The SEC has featured some of the best receivers in college football, but many of those players didn’t have a complementary wideout on the opposite side of the field to draw away coverage.
When Amari Cooper racked up 124 receptions, 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2014, he more than tripled anybody else on the roster in each receiving category. But other players have been lucky enough to have another receiver free them up and open up the opposing secondaries.
In the last 10 years, the SEC has had some of the best receiving tandems in college football, but five duos stand above the rest:
5 – LSU (2006) – Dwayne Bowe & Early Doucet
The only thing that kept the 2006 LSU offense from not having a higher spot on the list is the fact that Dwayne Bowe, Early Doucet and Craig Davis all split the statistics relatively evenly. With eventual No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell leading the Tigers, LSU blazed its way to a Sugar Bowl win with high-flying offense.
Bowe led the trio of receivers with 990 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, while Doucet finished with 772 yards and eight touchdowns. Davis actually out-gained Doucet with 836 yards, but had half as many touchdown grabs.
4 – Kentucky (2010) – Randall Cobb & Chris Matthews
Cobb did a little bit of everything at Kentucky, even starting at quarterback as a freshman. In his junior season, which was his last with the Wildcats, he caught 84 passes for 1,017 yards and seven touchdowns, and also contributed five rushing touchdowns.
The forgotten member of that offense was Matthews, though, who caught nine touchdowns and wasn’t far behind Cobb with 61 receptions for 925 yards. After struggling to find his place in the NFL, Matthews finally made an impact with the Seattle Seahawks during the team’s Super Bowl run in 2014.
3 – Texas A&M (2012) – Mike Evans & Ryan Swope
The 2012 season made Johnny Manziel a star and announced the Aggies’ arrival to the SEC with some prolific offensive numbers. The combination of Mike Evans and Ryan Swope tallied 2,000 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
Evans eventually made his way into the top 10 of the 2014 NFL Draft, while Swope never stuck in the NFL after he was taken in the sixth round in 2013 by the Arizona Cardinals. But in 2012, it was Swope who caught three touchdowns more than Evans, although the future Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver finished with nearly 200 more receiving yards.
2 – Georgia (2008) – A.J. Green & Mohamed Massaquoi
Green didn’t take long to become a bona fide superstar for the Bulldogs, but only got to spend one year with Matthew Stafford at quarterback and Mohamed Massaquoi on the opposite side of the field. Both Green and Massaquoi caught eight touchdowns each, and Green edged the senior in receiving yards with 963 compared to 920 for Massaquoi.
The 963 yards for Green ended up being a career-high as he never reached the mark again with Joe Cox leading the offense in 2009 and Aaron Murray taking over as a freshman in 2010. His best numbers came when he and Massaquoi were one of the most fearsome duos in the SEC.
1 – LSU (2013) – Jarvis Landry & Odell Beckham Jr.
Considering the amount of NFL success Beckham and Landry have had, it’s almost surprising that the pair weren’t even more productive at LSU. Zach Mettenberger finished the 2013 season with 22 touchdown passes, and 18 were caught by Beckham and Landry.
Landry finished the year with 77 receptions for 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Beckham was just behind him with 59 receptions for 1,152 yards and eight touchdowns. Those numbers are tops among any receiving tandem the SEC has ever had on the field.