I was in Oxford this past weekend, so I didn't get a chance to watch many games. Instead, I was treated to one of the most disgusting Ole Miss losses I've seen in a long time, and watched the 2007 Mississippi Sta.....errr, 2008 Vanderbilt Commodores pull another victory out of a dark place on which most people sit.
Alabama 17, Kentucky 14
From the looks of the box score and a report from correspondent Miles, Alabama should have coasted to an easy win. It appears that penalties and three turnovers allowed Kentucky to hang around because anytime Glen Coffee rips off 218 yards, it shouldn't be close. Nothing against Glen Coffee, but he's sort of like Kenneth Davis in Super Tecmo Bowl. A quality back-up for Thurman Thomas, but didn't bring anything great to the table. Coffee is an above average running back who is benefiting from Alabama's justifiably stubborn commitment to running the ball and keeping it out of John Parker Wilson's hands (7 of 17, 106 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT this week).
I did make it in front of a TV right before Kentucky attempted their onside kick with 40 seconds left. Possibly the worst onside kick I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure it never touched the ground and was nothing more than a straight line drive out of bounds, which not only made it the worst kick I've ever seen but also the most anti-climactic kick I've ever seen.
Florida 38, Arkansas 7
Kudos to the Hogs for keeping it close until the fourth quarter. And kudos to Florida for finding not one, but two running backs who could successfully run the ball in a forward direction. Chris Rainey and Jeffrey Demps both went over the century mark against the SEC's worst defense. I know Arkansas is awful against the run, but this can be considered baby steps in the right direction for Florida. We shall see if this works this week against LSU.
Vanderbilt 14, Auburn 13
I didn't get to see the first half, but from what I was told Auburn came out and went straight at the Vandy defense to build its 13 point lead. Before I get to what I saw, I would like to take umbrage with ESPN's GameDay for dragging out Kenny Chesney and his bald head (covered by a poser Red Sox hat) and shirt with sleeves, which of course was rented (he doesn't own shirts with sleeves). Why was he on there? He's a fan of Tennessee, which to some degree is a rival of Vanderbilt (only because they're both in the same state and play in the same division) and yet, there he was on Vandy's campus as if this was completely normal. Surely Vandy has someone they could have put up there, right? This was probably the only time in my life I wanted to see Vince Gill on a stage.
For the record, I think he was there to promote his new album, Seashell Necklaces and Songs I Didn't Write, and whatever record company is putting out that album is most likely owned or partially owned by Disney, the owner of the Leader. And yes, I probably made up the name to his album. Who the hell knows or cares what it's called.
As for the part of the game I saw, Auburn's offense might be the most pitiful offense since a 5'8" Lawrence Adams was slinging it around for the Rebels in the early '90s. I only hope Chris Todd's shoulder is bothering him because no college quarterback can have that gimpy and inaccurate of an arm. And not to toot my own horn, but I will toot away, did you see what happens when Kodi Burns comes in a game? Nothing. Good defenses will never let him do anything until he learns to throw with any degree of accuracy and shows a hint of ability to read coverages.
I still stand by my claim that Vanderbilt is not a good team. They needed one billion turnovers to beat Ole Miss and South Carolina and caught an Auburn team who's offense is getting worse with each snap. They're a smart and an extremely lucky team, and it has been said it's better to be lucky than good, but this is not a good team. I can see Vandy winning eight or nine games with the remaining wins much like this one, or I can easily see them losing out to miss a bowl game.
One last thing, Mackenzi Adams has to be the starter the rest of the way. I have no idea how he does it, but he somehow strings together drives when absolutely nothing is working for Vandy. He's this year's version of the 2007 Wesley Carroll.
South Carolina 31, Ole Miss 24
A life as an Ole Miss fan is probably the worst thing that can happen to someone. So few peaks and many unbelievably miserable valleys. The win against Florida had me more excited about Ole Miss football than I've been since 2003. That's five freaking years. Then my excitement and optimism take a swift and brutal kick to the crotch. Just awful.
I've got three things to say about the game and then I'm done. I'm still fuming over the game and don't want to have that blow up again. First, Jevan Snead, as of right now, is the second coming of Romaro Miller. Skittish, can't handle pressure from the pass rush, and can't handle the pressure of the game. I'll get into more detail on this later in the week, but right now he can't be expected or even trusted to function in passing situations.
Second, turnovers again killed the Rebels. Two turnovers lead to 14 points for South Carolina. The one South Carolina turnover was wiped out when Ole Miss promptly fumbled the ball away a few plays later.
And third, this Ole Miss team appears to be made up of guys with the mental toughness of 8th grade girls. Their inability to respond to any sort of adversity is sickening. One thing goes wrong and they fall to pieces. And I'm tired of this crap about "they don't know how to win." Bullcrap. That's just an excuse for people who don't want to fight back. I think everyone (especially athletes) has this sense of personal pride inside them that says if someone pushes me, I'm going to push them back harder. They may push you back even harder, but you keep going after them. You might end up losing, but you don't ever think about it. You keep going as hard as you can and the whole time assume you're going to win.
This team doesn't think like that. This was a game they should have won and they let it get away because South Carolina called them fat and said they had no fashion sense. Absolutely disgusting.
Tennessee 13, Directional School 9
Welcome to the Nick Stephens era! 8% less terrible than the Jonathan Crompton era!