An updated look at the race for the top individual awards in the SEC this season:
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
1. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: Even though Alabama fell short last week in the big showdown, Richardson put up 169 combined rushing/receiving yards against one of the best defenses in college football. He leads the SEC with 1,078 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns and also tops the list in all-purpose yardage (159.6 yards per game).
2. Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas: Not only has Wright been the best receiver in the league this season, but he’s also been one of the most improved. He’s better after the catch, better at getting open and just playing terrific football right now. He leads the league with 812 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches.
3. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia: Don’t look now, but Murray is making a late charge. His start to the season wasn’t the best, but he now has 23 touchdown passes -- eight more than the next closest quarterback in the league -- and he also leads the league in passing efficiency.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
1. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia: If you’re looking for big plays on defense, Jones is your guy. He leads the SEC with eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss. But he’s not just a pass-rusher, and his overall play is a big reason the Bulldogs are playing so well right now defensively.
2. Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama: Everywhere you look on Alabama’s defense, there’s talent, especially at linebacker. Upshaw has been the most productive of the bunch with 12.5 tackles for loss, including 5.5 sacks, and he’s also forced two fumbles.
3. Danny Trevathan, LB, Kentucky: Even though the Wildcats aren’t having a great season, that shouldn’t reflect on Trevathan, who’s been the ultimate “pro.” He leads the SEC with 111 total tackles, including 17 in each of his past two games, and he also has four interceptions and three forced fumbles.
COACH OF THE YEAR
1. Les Miles, LSU: The No. 1 Tigers just keep winning, and Miles just keeps pushing all of the right buttons. His use of Jordan Jefferson on the option gave LSU a little breathing room on offense against Alabama, and there’s something to be said about the way this team has performed in big games this season.
2. Mark Richt, Georgia: It’s safe to say things have turned around for Richt, who was in danger of being run out of town after those first two losses to open the season. But the Bulldogs have followed his steady lead to win seven in a row and move to the brink of the Eastern Division championship if they can beat Auburn and Kentucky at home the next two weeks.
3. James Franklin, Vanderbilt: Franklin has already done an excellent job in his first season as the Commodores’ coach. They’ve gotten better on offense and are taking teams down to the wire every week. If the Commodores can win their last three over Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest and get to seven wins, Franklin will (and should) get a lot of votes for SEC Coach of the Year.