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College Football Around the SEC: Week 3

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News & Notes from around the Conference.

Ugh. So much orange...
Ugh. So much orange...
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

We are trying something new this season: attempting to put a weight on records by measuring in certain factors. It is the first attempt (plus I barely made Cs in Statistics 101 &102 when I was at the Capstone), so it may need some tweaking in the future.

Some of you had queries about it and I have some clarifications.

  1. Week 1, Mississippi State played at Southern Miss. Should they get 0.5 point for winning on the road? No. No credit is awarded for winning at a cupcake's stadium.
  2. Also Week 1, Texas A&M played in Houston but only received 0.125 point for neutral location. College Station to Houston is in just under 100 miles. Phoenix to Houston is about 1,100 miles. More fans, more familiarity, easier commute.
  3. So, why should they get any points at all? Even with all the advantages listed above, there is nothing like playing in your home stadium on your field with your locker room in front of your fans/students, etc. etc. etc.

A new tweak added is holding off on "Win over a ranked opponent = additional 0.5" until the end of the regular season. The logic (if there is any) is that a team ranked in September, may not be in December. [Hi Auburn!] By that time, perhaps I can come up with a good bonus equation.

Below is the key.

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

Trying something new this season, we will attempt to put a weight on records.

  • Win over P5 = 1 point
  • Win over a ranked opponent = additional 0.5
  • Road win = 0.5
  • Neutral site win = 0.25
  • Win over a MM = 0.5
  • Win over a CC = 0
  • Loss to CC = -1
  • Loss to MM = -0.5
  • Home loss = -0.5
Auburn Tigers (2-1, SEC 0-1, P5 1-1, MM 0-0, CC 0-0) 1.25 Points

Points this week: 0 loss at LSU.

Mississippi State at Auburn 6:30pm/7:30pm ESPN2

The news out of Auburn is that Gus Malzahn is benching struggling quarterback Jeremy Johnson for redshirt freshman Sean White who has yet to play a game. Some in the national press are wondering if Malzahn is panicking under the pressure of being a head coach of big-time college football. A mere ten years ago, he was coaching high school. Since then he has had a meteoric rise from Arkansas to Tulsa to Auburn to Arkansas State and back to Auburn. I will bring the Chizik-Malzahn chart back from last week in case you are curious:

Year Coach SEC West Record Post-season
2010 Gene Chizik 1st 14-0 BCS Champion
2011 Gene Chizik 4th 8-5 Won Chick-fil-A Bowl
2012 Gene Chizik 7th 3-9 no bowl
2013 Gus Malzahn T-1st 12-2 Lost BCS Championship
2014 Gus Malzahn T-4th 8-5 Lost Outback Bowl
2015 Gus Malzahn - 2-1 ?

South Carolina Gamecocks (1-2, SEC 0-2, P5 1-2, MM 0-0, CC 0-0) 0.75 Points

Points this week: 0 loss at UGA.

UCF at South Carolina 11am/12pm ESPNUESPNU

SC is also changing quarterbacks but more out of necessity. Sophomore Connor Mitch won the starting job in fall practice but suffered a separated shoulder against Kentucky on Sept. 12 and will miss several more weeks. This left Steve Spurrier with junior walk-on Perry Orth and true freshman Lorenzo Nunez auditioning against Georgia. Orth was dreadful going 6-17 for 66 yds, 0 TD, and an INT. Nunez completed four short throws on five attempts for 18 yards but won the job due to his running (10-76, TD). RB Brandon Wilds had some early success against Georgia but went down with a bruised rib after five carries. Dark days in Columbia...

Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, SEC 1-0, P5 1-0, MM 1-0, CC 1-0) 2 Points

Points this week: 1.5 win at Bama.

Vanderbilt at Ole Miss 6pm/7pm ESPNUESPNU

The Rebels scoring average dropped to 64.0 points per game. They still lead the nation by a field goal over Baylor and by 9.7 points over Arizona and Texas Tech.

LSU Tigers (2-0, SEC 2-0, P5 2-0, MM 0-0, CC 0-0) 2.5 Points

Points this week: 1 for home win over Auburn.

LSU at Syracuse 11am/12pm, ESPN ESPN

Leonard Fournette's 387 rushing yards plus nine receiving yards represents 48% of the Tigers entire offense on the young season. He has scored six of the team's nine touchdowns for 36 points, easily outdistancing placekicker. Trent Domingue who has converted nine extra points and one field goal. LSU could be one turned ankle away from disaster.

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

Points this week: 0 win over cupcake WCU.

Tennessee at Florida 2:30pm/3:30pm CBS

Where were you on September 18, 2004? For many Vols fans, they were celebrating a 30–28 win over the Gators on a  50-yard field goal with 6 seconds left. Little did they know, it would be the last victory for Tennessee over their rival Florida. The repercussions of that loss was the beginning of the end for Ron Zook in Gainesville as he was let go at the end of the season and a guy named Urban Meyer took over. Imagine what might have been had that field goal hooked left.

Texas A&M Aggies (3-0, SEC 0-0, P5 1-0, MM 2-0, CC 0-0) 2.125 Points

Points this week: 0.5 win over MM Nevada.

