Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes 11/4
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 3, 2009


CFN SEC Blogger Barrett Sallee shares three thoughts, comments or observations about week 10 in the SEC.

By: Barrett Sallee


The week 10 mid-week edition of Three & Out focuses on a showdown in the SEC West, the Brandon Spikes situation and an ongoing meltdown in Athens.

SEC WEST SHOWDOWN
Now that Texas has cleared its final hurdle on the way to the BCS Championship Game (good job Big 12), one of the hot topics on talk radio and message boards this week is who they will play in the BCS Championship Game, Alabama or Florida? But what people seem to be forgetting is that there's another SEC team that still controls its own conference destiny, the LSU Tigers.

LSU travels to Tuscaloosa this weekend to take on No. 3 Alabama in a game that could determine who takes on the Gators in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Ga. With only the loss to Florida on their resume, a win by the Tigers would even them with the Tide and give the Tigers the tie-breaker, giving them the upper-hand in the race for the SEC West title.

LSU appears to have righted the ship in wins over Auburn and Tulane. Over that time, the once stagnant Tigers offense has averaged 416 yards per game. That's not overwhelming by any means, but it's a significant improvement from the doldrums their offense was in the beginning of the season. With Jordan Jefferson playing like the guy that we saw at the end of 2008, a decent offense might be enough to compliment that defense, which is much-improved under new defensive coordinator John Chavis.

We will find out a lot about Alabama this weekend. Aside from Mark Ingram, the Alabama offense has struggled a bit of late, averaging only 18 points per game over the last three games. First-year starting QB Greg McElroy has been the primary reason why. The junior has only completed 52 percent of his passes, hasn't thrown a touchdown and has thrown two picks over that time span. For the better part of October, Alabama appeared to be either a team that was losing its edge or was in desperate need of a bye week. We'll find out Saturday which it was.

Sure, an Alabama vs. Florida SEC Championship Game is possible, and maybe even probable. But don't be tricked into thinking that it's signed, sealed an delivered just yet. LSU has something to say about that, so expect them to come out swinging on Saturday in T-Town.

ONE HALF? REALLY???
The big story during the early part of the week was Florida LB Brandon Spikes' attempted eye gouge on Georgia RB Washaun Ealey. The despicable act earned Spikes a suspension by Florida head coach Urban Meyer for the first half of the Vanderbilt game this weekend. That's simply not long enough.

Spikes supporters will tell you that this type of thing happens in piles all the time, or that Spikes was retaliating for a dirty hit earlier in the game, or that the 30-minute suspension is adequate. Blasphemy.

Bad things happen in piles. There's no denying that. But things like eye gouging don't happen "all the time." In fact, it's not commonplace, in no way does retaliation justify trying to blind someone and it surely doesn't get caught in HD for the world to see very often. Slapping Spikes on the wrist with a 30-minute suspension is a complete joke. Florida head coach Urban Meyer stated that he doesn't condone that type of behavior. You certainly couldn't tell by the punishment that he doled out.

Gouging someone in the eye is an intentional attempt to inflict harm on another person. Not just temporary harm, but permanent harm. Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount has justifiably been suspended for the last seven games following his opening night punch at Boise State. Is his disgraceful act really six-and-a-half games more severe than Spikes? Certainly not. Spikes deserves to sit for multiple games, not just 30 minutes.

TURMOIL IN ATHENS
Living in Atlanta, I get exposed to more coverage of Georgia from my local media than any other SEC school. And let me tell ya, it's certainly been interesting this week.

The Bulldog Nation is up in arms over Georgia's 41-17 loss to the Florida Gators - their 17th loss to the Gators in the last 20 tries. Now at 4-4 with no turnaround in sight, Georgia head coach Mark Richt suddenly finds himself in the cross hairs. Critics of the ninth-year head coach say that he appears emotionless on the sideline, has lost interest and can't figure out how to get his team to play with the fire that the Bulldogs played with during the 2007 season.

In the Florida game, Richt resorted to those hideous black helmets and black pants to try and light a spark in his team. Think about that for a second – with two weeks to prepare for their biggest rival, Richt thought his team needed an extra spark? That's not good. It's Florida. It's the biggest game on your schedule. And you need artificial motivational ploys to rally the troops? Yikes.

This year for Richt is eerily similar to Tommy Tuberville's 2007 season at Auburn. That year, Tuberville fired fourth-year offensive coordinator Al Borges after two years of frustration on that side of the ball. As a result Tuberville hired Tony Franklin. That decision marked the beginning of the end for Tuberville on the Plains.

A similar situation is brewing in Athens. Richt is going to have to fire defensive coordinator Willie Martinez after the season. The Bulldogs have given up 37 or more points in a game nine times since the start of last season. NINE TIMES. Who Richt chooses to take his place could very well determine whether he's is in Athens beyond 2010.

Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at
barrettsallee@gmail.com, or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BSallee_CFN



Three & Out Archive:
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - November 4, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - November 1, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - October 28, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - October 25, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - October 21, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - October 18, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - October 14, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - October 11, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - October 7, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - October 4, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 30, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 27, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 23, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 21, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 17, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 13, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 10, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 7, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - September 3, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Media Days, Day 3 – July 24, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Media Days, Day 2 – July 23, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Media Days, Day 1 – July 22, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 16, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 12, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 9, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 3, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 30, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 26, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 18, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 15, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 11, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 7, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 3, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – February 28, 2009

Click here for the 2009 blog archive


Related Stories
Meyer Concerned with Vandy's Special Teams
 -by FightinGators.com  Nov 3, 2009
Richt Too Nice?
 -by DawgPost.com  Nov 3, 2009
Tenn. Tech Week: Press Conference Quotes
 -by DawgPost.com  Nov 3, 2009








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