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Three & Out appears every Sunday to recap the week that was in the SEC. In our Week 12 edition, we take a look at the BCS situation that LSU finds itself in, Georgia's SEC East title and the end of the Vanderbilt/Tennessee game.
A STICKY SITUATION
So now, we officially have BCS chaos.
The SEC West now boasts the nation's top three teams: LSU, Alabama and Arkansas. That's an absolutely astonishing feat for any conference, let alone one division. LSU is clearly the class of the three, but the way this situation has played out, LSU is really in the most precarious situation.
None of the three teams can realistically afford a loss, but LSU is the only team of the three that doesn't have one yet. That's what makes this situations so dicey. The Tigers have to win out to earn the right to play Alabama for the BCS National Championship, despite having beaten the Tide in Tuscaloosa. To compound issues, assuming the Tigers beat Arkansas (hold your e-mails Arkansas fans, it's not a sure thing), LSU could conceivably be hurt in the overall picture by an SEC Championship Game loss - a game in which its nearest competitor in the BCS Championship Race couldn't even get to.
On what planet does that make sense?
A loss - either to Arkansas or to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game - should only drop LSU to "in the discussion" for the BCS Championship Game. Once that discussion starts, LSU's rather sterling resume and out-of-conference schedule should put an end to it really quick. If it's in a three-way SEC West tie (which I predicted on Aug. 6), LSU shouldn't be punished by the voters for losing late. If it's in the SEC Championship Game, the Tigers shouldn't be punished. Getting there and losing is still better than not getting there at all.
DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Nine straight wins is nine straight wins, I don't care how down the SEC East is.
Georgia wrapped up the SEC East title with a 19-10 win over Kentucky, and punched its first ticket to the SEC Championship Game since 2005. It was ugly, it was sloppy, it was rather unimpressive - but it got the job done.
Isaiah Crowell missed the majority of this game with an ankle injury, which really put a damper on Georgia's offense. But it got enough to get the job done, including a 4-for-4 day from place kicker Blair Walsh, who had been struggling mightily all season.
Just as has been the case all season, Georgia's defense stood tall, and allowed only 165 yards to Kentucky. I know, I know; it's Kentucky. Georgia's defense has been steadily improving throughout they year, and that momentum doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. It's no coincidence that things clicked when linebacker Alec Ogletree returned from an broken foot suffered early in Georgia's season opening loss to Boise State.
Georgia's dangerous, and in this crazy season, an upset in the SEC Championship Game certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility.
TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT...EXCEPT IN KNOXVILLE
What did Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley do to deserve crazy officials? Is it because he's a lawyer?
Against Vanderbilt, it wasn't 15 men on the field or a reviewed clock play that Dooley found himself in; it was an mystery whistle.
Eric Gordon returned a Jordan Rodgers pass 90 yards for the game-winning touchdown in the top of the first overtime period to give the Vols the 27-21 victory. One problem though, Gordon was ruled down on the play - even though it was clear in 2D, 3D and on any funky camera angle ESPNU wanted to give that Gordon's knee never touched the ground. It was reviewed, and Tennessee was awarded the touchdown.
Except, it shouldn't have been reviewed. The SEC issued a statement on the call following the game.
"During the play, the head linesman incorrectly ruled that the Tennessee player's knee was down when he intercepted the pass by blowing his whistle and giving the dead ball signal," said Steve Shaw, SEC coordinator of officials. "The play was reviewed as if there was no whistle on the field and as a result, overturned the incorrect ruling. By rule, if there was a whistle blown, the play is not reviewable."
So two the officials screwed up twice on one play. Tennessee should have won on the interception, shouldn't have won on the interception and then actually did win on the interception.
Vandy fans will probably be upset about the review, but Gordon's knee didn't hit the ground. I know procedure is in place and must be followed, but in the end, the proper called was made - even though the referees tried their best to get in the way.
Just another night in Knoxville.
Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or
on Twitter at @BarrettSallee
2011 Three & Out Archive
Three & Out – November 20, 2011
Three & Out – November 13, 2011
Three & Out – November 6, 2011
Three & Out – October 30, 2011
Three & Out – October 23, 2011
Three & Out – October 16, 2011
Three & Out – October 9, 2011
Three & Out – October 2, 2011
Three & Out – September 25, 2011
Three & Out – September 18, 2011
Three & Out – September 11, 2011
Three & Out – September 5, 2011
Three & Out – August 29, 2011
Three & Out – August 22, 2011
Three & Out – August 15, 2011
Three & Out – August 8, 2011
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