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Blog Entry

Midseason Report: SEC

Posted on: October 18, 2010 7:20 pm
 
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that we've reached the halfway point of the season, we have a lot better idea of which teams to take seriously, and which ones we can forget about.  Of course, there's still a lot of football to be played this season, so in the Midseason Report we'll be taking a look at what each team has remaining in front of them, and what they'll have to do to call themselves conference champions.  In this post, we'll take a look at the SEC.

East


1. South Carolina (4-2, 2-2) - The Gamecocks may only be 2-2 in conference play this season, but in the 2010 version of the SEC East, that's all it takes to be on top.  The question is whether or not Steve Spurrier and South Carolina can stay there.  A question that is hard to answer when your quarterback is the completely unreliable and unpredictable Stephen Garcia.   As we saw against Kentucky, the Gamecocks need Marcus Lattimore to stay healthy down the stretch if they're going to hold on  and reach the SEC title game.  The good news is that they have two very winnable games up next on the schedule in Vanderbilt and Tennessee.   After that, however, they get Arkansas and Florida in The Swamp.  All four are winnable games, but if the SEC has taught us anything this season, it's that every game is losable as well.

2. Florida (4-3, 2-3) - Oh the SEC East, the one place in the country where losing three straight conference games still leaves you in control of your own destiny.  Sure, the Gators are 2-3 in the SEC, but all three of those losses came against SEC West teams.  Which means that if Florida wins out it'll be going to Atlanta.   The Gators play Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina to finish out their SEC slate over the next three weeks, and both of the tough games (Sorry, Vandy)  either come at home or at a "neutral" site.  What will determine whether Florida can get it done is which offense shows up.  Will it be the unit that managed to put up 29 points against a tough LSU defense, or the one that couldn't break double-digits against Alabama and Mississippi State ?  I wish I could say I knew, but getting Chris Rainey back can't hurt.

3. Georgia (3-4, 2-3) - Yes, that's right, Georgia is still alive in the SEC East.  Forget about those four straight losses that left us all wondering if Mark Richt would survive the season, the Bulldogs have exploded the last two weeks and are right in the thick of things.  The problem for Georgia is they have no room for error, and have already lost to South Carolina this season.  So even if they do survive a trip to Lexington this weekend -- something Auburn barely did, and South Carolina couldn't -- they still have to play Florida in Jacksonville and travel to Auburn.  Yes, seeing the Bulldogs outscore Tennessee and Vanderbilt 84-14 over the last two weeks was encouraging, but let's not forget that Tennessee and Vanderbilt are horrible.

4. Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-2) - Listen, I'm not going to pretend that Vanderbilt has any chance of winning the SEC East.  It's just I have to include them because the way the dominoes have fallen thus far in the season, they're not out of contention yet.  So, yes, Vandy has a chance to win the SEC East.  I also have a chance at convincing Megan Fox to drop the dude from 90210 and marry me instead.  Let's see which one happens first.

5. Kentucky (4-3, 1-3) - Kentucky is in the same boat as Vanderbilt in that it's alive, but barely.  Though to Kentucky's credit, they've been a lot more impressive than Vanderbilt.  The Wildcats nearly knocked off Auburn and did take down South Carolina, and the tough part of the schedule is done.  The problem is that not only would Kentucky need to win out, but they'd also need quite a bit of help from everybody else.

WEST


1. Auburn (7-0, 4-0) - Cam Newton is the new Tim Tebow, but this kid isn't nearly as interested in quoting the Bible as he is in running over defenses.  I have no doubt that Newton is good enough to lead this Auburn team to the SEC title game, but the Auburn defense leaves me incredibly concerned, as does its remaining schedule.  The Tigers get LSU at home this week, and then have three winnable games before finishing the season in Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl.  If Auburn can overcome its defense and win out then I don't think there's any question that this team will be playing in Arizona come January with a crystal football on the line.

2. LSU (7-0, 4-0) - Can you comfortably say that you can predict what Les Miles is going to do next?  No, of course not.  The man is insane, and his team seems to have taken on the identity of its bi-polar head coach.   The most worrisome aspect of the Tigers is obviously the offense, and you have to figure that at some point Jordan Jefferson or Jarrett Lee are going to throw that back-breaking interception to end this team's hopes.  Considering that the Tigers still have Auburn and Alabama back-to-back over the next few weeks before finishing the season in Fayetteville, there will be plenty of chances for them to do just that.

3. Alabama (6-1, 3-1) -
You didn't make the mistake of thinking this team was dead, did you?  Is this Alabama team as good as last year's national champion?  No, there's no way the 2009 Alabama defense lets Stephen Garcia tear it apart.  Still, even if this defense isn't as strong as last season's unit, it's pretty darn good.  The Tide have an easy game with Tennessee this week before having to travel to Baton Rouge, but then they have their last three games at home with Georgia State sandwiched by Mississippi State and Auburn.  If Alabama wins out, it's going to Atlanta, and barring some catastrophic injury, I can see it happening.

Prediction: Trying to predict what's going to happen in the SEC is a fruitless exercise in that come Sunday morning, the entire conference could be turned upside down.  Still, a prediction is what is asked of me, and a prediction is what ye shall receive.