Texas A&M at Arkansas 6pm/7pm ESPN ESPN

The Aggies and Razorbacks will be playing their fifth game in seven years in Arlington, Texas. The two teams had not played since Arkansas left the old Southwest Conference for the SEC after the end of the 1991 season. The rivalry was reborn in 2009 with three straight games - all won by Arky - played in Jerry's World. The 2012 game was held in College Station followed by a trip to Fayetteville. But last year's game and this year's game return to the Dallas Cowboys' Stadium and the two schools have a contract for 10 more games in the series through 2024. The athletic directors are are in full support of the series but fans are sick of it. Aggies fans want the game back to their on-campus Kyle Field that had a recent $485-million makeover.

Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-1, SEC 0-1, P5 0-1, MM 0-0, CC 2-0) -0.5 Points

Points this week: 0 home  win over cupcake Northwestern St.

Mississippi State at Auburn 6:30pm/7:30pm ESPN2

Dan Mullen has been flirting with disaster when it comes to keeping Dak Prescott in games. Last season, Prescott attempted 101 passes. The rest of the team attempted six. If they kept track of minuted played in college football, he surely would be among the leaders. This season, Prescott played the whole way against Southern Miss and LSU. Saturday, he finally got some rest, leaving after the first half up 34-6 on FCS Northwestern State. Heir apparent freshman Nick Fitzgerald was 4 for 4 for 90 yds and a touchdown in relief.

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

Points this week: 0 home win over cupcake UConn.

Missouri at Kentucky 6:30pm/7:30pm SECN

You would think a final score of 9-6 was a war of tough defenses and of field goals like a certain Bama-LSU game of recent memory. However, that final tally was reached in the strangest of ways. Mizzou's Justin Wain blocked a first quarter UConn punt that went out of the end zone for a safety: 2-0. UConn converted a Maty Mauk interception into a touchdown but  the extra point was blocked: 2-6. A third quarter Mizz TD rounded out the scoring: 9-6. Both teams missed their only field goal attempt.

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

Points this week: 1.5 road win over P5 UK.

Tennessee at Florida 2:30pm/3:30pm CBS

Florida has beaten Kentucky 29 straight years. The Wildcats last win over the Gators came in 1986 taking a 10-3 win. That same year, Mike Shula was the starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide under Head coach Ray Perkins. Steve Spurrier had yet to coach a college game. It was also the year that Marshawn Lynch was born.

Georgia Bulldogs (3-0, SEC 2-0, P5 2-0, MM 0-0, CC 1-0) 2.5 Points

Points this week: 1 home win over P5 S. Carolina.

Southern U. at Georgia 11am/12pm SECN

Against South Carolina, the Dawgs converted only one third down. That's pretty bad, right? Not when you consider that Georgia only reached third down on FOUR occasions. UGA rolled up 576 yards and 32 first downs.

Arkansas Razorbacks (1-2, SEC 0-1, P5 0-1, MM 0-1, CC 1-0) -1.5 Points

Points this week: -0.5 for home loss to Texas Tech.

Texas A&M at Arkansas 6pm/7pm ESPN ESPN

The Arkansas football program is in a very precarious situation sitting at 1-2 without playing an SEC game as of yet. Since 2007, the Razorbacks have gone through Houston Nutt, Bobby Petrino, John L. Smith, and now Bret Bielema (11-17, SEC: 2-14) in his third season. The University would rather not go through another coaching search but what if Bert has a losing season and running backs Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins go pro? In addition, quarterback Brandon Allen is a senior. Fayetteville is a tough destination to recruit top players to. Plus, the state is not particularly a recruiting hotbed. AD Jeff Long was hoping for some stability with Bielema, but there are storms on the horizon...

Vanderbilt Commodores (1-2, SEC 0-1, P5 0-1, MM 0-1, CC 1-0) -1 Point

Points this week: 0 for home win over cupcake Austin Peay.

Vanderbilt at Ole Miss 6pm/7pm ESPNUESPNU

Vandy is a 25 point underdog against Ole Miss. Take the Rebs.

Kentucky Wildcats (2-1, SEC 1-1, P5 1-1, MM 1-0, CC 0-0) 1.5 Points

Points this week: -0.5 for home loss to Fla.

Missouri at Kentucky 6:30pm/7:30pm SECN

Kentucky is actually favored by anywhere from 2 to 3 points over Mizzou.

alabama logo script a 100x100

Alabama Crimson Tide (2-1, SEC 0-1, P5 1-1, MM 1-0, CC 0-0) 1.25 Points

Points this week: -0.5 for home loss.

Louisiana-Monroe at Alabama 3:00pm CT / 4:00pm ET - SEC Network

The Nick Saban era has helped tilt all-time records against certain teams back in the Crimson direction. The Tide's win earlier this season over Wisconsin drew the two schools even at one win apiece. He now has a chance to get one-up on Louisiana-Monroe to whom the Tide is tied at one win each.

TOTALS:

Team Week 2 Week 3
Georgia 1.5 2.5
LSU 1.5 2.5
Texas A&M 1.625 2.125
Florida 0.5 2.0
Ole Miss 0.5 2.0
Kentucky 2 1.5
Alabama 1.75 1.25
Auburn 1.25 1.25
Missouri 1.0 1.0
South Carolina 0.75 0.75
Tennessee 0.0 0.0
Mississippi State -0.5 -0.5
Vanderbilt -1.0 -1.0
Arkansas -1.0 -1.5

#ROLLTIDE!