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SEC East Race A Muddled Mess After Carolina Nips Mizzou; Tiger Fans Make Fools Of Themselves

confused-man-old-funnyIt all could have been so nice and neat.  If Missouri had been able to hold on against South Carolina, the Tigers would have been the clear-cut, odd-on, catbird-seat leaders in the SEC’s East Division.

Instead, we’ve got a mess.  And Missouri has got egg on its face.

With the game looking to be out of reach, ill and injured quarterback Connor Shaw entered the game like the gridiron version of Roy Hobbs.  He wasn’t in tip-top medical condition, but he seemed destined to get the job done for Carolina.  His first scoring drive cut seven points into a 17-0 Missouri lead with 12:13 to play.

Next, Missouri’s offense fizzled out at Carolina’s 28 and Andrew Baggett missed a lengthy 46-yard field goal attempt.  The ball went back to USC.

Down 17-7, Shaw drove the Gamecocks to the Missouri two-yard-line.  Mizzou’s D finally stiffened and held USC to a 20-yard field goal.  17-10 Missouri with 5:03 to play.

With a chance to run down the clock, the Tiger offense sputtered to a three-and-out and gave the ball right back to Shaw with 3:08 to play.  Carolina never even faced a third down on their 63-yard game-tying drive.

From there you know the rest.  Missouri had yet another chance to finish USC off in the first overtime, but Bruce Ellington got free in the end zone and Shaw hit him with a game-extending TD pass on fourth-and-goal from the 15.  Fourth-and-goal from the 15.

Down three in the second OT, Baggett missed a chip shot field goal to tie which led many Missouri fans to make complete and utter asses of themselves by piling on their kicker, as though he was the only culprit in a game that saw the Tigers blow a 17-0 lead with less than 13 minutes to play.  Baggett was eviscerated on Twitter which you can see for yourself right here (warning: stiff language).

For those Mizzou fans wanting credit for the few Tiger fans who actually sent Baggett pep-talk tweets after the game, sorry, we give no bonus points for behaving rationally.  Hooray for those who weren’t saps, but the childish, unfair, disgraceful tweets left by your brethren are the reason Missouri football is being discussed nationally today.

Of course, Mizzou fans didn’t show a lot of class (or football intelligence) in booing their team’s decision not to let a freshman quarterback try to lead a drive from his own 25 with 42 seconds to play in regulation.  An interception there would have only led to a Carolina opportunity and more boos.

One wonders how much the booing of an undefeated team and the nastiness on Twitter will resonate with Tiger recruits.  I would hope MU fans are better than what they showed on Saturday and Sunday.

In the big picture, Missouri’s pain is all gain for South Carolina, Georgia and even Florida.  All are now back in the East race.  Here’s a breakdown of what each school has left on the schedule:

 

  Missouri (3-1)   S. Carolina (4-2)   Georgia (3-2)   Florida (3-2)
  Tennessee   Miss. State   Florida (Jacksonville)   Georgia (Jacksonville)
  at Kentucky   Florida   at Auburn   Vanderbilt
  at Ole Miss   Kentucky   at S. Carolina
  Texas A&M

 

Now lets run through a few scenarios.

If Missouri drops one more game — and those last two games look pretty tough — Carolina can claim the East Division by beating Mississippi State and Florida at home.  USC would hold the head-to-head tie-breaker by virtue of Saturday’s comeback, Steve Spurrier’s decision to insert Shaw, and the Shaw-Ellington fourth-and-goal TD pass (which would certainly go down in Gamecock history should Carolina win the East).

If there is a three-way tie, let’s say between Missouri (6-2), Carolina (6-2) and Georgia (6-2), the tie-breaker is combined head-to-head records of all those involved.  Mizzou would be 1-1 against the other two.  Georgia would be 1-1.  Carolina would be 1-1.

The next tie-breaker would be each team’s record within the East Division.  Carolina would be 4-2.  Georgia would be 4-2.  And if Missouri loses only to Ole Miss or Texas A&M, the Tigers would be 5-1 in the East and get the ticket to Atlanta.

Georgia must hope for Missouri to drop a pair of games (because Mizzou holds the tie-breaker with them) to reach Atlanta.  If UGA wins out and ties with USC, the Dawgs hold the head-to-head tie-breaker.

Florida needs to win out and they need for Missouri to drop two more games.  They control their destiny when it comes to Georgia and Carolina, but MU holds the head-to-head tie-breaker with them.

There could be no three-way tie with Florida as the Gators and Gamecocks still have a date with one another.

For now, Missouri remains in the lead.  Win out and the East crown is theirs.  And the Tigers are absolutely “for real” enough to beat anyone remaining on their schedule.

