Sunday, December 1, 2013

Rivalry Weekend Wrap: Auburn Is A Team of Destiny But That May Not Be Enough

1. Auburn appears to be a team of destiny.
In no other universe could you imagine how their last two wins would come - the tipped hail mary to beat UGA and a 109 yard FG return to beat #1 Alabama.   However, the Tigers win may take the SEC out of the BCS race unless FSU or Ohio State.  You have probably seen the stat showing the Tide just 7-5 in November vs FBS teams since 2010.  If Nick Saban has a flaw it is that he rides his teams too hard physically and mentally and all that preparation wears his players out by the end of the season.  Or it could  be they typically play LSU and Auburn, their two toughest games, in November. 

2. FSU dominated Florida as everyone outside of the Gator football program thought.
The slide from 11-2 to 4-8 is remarkable considering Florida is one of the top 5 jobs in college football.  No drawbacks exists for the Gators football program.  Equally remarkable is how FSU, in this age of SEC dominance, has been able to continue to recruit with the best right in their backyard.  The Seminoles are the odds on favorite to win the BCS title, IF Jameis Winston remains eligible.

3. Steve Spurrier continued his mastery of Dabo Swinney with the Gamecocks fifth straight win in the series. 
That has never been done by South Carolina in their history.  The only thing Spurrier hasn't accomplished in Columbia is win an SEC title and those hopes were dashed when Mizzou beat Texas A&M.  I hope the South Carolina AD has a plan for a statue of the Ol' Ball Coach when he does decide to retire.  But to show how fickle fans are I was talking with a SC alum last weekend and he was ready to move on from Spurrier because the Gamecocks were not in the BCS title hunt.  I just shook my head.

4. Georgia Tech put everything they had on the field against Georgia, but came up just short in double OT. 
The Bulldogs were behind for 55 minutes and did not lead until the second OT.  Once again, the Yellow Jackets outgained the Bulldogs in yards, but did not win the turnover battle.  Under Mark Richt, UGA has nearly as a 3:1 advantage in turnovers in the series. Georgia finishes the regular season on a high note to what was a disappointing regular season marred by injuries while Georgia Tech has to find a way to pick itself backup and prepare for their bowl game .

5. Wake Forest played Vanderbilt much tougher than anyone expected. 
The Commodores have their second straight 8-4 season which is remarkable considering the Commodores history.  James Franklin will get some serious looks this offseason, but his price will be raised after another good season.  The Demon Deacons are again home for the holidays.  I don't know what Jim Grobe's status is amongst the powers that be in Winston-Salem but I would not be surprised to see Wake go in another direction.  

6. Duke wins 10 games for the first time since....ever.
And the Blue Devils have another chance to shock the world in the ACC Championship Game vs new #1 FSU.  David Cutcliffe's team started the season 2-2 but then went on an 8 game winning streak.  Duke certainly benefited from not having to play FSU or Clemson during the regular season, but they beat enough of who they did play for a remarkable season.

7. Kentucky lost to Tennessee to finish the SEC regular season 0-8.
Somehow, the Wildcats have a top 10 class pegged for this February.  Does anybody know Mark Stoops is selling these recruits

8. Arkansas also went win less in the SEC after allowing a true freshman to drive 99 yards for the winning score.
Bret Bielema's team went win less after his bride tweeted "karma" following Wisconsin's (her hubby's former employer) last second loss to Arizona State.    Les Miles avoided what would be disastrous 8-4 season considering where he and his predecessor have brought the program.

9. Virginia Tech beat UVA for the 10th straight time.
It is extremely rare for U. of [State] to be dominated by the "secondary" school in a state for this long.

10. Dan Mullen found a way to get his Bulldogs back in to a bowl game and relieve the heat on his seat.
Ole Miss is probably disappointed with their record this season, but they could be in a big jump next season when that talented 2013 class has a full off season to prepare.   

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