Arkansas 24, Auburn 7
"It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man at Arkansas felt free."
John L. Smith is not the beautiful bird Morgan Freeman was talking about, instead, he was referring to the bright spot in a miserable season that is playing the 2012 Auburn Tigers. Which reminds me, Auburn Family, the best way to get through the season is to SMILE and continuously reread All In, the gospel of Gene Chizik, now just $17.75 on Amazon. Though, if you actually went to Auburn, there's a better than average chance you'll need someone to read it to you. Or you can just get the audio book, but I'm not sure if that is available in cassette form.
However, the one bright spot for the Auburn Family is that you didn't have to watch Kiehl Frazier play an entire game of football, as Clint Moseley replaced Frazier in the second half. But, on yet another downside, Moseley proved to be a less mobile version of Frazier and with same ability to throw interceptions, while looking generally awful.
Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 14
I saw an article that said something about Dan Mullen wants his team to develop the ability to put teams away when they've got them down. I didn't read the article because I want as little Kentucky football in my life as possible, but I can assume Mullen is frustrated by his team letting opponents hang around. A great way to make that happen is play a non-conference schedule made up of nothing but teams from the SWAC.
Florida 14, LSU 6
Over the past few years, LSU has essentially run the Houston Nutt/David Lee offense, all the way down to the QB Killa reputation. The same eight to ten plays, which can be run to either side (DOUBLE YOUR PLAYBOOK), with even less creativity. But, LSU has always had superior players at every position on offense, especially on the offensive line (oh, and minus quarterback), and could overpower teams by force or wearing them down.
While they attempted to overpower them or wear them down, the defense kept the opposing offense from scoring and special teams dominated. It's a pretty reliable strategy as long as your offensive line can dominate. But, like all strategies, it doesn't always work according to the plan.
What's killing LSU is that they have no alternative plan. And it's almost like they don't even consider the idea of what they should do when the game doesn't go according to plan. We saw it in the national championship game last season and it made a glorious return on Saturday in Gainesville.
After LSU's 10-play opening drive, which resulted in a field goal, LSU had 11 more possessions in the game. Eight of those were of three plays or less (one resulted in another field goal, one ended in an INT, and two ended in a fumble). As a result, Florida held the ball for 37 minutes and eventually LSU'd LSU's defense, rushing for 158 yards in the second half, which included an 11-play all-running drive that gave them a 14-6 lead early in the fourth quarter.
I should probably spend every day of the rest of the season praying to little tiny baby Jesus in his manger that LSU never opens the checkbook for a real offensive coordinator, because as LSU enters the teeth of its schedule, the offensive incompetence will only become more evident and cries for that problem to be fixed will reign down upon Les Miles and the athletic department. And if they ever upgrade to even just Alabama levels of competence, WELL, S**T.
Vanderbilt 19, Missouri 15
Good news, Ole Miss fans. If Missouri loses to Kentucky next week, the Tigers have a great shot at going 0-8 in league play and replacing Ole Miss as the last team to go 0-for-the-conference, assuming Ole Miss can slap together a win over Auburn, Arkansas, or Vanderbilt this season.
And a tip of the hat to quarterback Corbin Berkstresser. Putting up a 9 of 30 performance is greatly appreciated by all who enjoy bad quarterbacking.
OBLIGATORY: James Franklin (Todd Grantham's nemesis version) is really turning things around at Vanderbilt.
Texas A&M 30, Ole Miss 27
When a team decides to turn the ball over six times and you also stop them on a 4th and 1 for a seventh turnover, you must make them pay dearly for being so dumb with the ball. Ole Miss responded to such generosity by scoring only 10 points off of turnovers, and also followed an A&M turnover with a turnover that was returned for a touchdown, resulting in a net +3 points off of SEVEN Texas A&M turnovers. And that is how you lose games you should win.
Obviously, if A&M doesn't turn the ball over so much, Ole Miss probably loses by two or three touchdowns, but they did and this was a game Ole Miss probably should have won by a touchdown or two. Alas, those helmets still say Ole Miss and squandering opportunities is built in our DNA.