If the Tigers drop another game, Carolina is in the next best shape, but they should be pulling for Georgia to lose (like they wouldn’t anyway) in order to avoid the three-team tie-breaker scenario.

Like we said, a muddled mess.

 

 


15 comments
tonymichael
tonymichael

John,

Love the site... you are doing an incredible job of keeping up with all the fan bases! Seriously, I am amazed by all you guys do to keep us updated with our teams and teams around the SEC. My only suggestion is that you don't take the comments too personally. Your thoughts are free for you to share and free for others to read or not. No need to defend them.

Thanks again for all you do.

Tony


OBXnoworries
OBXnoworries

I find it puzzling that Mr. SEC would pile on Mizzou based on a handful of bad fans, which exist in every fan base.  Doesn't make any sense to me.  And to the impact to recruiting remark I say: do you seriously think this could have any tangible impact on recruiting?  Really?  Dude, pour yourself a double and step back.


JimJackson2
JimJackson2

Please don't use Twitter as a measure of how MIzzou fans feel about Baggett or to judge what kind of fans they are in general.  A kicker is in the unenviable position of being the hero or the goat in a game like this.  Furthermore, do you really think some coach is going to be sitting in a living room and tell a recruit, "don't go to MIzzou son, they'll absolutely crucify you if you lose a game for them".  These kids know full well what Twitter is all about.  Now, after that bit of criticism, I end by saying the your site is pretty much indispensable as far as keeping up with things in the SEC.  For me at least. 

sfprman
sfprman

Twitter is not a representative sample of anything, let alone a dozen or so tweets that the re-tweeter never bothered to vet. Per the link provided, the blogger stated "most of Mizzou fans?"  Um. no. For starters, even these idiots aren't all Mizzou fans.  Two are clearly SCarolina fans!!!!!!!!!!  Another seems pissed he lost a bet. Two seem about 14 years old. etc.  A disappointing ending for Missouri fans and players, alike, but really no need to pile on.

Sheizman
Sheizman

I thought MrSec was better than the weak, troll-like headline of this article. Very disappointing.

1) The Tiger "fans" who wrote terrible things on Twitter are not even remotely representative of the MU fan base. They are a bunch of ignorant, hateful stooges. I wish MU would find out their identities via Twitter and ban them from EVER attending an MU sponsored event. No one needs people like that around.

2) I am a season ticket holder who attended the game with friends who are USC grads. I spent them day with and never, no even once, saw a negative interaction with a Tiger fan. We ate at Shakespeares and the manager came by and gave them free beer. Many others stopped by the table to welcome them and take pictures with them. Never a cross word. On the walk to the stadium, tailgaters invited us in for beers and shots. I couldn't have been prouder to be a Tiger fan. Conversely, my seats are near the south end zone, close to the visitors. There were USC fans behind me who cried and complained, very loudly, the entire game about how the officials were cheating them. They sounded like a bunch of whiny 3 year olds who got their candy taken away. Not pleasant folks to have sitting right behind you the entire game. And the USC fans next to us were cordial until they tied the game up in the 4th. They then started loudly taunting the Tiger fans nearby. Although no one around us taunted them the entire game. Very classless behavior. Now I am sure these fans don't represent the USC fan base anymore than a few morons on Twitter represent the Tigers. There are idiots everywhere. But the 99.9% of true Tiger fans are getting a disservice in hearing themselves called fools in your headline.

3) The stadium was extremely loud and supportive the entire game. The booing at the end of regulation was sparse and not loud. i am sure it was a reflection of the frustration of watching the chinese-water torture like nature of a second half. It lasted a few seconds. I actually thought it was the correct decision as USC had all of the momentum. And the stadium was right back to loudly supporting the Tigers through both OT periods. 

4) Baggett's miscue certainly didn't cost us the game. The game was lost in the 3rd and 4th quarters when we kept running the stupid hurry up offense when ahead by multiple scores. When you have a 17 point lead and the defense is playing well, the last thing you need to do is extend the game. For the vast majority of the 2nd half, MU snapped the ball with 20-25 seconds left on the play clock. Absolutely horrible clock management. Seeing that USC scored with 52 seconds left to tie the game, THAT is what cost MU the game. Baggett was just the final nail in the coffin.

bpa_kc
bpa_kc

As for the East race.  USC is definitely sitting pretty.  I'm extremely high on this years Missouri team... but it is hard for me to see them being perfect in their last 4 games... especially with A&M sitting on the schedule.  I also have a hard time seeing USC losing to Miss St or UF. 

bpa_kc
bpa_kc

Who cares what some stupid people tweeted??  Every sports team has their share of knuckleheads w/in their respective fan bases.  I'm not sure how people thinking beating up Baggett on twitter is going to help him make his next kick... but whatever.  People are dumb and twitter is 90% negative crap anyway. I really don't see why this is a story.

