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Hot Reads: SEC goes to Hollywood, y'all

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  • Hot Reads: Ranking the defenses in the SEC

    Hot Reads: Ranking the defenses in the SEC

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 12:55 PM EDT2014-07-16 16:55:17 GMT

    With offenses becoming increasingly explosive, plugging the holes is more imperative than ever. It's no surprise Alabama and Florida top the list, but the rest of the rankings may surprise you.

    More >>

    With offenses becoming increasingly explosive, plugging the holes is more imperative than ever. It's no surprise Alabama and Florida top the list, but the rest of the rankings may surprise you.

    More >>
  • SEC Media Days dazes media, fans

    SEC Media Days dazes media, fans

    Monday, July 14 2014 1:30 PM EDT2014-07-14 17:30:02 GMT
    The long, dark night that has persisted since the end of football season is almost over. SEC Media Days, that glimmer of hope before life begins again anew, kicks off this week in Hoover, AL. More >>
    The long, dark night that has persisted since the end of football season is almost over. SEC Media Days, that glimmer of hope before life begins again anew, kicks off this week in Hoover, AL. More >>

(RNN) – Hot Reads is feeling inspired this week, and so are you, you just don't know it yet.

Every week you tune in loyally to watch some of the best action on television unfold, and you are rewarded with compelling, slobber-knocking drama.

The difference between you and, say, people who watch soap operas is that you don't have a glamorous awards show that combines the best of the sport in one night. Well, that and you actually have something better to do from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.

But what if we could change all that? Regular TV watchers have the Emmys and the Oscars, but what do football fans have? You have a bunch of different trophies granted by a bunch of different trusts because the NCAA technically does not sponsor postseason awards.

And don't tell us you wouldn't love to watch that weird guy from Breaking Bad get smashed to the ground while trying to throw a screen pass.

But seriously, SEC football offers some of the best unscripted storylines on TV every week, and handsome awards should exist for that.

Since it's long overdue, Hot Reads is presenting the favorites to win the first-ever Chinstrap Awards. Get Eva Longoria and Tim Tebow on the phone. This is going to be big.

BEST DRAMA

Frontrunner: Arkansas – Let's see. Coach has affair with girl barely past her teens. Coach and girl crash on motorcycle. Coach gets canned. Poll voters drink the Kool-Aid. Team gets beat by opponent with high school budget. Starting QB gets hit so hard he can't see 10 feet past his face. New coach nearly bankrupt … We're only naming other nominees out of due process.

Other nominees: We lied. No one else has a chance.

BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE

Frontrunner: Kentucky's defense vs. Western Kentucky – WKU is a pretty good team. It's not "17-0 lead after the first half" good or "Hey, they could have a shot in the Big East" good or "They have an outside shot at a BCS bowl" good or … what were we saying again?

Other nominees: Lane Kiffin's post-practice pouting; South Carolina's non-conference schedule; LSU's non-conference schedule

JOCKSTRAP AWARD

Frontrunner: Tre Mason, Auburn – It's possible he could go from No. 2 to first on the depth chart soon, so we might have to finagle with the criteria for this award. Although Mason hasn't totally overshadowed Onterrio McCalebb, he does a lot more things that will be crucial for Auburn down the stretch. Auburn needs a strong running game to remain respectable and keep Kiehl Frazier from getting killed. While McCalebb's ability to escape tackles is exciting, Mason's ability to run between the tackles is more important.

Other Nominees: T.J. Yeldon, Bama; Austyn Carta-Samuels, Vandy; Keith Marshall/Ken Malcome, UGA

NO "I" IN TEAM AWARD

Frontrunner: Florida – While other teams – and by other teams we mean Alabama – are clearly much stronger, this trophy is for teams who have had success while fighting steeper odds. Florida's quarterback controversy solved itself in the first half against Bowling Green, the defense proved itself in the second half against Texas A&M and the whole thing came together on the road against Tennessee. Now the Gators are 3-0 and no longer a "surprise" team.

Other nominees: Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee

UNKNOWN-TO-UNSTOPPABLE AWARD

Frontrunner: Avery Williamson, Kentucky – Do you like tackling? So does this guy, and he'll probably prove it about 120 times this year. He's been pulling bench duty the past two years and still managed to make 49 stops last season. You may not know him that well, but everyone who has taken his face mask to their chests is really familiar with No. 40. Sadly, he is one of the few bright spots for this unit.