Ole Miss attempted to give Johnny Manziel the Florida treatment by calling for our defensive line to sort of half-rush, meaning just stay in front of him and make him throw it, while having a spy follow him around. It worked in that it made him fairly inconsistent in throwing the ball (10-17, 104 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT) in the first half, but the spies Ole Miss used couldn't keep him from running (66 yards).
In the second half, Ole Miss got more aggressive and came after him, but they also gave up runs of 38, 33, and 29 yards, all of which took place on scoring drives. Manziel's speed deserves credit, but some of the Ole Miss defenders forgot about the idea of breaking down and making him make the first move. They chose the path of storming in, watching Manziel make one side-step move, and then looking at his back as he ran into the secondary.
Sitting in the stands watching that repeatedly happen was MILDLY FRUSTRATING. If I'm sitting here freezing to death (WHY WAS IT SO COLD IT'S ONLY OCTOBER), most likely acquring whatever killed William Henry Harrison, at least make him do something else to beat us. I'd rather die of William Henry Harrison disease than frustration brain rupture.
Anyway, the SEC losing streak marches on at 16 (87.5% Houston Nutt, 12.5% Hugh Freeze), but at least the Hugh Freeze portion is competitive losing and not losing that is accompanied by laughter and clown car music. And yes, I'm with Freeze, going for it on 4th down was the right call a million billion times over.
South Carolina 35, Georgia 7
Steve Spurrier has beaten Georgia many times by throwing it around a little bit, so it seemed fitting Spurrier would try to do something he's never done before against Georgia. He threw only 10 times, ran 51 times for 230 yards, and mostly watched his defense unhinge its jaw and eat Georgia.
The only thing that kept this from being a masterpiece was Spurrier not putting up half a hundred, a trick play that resulted in a late touchdown, and Todd Grantham being filled with such rage that he forearm-checked a South Carolina ball boy or one of the old guys holding the yardage sticks to the ground.
DOUBLE YOUR PAYCHECK* PICKS
Week: 4-2 (.667)
Season: 26-22-1 (.530)
*You will not double your paycheck
DEUCE MCALLISTER OF THE WEEK
Given to the player who dominated with or without the help of his teammates and coaches
Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida
34 carries, 146 yards, 2 TDs
PAAAAWWWLLLL, EVEN TRENT RICHARDSON DIDN'T DO THAT.
ERIC OLIVER OF THE WEEK
Given to the player who caused his team’s fans the highest degree of wailing and gnashing of teeth due to blown assignments and generally piss poor play
Zack Mettenberger, QB, LSU
11-25, 158 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
With or without the ironic mustache, he's carrying on the legacy of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee quite well.
JOHNNY VAUGHT OF THE WEEK
Given to the coach who dominated whatever task was in front of him
Will Muschamp, Florida
Reports of ear-bleeding have dropped some 70% in this country since Muschamp figured out how to make his football team less annoying to watch.
2012 Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure Leaderboard
Awarded to the SEC quarterback who throws the most interceptions during the regular season
1. Kiehl Frazier 8
1. Bo Wallace 8
3. Tyler Bray 6
3. Maxwell Smith 4
3. Aaron Murray 4
6. Brandon Allen 3
6. Tyler Wilson 3
6. Morgan Newton 3
6. Zach Mettenberger 3
10. Connor Shaw 2
10. James Franklin 2
10. Jalen Whitlow 2
10. Clint Moseley 2
10. Jordan Rodgers 2
10. Johnny Manziel 2
16. Jeff Driskel 1
16. Tyler Russell 1
16. Corbin Berkstresser 1
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS WEEK
Auburn at Ole Miss
Will this be the end of Ole Miss' SEC losing streak? Will Gene Chizik find another ineffective quarterback to play? Will Iowa State fans let out a deep sigh of relief?
South Carolina at LSU
Will LSU add a 11th or 12th play to the offensive game plan in response to criticism? Will Spurrier go full troll and attempt zero passes? Will Les Miles finally speak in tongues when asked a question that essentially asks what are you thinking?
Tennessee at Mississippi State
Will Mississippi State gain Music City Bowl eligibility? Will Tyler Bray build a beautiful mansion, then burn it to the ground as the last piece of granite countertop is set in place? Is there a championship at stake here?