Arkansas Archives

Will Alabama continue to roll against LSU? Week 10 Predictions

It’s LSU-Alabama weekend, which means we’ve got a SEC doubleheader. The other game’s going to be in Athens for new No.1 Georgia, who host South Carolina. Otherwise, a lot of eyes are going to be on Missouri for Florida’s visit to Columbia – mainly because of the changed storyline that comes with firing your head coach midway through the season, as Florida did. Then there’s the expectancy that no-one’s going to show up to Neyland for Southern Miss’ visit to Tennessee as a protest against Butch Jones, and Ole Miss vs Kentucky ain’t exactly one for the neutrals, either. But one game we love is Auburn vs Texas A&M. It’s such a damned pity that the game’s going to be on so early….

With all that said, here’s your SEC Week 10 preview.

1.No.19 LSU at No.2 Alabama (-21): Some LSU fans claim that they should win this one because of their talent, but if you watched the Tigers this season, you’ll know that Ed Orgeron’s side hasn’t played well in four quarters against good teams (so BYU, UTC Chattanooga and maybe Ole Miss doesn’t count). Alabama has played well in four quarters of EVERY game they’ve played in. The problem that LSU has is that any mistakes they make (like a late hit/ pass interference/ any other stupid penalty) will be exploited ruthlessly by a Nick Saban side that needs to put up a monster win to help its credibility in the College Football Play-Off race. As for tactics, we expect Alabama to stack the box to stop Derrius Guice, while we expect LSU to try and do the same against Alabama’s two-headed monster of Harris and Scarborough in an effort to make a not-particularly good thrower Jalen Hurts throw. Mind you, LSU’s QB Danny Etling has been just the good side of serviceable this season. PREDICTION: Alabama 38, LSU 7. ‘Nuff said.

2. Southern Miss at Tennessee (-6.5): All of Knoxville seems to be angry, with burning couches and campaigns to get rid of Butch Jones. The only reason why we’re finding this game interesting is that we see about how many fans listen to the #EmptyNeyland campaign, in which fans are trying to show their under-appreciation/hatred of Butch Jones by not showing. We haven’t had any answers on Twitter of whether Big Orange fans would do the same against upcoming SEC opponents LSU and Vanderbilt. Oh, and if Tennessee struggles against Southern Miss (and they are only a 6.5 point favorite against a 5-3 team that is medicore in total offense and total defense), then God help UT….PREDICTION: Tennessee wins and beats the spread, winning by 14.

3. Florida at Missouri: (-3) Missouri’s playing with a bit of hope this season, because the offense has sparked into gear lately – albeit against some pretty poor sides. Florida, on the other hand, should have fired Doug Nussmeier well before Jim McElwain suffered the same blow last Sunday….that’s how bad the offense is this season. Now that Randy Shannon, the team’s interim head coach is in charge? Will things change. Firstly, he’s dumped underperforming frosh Feleipe Franks and put in Malik Zaire for this clash for the SEC Titans. If Zaire has a good game, it’ll mainly because Missouri’s defense has proven to be completely incompetent just about anybody its faced. So bet on Florida winning in the same sort of game that they did against Vanderbilt….a shoot-out. PREDICTION: Florida wins by 7 a weird high-scorer.

4. South Carolina at No.1 Georgia (-23.5): Georgia is No.1 in the country. Georgia fans are already celebrating the new dominance of college football, seemingly forgetting that we’ve got a month to go and weird things can happen – especially in an upcoming trip to Auburn….where weird things happen. But we don’t think weird things are going to happen against South Carolina, which is a not-bad but not-particularly-good team this year. PREDICTION: Bulldogs keep barking. Georgia by 35.

5. No.14 Auburn (-15) at Texas A&M: This might be the closest SEC game you’ll see all week, and it’s a pity they are playing this one at 11am instead of a good, honest time like 6. In other words, Texas A&M fans, Auburn fans, SEC fans and college football fans are getting gipped. Texas A&M was terrible at home to Mississippi State, yet they showed up strongly against Alabama. In other words, they are a strange team to behold. Auburn’s offense has begun to click (the ‘D’ has clicked all year) thanks to an excellent running game, but their defense – which has clicked all year – will be tested against Christian Kirk. PREDICTION: We don’t understand why Auburn’s got the 15-point spread. But we don’t think they’ll win. Tigers by 6.

6. Ole Miss at Kentucky (-4): Ole Miss is in a tailspin and Kentucky can relax because its bowl-eligible, despite playing mediocrely all season long (actually the one game it DIDN’T play medicorely it lost to Florida because of two terrible plays). This game won’t be fun to watch, people. PREDICTION: Ole Miss wins an awful game by 7.

7. Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt (-9.5): Vanderbilt’s in a slide, but then again, Western Kentucky’s hardly a great SEC opponent, are they? We expect the Commodores to win – if a little closely that expect – and feel happier again. PREDICTION: Vanderbilt by 14.

