the SEC in rushing and the nation in touchdowns. He ran for 170 yards or more in four consecutive SEC games on the way to a BCS title.

Honorable mention: Bo Jackson 1985, Tracy Rocker 1988, Tre Mason 2013

Tim Tebow

Florida: Tim Tebow, QB, 2007

4,181 yards of total offense; SEC-record 55 touchdowns

The Heisman winner became the NCAA's first player to throw and run for 20-plus touchdowns in the same season, using a bulldozing running style while passing for more than 3,200 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Honorable mention: Wilber Marshall 1983, Emmitt Smith 1989, Danny Wuerffel 1996

Herschel Walker

Georgia: Herschel Walker, RB, 1980

1,616 rushing yards; 15 touchdowns

Arguably the greatest running back in college football history, Walker had three brilliant seasons at Georgia, but his freshman year was the most memorable. He led the Bulldogs to an unbeaten season and national title.

Honorable mention: Frank Sinkwich 1942, Terry Hoage 1982, Champ Bailey 1998

Art Still

Kentucky: Art Still, DE, 1977

98 tackles and school-record 22 tackles for loss

Kentucky last won 10 games in a season in 1977, and Still was the heart and soul of that team. His 22 tackles for loss are still a school record, and he was also a force at offensive tackle in short-yardage situations.

Honorable mention: Babe Parilli 1950, Tim Couch 1998, Randall Cobb 2010

Billy Cannon

LSU: Billy Cannon, RB/LB, 1959

1,171 all-purpose yards on offense; four INTs

A true SEC legend, Cannon turned in one of the most famous plays in college history with his tackle-breaking 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss on Halloween night in 1959, cementing his Heisman selection.

Honorable mention: Josh Reed 2001, Glenn Dorsey 2007, Patrick Peterson 2010

Johnie Cooks

Mississippi State: Johnie Cooks, LB, 1981

78 tackles, 17 tackles for loss

No defensive player in Mississippi State history has ever been more disruptive than the 6-foot-4, 251-pound Cooks. He earned All-American honors in 1981 and went on to be the No. 2 overall selection in the 1982 NFL draft.

Honorable mention: Billy Jackson 1980, Eric Moulds 1994, Johnthan Banks 2012

Jeremy Maclin

Missouri: Jeremy Maclin, WR, 2008

2,833 all-purpose yards; 17 touchdowns

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