November 25th, 2013 03:39 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina
What went on around the Southeastern Conference this weekend? Pull up a chair and we’ll break a few things down for ya. From the wins and losses to Vandy’s James Frankin and A&M’s wake-up call. Plus, the most costly losses in the SEC this year — both involving South Carolina. And woes of the SEC’s rebuilding projects.
Here goes, your SEC Weekend Wrap is served…
Mississippi State 24, Arkansas 17 in OT (Our prediction: Mississippi State 28-27)
There are people calling for Dan Mullen’s scalp in Starkville. This after a win over Arkansas. Sure, it was silly for Mullen to boast of his team’s first ever win in the state of Arkansas (it’s not like they’re really played that many games in the Natural State historically). But the guy got the win. In a matchup of poor teams, his team was less bad. And that’s often the case with Mullen. It’s how he’s led State to three straight bowls in an era when anyone poor or better goes bowling. If his team can upset Ole Miss at home on Saturday he’ll be the first man in school history to lead MSU to four consecutive bowls. That’s never happened in Starkville where a facilities upgrade is already underway. Stadium expansion plus a bowl game = Mullen’s return. What potential coach wouldn’t ask: “So why’d you fire a guy whose gone to a bowl four years in a row?” Now, if Mullen loses to the Rebels and Bulldog boosters start threatening to withhold cash from the school, well, that’s a different story. But we still think Mullen will be back in 2014. As for Bret Bielema, welcome to the SEC. The Razorbacks — who are in need of a massive talent injection — have now lost eight games in a row for the first time in school history. New coach or not, fans don’t react to well to those kinds of streaks. In the end, his team fought, but they couldn’t stop freshman (third-string) MSU quarterback Damian Williams from racing 25 yards for what turned out to be the game-winning score in overtime. With LSU up next, it’s likely Arkansas will open the 2014 season riding a nine-game losing streak. They’ll open with Auburn before facing Nicholls State which means the Hogs could go a full 51 weeks between victories. Ouch.
South Carolina 70, Coastal Carolina 10 (Our prediction: South Carolina 38-14)
If you read this site you know we’re not fans of SEC teams playing FCS squads. It’s embarrassing. And as we wrote on Friday, we like the idea of a David toppling a Goliath from time to time (more on that very shortly). So we’re not impressed in the least with Carolina’s scrimmage against an outclassed Coastal Carolina squad. Seventy points? That’s classless in our view. Either a team is trying to run it up — Carolina did not, inserting its third-string QB by mid-third quarter — or a team has scheduled a team it has no business playing — which is the case in this one. As for the silly argument that teams like USC are just trying to help their state’s economy, puh-lease. What happens when the SEC nixes all games with FCS foes, something Mike Slive should have done long ago? Guess Steve Spurrier will have to start taking the money out of his pocket and giving it to Coastal and Wofford rather than to his players as he’s often theorized. Big win. Big whoop.
Georgia Southern 26, Florida 20 (Our prediction: Florida 28-14)
First, we feel sorry for Will Muschamp and his battered and beaten football team. But not much. Here’s hoping Jeremy Foley enjoys writing Georgia Southern a check for coming into Gainesville and shaming his football program. Last week we warned that GSU was nothing to laugh about. As we pointed out, in 2011, the Eagles put more rushing yards and more points on eventual national champ Alabama than any other team the Tide played. That triple-option stuff is not to be taken lightly. Perhaps Foley will remember that the next time he tries to line up a tomato can for his coach — whoever that might be — to kick over.
Alabama 49, Chattanooga 0 (Our prediction: Alabama 50-0)
Our prediction couldn’t have been much closer, but who the hell cares? Chattanooga? Alabama goes out and typically plays one traditional non-conference power per season. This year it was Virginia Tech. Credit them for that because some SEC schools don’t ever schedule a quality non-conference foe. But the good of playing VPI was undone by the bad of playing both Chattanooga (FCS) and Georgia State (first year in the FBS) in the same stinking year. Here’s hoping Nick Saban didn’t blow up at Tide fans for failing to treat a game with Chattanooga like an Iron Bowl. If Alabama wants fans to stick around for 60 minutes, perhaps they should schedule a few more teams that can at least hang around for 60 minutes. AJ McCarron is perhaps the best leader in the nation and he’s certainly had a great career as Bama’s quarterback. But more than half his schedule to date has consisted of Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Chattanooga and Georgia State. Sorry, but he’s not earned a Heisman against that laughable lineup.
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