Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the release of the first BCS rankings is supposed to be a big deal? I get that it’s important for teams to be in the neighborhood at this point, but all this analysis over rankings with half the season left to play? Really?
Awesome, Oklahoma is number one. They’re probably going to lose. There are 10 unbeatens left in the top 25, but odds are that most are going to lose. In fact, the only two that I really believe will stay unbeaten are Boise State and TCU. It’s ironic because I think there’s a chance TCU is going to end up ahead of Boise if both are undefeated. TCU has two good teams left on their schedule the rest of the way (Air Force and top ten Utah), meaning they have an opportunity to move up. On the other hand, Boise really only plays Nevada the rest of the way, but even that’s not a great game. Wouldn’t it be kind of funny if, after all of this, Boise ended up being boxed out of the title game by a fellow mid-major?
(7) Auburn 65 (12) Arkansas 43
Wow. All too often, these purported shootouts end up disappointing us with a 21-14 affair. That was NOT the case on Saturday. Not even a little bit. This was the highest scoring regulation game in SEC history. I was flipping back and forth between this and the Nebraska egg laying on Saturday and pretty much every time I changed the channel for more than 10 minutes, one of the teams scored.
The final score here is a bit misleading. Auburn was actually trailing this game in the fourth quarter, but scored the last 28 points to make it look like a bit of a blowout when, in fact, Arkansas was step for step with them most of the way even though their star QB, Ryan Mallett, didn’t play a second half snap. Auburn also got the benefit of a couple fortuitous replay review calls.
No surprise here, but Cam Newton starred for the Tigers. He threw for 138 and a score on just 14 attempts (with a sterling 177.8 QB rating) and ran for 189 more and three TD’s. This is a kid who took center stage this weekend and kept doing what he’s been doing all year. With fellow fleet footed QB’s Taylor Martinez and Denard Robinson crashing back to earth, Newton is now your Heisman Trophy front-runner. He’ll face another stiff home test against LSU, one of the top defenses around, next weekend, which should be fun.
Mississippi State 10 (22) Florida 7
Ol’ Urban might be wishing he would have just kept his little leave of absence going all season, because he’s facing adversity for really the first time in his time at Florida. He’s got plenty of talent, but a lot of it is young (I think they’ve played 20 true freshman already) and you know they’re going to be good again, but Florida just doesn’t have three game losing streaks.
They also don’t put up seven points in a home game against anybody, let alone Mississippi State, a perennial mediocre SEC West team. However, that’s exactly what MSU and former Gator O-coordinator Dan Mullen just did. The defense was so good that the Bulldogs didn’t even have to attempt a single pass the entire second half. Unbelievable.
Florida’s D was actually really good. After back to back scoring drives in the first quarter during which MSU gained 118 yards, the Bulldogs managed just 117 yards on their last seven drives. The difference this night, though, was the fact that Florida just wasn’t forcing those field shortening turnovers that benefited them during their 4-0 start.
Kentucky 31 (10) South Carolina 28
(8) Alabama 23 Ole Miss 10
Not the beat down I expected from the Tide coming off of a humbling loss at South Carolina. It started out looking like it might be that, as Alabama scored on their opening drive and allowed just one first down and 18 yards on Ole Miss’s first five, but the Tide just couldn’t quite get Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson in gear against a surprisingly game Rebel defense. Outside of an 85 yard catch and run by Richardson, Alabama did almost zilch on offense in the last three quarters. Ole Miss, stifled by ‘Bama’s defense, never really threatened, but they stayed within respectable distance.
Georgia 43 Vanderbilt 0
Speaking of stifling defense, Vandy was limited to just 165 total yards against a previously very inconsistent UGA defense. The ‘Dogs also forced a couple turnovers and any opportunities for big plays for the ‘Dores were derailed by drops and/or miscues. Vandy couldn’t run and they were even more incapable throwing the ball and Georgia did pretty much whatever they wanted on offense, gaining well over 500 yards.
(9) LSU McNeese State 10
Other than their unbeaten record, there really isn’t a single pretty thing about this LSU squad. They managed just 104 yards through the air and only 4.4 yards per carry on the ground and they were facing a team that gave up 40 points to Cal Poly. Fortunately for the Tigers, they did a relatively good job holding on to the football, especially considering their ability to turn it over, giving it up just once. Otherwise, McNeese’s 10-7 second quarter lead may have lasted a bit longer.
1. Auburn 7-0 (4-0) – Doesn’t it feel a bit like their defensive struggles are going to catch up with them soon?
2. Alabama 6-1 (3-1) – Yeah, they were dropped to #8 in the polls, but they are in control
3. LSU 7-0 (4-0) – You have no idea how much it pains me to put them here
4. Arkansas 4-2 (1-2) – Two very winnable games (Ole Miss, Vandy) could propel them higher
5. South Carolina 4-2 (2-2) – Very damaging loss puts SEC East in state of flux
6. Mississippi State 5-2 (2-2) – My preseason sleeper is looking good
7. Florida 4-3 (2-3) – Struggling, but a win over South Carolina would put them in East driver’s seat
8. Kentucky 4-3 (1-3)
9. Georgia 3-4 (2-3) – Don’t look now, but they are putting things together
10. Ole Miss 3-3 (1-2) – Games vs. Arkansas, Auburn could send them to three straight losses
11. Tennessee 2-4 (0-3) – Looking more and more like a 4-8 team, maybe worse
12. Vanderbilt 2-4 (1-2) – They should be happy they got that SEC win, because another will be tough to come by