There are a couple things we all know: You don’t want to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated and you don’t want to be on the box for Madden. Those spots are jinxed.
But who knew that the Odd Year SEC Championship MVP was jinxed too? Well, it is. The last four Odd-Year SEC Championship MVP’s have gone on to do next to nothing in the NFL, while the Even Year MVP’s have been quite successful in the pros.
A quick look at the last few Years:
Even Year SEC Championship MVP
2010 Cam Newton: He is the odds on favorite for the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year. In 11 starts he has thrown for 3,093 yards, has 12 TD passes, and 10 rushing TDs. Only LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson have more rushing touchdowns this season — and we don’t need to remind you that those two other guys are actually running backs. Sure, he’s only had three wins this season, but the Carolina Panthers defense is ranked 31st in the league. It’s tough to beat any team when you put 35-points on the board and your defense can’t stop anyone.
2008 Tim Tebow: You may have read about him recently. He’s 5-1 as a starter this year for a Broncos team that went 1-4 with Orton behind Center. He’s controversial, he’s hated by many, but he’s also loved by the folks in the stands. He’s the first NFL “Closer” as he has manufactured three game-winning drives in 2011. Say what you want about Tim Tebow, but you can’t call him a bust.
2006 Percy Harvin: All purpose weapon for the Vikings. He was the 2009 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2010 as a kick returner. He has suffered a number of setbacks due to a string of migraine-related illnesses, but when he’s on the field anything can happen.
2004 Jason Campbell: He had a string of bad seasons with the Washington Redskins, but most quarterbacks have bad seasons when they are a part of that organization. Went on to win 7 of 12 games as the starter in Oakland in 2010 and started out 4-2 this season before a collarbone injury.
Odd Year SEC Championship MVP
2009 Greg McElroy: Taken by the New York Jets in the 7th round of the 2011 NFL Draft as the third string quarterback behind Mark Sanchez and Mark Brunell. Played in two pre-season games before dislocating his thumb in the final preseason game. Was put on injured reserve and replaced by Kevin O’Connell — who has 23-career-passing-yards in three NFL seasons.
2007 Ryan Perrilloux: Was not drafted to the NFL. Invited to tryout for the Minnesota Vikings, but nothing came of this tryout. Eventually signed by the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League. He was subsequently signed — and released — from the New York Giants practice squad six times in three months during the 2011 season. He was released for his final time on November 26.
2005 DJ Shockley: The UGA quarterback was taken 223rd overall in the Atlanta Falcons in the 2006 NFL Draft. As the third-string QB, Shockley suffered a season-ending injury during a preseason game and missed the entire 2007 season. He was eventually dropped by the Falcons in 2010 and signed with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL.
2003 Justin Vincent: Went undrafted, but was Eventually signed by the Atlanta Falcons in 2007. He was cut by the Falcons and Eventually signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as part of the practice squad. He yo-yo’d back-and-forth on the Steelers practice squad until being officially released in 2010.
When it comes to “curses” in sports, there is no way to actually prove that they exist. “The Curse of the Billy Goat” did not make Steve Bartman reach out for that foul ball and being on the cover of Madden NFL 2012 did not create Peyton Hillis’s hamstring injury. But, there’s something weird going on with the careers of the Odd-Year SEC Championship Game MVP.
Winning during an Even Year does not guaranteed you will be an NFL Pro Bowler, but the Odd Year MVPs seem to have some serious trouble seeing any playing time whatsoever in the NFL.
Of course, one can easily throw a wrench into the whole theory by acknowledging that Peyton Manning won the SEC Championship MVP in 1997 — an Odd Year. But, this was the last Year before the BCS was created. And, with the creation of the BCS, the creation of “The Curse of the Odd Year SEC Championship Game MVP” was born.
So, who will be an eventual NFL bust after this year’s SEC Championship Game?