8. UMass at No.16 Mississippi State (-32): One of the most uninteresting games of the schedule. UMass gave Tennessee a game, but MSU should absolutely destroy them. PREDICTION: Mississippi State by 41.

9. Coastal Carolina at Arkansas (-23.5): Yeah…..snore…..PREDICTION: Arkansas by 38.

Alabama and Georgia keep rolling: Week 9 SEC Rankings

After Georgia whipped Florida like a buzzsaw in Jacksonville, costing Gators’ head coach Jim McElwain, the amount of people who asked the question increased hundredfold: “Are the Bulldogs the best team in the country?”

It’s important to ask the bigger question: “Are the Bulldogs the best team in the SEC, let alone the country?”

So here we go with our Post-Week 9 SEC Rankings:

  1. Alabama: The Crimson Tide has done nothing wrong this season, and a wins over LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn should further the ‘best team in the SEC’ rankings. Nick Saban’s on his usual rant about not listening to rankings – like the College Football Play-Off one that comes out today – but you can bet he’s checking them out.
  2. Georgia: Kirby Smart went off on a Saban-like  rant about not listening to the College Football Play-Off Committee, and you can bet he’s listening to. The Bulldogs have got the best win between themselves and Alabama (who would have known how terrible Florida State is from then to now?). But outside of that, the Dawgs defense and superb running combo of Chubb and Michel make Georgia one of the top two teams in our rankings.
  3. LSU: LSU has performed well since the Troy upset, going 3-0 and beating Auburn in the process. We’re not sure that Ed Orgeron has taught his Tigers to play all four quarters, though. They’ll need all four if they are to have a hope against Alabama.
  4. Auburn: The Tigers’ excellent defense will get tested at Texas A&M, and we’ll get an eye to whether they can survive the upcoming clashes with Georgia and Alabama.
  5. Mississippi State: Nick Fitzgerald really is a good quarterback, and Dan Mullen really is a good coach. Mississippi State fans would be ecstatic if Mullen stays – especially with some bigger jobs coming to call.
  6. Texas A&M: Getting beaten at home by Mississippi State isn’t the problem. It’s looking as bad as the Aggies did in the process that’s the problem.
  7. South Carolina: If surviving Vanderbilt is a ‘thing’ for South Carolina, then things are OK in Columbia. We’re still not entirely sure about the Gamecocks, but they seem to be rebounding nicely from the loss of Deebo Samuel.
  8. Kentucky: Kentucky is bowl eligble! Go Mark Stoops!
  9. Missouri: Drew Lock and THAT offense have all the momentum right now. Remember, they threw all over Georgia in the first half in Athens. The problem is the defense. But if they can get an unlikely stop, then Missouri may cause some trouble to Florida and Tennessee in the East.
  10. Florida: Directionless, and now head coach-less, the Florida Gators are spinning downwards at a rate of knots. The Florida State game in Gainseville should be a $5 Stubhub ticket. Booze, weed, smelling salts and maybe some acid will be supplied just to make everyone forget about the game.
  11. Arkansas: A fantastic comeback at Ole Miss showed that the Hogs have guts that we didn’t think they had. Could this result have saved Bret Bielema’s job?
  12. Ole Miss: They’ve thrown in the towel now, and it’s not pretty. Unlike a tailgate in Oxford.
  13. Vanderbilt: Great guts against South Carolina, but this team keeps on losing. It hasn’t recovered from the battering against Bama.
  14. Tennessee: Couches were burned when news emerged that Butch Jones HADN’T been fired in Knoxville. Now there’s an ‘Empty Neyland’ campaign, in an effort to show Vols’ fans rage against Jones by not showing up for the home game against Southern Miss. Ironically, the stadium would probably have been 50% full anyway.

 

Should Alabama be No.1 in the first CFB Play-Off Rankings?

We know Alabama is one of the best four teams in the country. The Crimson Tide haven’t just played every team it’s come against well, it has (apart from Texas A&M) massacred them.

The Crimson Tide has burnt through much of its opposition, and it’s probably the best team in college football.

The College Football Play-Off Committee’s eye test would definitely see Alabama’s blitzkrieg of its opposition and put it as the best team in the country. But then, it has to worry about strength of schedule. And it also looks at how teams improve week to week rather than fall apart. That’s why Ohio State fans are probably very excited about the prospect of seeing their team in the Top 4 despite an early-season loss to Oklahoma. Because despite OSU’s home spanking by Oklahoma, it has been one of the best teams in college football by a mile, doubling up No.2 Penn State in offensive yardage and shutting down Saquan Barkley in the process.

So back to Alabama. Alabama’s strength of schedule probably looked great when they ripped apart No.3 Florida State in Atlanta on the first game of the season. Florida State has gone 2-4 since that game, and was recently ripped to shreds by Boston College, 35-3. Alabama’s next-strongest game was a road game at Texas A&M. Texas A&M lost to a now-mediocre UCLA team and last week were driven into the ground by Mississippi State. The rest of the games played by Alabama have been non-conference laughers against Fresno State, Colorado State, and practical walkovers against Tennessee (we all know what’s happening there), Ole Miss (it’s almost as bad in Oxford as it is in Neyland), and Vanderbilt (they haven’t won a game since the Bama blow-out).

