bruces1g's Football Blog
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Sorry I am a little late with this, but I have been rather busy with the money paying job. Geez, I hate it when they expected me to actually work!

Another 1-miss weekend as I was 7-1 on my picks. This brings my total to 20-3 on my picks. This time I should have listened to my heart and not my gut on the Vandy-Auburn picks. Oh well, live and learn.

Anyway, on to my thoughts and observations.

FLORIDA over ARKANSAS.  I was right on about this one. Myers made sure that he lit-up the Hogs to try to get the bad Ole Miss taste out of his mouth. However, despite of the big score, Arkansas played relatively tough for a while. But mistakes by the young team just kept digging their hole deeper and deeper. One step forward and two steps back.  

The good news is that Auburn is coming to town this weekend, so there is hope.

And I am still not sold on Florida being that great. The upcoming game with LSU will tell a lot about both teams. I will certainly have to ponder that one deeply this week.

SOUTH CAROLINA over OLE MISS. Either Ole Miss was still hung over after all the partying from the previous saturday, or SC has a real defense. I am leaning toward the latter. I think before it is all said and done, the Gamecocks could be a real spoiler in the East.  It also appears that Spurrier has found a QB that he likes this week.  They certainly got their offense going against a defense that stymied the Gators. It was a quite, but very good win for South Carolina.

ALABAMA over KENTUCKY.  Ok, my first thought is to say that maybe Kentucky is better than they appeared to be. And that may yet be proven correct over the course of the season.  However, trying to set my homerism aside, I'd have to say that Bama just played poorly. Yeah, they got the win. Yeah, they hung on to the number two rating. But they sure didn't play like the #2 team in the nation and to be honest, I wouldn't have been surprised if they had dropped a spot or two in the poles.

JP Wilson just did not look sharp at all. As has been the case, it is his constancy, or lack thereof, that has been the problem. He makes some throws like the seasoned senior QB that he is, then turns around makes some that I really just can't understand. A bright spot had to be how Julio Jones appears to be maturing into a fine WR.  

Glenn Coffee has been a workhorse. Outside of the two fumbles, he played a tremendous game. He is running with more heart, more determination than he ever has. And I have read some other articles that accused Bama's O-line of not living up to billing Saturday and I think that is crap. A running back does not gain 200-plus yards behind a badly-playing offensive line against an eight-man defensive front. Yeah, they gave up 3 sacks, but I think those can also be contributed to JP holding the ball a bit too long, and UK playing a good man-to-man coverage most of the day. Lets not forget the UK has one, maybe two, NFL-caliber DBs on their team.

Bottom line: a win is a win. Yes, Bama played badly, but still found the moxie to put together a long drive when it counted. Yes, they had lots of penalty yards, but this young team has been due a mental lapse this season. Now they have an off-week to settle down and get back to business. And I would bet that Saban will hammer home all the mistakes and get their focus back on track. If he doesn't, then Ole Miss will be glad to take-down another top 5 team.

VANDERBILT over AUBURN. Wow, Vandy pulls off the shocker and AU leaves with even more questions than they had to begin with. I would not have given Vandy the slightest chance without Nickson, but Adams stepped in and looked like a seasoned veteran.  As a whole, the Vandy offense looked pretty good against a stingy AU defense.

You have to wonder if the Auburn defense is growing weary from all the tough situations the offense has dropped them in. Already we are starting to see injuries pile up in crucial positions. Vandy's ability to wear down that weary, hurting defense in the second half is proof.

And what to do for the Auburn offense? At one point I might have said the QB change would make the difference. But it didn't have a lot of effect Saturday night.  They tried riding Tate, but the Vandy D wised up, slammed 8 in the box and dared Auburn to beat them through the air. It was a worthwhile gamble, as the AU offensive line couldn't protect the QBs and the WRs couldn't get open in an empty parking lot.

I don't know. At first I thought getting back to more of a power running game might be the answer. But considering the poor O-line play - especially in the second half - I don't know if they would be able to mount a real running game without some kind of play action passing to keep the defenses honest. Tuberville has promised "changes" - again. It will be interesting to see what those changes are and if they will work any better than the other "changes"

BTW, I have a copy of Tony Franklin's Offensive System that I will let go for CHEAP! ;)

TENNESSEE over NORTHERN ILLINOIS. Well Fulmer managed to save his hide for at least another week. But it sure was ugly. Facing that MAC powerhouse Huskies, the Vols could only mange a half-filled stadium and a half-hearted offense. Think about the last time you heard the Vol-nation go wild over a 7-yard pass (Stephens' first completion)?  Dropped passes, penalties and one long completion for a TD is the difference. That 53-yard completion is the longest play of the season for the Vols. This Tennessee team looks terrible. And it is not going to get any easier as the Vols visit what will be an angry Georgia team this weak.

That is the SEC wrap-up.  This past week I also looked at three games in other conferences, as requested by a reader.  This my take on those games, though I still have to say that I am not an authority on these teams. But I did watch the games, and will tell you what I thought.

MISSOURI over NEBRASKA. My first thought is that Nebraska is totally helpless. Not only was their defense like a sieve, but their offense was equally inept against the #112 defense in the nation. Had they been able to get any kind of a running game going, they might have at least made it more respectable. As it was, Daniels' was shooting fish in a barrel. Granted he looked sharp - but I still ask: against what? I still want to see how Mizzou and Daniels will look against a legitimate team.  But Saturday, against a big-name team in Nebraska, they sure looked like contenders.

OHIO STATE over WISCONSIN. While it was a struggle at times, I think that the Pryor Era at OSU has officially begun. The Buckeye faithful have to be on cloud 9 after that late 4th quarter drive that sealed the deal. Wisconsin played a tough, hard-nosed game, but just couldn't come up with the big plays when they had it. This win had to be a HUGE confidence builder for the Buckeyes - and they will need all of that as their date with Penn State looms on the horizon.  I think that might turn out to be the biggest game of the year in the Big 10.

NORTH CAROLINA over CONNECTICUT. As I predicted, a tough, battle-tested Tar Heels team came in and just flat-out whipped U Conn. The clock struck midnight for the Huskies and maybe they are not quite ready to swim with the big fish (wow, I managed to mix two tired old metaphors in one sentence!).  North Carolina is sitting at 4-1 and I believe that they are now the team to beat in the ACC (maybe with GA Tech also thrown in).

Ok, that wraps up my thoughts on the weekend. Now it is your turn to correct me where you feel necessary.

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