Category Archives: SEC Football

“On this day, I did suck.”

Woo, boy, Joe Moorhead.  I’m not sure this is the way you go about firing up the Mississippi State fan base.

Moorhead’s dedication to his Dawgs isn’t in question, but his ability to lead them to wins on Saturdays is. He admitted that his team was out-coached and outplayed by a Tennessee group that previously had not beaten a Power 5 team this season.

Yikes.

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SEC Power Poll, Week Seven

secpowerpoll2008_medium

Well, that was an interesting weekend.  Only two undefeated teams left in the conference…

  1. Alabama.  Nick Saban’s team is averaging just a tick over 50 points per game in conference play.
  2. LSU.  The Tigers ran 48 plays and scored 42 points, so who cares about their defense?
  3. Florida.  Give Dan Mullen credit for throwing the kitchen sink at LSU, but that offense can only do so much.
  4. Georgia.  In all good conscience, there’s no way I can rank a team that lost at home to South Carolina any higher than this.
  5. Missouri.  Ladies and gentlemen, your SEC East leaders.
  6. Auburn.  Yeah, that offense… not good.
  7. South Carolina.  2-2 in the conference with a minus-24 points differential.  Welcome to Boom’s world.
  8. Texas A&M.  Lucky for the Aggies, the schedule for the next three games lightens up.
  9. Ole Miss.  They lost, but at least it wasn’t to Tennessee.
  10. Kentucky.  The ‘Cats trailed at home 13-0 against Arkansas, but rallied to win their first conference game.  Take that for what it’s worth.
  11. Tennessee.  Savor that win for a couple of days, fellas.  Alabama awaits.
  12. Mississippi State.  You had one job to do, Bulldogs.
  13. Arkansas.  Yeah, the Vols vacated the cellar, but I can’t put the Hogs there.
  14. Vanderbilt.  You can make an argument that Georgia didn’t suffer the most embarrassing home loss this week.  Number fourteen, with the opposite of a bullet.

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For all the marbles

Matt Hinton made a good point yesterday.  With the seasons Ohio State and Oklahoma are turning in, the odds that the SEC puts two teams in the CFP are declining every week.

The Sooners will also be heavy favorites in every remaining game, beginning with this weekend’s rivalry tilt against Texas. If not the Longhorns, who in the Big 12 is going to beat them? Ditto Ohio State, which boasts arguably an even more improved D than Oklahoma’s and the lopsided scoring margin (+40.5 points per game, best in the nation) to go with it. Already the Buckeyes have improved from a 0.7 percent chance of running the table in the preseason, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, to a 40.1 percent chance after 6 games. That’s second only to Clemson’s 60 percent, despite the fact that OSU’s 3 toughest games all lie ahead.

Partly that’s due to those two looking better than expected in the preseason, but partly it’s due to the rest of their respective conferences looking to put up less resistance than was expected.

Know who’s living up to preseason expectations?  Yep.

The only place where the thinning of the herd is actually certain is, as ever, in the SEC.

With Florida’s 24-13 win over Auburn, all 4 of the SEC outfits that began the season in the top 10 (Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida) remain in the top 10, with a 21-0 record overall and a 3-0 mark against other top 10 opponents. Add Auburn to that group — the Tigers still control their fate, for what it’s worth — and not only does the conference boast 5 plausible Playoff contenders, nearly as many as the other major conferences combined; those 5 contenders still have to go head-to-head 6 more times in the regular season, not including the winner-take-all epic that awaits the survivors in Atlanta.

Gators-Tigers was only the first in what’s shaping up as a weekly installment of The Eliminator:

  • Oct. 12: Florida at LSU
  • Oct. 26: Auburn at LSU
  • Nov. 2: Georgia vs. Florida
  • Nov. 9: LSU at Alabama
  • Nov. 16: Georgia at Auburn
  • Nov. 30: Alabama at Auburn
  • Dec. 7: SEC Championship Game

It is what it is.  We’d best hope this is the season Georgia gets over the Alabama hump.

