Week 11 was a rare week in which all 14 SEC teams were in action on Saturday and only two were playing non-conference foes.
Some great battles in the West led to big wins for Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Arkansas, but in the East one team almost had a huge disaster as the Florida Gators gave up a whopping 52 points to FCS Samford in a game they trailed by 14 in during the first half and had to scramble to get ahead of in the end.
As far as the standings are concerned, Georgia and Kentucky have locked up 1st and 2nd in the East, while Alabama and Ole Miss will hold 1st and 2nd in the West unless Mississippi State pulls a few tricks in the Egg Bowl, a game they are very well capable of winning in Starkville.
They’ve played the games so let’s pass out the grades—this is your Week 10 SEC Report:
Georgia gave up a season high in points to Tennessee by allowing the Volunteers to put 17 on the board, but when the Dawgs routinely hang 40 on their opponents it seems like playing them just isn’t fair. Grade: A+
The Tide shook off whatever was bugging them against LSU and knocked New Mexico State into the next state North of the next state North. In other words, the Aggies will find themselves in Lexington, Kentucky next Saturday when they regain consciousness. Grade: A+
3. Ole Miss
Big-time football for the Rebels, who have clearly demonstrated that they are the third-best team in the conference after defeating Texas A&M by 10 in Oxford. Grade: A
Now here’s a sight nobody saw coming. After narrowly escaping LA Tech on a missed field goal and losing to lowly Memphis, the Bulldogs roared back from a 25 point deficit on The Plains to beat #17 Auburn and improve to 6-4. They always do say Mike Leach teams jump in their second year. Grade: A+
The Hogs have fully shaken off their three-game losing streak from last month and returned to the ranked of the, well, ranked after edging LSU in Death Valley in overtime. An 8-4 season is in the cards. Grade: A
Seems harsh to drop the Aggies this far, but the West is very clogged and they’ve lost to the three teams ranked immediately ahead of them. I can’t grade them lower than a ‘B’ though because it was in Oxford against a team that can punch the lights out of almost anybody. Grade: B
Pretty lame second half, but there’s no better medicine for a three-game losing streak than a trip to Nashville, where a 31-3 first half got the ‘Cats rolling back in the right direction. Grade: B
Tennessee might have the five best losses of any team in the country...except for Florida, who pummeled them 38-14 in September and now can barely beat the FCS at home. So...they at 5-5 get ranked below Kentucky, who has not “stooped” so low as to lose to the lowly Gators. Grade: B
Oof. That loss to stinky Mizzou’s gotta hurt for the Gamecocks, whose bowl hopes now hinge entirely on defeating...Clemson. Unlike every other season, it’s actually possible this time. The question is—will it happen... Grade: C
11. LSU Tigers
LSU might’ve just watched their bowl hopes go up in smoke after Arkansas’s field goal, because if they think they’re going to beat Texas A&M in the finale they better make it loud in Death Valley. Like really loud. Grade: C
12. Missouri Tigers
As horrible a season as the Tigers have had, that home win over Carolina and the weekly decline of Florida might hand Mizzou a bowl bid if they can edge the Gators in Colombia next Saturday. There might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Grade: A
So if a team fires their defensive coordinator after coughing up 40 points to South Carolina, the great question is who will coach the defense until the replacement is hired? Apparently nobody, because FCS Samford just lit up The Swamp for 52 points in the most embarrassing spectacle ever seen in Gainesville. Lose to Florida State, and I’m putting you in last below Vanderbilt—I’m not joking.
Alabama’s point total in The Swamp in September: 31
Samford’s point total in The Swamp in November: 52
Wheeeee the Dan Mullen Era is going great! Grade: D-
As the Commodores slowly approach an inevitable 0-8 SEC season, they take the positives wherever they can find them and prepare for brighter days in future years. One such bright spot—they get a ‘C’ for outscoring Kentucky 14-3 in the second half of their 17-point loss! Grade: C