After all, when you start listing great players over an entire decade in the SEC, the names start pouring through your mind. There just are so many of them.
The guy who was the hardest for me to leave off the Top 10 was Auburn running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams. He rushed for 45 career touchdowns and teamed with Ronnie Brown on that unbeaten 2004 Auburn club to form one of the best running back combos in SEC history.
Right behind Williams was Georgia quarterback David Greene, who was the winningest quarterback in major college football history until Colt McCoy passed him this season. Greene remains the SEC career leader with 11,528 passing yards from 2001-04.
I also thought long and hard about Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews, Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith and Auburn offensive tackle Marcus McNeil. They would have been my top three offensive linemen.
Tennessee defensive tackle John Henderson won the Outland Trophy in 2000 and was a finalist in 2001. Leaving him off was difficult. Alabama linebacker DeMeco Ryans was another outstanding defender that just missed the cut.
Another quarterback who deserves mention is Vanderbilt’s Jay Cutler, especially when you look at the numbers he put up during the 2005 season and the way he helped elevate the program.
Georgia's Matthew Stafford was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, and Kentucky's Andre Woodson threw 79 career touchdown passes, ranking him fifth all-time in the SEC.
Two of the best receivers of the decade were Vanderbilt’s Earl Bennett and LSU’s Josh Reed.
There are many more, too. But I just wanted to provide a glimpse of some of the other great players in this conference who were considered.