- The "prevent" defense does nothing but prevent you from winning the game. When you have been absolutely dominantly defensively all game by rushing 4 and playing a tight matchup zone, why would you suddenly start dropping 9 and playing a soft deep, soft zone? Why do so many coaches change the formula that is giving them success just because they're ahead?
- If you're losing late, it is never a good idea to give the other team the ball. I couldn't believe the announcers were even debating whether or not BC should kick an onside kick. Here's a hint: if Virginia Tech gets the ball and gets one first down, the game is over.
- The center/QB exchange is very very important. I think one of the plays that made the difference in this game came with about 6 1/2 minutes to play in the 4th quarter. Virginia Tech was driving the ball, running effectively, and they had 2nd and 4. They lined up in the shotgun and the snap was wide to Glennon's left. He fell on it for a 10 yard loss, but it effectively ended that drive, and Virginia Tech didn't move the ball again the next time they went on offense (which was, incidentally, the last time they went on offense until they were losing).
Mississippi State at Kentucky, 11:30am Lincoln-Financial. It's a battle between tortoise and hare here. MSU plays 3 yards and a cloud of dust football and Kentucky has a big play, sophisticated offense. Kentucky has really proven a lot to me in the last two weeks. They are not at all the soft team I thought they were at the beginning of the season. They've matured as a team quite a lot, and they are a legitimate New Year's Day bowl-calibre team. MSU is not bad either. Their defense is going to have to play tight while also avoiding the big play and let their slow-and-steady offense put up a few points. I think Kentucky is superior, but I can't look at a game like this and say that MSU is out of it before the game starts. They can do too many good things, and this year no one is safe.
Here's what Kentucky needs to win the East:
- win out
- have Florida and South Carolina lose a game
Florida International at Arkansas and Miami (OH) at Vandy, both at 1:00pm, neither is televised. If Vandy wins their game, they're on the verge of bowl-eligibility. The same is true of Arkansas. This year, it is conceivable that the SEC could have 11 bowl-eligible teams. We only have 9 bowl tie-ins though. I really hope everyone who is bowl-eligible gets a bowl, but it seems like that's unlikely to happen. I don't know anything about these non-conference opponents, but it is my expectations that the SEC schools will win these two games.
Florida vs. Georgia, neutral site, 2:30pm on CBS. You know, I'm just not as excited about this matchup as a lot of people are. At this point, I just don't think Georgia is a very good team. Their offense is inconsistent and their defense is not particularly impressive. Matthew Stafford has not emerged as the force I expected this year, though he occasionally has a big game. They're going to need Stafford to play at his highest level if they're going to win this one, because Florida won't be holding Tebow back. Florida knows this game and the South Carolina game are the season for them. Tebow will carry the ball 15 times per game, at least. He can rest when he's dead. Georgia has looked pretty good at times, but their big win came a full month ago against Bama, and they've been pretty hit-and-miss ever since.
Of course, there have been plenty of games I've gotten exactly wrong this year.
What does Florida need to win the East: Win out.
What does Georgia need to win the East:
- Win out
- Have South Carolina and Tennessee lose a game
Too bad this one isn't on television. Rumor has it that this could have been the LF game, but Auburn (having already had one LF game this year) turned it down.
South Carolina at Tennessee, 6:45pm ESPN. This is the best matchup of the week, I think, even though I think South Carolina is the far superior team. South Carolina has proven it's capable of laying an egg, and Tennessee has proven it's capable of playing over its head. SC's loss to Vandy last week was absolutely bewildering. I guess South Carolina just can't stand prosperity. The good news is that I still think South Carolina is the best or 2nd best team in the East, and they still control their destiny. As for Tennessee, I don't know what's up with them. They go out and dominate Georgia, and then they go and get dominated by Bama. I dont' see how that happens. This matchup is good for South Carolina because they're very good at countering what Tennessee does best, which is throw the ball. If South Carolina can do to Erik Ainge what they've done to other QBs this year, I don't think the Tennessee running game or defense can do enough damage to let Tennessee win.
What South Carolina needs to win the East: win out
What Tennessee needs to win the East:
- win out
- have Florida lose