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SEC Power Poll, Week Six

secpowerpoll2008_medium-1

A sprinkling of bye weeks, some conference match ups and we learn a little more about everybody.

  1. Alabama.  Yeah, they had a bye week.  What’s your point?
  2. LSU.  I didn’t move the Tigers up because of some style points-based criticism of Georgia, but because I’m starting to believe that LSU’s defense is rounding into shape.
  3. Georgia.  Will this team put together a complete 60-minute performance against an SEC team or not?  So far, they haven’t needed to.
  4. Florida.  A Grantham-coached defense limited an SEC opponent to a 2-14 performance on third down conversions.  We live in unusual times.
  5. Auburn.  Live by the true freshman quarterback, die by the true freshman quarterback.
  6. Missouri.  The Tigers have looked good winning four in a row, which reminds me:  what the hell happened at Wyoming?
  7. Texas A&M.  Bye week.  As you will see, it’s hard to hold that against the Aggies.
  8. South Carolina.  Bye week.
  9. Mississippi State.  Bye week.
  10. Ole Miss.  Hey, they’ve got two conference wins.
  11. Kentucky.  Bye week, which means they didn’t lose in conference this week.
  12. Arkansas.  Bye week, so the Hogs are still living off their moral victory against TAMU.
  13. Vanderbilt.  Ole Miss’ quarterback ran for almost 100 yards more than Vaughn did.  I didn’t think the ‘Dores would be particularly good this season, but I didn’t think they’d be this bad, either.
  14. Tennessee.  Never has a program felt so good about itself after a 29-point home loss to a conference opponent.

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Your player compensation round up

One day after California’s Fair Pay to Play Act is signed into law:

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Filed under Political Wankery, SEC Football, See You In Court, The NCAA

SEC Power Poll, Week Five

secpowerpoll2008_medium-1

A week with key teams having a bye and others serving themselves another round of cupcakes shouldn’t have done so much to crystallize my impressions of the relative strengths of the conference’s fourteen teams, but it did just that.

There are four, possibly five, quality teams in the SEC this season.  There are a couple others that appear to be decent, a couple more that qualify as mediocre at best and then there’s a bunch of crap.  Unfortunately, the crap seems to be spreading.

  1. Alabama.  This is exactly what a really good team that has yet to be tested looks like.
  2. Georgia.  Bye week, but that Notre Dame win looks better a week later.
  3. LSU.  Another squad with a bye week.
  4. Auburn.  I don’t know if Auburn is good enough to win the SEC, but I’m pretty damned sure Auburn is good enough to knock off one of the three teams I’ve ranked ahead of it.
  5. Florida.  Shut out something named Towson, but with Auburn, LSU and Georgia coming in three of the Gators’ next four games, we’ll find out what kind of team they really are.  Which, come to think of it, likely explains Mullen’s whining last week about SEC scheduling.
  6. Missouri.  Another team with a bye week, but considering the results from the other games, the gap between the Tigers and the teams below them grew.
  7. Texas A&M.  According to both the AP and Coaches Polls, TAMU is one of the 25 best teams in the country.  Why, exactly?
  8. South Carolina.  Kentucky was chicken soup for the Gamecocks’ soul.
  9. Mississippi State.  After a really bad loss to Auburn, you have to wonder if the wheels are starting to come off the Bulldogs’ wagon.
  10. Kentucky.  At 0-3 in the conference, the ‘Cats are essentially the first team eliminated from a divisional race — and it’s not even October yet.  Obviously, they have issues and the biggest one is at quarterback.
  11. Ole Miss.  Whatever else happens this season, they’ll always have “first team to lead Alabama in 2019”.
  12. Vanderbilt.  Finally got their first W of the season.
  13. Arkansas.  The Hogs lost, but managed to drag a ranked team down to their level in the process, which is more than you can say for…
  14. Tennessee.  A bye week bounce?  You kidding?

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A tragedy in Nashville

Honestly, I never thought I’d see the day when an SEC head coach would be quoted saying, “This is Nashville. No stadium should run out of beer.”

What a time to be alive, eh?

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Filed under I'll Drink To That, SEC Football