Arkansas 38, Ole Miss 24
Take a look at these numbers:
48, 13, 28, 38, 35, 23, 38
Now take a look at these numbers:
21, 38, 31, 30, 45, 0, 27
Now take a 53 minute break for weather purposes....
...okay, let's resume. The first set of numbers is the points surrendered by Tyrone Nix's defense this season. The second set of numbers is the points surrendered by the 2007 Ole Miss defense led by Ed Orgeron. If you're curious, and I know you are, Nix's defense, through seven games, has given up 224 points (32/game) and Orgeron's defense through the first seven games of '07 gave up 192 points (27.4/game). So improbably, the defense we are currently watching Ole Miss play is actually WORSE than that of a defense run by Ed Orgeron, arguably the worst head coach and defensive coordinator in the history of the Southeastern Conference. If you're an Ole miss fan, let that sink in for a few soul-questioning moments. WORSE THAN ED ORGERON.
Coming into this game, we all knew Arkansas was going to score, but we all assumed those points would come at the hand of Ryan Mallett and his receivers. Instead, the Rebels injured Mallett and his top two receivers (Joe Adams and Greg Childs) and watched, took horrible angles at and just plain missed Knile Davis on his way to three touchdowns and 176 yards (by the way, Andre Ware, his name is KNILE not Kniles; details were always overrated anyway). This was game seven of the season and this defense is still making the same stupid mistakes they were making at the beginning of the year in the Jacksonville State debacle. I understand we're a little young (at least in the secondary), but the veteran players and young guys HAVE NOT IMPROVED one percent. Tyrone Nix, good sir, that blood is on your and the hands of your defensive assistants. I suggest you show some sort of improvement in the last five games because we can go fish John Thompson out of Central Arkansas for half the price and the same results.
Wait one second there, Houston Nutt, don't try to slink off. Were you aware that Jeremiah Masoli was your only offensive player in the backfield who could consistently create yards behind a terrible offensive line? That might have been helpful to know when we had first and goal at the one and, having run a successful sneak on the previous drive, elected to use the Wildcat with Brandon Bolden, who promptly fumbled and cost us whatever slim shot we had to get back in the game. Normally, I wouldn't mind such a call, but when we had three and a half quarters of evidence before us that said Bolden was probably not going anywhere, why in the hell would we even try that? At that point, Bolden had 10 carries for 12 yards. And for the record, we had a first and goal at the three and a first and goal at the one and got THREE POINTS out of both series. Well done, goal line offense, well done. Ugh, I hate watching this team.
By the way, if there are any Ole Miss fans that thought/think/considered the return of Nathan Stanley as a good idea, you may now shut the hell up (425 total yards tends to do that). If not for Masoli, holy balls, we would have been run out of the building with extreme violence. And we would have witnessed the murder of Nathan Stanley's confidence and potentially Stanley as a physical presence on this Earth. That would have been slightly horrific (the actual murder part). At least now, we know what kind of offense we should run for the rest of the season. Pass heavy with Masoli and let Masoli make up for the inabilities of the offensive line to conduct basic functions. Will we do this? OF COURSE NOT.
Auburn 24, LSU 17
Is it possible for a team to go undefeated when it boasts the 49th best total defense in the country and the 101st best pass defense? Apparently so if you have Cam Newton. SONOFABITCH, we have to play this guy next week.
/gnashing of teeth
/incoherent rant against Tyrone Nix
Even though LSU gave up eight miles of rushing yards, I thought they did a pretty nice job on defense. They gave up two crushing long runs, Onterio McCalebb's 70-yarder for a touchdown and Newton's most ridiculous run ever that went for a 49-yard touchdown. They keep those from happening and make Auburn put together longer drives, perhaps things are little more interesting. Of course, LSU still needed Jordan Jefferson not to be Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee to not be Jarrett Lee, both of which were impossible.
So FINALLY, LSU's offensive suckiness caught up to them. With the job their defense did, if they had a quarterback who could take advantage of the Pu-Pu platter Auburn has in its secondary, they probably win this game. Yes, they gave up tons of yards, but held Auburn to 24 points and still gave their limited offense a chance to win the game. A decent offense could have won this game. But so could a healthy dose of Les Miles' black magic. TASTE EVERYONE ELSE'S PAIN, LSU (Except Auburn).
South Carolina 21, Vanderbilt 7
Much like Ole Miss rolled up 512 yards of total offense and scored 24 points, South Carolina went for 484 and scored 21 points. However, unlike the Ole Miss game, which was not an enjoyable game to watch, the South Carolina game, even just reading the box score, was probably the most uninteresting game of the weekend. To be fair, Spurrier's foursome got behind a slow group and didn't get off the course until halftime. Once he got a handle on the shitstorm, things seemed to go a little better for the Gamecocks, outscoring Vandy 14-0 the rest of the way. If the score to every South Carolina/Vandy game seems like the same score, you aren't far from the truth. This was the fourth straight game between these two teams in which neither team scored more than 24 points. It was also the 37 millionth time fans across the country did their best to avoid watching Vanderbilt allegedly play football.
