Yours truly has been non-COVID-19-related sick all this week and the previous weekend, so one of the few joys I got was not doing much of anything except watching football. I felt as bad as some teams played, but I think I learned the following:
There needs to be a serious review of how the Southeastern Conference vets officials. I know they get great training, but on two separate occasions this weekend, a crew became the focal point of a game, and not the teams on the field. I saw on Twitter someone suggest that they make it a full-time job and not a weekend thing. That may not be a bad idea. I couldn’t do it, and wouldn’t, and as someone who covered football from the sidelines most refs do a great job. But when you mess up as egregiously as we saw in the Mississippi State and Auburn games this weekend, yikes.
The officials leaving their imprint on the game ruined an otherwise great Auburn-Penn State game. I thought the score would be reversed in favor of Auburn, but I was wrong. I thought both teams showed a lot of potential, and I think if things go well for Auburn and not as well for Penn State, they could meet again on New Year’s Day. I still think Auburn is a nine-win team. And I’m impressed with the difference a year makes.
Depending on where you read, Mike Leach may not inspire the same awe he did when he was hired. State is struggling. And I know that offense will take a while to catch on until he gets his guys in…but I just hope he has that long.
I was heartbroken to watch the Fighting Lanes beat up on Tulane. I really thought it would be a game, but Ole Miss just swarmed and never let up. Maybe three weeks completely on the road finally wore the Green Wave down? I know it does me. Ole Miss is impressive, but I still don’t think they’re the most impressive SEC West team…
…and after this weekend’s struggles on defense, it may not be Alabama either. I think they’re only going to win the National title by three touchdowns now. No, the most impressive team to me is….
…Arkansas. I picked them as a team to watch in the preview episode of the podcast, and I’m standing by that. They won’t win the West, but I think they may finish second.
I don’t know who wins the SEC East. I can’t tell if Florida is that good, or if this will be a UGA-stubs-the-toe in the Cocktail Party kind of year. Either way, unless Kentucky gets some help, those are probably going to be your East reps.
The best game I saw all weekend was the Cincinnati-Indiana game. It had everything; back-and-forth lead changes, big play, drama, all of it. Cincy cleared a big hurdle to stay in the Top 10, and I hope they can make a playoff push, but if not, they can take solace in knowing they’re the best team in Ohio right now.
Lastly, I should have picked Western Michigan. I waffled, and opted not, but something told me they would beat Pitt. And how about Pitt? Beat an SEC school on the road one week, get s-MAC-ked the next. #DontSleepOnTheBroncos
That’s all I can think of. What about you?