Listen, we’re not saying that Alabama’s not good. The Tide is probably the best team in the nation. It’s deep. It’s talented. It’s three running backs of Damien Harris, Bo Scarborough and Najee Harris could probably start anywhere else in the country. And while Jalen Hurts’ throwing as a quarterback might be a little on the poor side (he’s only 25th in the country in pass efficiency and 86th in total passing yards), his running is exceptional. Oh, and the defensive unit – as per usual – is a freak show (No.1 in the nation in total yards given up).

SO WHY AREN’T THE CRIMSON TIDE NO.1?

As much as the pollsters love the Crimson Tide, there’s one major fact: The schedule has been easy on them. Georgia has the best win out of the two teams, beating Notre Dame on road, which is an excellent 7-1. Georgia also beat Mississippi State into a pulp earlier on in the season, and MSU has wins over LSU and on the road at Texas A&M on its resume, as well as shellacking of Kentucky, a team that is better than most people expect.

Apart from one half against Missouri when its secondary was lit up, Georgia also has an elite defense, and an exceptional pairing of (still fit) running backs in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and QB Jake Fromm has done wonders after taking over the job for an injured Jacob Eason.

But the problem for the Tide is the strength of schedule. If Alabama curb-stomps LSU, Auburn, and Mississippi State, they should be No.1 and UGA – who play Auburn as the last of its ‘major games’ in the coming weeks – will be No.2.

But above all else, we really hope to see the Crimson Tide play Georgia in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, because it would be one of the most-hyped games in college football history. Good luck getting a ticket for that one, folks.

(BTW, our other two teams in the play-off would be Notre Dame (they only lost to UGA by one point and are currently en fuego) and Clemson (better SoS than Ohio State, honestly).

 

 

Florida fires McElwain

Florida has fired head coach Jim McElwain. Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon is now the team’s interim head coach.

On Saturday the Gators suffered a 42-0 drubbing by Georgia at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, which was Florida’s third straight defeat following home losses to LSU and Texas A&M. The Gators have a 3-4 record.

We want to thank Coach McElwain for his efforts in leading the Gator football program,” athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. “We are confident Coach Shannon will provide the proper guidance to the players and rest of staff during this time, and we will begin a national search for the next head coach.

McElwain’s buyout is $12.76 million, and the Gators have asked McElwain to take less – but its hardly likely that he will do, since his success with the Gators has hardly been awful. Under McElwain, Florida has won two SEC East Championships in a row (2015 and 2016) and had a 22-12 record as coach. McElwain earned $4.268m as Florida’s head coach  – the 13th largest head coach’s salary in the country.

I want to thank the University of Florida, the fans and the alumni for the opportunity to have been your head coach,” McElwain said in a statement out on Twitter. “My family and I will move on with appreciation and good memories.” There was no mention of the buyout.

LAST WEEK HELL

The last week has been a terrible one for McElwain, where the now-former head coach said that his family and team were getting death threats from Florida fans. When Florida’s security quite rightly took the matter seriously, McElwain did not disclose what had happened. Suddenly rumors came out of Gainesville that Florida was looking to fire McElwain ‘with cause’ . After going on a tirade about the matter, McElwain said the matters “happened in the past”.

THIS SEASON HASN’T HELPED

Florida’s off-season was terrible, with top wide receiver Antonio Callaway, running back Jordan Scarlett and four other players suspended indefinitely for what amounts to credit card fraud.

Then, there was an internet meme when fans made fun of McElwain for allegedly being photoed naked lying on top of a shark. McElwain didn’t take it too kindly.

Then came the season, which was also terrible. The Gators started the season with a loss to Michigan, and were lucky to beat Tennessee and Kentucky in SEC East play.

What was also stunning was that McElwain stayed local to offensive coordinator Doug Nussemeir, who is looking like one of the worst OCs the school has ever had. Under Nussemeir this season, Florida is 112th in the nation in total offense, 58th in rushing offense and 110th in passing. It is 125th in sacks allowed, giving up 25 sacks so far this season. Although the Gators are 10th in the nation in red zone offense, they have only made 17 trips to the red zone itself. In 7 games.

Another stat for you? Since 2007, 24 head coaches have gone from their posts in the SEC. By the end of silly season, we’re expecting that number to be near 30.

 

Will Georgia raise a cocktail? Week 9 SEC Preview

It’s Cocktail Party week, when the Georgia and Florida fans descend on Jacksonville and get blind drunk before the 3.30 pm kick-off, and provide an atmosphere that’s OK. During the week before, Florida’s been talking a lot of crap, while the head coach has been telling stories (which might be true) about death threats.

If we’re honest, that’s going to be the most interesting game of the week. The ones are a little bit of a struggle.

