bruces1g's Football Blog
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Another weekend, another shakeup in the Top 10. Will the carnage ever end?

This week I was a perfect 7 for 7 in the SEC (with no help from Wade, thank you!), but tanked big time (0-3) in the Next Best 3.  That brings my running total to 43-16.

Now lets look at what happened this week...

OLE MISS over AUBURN: The downward spiral continues at Auburn. Just like last week, this game started out in Auburn's favor, but as the game progressed they seemed to have lost their poise and composure. Sadly, this looks like a team that has thrown in the towel for the season. Meanwhile, Ole Miss continues to impress me this season. I think that next year a lot of folks are not going to be real happy about seeing them on their schedule.  And for all the jokes, I must say that Nutt looks like he knows how to turn a team around.

ARKANSAS over TULSA:  This game gave proof to the fact that teams that put up gaudy numbers in second rate conferences are not necessarily good teams. Tulsa came into this game with the number 1 ranked offense in the nation, posting video game-like numbers on some ho-hum opponents. But against what is a lower-ranked SEC opponent, they were exposed as the pretenders that they really are.  Petrino and the Hawgs continue to show improvement from week to week and I think that they will continue that trend into the next season as well.  It will be interesting to see how they progress for the remainder of the season.

KENTUCKY over MISS STATE:  UK went in a with a different QB and used a strong defensive effort to hang on to the win and become bowl eligible. MSU's season continues its downward slide after having high hopes to continue building on last years' success. I think a good question might be whether or not Sly Croom gets another season or if he is shown the door.

ALABAMA  over ARKANSAS STATE:  While the offense started out a little slowly in the this game, the defense made sure it was never in doubt.  The Red Wolves never got inside of the Bama 35 for the game and the defense put six points on the board via an INT return. The offense did crank it up in the second half as the running game became unstoppable. The Bama defense continues to improve and it seems that the loss of Cody has not had an adverse effect at all.  Chapman has stepped in and played excellent at the NG position that is so crucial to the 3-4 defense (I might note that one of my FN friends, an Auburn fan, believes that the defense is actually better with Chapman). Bottom line is that the Tide did what it was supposed to and totally dismantled a lesser team. Next week in Baton Rouge will be a much bigger challenge.

FLORIDA over GEORGIA:  Even at 49-3, this game was not as close as the score indicates. The Gators completely dominated the Dawgs in every phase of the football game. And Meyer had no problem running up the score as much as possible. I think next year Georgia might want to rethink any over the top touchdown celebrations. Florida continues to make an argument for being one of the best teams in the nation right now. If they beat Alabama (assuming Bama won't lose 3 in a row) in SEC title game, I would have to agree that they deserve a very strong consideration.

SOUTH CAROLINA over TENNESSEE:  How fitting is it that it was after yet another loss to Spurrier that Fulmer was shown the door. I would be willing to bet that when Spurrier heard the news, he had one of those smirky-smiles going.  Fulmer will finish out the season with the Vols and I am not so sure that he will pick up another win. Even Wyoming doesn't appear to be a given.  While I have little sympathy for Fulmer, I do feel for his players. Meanwhile, SC has a resurgent Hawgs team this week and then has to face the Florida buzz-saw. It will be interesting to see how the good SC defense does against the Gators.

LSU over TULANE: LSU bounced back from their dismal performance of last week and took care of business against the Green Wave. They also did not make the mistake of looking ahead to this week and Alabama. Well, maybe just a little bit, as they didn't play a spotless game. Once again Lee had problems with team identification and gifted the Green Wave with a pick-6. Lee finished the game 8 out of  20 for 99-yards. He will need to be much sharper against a very good Bama secondary or it will be a long day on the bayou.

Now for the Next Best Three...

CALIFORNIA over OREGON: I thought Ducks were supposed to like the water. It surely appeared that these Ducks didn't take to the water very well in a game that was played in what looked like a monsoon. This was a sloppy game in sloppy conditions and the Bears took advantage of Oregon mistakes and converted them into the winning difference. Oregon blew their lead in the Pac 10 as well.

GEORGIA TECH over FLORIDA STATE: Just when it was looking like FSU might be turning things around, they manage to find away to give one away. After fighting back from a 24-10 deficit, they fumble away the winning score in the endzone. The Jackets looked like a different team after QB Nesbitt went down in the third quarter.  But the lone second half TD proved to be enough to hang on. I continue to be impressed with Georgia Tech and their throw-back triple option offense as they are now in the lead in the ACC Coastal Division.

TEXAS TECH over TEXAS: Two things really stand out to me in this game:

1. Once too often Texas relied on McCoy to save them and this time he did all he could but he can't play defense too.
2. Neither team displayed defensive brilliance in this game, but Texas had the most glaring choke when they let Crabtree split double coverage and score the winning TD.

I had said in my picks that Texas had to establish a running game to take the pressure off of McCoy. Their failure to do so allowed the Tech defense to pin their ears back and rush McCoy hard the whole game.

But in the end, lack of defense cost Texas the game and almost cost Tech. While the offenses appear to be great in the Big 12, I still wonder if it is more likely the lack of any kind of decent defensive play that allows the offenses to look so good. This is a question that may not be answered until the bowl season.

That is the wrap. I will try to have the next pickem post by Wednesday. There are several big games to look forward to this weekend and I am looking forward to seeing the national picture get even further clarified. Let me start hearing the nominations for the Next Best Three games for the upcoming week.

Now for a unabashed Homer moment:  ROLL TIDE. #1!  Sorry, but I just had to get that out of my system.

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