Personally, the missed kick was only 1 of many critical mistakes that lead to a Mizzou defeat.  Baggett didn't throw any in-completions or drop any passes which stopped the clock and gave USC more time to come back...  Baggett didn't get picked apart by Shaw in the 4th quarter.  Baggett didn't miss tackles over and over again on screen passes...   Baggett didn't blow coverage on a 4th and goal from the 15 when the game was on the line...

MIZ58
MIZ58

Very dissappointing to see backlash towards Baggett, however, I've got to believe this type of thing happens at all schools, not just Mizzou.  There will always be stupid people that call themselves "fans"...these were the same people that did their best to bring Franklin down last year.  The story of this game is Pinkel.  How do you keep one of the (supposedly) best offenses in the nation off the field with 48 seconds left?  I think most MIZ fans felt game over when we saw Pinkel hold up the white flag at the end of regulation.  It's baffling...yes, SC had stopped MIZ repeatedly to close out the game, but conversely, MIZ could not stop Conner Shaw.  Why give him another opportunity?  BTW, Shaw is a stud...that kid has some guts and has OWNED Mizzou in his two starts.  SC should be proud of him.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@OBXnoworries 

You guys are right.  Coaches don't negatively recruit and no coach in a battle with Missouri would ever say, "Did you see how they attacked a kid who missed a field goal?  And they booed their undefeated team.  Why at ol' State our fans are behind us."  Nope.  Never happen.

But I will pour myself a double.

Thanks for reading the site,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@Sheizman 

1.  When hateful stooges from any SEC school get websites from one coast to the other talking about them, we're bound to mention it.  It's a story because it won't help your kicker and it won't help Missouri's recruiting.  If you don't like that, take it up with the hateful stooges.

2.  I stated in the story above that there are idiots everywhere.  So I agree.  But the Mizzou fans who made fools of themselves and got exposed nationally for their Twitter rants got exactly what they deserved in the headline.  It's honest.  They made fools of themselves and I think the vast majority of people will know that that headlines isn't referencing every single solitary Missouri fan.

3.  The booing at the end of regulation was loud enough on ESPN for everyone to hear it and take note of it.  You might not have heard it, but ESPN's crowd mics picked it up.  I've still got it on DVR and just checked it before posting this.  You don't have to strain to hear it.  It's loud and clear.  

4.  You are correct that one play by one player did not cost Missouri the game.  Games are never decided by one play.  If they were, there'd be no need to play for 60 minutes.  Unfortunately, more folks like you -- who understand that -- aren't out there in the world.

Good luck the rest of the way.

Thanks for reading the site,

John


Sheizman
Sheizman

If UGA and SC win out and Mizzou wins 3 out of 4 (with their loss being to Ole Miss or AtM) they win the East in a tiebreaker. If MU is a good team, they will beat UT at home and win at UK, even with Mauk. Franklin and Gaines will also be back this week or next, which helps the Tigers tremendously. That is a very likely scenario, provided UGA beats Auburn. With Gurley and others back, a UGA win is a strong possibility.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@MIZ58 

No doubt that other fanbases have shown their rears.  And when it's been something this ugly or dumb, we've mentioned it here.  These types of things not only create a black eye for the fans, but they can impact recruiting.  This story got national attention.  You can bet rival coaches will bring it up to recruits.

There are fringe nitwits in every group, including sports fans.  And each school has its share.  Unfortunately for Mizzou, the nit-twits who lit into Baggett Saturday night ensured that the spotlight would fall on the Tigers for a day or two.  It's not a help to Gary Pinkel or his current squad who had earned some grace with their better-than-expected start.

Thanks for reading the site,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@Sheizman

Very good point.  I wish I'd written that above.  Oh, wait.  I did:


"If there is a three-way tie, let’s say between Missouri (6-2), Carolina (6-2) and Georgia (6-2), the tie-breaker is combined head-to-head records of all those involved.  Mizzou would be 1-1 against the other two.  Georgia would be 1-1.  Carolina would be 1-1.

The next tie-breaker would be each team’s record within the East Division.  Carolina would be 4-2.  Georgia would be 4-2.  And if Missouri loses only to Ole Miss or Texas A&M, the Tigers would be 5-1 in the East and get the ticket to Atlanta."


Thanks for visiting the site,

John

CorporalKarel
CorporalKarel

I seem to remember Aaron Murray being treated rather poorly by Georgia fans after their loss to South Carolina last season. I'm not defending the actions of these classless Mizzou fans, but with regard to Georgia, Aaron Murray still came back for his Senior season, and their recruiting class turned out fine. No recruit with a decent head on his shoulders would judge an entire fan base by the tweets of some ignorant fans. Andrew Baggett said he received more positive feedback than negative feedback on Twitter.

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