  1. No.3 Georgia (-14) vs Florida: Georgia fans are going to run, run, run the ball down Florida’s throat, and hope that Jake Fromm’s not forced into passing. Despite what people say, UF has a good secondary, and every game that they’ve lost have been a lot closer than 14 points. The problem for Florida is that they are facing a great defense, and their offense absolutely sucks. PREDICTION: Georgia by 17.
  2. Tennessee vs Kentucky (-4): The Butch Jones death train spirals downwards to Lexington, KY, where eyes are going to be on whether the Vols survive after last week’s brutal beating by Alabama. The news that the Volunteers’ top running back got himself suspended can’t have helped the humor around the program either. Kentucky last week wasn’t too great itself, getting its hind pots booted by Mississippi State. This could be awful to watch. PREDICTION: Kentucky by 7.
  3. Mississippi State (-1.5) vs Texas A&M: After beating the crap out of Kentucky, people are talking again about whether Mississippi State’s losing streak was an aberration, while Texas A&M isn’t as bad as people think. We love Christian Kirk, a lot. But then again, we love Nick Fitzgerald a lot, too. This is going to the wire. PREDICTION: Texas A&M in the mild ‘upset’, winning by 3. 
  4. Arkansas at Ole Miss (-3.5): This is how bad Arkansas is, people. Ole Miss, which is rumored to be mailing it in, has no defense to speak of and now doesn’t have a quarterback that’s any good after Shea Patterson’s season-ending injury. Arkansas is still an underdog to Ole Miss this week. The pressure on Bret Bielema’s hotting up – and is possibly hotting up on AD Jeff Long, who despite talking a good game at College Football Play-Off time, should really look after the games the Razorbacks are playing. PREDICTION: Ole Miss by 10. 
  5. Vanderbilt at South Carolina (-7): Jake Bentley is a solid quarterback and South Carolina really isn’t a bad team, and they are coming across a Vanderbilt side that’s aching to turn things around after being run on by everybody since they were crushed by Alabama (and that includes a poor Ole Miss side). We fancy the Gamecocks to roll. PREDICTION: South Carolina by 14. 
  6. Missouri (-13) vs UConn: UConn’s secondary is despicable, giving up 373 passing yards per game. Missouri’s found a bit of faith in its offense, and there are prayers that the defense can actually hold the UConn offense, which is mediocre if not terrible. We think Drew Lock throws a bundle, and Missouri wins handily. PREDICTION: Missouri by 30.

It Just Means More: A Guide to Hating Every SEC Fanbase

The most important thing about the SEC is our passion. In other words: “We love our program, and therefore hate yours.” The hatred between teams is probably encapsulated best either in the Alabama – Auburn rivalry or the four days of carnage known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party featuring Florida and Georgia, in which there will no doubt be a lot of trash talk and fighting between fans.

So in this, we thought we’d give you a guide about what to hate about EVERY team’s fanbase in the SEC. Oh, and we hate CBS’ music, Brad Nessler (he’s from Minnesota) and Gary Danielson (I don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to throw a chair through the TV when he’s commentating), and every other conference in college football (and Notre Dame, the pious Catholic mother****ers). And don’t start us on Paul Finebaum…

JUST REMEMBER: IT JUST MEANS MORE. 

So here we go, in alphabetical order:

  1. Alabama: The fact that the houndstooth wearing, three-brained Bama brethren take everything as a ‘slight’ or ‘bulletin board material for the team’, when it’s probable that the team don’t read the media as much as they do. They don’t like sarcasm and they hate losing. So much so that they’ll poison your shrubbery, or scream that Saban should leave. They can’t work out what the best mascot is for a ‘Crimson Tide’, so they bring in a weird elephant with a terrible trunk,. They insist that their fans are really nice, but really they are super arrogant. Oh, and Finebaum’s an ostrich, with the only difference being that the ostrich buries his head in the sand, while Finebaum buries his head up Nick Saban’s ass. Oh, and the ‘Rammer Jammer’ thing is bad when they give your teams a beatdown. Which happens, often. How many Alabama fans actually went to Alabama, anyway?
  2. Arkansas: Southeastern Conference my ass. It’s a pain in the butt to get too (I really hate I-20 and I-22), and the fanbase can’t stop moaning about how much they hate Texas and or/Oklahoma. THAT SHIP HAS SAILED, people. The ‘Pig Sooiee’ chant is weird.
  3. Auburn: Is it ‘War Eagle’ or ‘War Tiger’? We never know. Like Alabama, they love their live mascot (the eagle) but they’ve got a furry mascot too (a person in a Tiger’s suit). Auburn fans think that their job is the best in the SEC (it’s really not). Oh, and then there’s the $Cam Newton thing, that we all felt in the SEC (it wasn’t just Alabama). If they beat you, they’ll throw toilet paper on the trees, which are coming back after the Harvey Updyke disgrace (sometimes the trees are more revered than the football team).
  4. Florida: Florida might be in the South, but they ain’t Southern. The whole ‘Gator Chomp’ thing is one of the most annoying things in college football, and they all wear jorts (jean shorts to the uneducated) to football games instead of dressing properly. Oh, and Steve Spurrier and Tim Tebow can screw off, too.
  5. Georgia: We hate guys woofing. It’s weird, and that’s what Georgia fans do all the time (calling it “Calling the Dawgs, while some might call it “Acting like an idiot”). They also piss and moan if they lose, and they are arrogant as hell if they win. UGA fans haven’t learned about the art of sportsmanship yet. Georgia’s arrogance is actually hilarious if you think that Missouri’s won more division titles than they have in recent years.
  6. Kentucky: Hey, just give them a horse race and be done with it. We know the real fact: Kentucky is a basketball school and in Lexington, all the fanbase talks about is ‘basketball season’. Which makes it all the funnier when they don’t make it to the Final Four. Look, we GET that Kentucky’s got a good history of the round ball, but they’ve also got a history of sucking in the SEC, which makes them embarrassing for us to watch.
  7. LSU: WE GET THE SUN’S GONE DOWN ON TIGER STADIUM. EVEN WHEN IT HASN’T. IT DOESN’T MAKE THE FANBASE SMELL LESS OF CORNDOGS. We’ve heard enough about night games at Death Valley (CBS usually steals the big ones for the 3.30 slot, so really they’re screwed there) to last a lifetime. Oh, and shut up about how great you are at tailgating. We’re all amazing at tailgating here in the SEC. That’s what we live for. And you ain’t French, either.
  8. Ole Miss: Blah blah blah, Oxford tailgate blah blah blah. It’s a cliche now, isn’t it? Oh, and Eli Manning went there? No s***. You’ve never mentioned it, Ole Miss fans. Or that his Dad went there. Or that Peyton should have gone there. And how the NCAA have it out for you. Listen, you knew Hugh Freeze was/is a pious dirtbag when you hired him (he had a reputation coming from high school, we hear), and he finally got what was coming to him. Oh, and the continued linking to a – shall we say – checkered – past is also weird and quite scary, too.
  9. Mississippi State: The Cowbells. Oh my God. The Cowbells. The loudest, most irritating sound in the SEC. You get headaches for weeks and months afterwards. The fans can’t stop talking about who’s the bigger cheater – them or Ole Miss. We don’t know, and we’re past caring. All we do know is: Shut the **** Up with those Cowbells.
  10. Missouri: In the same way as Florida really ain’t Southern, Missouri isn’t either. It’s Mid-West and should have stayed there. And those Missouri fans aren’t sarcastic, they are plain rude. Also, how dare they come into the East and win division titles.
  11. South Carolina: Please stop saying “Go Cocks”. It’s weird and embarrassing. And ‘Sandstorm’ is also one of the most terrible tracks ever known to man. It wasn’t written by an American either, but by a Finnish dude. Whereever the hell that Finland place is.
  12. Tennessee: Gaudy? Tasteless? We’re not describing the butt-chugging (they all deny it but we KNOW it’s true) that they are into in Knoxville. No, it’s the Orange. How does anyone want to wear that? Oh, and shut up about Peyton ****ing Manning, you three-toothed Hillbillies. Oh, and Philip Fulmer’s fat and he’s a snitch. And when UT ran him out of town, his replacements have been a horror show (The only time Lane Kiffin has ever shut up is when Nick Saban told him to). Which is funny, because Vols fans are now as mad as hell. As those weird hippie Pac-12 people say out West, when they aren’t taking LSD and talking about the damned Sixties? Karma.
  13. Texas A&M: HAVE  YOU MENTIONED THE 12TH MAN LATELY? PLEASE TELL US AGAIN. We are reminded that David Koresh went to Waco and not College Station. Had he wanted to get away with it all, all he would have had to do is don a Texas A&M shirt and chat to a dog and he would have been a welcomed part of the fanbase. Oh, and you’ve gotta start playing Texas again – mainly because you can’t stop singing about them, talking about them, and giving the ‘horns down’ at every opportunity. And yes, we get that Johnny Football was pretty good, too. Whatever happened to that guy, anyway?
  14. Vanderbilt: As this is the only private school on the list, Vandy people will talk to you but only with their nose in the air. Commodore fans simply don’t show up for football games, despite being in the heart of Nashville, one of the South’s greatest towns.

Is LSU really the third best team in the SEC? Week 8 Rankings

LSU suddenly look as though it has something to make its fans excited about. After the Troy disaster, the Tigers have won three straight (Florida, Auburn and Ole Miss), and even Danny Etling does not look as bad as Gary Danielson makes him out to be (some people think Gary Danielson’s better than WE think he is).

But are the Tigers the third best team in the SEC? It’s between them at Texas A&M. A&M was on a bye week, but with LSU’s road victory – albeit an Ole Miss team that is inept at stopping the run, they move up to third. Auburn’s also pretty good, too.

So here you are.

