Saturday, October 7, 2006

SEC Has An Upset Stomach

The SEC was turned upside down on Saturday and it was not necessarily who won and who did not, but how the games unfolded.

The Gators used five LSU turnovers and a jump pass from Tim Tebow to soundily beat the Tigers in the Swamp. But LSU was very much into this game and was looking to take the lead in the 2nd until a fumble on the Florida 1 yard line gave the ball and the momentum to the Gators. From there, the two QB tandem of Chris Leak and Tim Tebow took it to LSU. If the fumble on the goalline was not enough, LSU also fumbled a kickoff into their own end zone resulting in a Safety. Les Miles' club ended the game with five turnovers wondering what could have been after Auburn lost.

The Gators are now 2-0 in their four game gauntlet with a date with Auburn next week. Many thought, myself included, that Auburn would be the higher ranked and favored team, but now the Gators are the team to beat in the SEC. LSU really disappointed me because they came out and self destructed in a big game. The Tigers had a real chance to grab the lead in the Western Division, but now are essentially out of the SEC and BCS race.
Florida Covers, Under

Part I of the SEC turned upside was not the fact that Tennessee won this game, but check out that score. The two teams had matched the total by halftime and that was just the beginning. The Vols scored a key TD at the end of the halftime, which gave them life after being down 17. In the second half, Tennessee Defensive Coordinator John Chavous decided to put eight men in the box to stop Georgia's dominating running game and force Joe Tereshinksi to beat him with his arm. The strategy helped force five turnovers in the second half and catapulted the Vols to 37 second half points. The 51 points are the second highest total in Sanford Stadium history and came against a defense who was leading the NCAA in scoring defense this season. Erik Ainge really showed composure when his team was down by 17 and the Vol offensive line did a great job protecting him from the vaunted Georgia defensive line.

The Vols are now back in the thick of the SEC race, but still have some tough games ahead at South Carolina and Arkansas. The offense should be riding sky high after scoring 44 points on Georgia and the defense should be encouraged by alllowing just one field goal in the second half. Phil Fulmer should be concerned about his special teams who allowed two touchdowns. For Georgia, it is back to chalkboard on offense and defense. It was painfully obivous that Joe Tereshinski is not going to lead you to a SEC Championship, so a decision must be made if you want to hand the ball over to Matt Stafford at the risk of hurting his confidence if he struggles.
Tennessee Covers, OVER (Big Time)

This was a game the Yellow Jackets would have lost over the past four years. They gave up a touchdown on kickoff return, fumbled on their own nine causing seven points for the Terps, but found a way to win. But a fourth quarter comeback greatly aided by Maryland fumble inside their own 20 and a defensive stand inside the 10 gave Tech the victory. Reggie Ball threw for one touchdown, ran for another, avoided the big mistake, and handed the ball over to the defense. If the comeback wasn't enough to get your heart in your throat then a Maryland pass completion down to the seven yard line would. But the Georgia Tech defense had one more stand in them sacking Sam Hollenbach on third and fourth down to put the game in hand.

When you are down in the fourth quarter, championship teams find a way to win and that is what Georgia Tech did today. They now have an off week before a showdown at Clemson on October 21. Maryland will feel like they should have won this game, but they could never complete a drive for a touchdown which you have to do if you want to win as the underdog.
Maryland Covers, Over

The Deacs dominated this game for three quarters, but fortunately for Clemson they play four quarters. A blocked field goal retured for a TD started the Clemson rally and a CJ Spiller run capped it off. Wake had a chance to go ahead more than their 14 point halftime lead, but a fumble on the Clemson one ended their first scoring chance. The Tigers' Will Proctor came back to Earth somewhat struggling most of the game after playing lights out in Clemson's first four games.

Some Wake fans may take this as moral victory, but if the Deacs had held on they could have been a serious threat to win their Division. As it stands now, they will probably fall back in the pack and now must hope to get a bowl invite. The Tigers found a way to win this game despite being dominated for three quarters and that is what elite teams do. A warmup session vs Temple this Thursday and then the showdown with Georgia Tech in two weeks.
Wake Forest Covers, Under

Now to the biggest upset of the day..
Auburn's Tommy Tuberville may have been looking ahead when he made comments regarding college football's need for a playoff system. Maybe Tuberville should have paid more attention to this Saturday as his team was soundly beating with Arkansas taking Auburn into the bathroom and sticking the Tigers head in the toilet and flushing. This does not happen to you when you are the bully on the SEC block. Ole Miss held home field in a win over Vanderbilt. Miss St played well for a half and actually scored 14 against West Virginia. South Carolina survived a tough road game beating Kentucky by a touchdown.

Miami finally showed some life in a 27-7 drubbing of North Carolina. Duke almost went into Tuscaloosa and came out with a win, but close is only good in horseshoes and grenades. Virginia continued their losing streak to the Big East with a loss to East Carolina.

This Week: 6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS, 4-4 O/U
Season: 28-7 SU, 15-20 ATS, 25-10 O/U

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