What a weekend in the Alliance Killer.
The week that was in the SEC saw classic rivals engage in 60-minute wars that ended on the last play of the game, the top Dawg dominate, and three other games that provided some separation in the conference.
With all of that said, let’s review week ten in the SEC, shall we.
We begin in Lexington.
Week 10 Wrap-up
Tennessee 45, Kentucky 42
Why Should I Care- This was perhaps the best offensive shootout of the entire UK/UT series. Both Josh Heupel and Liam Coen deserve kudos for their play calling. For the game, there were 1,037 yards of total offense and 87 points. But the play of the game was a pick-six from the Vols that staked UT to a 10 point lead. They needed every point of it to survive. Both Hendon Hooker and Will Levis were spectacular. Hooker was 15-20 for 316 yards and four scores, while Levis was 31-49 for 372, and three touchdowns also.
Wandale Robinson removed any doubt he can play in the NFL, catching 13 passes for 136 yards and a TD. UK back Chris Rodriguez Jr. returned to his old form with 109 yards rushing on 22 carries.
UT receiver Velus Jones had five catches for 100 yards as Hooker spread the wealth to five different receivers.
For the Vols, a postseason berth is all but assured. In my opinion, UT’s Josh Heupel has to be considered coach of the year in the conference. Considering the mess he inherited and had to put back together, he deserves it.,
For UK, it’s a half-full half-empty proposition. The BBN has been waiting for the offense to arrive, and it did. Most nights 612 yards and 42 points are enough to win. However, the defense was gashed again by a passing offense. It might be time for Cats coach Mark Stoops to get into the film room with the secondary and make adjustments as he has done in the past. In the next three games, the Cats should be favored, but nothing is done.
Alabama 20, LSU 14
Why Should I Care-If the Tigers had played as hard as they have the last couple of games, maybe coach Ed Orgeron wouldn’t be on the move. LSU gave the Tide everything they wanted in Tuscaloosa. If Bama has any hope of a deep postseason run, the CFP, or even the SEC Championship Game, they have to get better in the run game and get off the field on third down against a power run game. If they can’t, Georgia is going to lay the strap to them too.
Georgia 43, Missouri 6
Why Should I Care- Stop me if you have heard this before. Georgia is a juggernaut capable of running the table with ease. Their defense is simply awesome and the offense is becoming diverse and scary. I stand beside the fact that UGA is 14 points better than Alabama, and the Tide may be the only team that can beat the Dawgs. And that is starting to get away from them.
The Tigers are simply not good. Without their quarterback Connor Bazelak the offense sputters and the defense is horrid. Things have to change in a hurry in Columbia.
Texas A@M 20, Auburn 3
Why Should I Care- The Aggies are gaining serious steam. Their defense shut down what was a pretty potent War Eagle offense and their offense did enough to win the game surprisingly comfortably.
The Tigers really hadn’t faced an SEC power till today, and they did all the way around. SEC powerhouses suffocate you and take away everything you like to do. Bryan Harsin and his team found that today. But they are still pretty good.
Ole Miss 27, Liberty 14
Why Should I Care- The Rebels welcomed former coach Hugh Freeze’s Flames to Oxford for the first time since he was let go for, um, making some not cool phone calls. Anyway, Matt Corral passed for 321 yards to keep his Heisman track moving, and the Ole Miss defense held a potent Liberty defense led by a future pro in Malik Willis in check. Good day for the Rebs all around.
Arkansas 31, Mississippi State 28
Why Should I Care- I think it’s pretty obvious the SEC West is better than the SEC East. Both the Hogs and the Dawgs are probably bottom three in the West, but both would be fighting for second in the East. So goes the Alliance Killer. Arkansas held on at home to win despite MSU quarterback Will Rogers III’s 417 passing yards.
South Carolina 40, Florida 17
Why Should I Care- If Florida head coach Dan Mullen isn’t on the hot seat now, the thermostat is messed up. The Gamecocks whipped the Gators in Columbia behind Kevin Harris and ZaQuandre White each running for over 100 yards, receiver Josh Vann had seven catches for 111 yards, and a touchdown, and kicker Parker White had a career-high four field goals.
But here’s the kicker, the quarterback was third-stringer Jason Brown who last played football at St. Francis. All he did was go for 175 yards and two touchdown passes against the Gators.
Guys, it’s bad in Gainesville right now. Mullen and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham had better not buy a house any time soon. They might be changing addresses again after the season, maybe before.
Week 11 Predictions
In week ten, the Backwoods Swami went a pedestrian 9-4. For the season, I am 90-16 (.850). It’s time to drive toward 100 wins this week. Let’s give it a shot, shall we?
(NOTE: We will also add the Fun Belt and future SEC foes Texas and Oklahoma to the list for, you know, flavor profile.)
- Georgia at Tennessee
- New Mexico State at Alabama
- Mississippi State at Auburn
- Samford at Florida
- South Carolina at Missouri
- Texas A&M at Ole Miss
- Kentucky at Vanderbilt
- Arkansas at LSU
- Oklahoma at Baylor
- Kansas at Texas
- Georgia State at Coastal Carolina
- South Alabama at Appalachian State
- Georgia Southern at Texas State
- Louisiana at Troy
- Arkansas State at Louisiana Monroe
Week 11 Rankings
I think a little clarity should be established here. When I do my rankings, I don’t necessarily look at the current polls and develop them. I take into consideration how that team is playing now regardless of poll position.
So let’s take a look at this week’s rankings. And, as always, it’ll be fun for the whole family.
- Texas A&M
- Ole Miss
- Mississippi State
- South Carolina
Shane Shackleford is a regional sportswriter from Speedwell, TN. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers of America. Shane is also a football color analyst for WRIL-FM 106.3 Sports in Pineville, KY, and is a member of the 13th Region Sports Media Network. He has written and published his first book “Bounce: A Basketball Love Story” which can be found on Amazon currently. You can find Shane on KySportsStyle.com, A Sea of Blue, The London Sentinel-Echo, The Corbin Times-Tribune, The Mountain Advocate, Harlan County Sports, and The Mountain Eagle. Contact Shane by email at email@example.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.