  1. Alabama: Nick Saban will probably be yelling at backup QB Tua Tagovailoa for the next week for throwing a pick-six in the crushing of Tennessee. Hey, let’s be honest, the biggest surprise in college football this year would be if Alabama gets upset. Or if Saban actually calms down.
  2. Georgia: Putting their feet up before the Cocktail Party next week, Georgia doesn’t have a lot of holes in its game either. The win at Notre Dame is suddenly looking better and better, although the Florida and Auburn games would really indicate how good UGA really is.
  3. LSU: Derrius Guice ran for TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX YARDS on Saturday night. That’s right: TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX. Danny Etling’s performance of 9-13, 200 yards and 2 TDs (he ran in for one more) wasn’t terrible either.
  4. Texas A&M: The LSU game on November 25th (basically to see who’s going to be the second-best team in the SEC West) suddenly looks really, really interesting. The November 4th game at home to Auburn may tell us a little bit, too.
  5. Auburn: The destruction of a woeful Arkansas team showed what happens when a team plays for 60 minutes, not takes its foot off the gas after 20. As Auburn fans watching the LSU game would know. After the win Twitter wasn’t filled with cries of “Fire that ****er Malzahn”, as Auburn fans seemed more satisfied. We’re sure that’ll change if they lose to A&M and then Alabama in November!
  6. Florida: The 6th-place is evident for the Gators’ mediocrity. They’d probably be lower if this poll was just based on offenses. The offense – for which Gus Nussmeir should be fired for at season-end – is a steaming pile of crap.
  7. Mississippi State: Crushing Kentucky was hilarious, bearing in mind that everybody thought the Cats were sneaky-good. Nick Fitzgerald may not have been great passing (18-26, 155 yards, 1 TD), but his running game was great (12 carries, 112 yards, 2 TDs). Excuse me while I stand up and applaud.
  8. South Carolina: We GET that Kentucky beat South Carolina. But still, we think that South Carolina would have coped better against Mississippi State than Kentucky did. Plus, Kentucky came back from a week off and still played badly.
  9. Kentucky: To come from a bye week and play this badly deserves a demotion in our rankings. We still think the Cats will be bowl eligible by the end of the season, but this the kind of display that makes you excited. Luckily for them, 3 out of their last 5 games are winnable (the only one that isn’t is a trip to UGA on Nov 18. They play Tennessee next week).
  10. Missouri: Missouri’s destruction of Idaho has given the Tigers a bit of momentum – something that the other 4 teams below them simply don’t have. Another awful performance by their secondary should see them safely ensconced at the bottom again!
  11. Ole Miss: The loss of Shea Patterson against LSU gives Ole Miss offensive problems. The Rebels already have huge defensive problems. It’s a pity Ole Miss and Missouri don’t play each other this season – it could be the most entertaining game of the year, with the over about 750!!
  12. Arkansas: The gray shirts matched the Razorbacks’ performance against Auburn: Miserable. They were given a hiding by the Tigers, and showed no interest in fighting back. With news that his buyout’s $10m less than people first though, Jeff Long will now be under pressure to fire Bret Bielema.
  13. Tennessee: It’s OK, Butch Jones – Every team gets the living crap beaten out of it by Alabama. Butch Jones should be fired at season-end, though.
  14. Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt has to get its running defense better if it’s going to come off the bottom. Before the bye week the team had no momentum at all, and we’re sorry to say were a worse team than Tennessee.

Auburn boots WR Kyle Davis

Auburn has dismissed WR Kyle Davis from the team for breaking team rules, head coach Gus Malzahn has revealed.

“Anytime as a head coach a player has to be dismissed, that hurts,” Malzahn told the press today. “We’ve got a lot of great kids. Anytime that happens, it’s just another opportunity for someone else. So that’s the way I look at it.”

It wasn’t Auburn’s first dismissal of the year. Backup QB Sean White was booted for public intoxication. In another blow for the Tigers – former five-star DE Byron Cowart also left the program due to a lack of playing time and issues with his mother’s health.

Davis hadn’t had the most productive years, receiving just 7 passes for 210 yards. He didn’t make the LSU trip, which showed a sign that he was in Malzahn’s doghouse.

In a situation that seems to eerily echo Georgia’s under Mark Richt, Gus Malzahn’s team has lost 14 players through transfer or dismissal since the end of the 2016 season.

OUR TAKE: We don’t know if Malzahn’s lost control of the Auburn program, or suddenly he decided that he wasn’t going to put up with any crap from self-entitled players. Of course, with the loss at LSU the fans will probably want to say that Malzahn had “lost control of things”, but whatever way the fanbase swings, there’s one thing for certain: Davis’ dismissal is hardly good news for Auburn.

 

Can Tennessee survive Alabama? Week 8 SEC Predictions

We’re going to make a massive prediction this week and tell you that someone might make a comment about Philip Fulmer when Tennessee comes to Tuscalossa. Apart from that, this – on paper – isn’t a wildly interesting slate with Auburn going to Arkansas, LSU going to Ole Miss, Kentucky going to Mississippi State, and Idaho visiting Missouri.