Other nominees: Todd Gurley, UGA; Kenny Hilliard, LSU; Rohan Gaines, Arkansas; Tyler Russell, MSU;

BOTTOM-OF-THE-PILE AWARD

Frontrunner: Tyler Wilson, Arkansas – The season started with such promise for Wilson and the Razorbacks, and now that has all but disappeared from the rearview mirror. Wilson has gone from a potential name in the Heisman race to a sad cutaway shot on the sidelines. Concussion or not, the near-nonexistence of Knile Davis and the ousting of Bobby Petrino puts Wilson even further behind the eight ball.

Other nominees: Jordan Rodgers, Vandy; James Franklin, Mizzou;

MANNING AWARD

Frontrunner: Angelo Blackson, Auburn – In honor of two brothers who always seem to make something happen when the game is on the line – unless they're playing the Falcons on Monday Night Football – this award will go to the guy who boosts his team's chances of winning on a single play. Blackson blocked Louisiana Monroe's field goal attempt in overtime before Cody Parkey won the game on a 35-yard kick just minutes later.

Other nominees: Jarvis Jones, UGA vs. Mizzou; Mike Gillislee, Florida vs. TAMU; Chad Bumphis, MSU vs. Troy

TREE FALLS IN FOREST AWARD

Frontrunner: Zac Stacy/Brian Kimbrow, Vandy – Congrats, guys. You rolled up a combined 311 rushing yards on the mighty Presbyterian, umm, what's their mascot again? You cannot imagine how much sweat and blood must have stained Stacy's jersey after those grueling eight carries. If only Steve Sabol was still alive to record this epic battle on the mighty, wind-swept plains of Nashville.

Other nominees: Tyler Bray/Justin Hunter, UT vs. Georgia State; Johnny Manziel, TAMU vs. SMU

FLOP AND FAIL AWARD

Frontrunner: Arkansas offense vs. Alabama – This game would have been the most-hyped SEC matchup to this point had certain things in the Fayetteville portion of the universe not spiraled out of control. We know Alabama is an honorary member of the NFC South, but 52 unanswered points?

Other nominees: Tyler Bray, UT vs. Florida; Ole Miss offensive line vs. Texas

COOL CUSTOMER AWARD

Frontrunner: Will Muschamp, Florida – He has made some decisions that seem questionable from the sideline (quarterback battle in a live game?), but it's his team and he obviously knows more than we do. He gets kudos for guiding his guys through some tough early tests.

Other nominees: Dan Mullen, MSU; Nick Saban, Bama; Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

HOT SEAT AWARD

Frontrunner: James Franklin, Vandy - We get that Jordan Rodgers is not that careful with the ball, and Austyn Carter-Samuels is talented. We get that Rodgers has to learn his lesson for whatever on- or off-the-field problems he has. But what we don't get is not giving your former starting QB any snaps in a blowout of Presbyterian. Just got a call, by the way. They're the Blue Hose.

Other nominees: Gene Chizik, Auburn

TEAM LOGO FACE TATTOO AWARD

Frontrunner: Arkansas fans – This award for fan loyalty is a hands-down lock for Pig Nation so far this season. The average attendance at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium is beyond capacity, tops for any teams with a losing record that has played at least two games at home.

Other nominees: Texas A&M fans; Alabama fans

YOU COULDN'T DO THIS WITHOUT ME AWARD

Frontrunner: Barrett Jones, Bama – Why does an Outland Trophy-winning All-American move from left tackle to center? Injury? Depth? Nope. An even more talented player took his spot. Two things. First, that's a scary amount of talent on one line. Second, that's the type of attitude that makes opponents roll their eyes and groan the second they see this game on the schedule.

Other nominees: Caleb Sturgis, Florida; Marcus Lattimore, USC; Johnny Manziel, TAMU

THIS WEEK'S UNIQUE STAT

.747: Florida has won nearly three-quarters of their conference games away from home since 1992, tops in the SEC. The Gators have won twice already this season (at Texas A&M and Tennessee) and are now 68-23 in games away from Gainesville, including games in Jacksonville.

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