Mississippi State 29, UAB 24
UAB has now lost its two games against SEC opponents by an average of four points and the rest of its losses by an average of 19 points. WRONG CONFERENCE, BLAZERS. And a round of congratulations to Dan Mullen and this team for becoming bowl eligible. I certainly did not think it was going to happen this year, and for it to happen with four games to go is even more impressive. Now it's up to Mullen and the team to decide where it wants to go. Anywhere is better than nowhere, but wins over Kentucky and Ole Miss probably take Memphis out of the equation. Just a helpful tip.
Alabama 41, Tennessee 10
Apparently, Tennessee has now reached the state that its "good" games only last a half. I'm no football expert (BUT I COULD BE), but I might chalk that up to a smattering of competent football players and a large collection of guys that shouldn't be playing right now (or should never be). And Matt Simms. Just a thought.
Alabama fans, you may now unclench those butt cheeks as your team returned to form, physically abusing a weaker opponent. In fact, there's an old saying (I believe from the great Cousin Eddie) that goes something like I haven't seen a beating that bad since....well, now I can't remember it. I think there was a banana in someone's pants and a monkey was trying to get it out. I'm sure it was good.
Also, I'm in complete agreement that listening to someone talk about their fantasy football team (other than 10-15 second summaries) is complete torture, but I'm about to subject you one paragraph of said torture. I want to pass along a hearty and lustful BURN IN A FIRE to Titans' receiver Kenny Britt and coach Jeff Fisher. Due to bye weeks, I was going to have to play Britt and was perfectly fine with doing so. Then Britt's dumb ass goes and gets in a fight at a Nashville nightlife establishment on Tuesday or Wednesday. So Fisher benches him for the start of the game, but conveniently tells no one how long the benching will last. I panic and pick up the serviceable, yet fairly worthless Jabar Gaffney. What does Britt do? Sits for about .7 seconds of the first quarter and then catches seven passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns. It doesn't matter what Gaffney did because he sucks. Point is, Kenny Britt and Jeff Fisher, I HATE BOTH OF YOU.
Georgia 44, Kentucky 31
In contrast to Ole Miss and Auburn who both piled up the yards, but not the points, Georgia had 290 yards of offense and scored 44 points. Thanks to Kentucky's giving spirit (four turnovers), this garbage Georgia team is still hanging around in the SEC East race. They'll need to beat Florida (will never happen) and Auburn, then have South Carolina lose to Arkansas and Florida (both high probabilities given their inconsistency) for the right to go to Atlanta.
What's more unsettling than the Bulldogs not being dead and buried is that Mike Hartline for the second straight week threw four touchdown passes. MIKE HARTLINE. YES, THAT MIKE HARTLINE. That makes him 59-85 (69%) for 702 yards, 8 TDs and 1 INT in the last two weeks. I'd like scientific confirmation that the Earth is indeed still on its axis and we're not barreling towards Mars right now.
GAME I DIDN'T PICK BUT DESERVES MENTION HERE
Oregon 60, UCLA 13
Is there a more fun team to watch than Oregon? If your answer is not "absolutely not," then I recommend a swift punch to your own lower region. And just think, Jeremiah Masoli, had you not been a moron, it would be you running this F7 tornado of an offense, and you would not be spending your days toiling away behind a porous offensive on a 3-4 team that is clinging to hopes of a Liberty Bowl appearance. Welcome to Ole Miss!
DEUCE MCALLISTER OF THE WEEK
Given to the player who dominated with or without the help of his teammates and coaches
Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Passing stats irrelevant
28 carries, 217 yards, 2 TDs
ERIC OLIVER OF THE WEEK
Given to the player who caused his team’s fans the highest degree of wailing and gnashing of teeth due to blown assignments and generally piss poor play
Johnny Brown, S, Ole Miss
As the namesake of this award tended to do, Brown turned in performance that could best be described as not-in-position-to-do-anything-correctly. It was so similar that I think Brown should be given a number 26 patch to wear for this week's game.
JOHN VAUGHT OF THE WEEK
Given to the coach who dominated whatever task was in front of him
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
It wasn't pretty, but Mullen got the win and has State legitimately bowl eligible for the first time since the Jackie Wayne era. And if you think the bowl appearance under Sylvester Croom was legitimate then you are an idiot.
2010 Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure Leaderboard
Awarded to the SEC quarterback who throws the most interceptions during the season
1. Jordan Jefferson 8
2. Ryan Mallett 7
3. Jeremiah Masoli 6
Stephen Garcia 6
5. Cam Newton 5
Matt Simms 5
Tyler Russell 5
John Brantley 5
9. Mike Hartline 4
Larry Smith 4
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS WEEK
Auburn at Ole Miss
Can a top-ranked team survive another weekend? Will Cam Newton lock up the Heisman? Will he run for 1.2 miles against Ole Miss' defense? Will a "God thing" spoil any chance Ole Miss has at the upset? Why is the line to this game only Auburn (-7)? WHAT DO YOU KNOW, LAS VEGAS?