Two teams will travel to Atlanta to play for the SEC title, and I believe those two teams will be Alabama and Florida.  Yep, again.  As far as Alabama is concerned, I just think they'll win out, with the SEC West being decided on the final Saturday when they end Auburn's bid at an undefeated season and a national title.

Florida?  Well, I don't have that much faith in the Gators at this point, but that's still more faith than I'll ever be willing to put in Stephen Garcia.  So they'll be the lucky recipient of a second beating by the Tide in December.
Comments

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: October 21, 2010 4:11 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

You can't be serious about comparing recruiting classes between LSU and Auburn, can you?  I would think it is you that needs to check the recruiting rankings.  LSU has obviously does not have a QB with near the talent of Newton, but LSU does have equal or better talent than Auburn everywhere else.  Based on history, Auburn should win this game because they are at home, and that is normally how it goes between these two.  But, LSU did win the last one in Auburn, so we will have to let this one play out.  And, you are saying this one will not be a nailbiter, but Kentucky and Miss State took you to the wire.  Neither fanbase ought to get to full of themselves as both have had their share of close calls. 



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2010 10:52 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

Hey, drunkboy, did you know that the back-up QB had numbers that Mallett would have been proud to have had.  In other words, there was no drop off at QB in that game.  Whether Auburn's defense is bad or Mallet's replacement was good, the fact remains that Mallett couldn't have performed any better.  Auburn outplayed the Hogs in every way. 
Also, who cares about a stupid hypothetical question like the one you posed?  Whether Auburn or Arkansas has a better back up QB.....who gives a rip?  Is Newton the best player in college football to date?  Absolutely.  Would Auburn be as effective on offense without him?  Of course not.  There's your answer....are you surprised?  Sheesh.

Auburn will shut you fools up on Saturday.  The Tigers may not score 60, but it won't be a nailbiter.  LSU has survived but they've looked awful doing it.  The defense is good but won't have an answer for Newton.  If they key on him, they'll have to send several to stop him.  That will open it up for Dyer and the receivers.  Auburn's loaded with talent....check out the recruiting classes over the last 3 years.  Top 15 each year.  Auburn's got other playmakers, and they'll show up Saturday.





Since: Mar 2, 2010
Posted on: October 20, 2010 3:38 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

You must not be to smart. He was saying would you have been willing to bet on it if Auburn's backup qb had been in. I think not.




Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: October 20, 2010 2:05 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

Hey baldaufan,

Defense wins championships if you haven't heard and how do you think auburn's offense is going to react when they meet a real defense for the first time and can't move the ball?  Auburn's defense better be ready for a show down.



Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: October 20, 2010 1:57 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

You know what happen's when a Tiger eats a fig Newton....It comes out looking like a turd.  Ole Newton better hope he can throw better passes than that lofty crap he was throwing against Arkansas, b/c our safeties and DB's will eat his lunch.  And yes, we will stack the box if need be but, rushing our front 4 has worked out pretty damn good so far.  Just pray Nevis doesn't rip Newton's head off so you can use him to beat Bama (but, then again Nick is smart enough to stack the box to if needed).  Silly little AU want-a-be-tiger... 



Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2010 1:06 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

The Tide have an easy game with Tennessee this week before having to travel to Baton Rouge

Alabama and Tennessee is never an easy game.  It is an historic SEC rivalry game where records and everything else is thrown out the window.  Look at last year.



Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2010 12:14 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

Playing Arkansas was a much scarier game than playing you guys.
And the smugness has fully cemented itself in the fans of Auburn.  LSU's D is a little better than Arkansas'.  Also, Jarrett Lee, if given the chance, will carve up that suspect AU DB's. 



Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2010 6:02 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

How much better could Mallet have possibly done? would his touchdown passes have counted more than his backups? No, you are an idiot, and think about what you're going to say before you say it

And this makes Auburn D look good how????? Maybe Mallet wouldn't have thrown a INT in the 4th and the shootout would've continued. Remember, in 3 drives, Mallet scored a TD twice.

But back to the point...are you about Auburn b/c Arkansas' backup QB torched the D?




Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2010 5:27 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

LSUSMC

Thanks for the insight there.  You think Cam makes the whole team better.  WOW,  that's brilliant commentary.  That's like saying Peyton Manning makes the Colts better.  Who cares if Auburn fans think LSU is intimidated.  Cam is going to run over and through y'all regardless.  Your offense is pathetic and so is our defense.  Playing Arkansas was a much scarier game than playing you guys.  Should be a battle between us and it always is.  WDE!




Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2010 4:57 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

I think Cam makes the Auburn line look better than it is.  Actually, I think Cam makes the whole team look better than it is..  I hope there are no Auburn fans that think LSU is intiminated by this game, because we clearly are not.  LSU has won three in a row over Auburn, and the big difference this year is Cam.  There may be a couple of freshmen playing well, but it is still mainly one guy.  I hope the team thinks they are the team that just scored 65 on Arkansas, and forgets about those three point wins over MSU, Clemson, and Kentucky.  Both teams have been pushed to the limit and have come away victorious each time.  This should be a good one.


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