Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Around the SEC - Week 10

Don't overlook Poseur's latest post below. For those of you who are relatively new to this web site, Poseur is a friend of mine I asked to do some guest blogging for me. He then quickly got absorbed in a time-consuming class in law school that robbed him of his capacity to indulge in football-related blogging. Now that the class is over (or at least winding down), I expect we'll hear from Poseur a little more. And that will be a good thing, because if you thought *I* was a sports geek, wait until you get a load of him.

Anyway, it will be a short "Around the SEC" this week, because I am not going through all those homecoming blowouts, and there were only two other in-conference games this week. It was, however, an interesting week despite the lack of quantity of games. Both divisions came more into focus than they previously had been, though three teams still have a realistic shot at the East.

Florida 49
Vandy 22

This game went about as expected, I guess. Florida's athletes were just too much for Vandy. In particular Harvin, Tebow, and Caldwell were too much for Vandy, as were the plethora of young athletes the Gators have on defense. My brother was here this weekend, and he observed that Florida is going to be awesome next year. They won't lose a whole lot of talent outside of Caldwell and DE Derrick Harvey. They'll probably be preseason #1 in the country.

But this year, they're still trying to get to the SEC Championship Game. They're still in it. They have to beat South Carolina next week and then hope for some help, but they don't need an outrageous amount of help. In fact, I think if they win, they're the odds-on favorite to be the East's representative.

Arkansas 48
South Carolina 36

Wow. Two words: McFadden. He tied an SEC record for most rushing yards in a game with 321. Think about that. In the 75 year history of the SEC, historically a running conference, Darren McFadden came in and set a record for rushing yards in a season. Against a pretty good team. While splitting carries with another back. And he threw the ball for a touchdown once.

Do you think this guy can play football? The SEC is blessed to have two very special talents in the conference right now, and McFadden is one of them. It's too bad his team has been so middling this year, and that he has been playing hurt lately, because it has robbed us of seeing this guy play at his best.

And oh yeah, he's our GeauxTuscaloosa Offensive Skill Position Player of the Week. You get that when you set a single-game record for rushing yards and throw for a touchdown. I can say with great certainty that for as long as I am giving out this award, if a player sets or ties a record for either rushing, passing, or receiving, and then scores a touchdown doing one of the two other things among rushing, passing, or receiving, he will be receive the award.

What does it all mean?

Well, it means once again LSU appears to be on the verge of playing a team that will be absolutely at its best when we get them. Arkansas looked dead, and now they're coming back and looking like they'll be the formidable opponent we thought they'd be early in the season.

The Florida win and the South Carolina loss mean that South Carolina is now out of the East race. They are finished. I hope they can mentally recover, but I doubt they can. They've now lost three consecutive games and have gone from a BCS contender to a team that may not make it to a bowl game. They're bowl-eligible, but the SEC may still have 11 bowl-eligible teams. You'll need 7 wins to be assured of a bowl game this year, and South Carolina is sitting at 6 and staring at games against ranked teams Florida and Clemson to finish out the season.

Tennessee controls its destiny in the East. Georgia needs to win out and hope for a Tennessee loss against Arkansas, Vandy, or Kentucky. Florida needs to beat South Carolina and hope for Tennessee to lose and for Georgia to lose to either Auburn or Kentucky. Really, any of these teams can still win the whole thing.

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