What we learned about SEC football on the first Saturday in November:
1) There is no mystery about what happened to Georgia: They got their butts kicked by a Florida team that played harder, coached better and wanted it more. There really isn’t a lot to explain when a team runs for 418 yards and has to throw only six passes to build a 31-7 lead
First you have to give Florida credit for rallying behind their embattled coach, Will Muschamp. Then you have to ask why a team that had struggled to move the ball all season was suddenly able to run at will against a defense that was No. 2 in the SEC against the run. Georgia wasn’t ready to play with everything on the line and that is a function of coaching.
Georgia can still win the SEC East but I have to think Kentucky, Auburn and Georgia Tech were all encouraged by watching the Georgia-Florida game.
2) As great as college football is, it can be a cruel game as Ole Miss can attest: When Alabama lost to Auburn last November on the now famous “Kick Six”, it cost the Crimson Tide the SEC Western Division championship, a shot at the SEC Championship and a chance to win a third consecutive national championship. It says here that we’d never again see a team lose so much on a single play.
Laquon Treadwell of Ole Miss was running to the end zone for appeared to be a winning touchdown Saturday night in Oxford. Just as he approached the goal line the Auburn defender hit Treadwell, twisted his body and the ball came loose and Auburn recovered. The play was originally ruled a touchdown but overturned on review. Auburn won the game 35-31. Ole Miss was almost certainly knocked out of a chance at the division and its No. 4 ranking will soon be gone. Treadwell, one of the best young receivers in America, suffered a gruesome broken leg and dislocated ankle.
“It’s just a really, really, sickening way to lose,” said Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze. He’s right.
3) Auburn looks like the best team in the SEC: The Tigers (7-1, 4-1 SEC) will probably still be No. 3 behind Mississippi State and Florida State when the new CFP rankings are released on Tuesday. But Auburn looks like the best team in the conference. The Tigers went on the road to Ole Miss and rolled up 507 yards and 35 points against a team that not not given up 20 points all season. They have won on the road at No. 9 Kansas State and No. 4 Ole Miss and their only loss is at No. 1 Mississippi State. There are still road games at Georgia and Alabama.
4) Josh Dobbs is the man at Tennessee: The sophomore from Alpharetta threw for 301 yards and ran for 166 more as Tennessee rallied from a 14-point deficit with 4:52 remaining to stun South Carolina in overtime 45-42. Dobbs threw a 9-yard TD pass to tie the game with 11 seconds left. He ran for three touchdowns. Tennessee had 645 yards of total offense. Yes, the South Carolina defense is really bad. But even when senior Justin Worley gets well, Dobbs has to be Tennessee’s guy moving forward. With Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt left the Vols (4-5) can get to a bowl.
5) If Missouri wins its final three games and takes the SEC East, its seven conference wins will be against teams that currently have a combined conference record of 10-29. Yep. You read that right. The Tigers lost 34-0 to Georgia but if they win out their seven league wins will be against: South Carolina (2-5), Florida (3-3), Vanderbilt (0-5), Kentucky (2-4), Texas A&M (2-3), Tennessee (1-4) and Arkansas (0-5).