Several SEC teams had solid weekends, and for a few this past Saturday turned into a nightmare. The Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide continue to look like the strongest teams in the conference and, at this early point in the season, appear to be on a collision course for Atlanta. Anger and apathy would be accurate descriptors in what is going on for the fans at Arkansas and Missouri. All of this we will discuss in this weeks, what we learned in the SEC.
One team that has improved every week this season has been the Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs’ defense is only allowing 10 points per game and fans did not see much drop off in the defensive performance against Vanderbilt. Coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs still have several tough games coming up that could derail a chance to play in Atlanta. The Florida game is always a big one for the Bulldogs, and those two teams will square off in Jacksonville a week from this Saturday. The Auburn game a few weeks after the Florida game is shaping up to be a very big test for the Bulldogs. Until those games, Smart and the Bulldogs will need to continue to take a businesslike approach and take one game at a time.
The Alabama Crimson Tide have been so dominant over the past two weeks that many fans were shocked to see a team play them close this past weekend. Texas A & M quarterback Kellen Mond was impressive against the Crimson Tide, passing for a touchdown and over 200 yards in the 27-19 defeat. Alabama head coach Nick Saban was not pleased with the performance of the Crimson Tide on Saturday or the media for that matter. Saban stated, “I’m trying to get our players to listen to me instead of listening to you guys. All of that stuff you write about how good we are, all that stuff they hear on ESPN, it’s like poison. It’s like taking poison. Like rat poison.” With all of this being said, Arkansas is likely in for a tough time at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
As for the miserable side of the SEC, the weekend was not kind to Arkansas or Missouri. The difference between Arkansas and Missouri is that one team was able to display some improvement last Saturday and it looked as if one took several steps back. In both cases, the rest of the schedule does not look kind to either team.
Starting with the team that is likely on the path to a 3-9 season the Arkansas Razorbacks. Even when Arkansas has won this season it has not been impressive, with wins over New Mexico State and Florida A & M. South Carolina easily took care of Arkansas last Saturday, defeating the Razorbacks 48-22. The road will get worse for Arkansas as they travel to Alabama to take on a Crimson Tide team who did not look impressive against Texas A & M. The offensive line has been a weak area for the Razorbacks and that is something that could prove disastrous against a Nick Saban led defense. Prayers will be needed for the Hogs this weekend.
The Missouri Tigers have been on the receiving end of some robust beatings over the past few weeks. The Auburn Tigers picked apart Missouri 51-14 and in the process made the next few games for Missouri must win. Missouri did not show any signs of quit against Kentucky last Saturday and kept it a close game, losing 40-34. Apathy is perhaps settling in for the Missouri fans, but it has shown signs of impacting this team. For all of the teams discussed this week, the season is a long one and will not get easier. Either the teams will dig deeper and continue to win, or they will quit on the season.