Here is a look back at each game in the Southeastern Conference this past weekend as well as what lies ahead in league play. (Note: Ole Miss is not listed. We will have more on the Rebs-Cal game this week.)
No. 3 Georgia
Last week the Bulldogs beat Arkansas State, 55-0. Face facts, UGA showed compassion in that game because a different team or coach might have tried to score 100 against the Red Wolves who were dealing with a devastating personal loss following the death of their coach’s wife.
The path to the SEC Championship game keeps getting easier for the Dawgs. In successive weeks, South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida all lost their starting quarterbacks to season-ending injuries. This means one thing – Mizzou should hire outside security to protect Kelly Bryant the rest of the way.
Coming up for Georgia is Notre Dame. The Irish will finally visit between the hedges, and the winner is looking good for a playoff spot. The loser will have to win out and need help along the way.
No. 9 Florida
On Saturday, Florida edged Kentucky, 29-21. Yes, edged by eight points. The Wildcats missed a potential game-winning field goal with a minute left when they were only trailing by one point. Florida added a garbage touchdown to tick off the Vegas gamblers. The Gators were facing a backup quarterback who was beating them—and then Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks went out with a dislocation and break of the ankle, similar to that suffered by Ole Miss’ MoMo Sanogo against Arkansas. Then….UF brought in a backup quarterback who promptly beat Kentucky’s backup quarterback down the stretch.
Florida gets Tennessee this week in what is still a rivalry, even though Tennessee isn’t really Tennessee right now. This is a good chance to get the new backup some game action.
Hey, the Vols won last week! After losing to BYU (who is better than people think after beating USC last week) and to Georgia State (who is worse than people think after being drilled Western Michigan by 47 points), UT got a win versus Chattanooga. If Tennessee had lost that one, the Vol fans would have put coach Jeremy Pruitt on the Chattanooga Choo Choo and ridden him out of town.
Now the Big Orange gets to go to Gainesville. Enjoy that Chattanooga win as much as you can this week, Vols fans.
The Gamecocks showed some fight in their 47-23 loss to Alabama Saturday afternoon. Although SC couldn’t stop Bama after the first quarter, the offense at times torched the Tide and did so with true freshman Ryan Hilinski at QB. That bodes well since the Gamecocks won’t see a defense like that one until they play Clemson.
This week, South Carolina leaves Columbia to go to Columbia. Missouri that is. That is kind of cool.
The Tigers beat up on their little in-state cousin Southeast Missouri State, 50-0. At least Mizzou keeps some of that revenue in state. After losing to Wyoming in the opener, Missouri is getting better each week. That is not good news for South Carolina who shows up this week.
Vandy was off last week. That gives the Commodores another week to prepare for LSU who visits Nashville this week. Another week of prep probably won’t help against the Tigers.
The ‘Cats had Florida on the ropes last week. Sawyer Smith came in at quarterback and though he made a few mistakes, he also showed signs of talent enough to win in the SEC. Kentucky seemed to get more conservative on both offense and defense in the second half and it cost them.
Kentucky goes to Starkville this week. The jury might return a verdict on the Cats after that one.
No. 2 Alabama
The Tide drilled South Carolina like everyone thought they would. Tua passed for about three miles and Najee Harris had a highlight that will run on replay shows forever. In other words, Bama was Bama.
Now Southern Miss comes to Tuscaloosa. The kickoff is at 11 a.m. This gives Nick Saban two things to complain about: early kickoffs and having to play USM because no one wants to play them. Ah, doesn’t Alabama’s opponent also have to play at the same time? And NO ONE wants to play you? Ask Troy, they would play you at midnight on a Tuesday.
No. 4 LSU
LSU beat up on Northwestern State, 65-14. Again, at least the Tigers kept their money in state. The Demons put a scare into LSU and made it realize they were playing a football game. After that, it was all Tigers.
Nashville is the next stop for Coach O’s train. It should be an easy trip unless the Tigers are looking too far down the track to divisional play.
No. 8 Auburn
The Tigers crushed Kent State as expected. What was not expected was Auburn, holding a 21-point lead, scoring on a trick play in the third quarter. Then again, Nick Saban went to Kent State.
Auburn is at Texas A&M this week. With respect to UGA-Notre Dame, this is the game of the week in the SEC.
No. 17 Texas A&M
The Aggies picked on some guy named Lamar and whipped him 62-3 Saturday. It was a glorified scrimmage as A&M waits for Auburn this week.
Kansas State ventured to Starkvegas and left with a 31-24 win. The turning point was when a Wildcat return man received the ball and hesitated for a brief second before heading up field. The hesitation caused the MSU defenders to pull up a tad. The result was a 100-yard return. It was 100 yards because that is the only distance the returner needed to run. It could have been a mile.
The Hogs beat Colorado State and former Georgia quarterback Mike Bobo, 55-34. That is really all there is to say about that except if the Rams lost by 21 to Arkansas, heaven help them the rest of the way.