Things didn't go quite as I expected them this week in the SEC. Auburn beat a South Carolina team that just did not want to win the football game, Arkansas came back to beat the Aggies of A&M and Ole Miss found themselves an offense out in Fresno. Here is what we learned from this weekend's action:
ALABAMA IS NOT AFRAID OF THE KITCHEN SINK
I will admit that I was very impressed with how Florida came out of the gates against the Crimson Tide but they just couldn't hold up. Alabama was just too physical on both sides of the football for the young Gators and once John Brantley when down it seemed like the Gators lost any swagger that they still had left. After giving up 10 points in the first quarter, the Tide just shut down the Gators. Florida finished with just 15 yards rushing and only totaled 222. Trent Richardson had 181 yards by himself. Bama is in the drivers seat in the SEC as they now face Vandy, Ole Miss and Tennessee before facing LSU at home in the game of the year in College Football.
Next up for Alabama: vs Vandy
DON'T COUNT AUBURN OUT JUST YET
Just when you thought they were done they surprise you. Despite being on the road, the young Auburn Tigers somehow managed to squeak a three point win in which both teams played some really bad football. At the end of the season no one is going to remember that Barrett Trotter threw two picks or Michael Dyer ran the ball an astounding 41 times despite picking up less than three and a half yards per carry.
What they will remember is that the Auburn Tigers beat the Gamecocks and that's what matters. Auburn has already had three pretty tough tests this year (no i'm not including Utah State) and they have come out 4-1. Now a murderers row faces the Tigers. They must travel to Arkansas to play Bobby Petrino, then it's home against Florida and then on the road against LSU. It's make it break it time for the young Tigers.
Next up for Auburn: at Arkansas
RICHT SILENCES THE CRITICS FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER WEEK
Mark Richt's team came out and played a really good half of football to jump out to a 21-3 lead against Mississippi State and they held on to win by two touchdowns. It is quite a turnaround from the 12 point loss that the Dawgs incurred last year in Starkville. The most impressive part of the victory was Georgia's defense stopping Mullen's offense as they gained only 213 yards with only 56 of those on the ground. Vick Ballard had only 23 yards rushing. Georgia's dynamic freshman duo of Isaiah Crowell (104 yds rushing) and Malcolm Mitchell (5 rec, 1 TD) both had great first halfs and they will be something to watch during their careers between the Hedges.
Another impressive thing about the victory is that they did it without a sharp Aaron Murray. Murray was 13/25 for 160 with 2 TDs but also had 3 INTs. The Georgia fanbase is a bit worried about Murray right now. Georgia heads to Tennessee with a three game winning streak by their side. The last time Georgia went up to Tennesse they got spanked 45-19. This week we find out just how good Georgia is and if they win they could be looking at 5-2 heading into the Florida game but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Next up for Georgia: at Tennessee
SOUTH CAROLINA HAS THE TALENT BUT IT ISN'T TRANSLATING ON THE FIELD
I've been saying it for the last few weeks despite the Gamecocks winning. South Carolina's individual parts are greater than their whole. The offense has one of the best RBs in the Nation, Marcus Lattimore, and one of the best WRs in the Nation, Alshon Jeffrey. They have some of the premier defensive front players in the country in Melvin Ingram, Devin Taylor and Jadeveon Clowney. Antonio Allen has broken out at LB and they have a very talented defensive backfield. So why can't they bring it all together?
It's not all doom and gloom in South Carolina, I mean they are 4-1 but two of those wins came by just three points each. The Gamecocks could easily be 2-3 right now. These next three games are huge for South Carolina. Who are we kidding? They are off next week (they play Kentucky) but Miss State and Tennessee are both on the road and those are game you have to win if you want to win the SEC East. Can the Gamecocks turn it back around?
Next up for South Carolina: Kentucky
WE STILL AREN'T QUITE SURE ABOUT ARKANSAS
After getting taking to the woodshed by Alabama, the Razorbacks bounced back with a come from behind victory over Texas A&M. The Aggies jumped out to a 21-7 lead and then took a 35-17 point half-time lead into the locker room. But for the second straight week it was the Aggies that collapsed in the second half. Arkansas won a game in which they gave up over 600 yards of total offense. A win is a win but that defense scares the hell out of me and not in a good way.
Next up for Arkansas: at Ole Miss (Oct 22nd)
FLORIDA CAN'T MATCH UP WITH THE BIG BOYS
Florida came out and surprised everybody with an effective downfield passing game early in this one as they took leads of 7-0 and 10-3. After that it was all Alabama. Alabama stuffed the run and ran the ball on Florida. Florida is simply not ready to compete on the lines of scrimmage against a team like Alabama. Quite frankly, there aren't a lot of teams in college football that are going to be able to do that this year so it's no knock on Florida. Florida heads to LSU this week after taking a brutal knockout in the 2nd round against one of the top contenders. How will they fare this week against another? I think it's going to be more of the same.
Next up for Florida: at LSU