clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

College Football Around the SEC: Week 8

New, comments

We are basically at the halfway mark of the 2014 College Football Season. There is no All-Star Break. It's back to the grind.

Game Day!
Game Day!
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Win-Loss Record key:
  • SEC - conference record
  • P5 - non-SEC record against Power 5
  • MM - record against Mid Majors/Non-Power 5 but projected bowl participant
  • CC - record against cupcakes
Georgia Bulldogs (5-1, SEC 3-1, P5 1-0, MM 0-0, CC 1-0)

Georgia at Arkansas 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM ET SEC Network

Suspended running back Todd Gurley was back practicing with the team but has yet to be cleared to play. His replacement Nick Chubb filled in admirably last week against Mizzou with a massive 42 touches. Chubb gained 143 yards rushing but it was on a ridiculously-high 38 carries for only 3.8 yards per carry. Those stats tell me the true freshman took a lot of hits. Surely, Mark Richt and OC Mike Bobo cannot expect Chubb to take this kind of punishment for the rest of the season should Gurley not return.

Kentucky Wildcats (5-1, SEC 2-1, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 3-0)

Kentucky at LSU 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET SEC Network

It looks like Kentucky is serious about giving a little love to football. On Wednesday, the University released renderings of its planned $45 million football training facility to open in 2016. A privately-funded project, it will be more than 90,000 square feet, adjacent to Commonwealth Stadium and connected to the existing Nutter Indoor Training Center. It will house state-of-the-art dining facilities, nutrition and health care services, spacious strength and conditioning areas, a massage therapy room, smoothie bar, hot and cold pools (with flat-screen TVs mounted overhead) and even a barber shop. If they hope to hold on to coach Mark Stoops for a little while, this is a good start.

Tennessee Volunteers (3-3, SEC 0-2, P5 0-1, MM 2-0, CC 1-0)

Tennessee at Ole Miss 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET ESPNESPN

UT is in the midst of a seven-game losing streak against SEC West opponents dating back to a 52-14 victory over Ole Miss in 2010. Their last road win over an SEC West opponent came in 2008 when they won at Mississippi State 34-3.  To give some perspective, Arian Foster, now in his 6th season with the Texans, was the Vols running back.

Missouri Tigers (4-2, SEC 1-1, P5 0-1, MM 0-0, CC 3-0)

Missouri at Florida 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET ESPN2ESPN2

Mizzou has had quite a Jeckyll and Hyde run lately. After dominating UCF 38-10, the Tigers inexplicably turn around and lose at home to Indiana. This was followed up by a win at South Carolina and then getting shut out at home last Saturday by UGA 34-0. Looking over the stats, I have a theory that it is linked to the production of #2 running back Marcus Murphy. The senior is the only offensive player whose stats seem to correspond to the outcome:

Opp W-L Rushes Yards YPC
UCF W 38-10 15 94 6.3
Indiana L 31-27 11 11 1.0
@South Carolina W 21-20 16 98 6.1
Georgia L 34-0 7 34 4.9

You're welcome, Pinkel.

Auburn Tigers (5-1, SEC 2-1, P5 1-0, MM 0-0, CC 2-0)

Auburn has a bye week to lick their wounds.

Cornerback Jonathan Jones had two interceptions on Saturday, but he was also flagged for a costly pass interference call on fourth-and-8 early in the fourth quarter. The penalty allowed Mississippi State to extend their lead from 28-20 to 31-20. Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson indicated that Auburn was submitting the play for official review from the SEC to provide clarification for why the call was made. You be the judge.

Ole Miss Rebels (6-0, SEC 3-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 3-0)

Tennessee at Ole Miss 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET ESPNESPN

The Rebels are 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when they went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title under the legendary Johnny Vaught. A win over Tennessee would give Ole Miss its second 7-0 start in program history (also 1962).

Arkansas Razorbacks (3-3, SEC 0-3, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 1-0)

Georgia at Arkansas 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM ET SEC Network

If you attended the University of Alabama pre-2003, you likely recall what a hassle it was as students to get to games at Legion Field in Birmingham. Be glad you were not an Arkansas student. Since 1948, the Razorback have played split home games War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock - easily a 190 miles, 3 hours drive from Fayetteville (comparable to Tuscaloosa to Atlanta). The team most recently played two home games a year in Little Rock, rather than at its on-campus stadium in Fayetteville. At one point, the team played three or four games a year at War Memorial. Beginning this season, that number dropped to one game after the University agreed to pay the stadium $400,000 in each of the next three years so its football team won't have to make multiple trips to Little Rock. As of Tuesday, the Hogs' Liitle Rock game with #10 UGA has not sold out the 53,955-seat relic. The latest contract between the school and stadium expires in 2018.

LSU Tigers (5-2, SEC 1-2, P5 1-0, MM 0-0, CC 3-0)

Kentucky at LSU 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET SEC Network

It would appear that coach Les Miles has settled on Anthony Jennings as his quarterback after true freshman Brandon Harris' less-than-spectacular 3-of-14 passing fiasco against Auburn two Saturdays ago. Against Florida, Jennings went the distance and looks to be the starter against the Wildcats in Baton Rouge Saturday night.

Texas A&M Aggies (5-2, SEC 2-2, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 3-0)

Texas A&M at Alabama 2:30 PM CT/ 3:30 PM ET CBS

After two straight losses, the Aggies have settled back to where most prognosticators thought they would be at the beginning of the season. Three hours into the 2014 season, many were declaring TAMU as a playoff contender and QB Kenny Hill as a possible Heisman Trophy candidate. In the last two games alone, Hill has had six turnovers, including two each that both Mississippi State and Ole Miss converted into touchdowns. Through three games, Hill had no interceptions. Against SMU and Arkansas, he threw one each. He then threw three picks to MSU linebacker Richie Brown, followed by two (one a pick-six) against the Rebels to go with a fumble that was returned for a score.

Florida Gators (3-2, SEC 2-2, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 1-0-1*)

Missouri at Florida 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET ESPN2ESPN2

Having a quarterback competition deep into October is never a good thing. Will Mushamp told reporters that both embattled senior Jeff Driskel and true freshman Treon Harris will play on Saturday. Harris led the Gators to a comeback 10-9 win over Tennessee though his stats in that game were not all that impressive: 2-for-4 passing for 17 yards, 4 rushes for 24 yards, no scores. Truth be told, running back Matt Jones should get most of the credit for the comeback with his 56 total yards and TD in the 4th quarter.
* I'm calling the Idaho game a tie since they did kickoff and the score remained 0-0.

Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-0, SEC 3-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 3-0)

Mississippi State has a bye week.

The bye week could not come at a better time for the Bulldogs. MSU has ascended to the top of the rankings and Dak Prescott is gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated (he gets an extra week for the SI jinx to wear off). With all the distractions currently surrounding the team, a game on Saturday could be prime for a letdown. Instead they will prepare for an October 25th game at Kentucky.

Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1, SEC 2-1, P5 1-0, MM 0-0, CC 2-0)

Texas A&M at Alabama 2:30 PM CT/ 3:30 PM ET CBS

Bring a Sharpie! Former Tide All-American DeMeco Ryans, his current Philadelphia Eagles and former Bama teammate Evan Mathis (check this out), and former Tide and Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower will all be available to sign autographs in the Mercedes-Benz Fan Fest from 11:30am to 12:30pm. From 10am until noon former Tide quarterback Andrew Zow will sign autographs at BBVA Compass Tent.

Another fun event will be "Hoops on the Quad" from 11am until noon. The basketball teams will scrimmage on a special outdoor court. Bamabrave4 will be posting details soon.