Mitchell: What SEC fans should be discussing
Florida QB Jeff Driskel
Florida QB Jeff Driskel
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 26, 2012


SEC fans are some of the most educated college football advocates around, but like everyone they tend to focus on the big picture. So...what are the ten things every SEC fan should be talking about in week five, but aren’t?


The following is an excerpt from Y’all Play Nice, Week Five. Read it every Thursday at College Football News.

By Russ Mitchell
Follow me @russmitchellcfb

Well, that leaves out anything to do with LSU being "over-rated", whether or not Missouri's offensive is going to "roll over" the SEC, or if anyone can just get rid of this Harvey Updyke embarrassment...

(i) UGA & SC have now both played Vandy and Mizzou. Congratulations. The two smallest defensive lines our conference has to offer, to go with offenses that are hardly dynamic (Vandy’s total offense is 11 in the conference, while Missouri’s is 13). You too, Bama; the toughest program you’ve played to date is Western Kentucky. Yes, the Hilltoppers. We warned you Michigan was grossly overrated all offseason and predicted a 40 point Bama blowout. As for Arkansas, ULM popped their buzzer a week before you even showed up…

(ii) Which is to say there’s a lot more football needed before we’ll really know what SEC cards we have…

(iii) The Gamecocks are off to a 4-0 start, but their issues remain right under the surface of their soft schedule to date. Connor Shaw looked great with his 20 straight completions, but more than half went to his running back and tight end and rarely were any of his receivers covered tightly. The Gamecocks have been unable to get their receivers involved in both SEC games – that’ll have to change against the better defenses. The offensive line is near the bottom of the conference in sacks allowed and has done a poor job opening lanes for Marcus Lattimore (SC’s rushing attack is ranked 63 in the nation/10 in the SEC). SC’s run defense is as special as we all knew it would be, which is good since its pass defense is ranked 71 in the nation/12 in the SEC. After Kentucky, SC has the following four game Schedule of Truth: UGA, @ LSU, @ Florida, and Tennessee. Wake me after the Vols…

(iv). UGA? What are you doing ranked ninth in the conference in turnover margin? You’ve played Buffalo, Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Vandy, and racked up enough points on each opponent such that there was little need to force things. Sloppy...

(v) Florida’s halftime adjustments have been things of beauty and with every game this team seems to believe more and more in its coaching staff – particularly the defense. As for offense, and as nicely as the offensive line has been playing, we continue to have reservations about quarterback Jeff Driskel’s consistency. Versus Kentucky, Driskel’s pass protection was such that he could have prepared tacos for his offensive line, and yet he was either hot or cold, no in between. There were at least six passes where his receivers had to materially adjust their routes on the fly, or quite literally stop and wait for the ball. You can do that against Kentucky and get away with it; do it against a secondary like LSU’s and it’s a three interception afternoon...

(vi) Speaking of the Tigers, their troubles in Auburn were not the fault of rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger and his red zone turnovers. And it most certainly doesn’t have anything to do with the defense, which is once again ridiculous (LSU held Auburn’s rushing and passing offenses to less than 100 yards each.) The difference between 2012 and 2011 is at the offensive line. Last year, LSU lost virtually all five starting linemen at some point in the season, but the backups had material SEC starting experience: Will Blackwell, T-Bob Hebert, etc. This year, while there’s talent, it’s lacking that starting SEC experience…

(vii) A note to Auburn fans: No. There are no moral victories in the SEC. Stop it. My three year old daughter’s soccer team doesn’t celebrate moral victories. How far has this program dropped just two years removed from the BCS title that they’re even thinking about moral victories? …

(viii) Mizzou’s Saturday in Columbia was worse than it looked, and it looked like a dumpster fire. The Tigers are starting a bad SEC tradition – putting up a lot of offense late in blowout losses. On Saturday, it was the 75 yard drive inside the final five minutes with the Gamecocks up 31-3 and Spurrier emptying the bench. If not for that gimme layup, Missouri’s stat line for the first 55 minutes was 11-of-18 passing for 92 yrds, no touchdowns or interceptions, and 29 carries for 88 yards rushing, and a fumble. Hardly a Show Me performance…

(ix) In our weekly installment of “Introducing the World of CFB Outside the South”: my dark horse team this year, the Utah State Aggies, are primarily known for being the alma mater of the late, great Merlin Olsen. It’s very cold there. Oh yeah, bring your own bourbon… and

(x) The SEC currently has three teams ranked in the top 25 in total offense (UGA 13, Tennessee 17 and Ole Miss 24), and six teams ranked in the top 25 in total defense (Bama 3, LSU 4, TAMU 12, SC 19, Florida 20 and Missouri 23)…


Russ Mitchell is CFN's lead SEC Columnist. Follow Russ for SEC and CFB analysis @russmitchellcfb