I’ve been around sports most of my life as a player, as a coach, as a fan, and as a media type. I can honestly say that today, Saturday, October 9th in the year of our Lord 2021 has blown me away as the best sports day I have ever witnessed.
The halfway point in the SEC schedule has yielded results and news I thought I would never be reporting on. If there was any doubt that the Alliance Killer is the best college football conference in the land, all of those doubts have been buried if in no other place than College Station, Texas, and Lexington, Ky.
Buckle up, folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Let’s get after it, starting with my SEC Halfway Review.
CURRENT STANDINGS- SEC EAST-
- Georgia 6-0, 4-0
- Kentucky 6-0, 4-0
- Tennessee 4-2, 2-1
- Florida 4-2, 2-2
- Missouri 3-3, 0-2
- Vanderbilt 2-4, 0-2
- South Carolina 3-3, 0-3
CURRENT STANDINGS- SEC WEST-
- Alabama 5-1, 2-1
- Ole Miss 4-1, 1-1
- Auburn 4-2, 1-1
- Mississippi State 1-1, 3-2
- Arkansas 4-2, 1-2
- Texas A&M 4-2, 1-2
- LSU 3-3, 1-2
TOP THREE TEAMS-
BOTTOM THREE TEAMS-
- South Carolina
THREE UNDERRATED SURPRISE TEAMS-
THREE OVERRATED SURPRISE TEAMS-
THREE TEAMS MOST LIKELY TO WIN OUT-
- Texas A&M
- Ole Miss
THREE TEAMS MOST LIKELY TO STRUGGLE THE REST OF THE SEASON-
- South Carolina
TOP THREE COACHES-
- Mark Stoops, UK
- Sam Pittman, ARK
- Kirby Smart, UGA
THREE COACHES WHO ARE ON HOT SEATS-
- Ed Orgeron, LSU
- Dan Mullen, FLA
- Eliah Drinkwitz, MIZ
TOP THREE NEW COACHES IN THE SEC-
- Josh Heupel, UT
- Bryan Harsin, AUB
- Shane Beamer, USC
TOP THREE OFFENSES (TOTAL YARDS GAINED/ GAME)-
- Ole Miss- 549.3
- Florida- 502.3
- Auburn- 478.0
TOP THREE DEFENSES (TOTAL YARDS ALLOWED/ GAME)-
- Georgia- 177.8
- Arkansas- 282.8
- Kentucky- 284.4
FINAL PREDICTED STANDINGS- SEC EAST-
- Georgia- 12-0, 8-0
- Kentucky- 11-1, 7-1
- Florida- 9-3, 5-3
- Tennessee- 6-6, 3-5
- South Carolina- 5-7, 2-6
- Missouri- 4-8, 1-7
- Vanderbilt- 2-10, 0-8
FINAL PREDICTED STANDINGS- SEC WEST-
- Alabama- 11-1, 7-1
- Ole Miss- 9-3, 5-3
Arkansas- 9-3, 5-3
Texas A&M- 9-3, 5-3
Auburn- 8-4, 5-3
6. Mississippi State- 5-7, 2-6
7. LSU- 4-8, 1-7
WEEK 6 WRAPUP
Texas A&M 41, Alabama 38
Why Should I Care: Finally, a Nick Saban former assistant beat the master. I don’t know if I’m more disappointed that the giant fell at Kyle Field and lost their first game since 2019 or Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies finally decided to play big boy ball this season.
Kentucky 42, LSU 21
Why Should I Care: The last two weeks at Kroger Field have been the two biggest regular-season games I’ve seen there. The Wildcats dominated the line of scrimmage and whipped the Tigers. Next week in Athens is the biggest game in program history against new top-ranked Georgia.
Georgia 34, Auburn 10
Why Should I Care: The Bulldogs rolled again over a quality SEC foe in the South’s Oldest Rivalry. But next week will be played against a physical Kentucky squad and as the number one team in America. Oh, and did I mention the winner likely has the inside track for Atlanta and the SEC Championship Game?
Ole Miss 52, Arkansas 51
Why Should I Care: This game in Oxford would have been the most interesting game in the SEC this week until the night games were played. The Rebels and Razorbacks stood toe-to-toe on offense and got blasted on defense. There’s an old saying- offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. I’ll just leave that right there.
Florida 42, Vanderbilt 0
Why Should I Care: The score was predictable, but as I watched the game it feels like Gator head coach Dan Mullen is losing his grip on his team and the program. He spent most of the first half verbally undressing his quarterbacks and gave a terse three-word interview at halftime. Something isn’t passing the smell test in Gainesville.
Tennessee 45, South Carolina 20
Why Should I Care: Once again, the Vols held serve against a bottom-level SEC team in Carolina in fine fashion, jumping out to a 38-7 lead and cruising to the win. Next week’s game with Ole Miss could either look like a basketball score in the 60’s or Ole Miss will roll 60 or so and the Vols won’t keep up. Plus former UT coach Lane Kiffin returns to Knoxville. Reckon the Vol faithful will have their popcorn ready?
Missouri 48, North Texas 35
Why Should I Care: The Tigers jumped to a big lead, played solid defense for a half or so, and had to hold on to win over a Mean Green squad led by a 28-year old freshman quarterback (Austin Aune) who threw for 305 yards. Heard he might have a NIL deal with either Tylenol or Sunbeam Heating Pads. The Tigers still have a ton of issues on defense but survived.
WEEK 7 PREDICTIONS
Last week, the Backwoods Swami went 6-1 for the week (doggone it, Alabama). For the season, the Swami is 58-7 (.892). Let’s make some more predictions, shall we?
- Auburn at Arkansas
- Florida at LSU
- Texas A&M at Missouri
- Kentucky at Georgia (NOTE: I hope I’m wrong.)
- Vanderbilt at South Carolina
- Alabama at Mississippi State
- Ole Miss at Tennessee
WEEK 7 RANKINGS- (NOTE: TAKE NOTE FOR HISTORICAL CONTEXT.)
- Georgia- Time for the Bulldogs to wear the crown.
- Kentucky- The Cats are a step from the top of the mountain.
- Alabama- The Tide may have become more dangerous because they’re angry.
- Ole Miss- Hard to argue with that nuclear offense.
- Auburn- The Tigers have become a steady unit under Bryan Harsin.
- Florida- Talent-wise, the Gators should be higher, but there seem to be some problems in the Swamp.
- Texas A&M- The Aggies finally put it together. Can they carry it forward?
- Arkansas- The Hogs have dropped a couple. The game with Auburn could start the bounce back.
- Tennessee- You cannot overlook the job Josh Heupel has done on Rocky Top. A win over Ole Miss Saturday could propel the Vols into the upper half of the SEC.
- Mississippi State- The Bulldogs have the passing game, but I’m wondering how they respond to the tougher half of their schedule, beginning with Alabama.
- LSU- There are some serious issues in Baton Rouge, beginning with the status of Coach O. His coaching job is on very thin ice. Could the Tigers move on soon?
- South Carolina- Coach Shane Beamer is rebuilding the Gamecocks in the shark tank of the SEC. It’s going to take time.
- Missouri- Even though the Tigers won, they had to survive a 1-3 North Texas squad. There are still serious issues on defense and the offense can put enough points up to cover it.
- Vanderbilt- Poor Vandy. The Commodores are trying hard, but they are simply overmatched.