So here are the games in the level of interesting:

  1. Auburn (-15.5) vs Arkansas: If things were going to be smooth for Bret Bielema and Arkansas this season, things suddenly became a lot less smooth when it was reported that Bielema’s buyout was in fact $5.9 million NOT the $15 million as earlier thought. That’s a hell of a jump. Apparently, a reporter read the contract. And we can tell you that there’s another SEC fanbase who’s not happy: Auburn. The Plains are smoking about not getting their first win in Baton Rouge since 1999, particularly with a comfortable 20-0 lead. But after the cruise control, the offensive playcalling went into its shell, LSU’s ‘D’ played out of its mind, and LSU won. Suddenly, the critics are saying: “If Malzahn doesn’t beat Georgia or Alabama, he’s out”. The good news for Auburn? They are facing an Arkansas side that just had the crap beaten out of it by Alabama, and gives up nearly 5 yards/rushing attempt. That should let Kerryon Johnson feast. PREDICTION: Auburn by 14.
  2. Alabama (-34.5) at Tennessee: Nick Saban’s going to spin his usual crap about Tennessee being one hell of a football team and being unlucky last week against South Carolina, but the first half is far from the truth. Tennessee is a bad football team. They managed to lose against South Carolina despite having a bye week to work out how they might actually score a touchdown. Listen, we don’t think Butch Jones is going to get his ass kicked out of Knoxville after the slaughter in Tuscaloosa, but this won’t be close. If you have anything to do between 3.30 and 7pm (ie watch other college football games), do so. PREDICTION: Alabama by 40. 
  3. LSU (-6.5) at Ole Miss: LSU’s second-half defense against Auburn was pretty amazing, helped by defensive backs Done Jackson and Eric Monroe, who had 6 pass break-ups between them. Ole Miss looked as though it was going to be in a tussle with Vanderbilt, but rolled. With AJ Brown back and Shea Patterson looking to throw the ball every play (they average 357.2 yards/game, the 6th-highest in the NCAA), LSU’s defensive backs are going to have a real challenge. Oh, and LSU has to grow up. The Tigers are 89th in the FBS for penalties, compiling 433 penalty yards this season – that’s nearly 62 yards per game. You can see that one of LSU’s players gets booted for targeting (as happened at Mississippi State, twice). On the offensive side of the ball, we expect Darrius Guice to be given the ball a lot against a D that has given up 238.5 yards/game – one of the worst in the country. And Danny Etling – if he’s not terrible, could be counted on for a pass TD or two against a D that’s given up 10 pass TDs this season and nearly 13 yards per completion. PREDICTION: LSU wins by 7 in a close, entertaining one. 
  4. Kentucky at Mississippi State (-10.5): We stupidly tweeted that we couldn’t believe Kentucky was a 10 pt away favorite at Mississippi State, but then realised that we’d got the order of things wrongly, and it was the Bulldogs who were 10 point favorites. We still think it’s low. Kentucky’s gone 1-1 in classics this season (the fortunes could have been reversed against Florida and Missouri), while Mississippi State’s blown out a team that they weren’t meant to (LSU), and were blown out by a team that they were meant to play really, really close (Georgia). After getting swatted by Auburn following the UGA game, Mississippi State finally looked better against BYU, and we think it’ll continue against Kentucky. Although Kentucky’s been nasty against the rush (97.2 yards/game), they are mediocre overall (385.5 yards/game), which should give Nick Fitzgerald lots of chances to exploit them. We expect Kentucky to try and control the clock as it has against all its opponents, but we don’t think they’ll be particularly effective. PREDICTION: MSU by 13.
  5. Idaho at Missouri (-14.5): Get this: Missouri is so bad that they are only a 14.5 home favorite against Idaho, who has played no-one on their schedule. Yes, we get that Missouri struggled mightily with Southeast Missouri State at the start of the year but Idaho? Really? In the last two weeks Missouri’s offense has clicked a little better, with Drew Lock throwing bullets and scaring the life out of secondaries.  And We think Idaho will give up more than the 162.3 yards/game they give up through the air on this offense. Idaho’s offense is also pretty mediocre (ranked 97th overall), so if Missouri can actually make a stop, they should win comfortably.If you’re watching this game, watch out for Emmanuel Hall, who had 270 yards and 3 TDs in the last two games – including 141 against Georgia. PREDICTION (And I don’t believe I’m saying this): Missouri by 28. 

QUICK PREDICTION FOR AN OUT- CONFERENCE: Michigan goes to Penn State as a 9.5 road favorite. Michigan’s got the best defense in the land, and Penn State has struggled against some bad teams of late getting the Saquon Barkley run game going. And Michigan’s won 3 straight over the Nittany Lions. We’ll take Michigan. Even if it’s only the points. That gives an advantage to Georgia. 

