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Player of the week: SEC

12/9/2013

Was there any doubt?

Tre Mason was easily the most impressive player in the SEC, if not the country, over the weekend when he almost single-handedly beat Missouri to win the conference championship for Auburn.

Against a defensive front Alabama coach Nick Saban called the best in the league, Mason had his way. He left the Georgia Dome with a record 304 yards and four touchdowns. He was a workhorse, too, carrying the ball 46 times without a single fumble.

SEC and Auburn legend Bo Jackson looked on from the sideline and had to be impressed.

"He was like, 'You're probably one of the best players to ever put on an Auburn helmet,'" Mason said of Jackson. "He just was thanking me for being here. I was thanking him for being a mentor to me."

If one game can win the Heisman Trophy, Mason did as much anyone could to sway voters his way against Missouri. In fact, you could argue he did it in back-to-back weeks after gashing Alabama for 164 yards and a touchdown in the Iron Bowl.

Auburn senior defensive end Dee Ford thinks Mason deserves all the recognition he can get.

"Tre for Heisman," a giddy Ford said as he walked away from a brief session with reporters on Sunday. "It's going viral."

"I see a performance like that out of Tre every week," Auburn fullback Jay Prosch said a day earlier. "He runs hard, and he's the same runner every time. I love the guy."

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn checked in with Mason during the course of the game against Missouri and asked if he needed a break.

"He had that look on his face," Malzahn explained. "He said, 'Coach, keep giving it to me.'"

And what he did in Atlanta convinced Malzahn that he has a special player on his hands.

"He's proved he's one of the best running backs in the country, if not the best."

For at least one week, and probably a few more, he's shown he is.