After the mayhem of Week 7, Auburn and Tennessee fans are unhappy

After the unbridled craziness of Week 7 (see Clemson, Washington and Washington State all getting upset) Alabama and Georgia still rule the SEC. While Alabama rolled, it wasn’t the most convincing of performances from Georgia, who only woke up in the second half of their game against Missouri. Elsewhere, Auburn blew a 20-pt lead on a horribly hot day at LSU and really, really pissed off their fanbase in the process (To LSU fans, ‘Coach O’ is now God), the Tennessee soap opera continued with a 15-9 home loss to South Carolina in one of the ugliest games you’ll ever see, while Texas A&M now like Kevin Sumlin again after the Aggies won by 2 points in an electrifying atmosphere in The Swamp against Florida. Ole Miss rolled against Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State beat BYU easily.

So here are your SEC rankings after Week 7:

  1. Alabama: At this stage the Crimson Tide looks absolutely unbeatable. There’s nothing else to say.
  2. Georgia: Georgia’s secondary was terrible in the first half against Missouri, but in the second half everyone worked out their issues and the Dawgs ran out  53-28 winners. That would have pissed off Vegas bettors, because UGA was a 28-pt favorite. What might concern Georgia fans is that there were four times in the win that they couldn’t convert in the red zone against a very poor Missouri defense. Kirby Smart will make all ‘teachable’ before the Cocktail Party against Florida in a couple of weeks time, we’re sure.
  3. Texas A&M: This Texas A&M team’s got serious momentum at the moment, and we honestly think they could beat LSU and Auburn this season. Kellen Mond is a lot of fun to watch, and so’s Christian Kirk – when he manages to catch the ball. Oh, and we don’t like to tell you, dear 12th Man, that we told you so when told you to calm down about Kevin Sumlin after the UCLA loss. But we told you so.
  4. LSU: After the Troy loss we honestly thought the SEC race and even a bowl game might be a struggle for LSU, but back-to-back wins against Florida and Auburn – where the defense has really shown its short and curlies – have LSU fans happier. Oh, and let’s talk about those DBs. Holy crap they’re good!
  5. Auburn: We can’t work out why Gus Malzahn refused to let Jarrett Stidham throw a 5-8 yard pass instead of always opt for the ‘Big Reception’, or why Kerryon Johnson seemed to be mostly absent during the second half. But that may just have been us. But remember: Just because you blew a big lead in Baton Rouge, it doesn’t mean you’re the worst team in the world, Auburn fans.
  6. Florida: Despite the Gators’ offense being the most disgusting thing since Divine ate dog poop at the end of John Waters epic Pink Flamingos, the Gators have had an exciting season. They are 2-2 in games they should have played badly and won or played badly and lost (Kentucky and Tennessee were the ones they won/LSU + LSU were the ones they played badly at lost). Doug Nussmeir should be fired as the offensive co-ordinator when season’s done, by the way.
  7. Mississippi State: Beat the Mormons of BYU – as expected – pretty easily. This team is an average SEC team, but below-average SEC West team. I’m beginning to think the LSU win was more of a fluke than suggested, though.
  8. Kentucky: The Wildcats are 5-1. And no-one gets it since they’ve been not been great against just about every team they’ve played.
  9. South Carolina: The narrow win over Tennessee was ugly, ugly, ugly. We got a lot of crap on our Twitter (@SECBlog) from Gamecocks fans for suggesting that Florida would win the game at Williams-Brice ‘no problem’ (OK, maybe we should have put in the words ‘no problem), but after the Tennessee performance? The UF-USC game is going to be as ugly as sin. And despite Gamecocks fans suggesting that the Deebo Samuel problem was solved…..it’s not. Otherwise you’d have scored more against Tennessee.
  10. Ole Miss: An unexpected shoot-out in the first half against Vanderbilt suddenly became a massacre in Oxford. The Rebels aren’t great, but now AJ Brown’s back to full fitness (he’s had back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, and last week added 2 TDs), they finally have some offense.
  11. Arkansas: Going in the wrong, wrong, wrong direction. To say Arkansas fans are concerned is an understatement.
  12. Tennessee: THEY HAD A WEEK TO PREPARE FOR CAROLINA FOR GOD’S dSAKE. AND STILL COULDN’T SCORE A TOUCHDOWN (Butch Jones HAS to go. A lot of the media still can’t believe he wasn’t fired after the Carolina game).
  13. Missouri: Missouri managed to scrap its ass off the basement by putting 28 on Georgia – the most the Bulldogs have conceded all season long. The defense remains a joke, but you have to applaud them a little for keeping UGA out of the red-zone a little less than we expected. Should the fans jump on the field if/when the Tigers beat Idaho? I think so!
  14. Vanderbilt: There are two teams on bad trajectories in the State of Tennessee this season, and Derek Mason’s squad is the other one. Alabama broke this program, and everyone seems to have jumped on the bandwagon. Things have to be changed and quickly.

Oh, and another thing: You remember my article about unbeaten teams? I’ll shut up now.

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