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Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes 12/2
Florida DE Carlos Dunlap
Florida DE Carlos Dunlap
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 1, 2009


CFN SEC Blogger Barrett Sallee shares three thoughts, comments or observations about the 18th edition of the SEC Championship Game.

By: Barrett Sallee


The pre-SEC Championship Game edition of Three & Out examines a Gator player with HORRIBLE judgment, a Tide player with injury concerns, and takes a stab at what will happen Saturday night in the Georgia Dome, in what's generally being regarded as the biggest game in SEC history.

IT'S NOT THE WORST TIMING IN THE WORLD, BUT.....
Florida defensive end Carolos Dunlap doesn't have the timing of, say, former Oakland Raiders center Barret Robbins or former Atlanta Falcons safety Eugene Robinson...but he's close.

Dunlap was arrested early Tuesday morning by the Gainesville (Fla.) Police department at 3:25 a.m. ET, and charged with driving under the influence. According to a spokesman for the Gainesville Police, Dunlap was found asleep at an intersection in his car by an officer, who was responding to reports of a reckless driver near campus.

Tuesday evening after practice, Gators head coach Urban Meyer confirmed what talk radio and the blogosphere had been assuming Dunlap's punishment would be.

“Carlos obviously made a very poor decision,” said Meyer. “He’s not going to play, and I want to visit with him and his family first, and then go from there.”

After the Brandon Spikes eye-gouging fiasco from earlier this year, Meyer had to come down hard. Dunlap is the 25th Gator football player arrested during Meyer's five-year tenure in Gainesville. With this being such a visible player, during a week with the spotlight squarely on the Gators, suspending Dunlap for the SEC Championship Game was really the only option.

But how does this effect the Gators on the field? Dunlap is a key piece of the Gator defense, which is tops in the nation. Dunlap, who was MVP of the 2009 BCS Championship Game, is tied with defensive end Jermaine Cunningham with seven sacks. A big reason that the Gators have been so successful this year is because they are able to get pressure on the quarterback with their front four. With Dunlap now sidelined, Cunningham now becomes a much bigger piece to the Gators SEC Championship puzzle.

INGRAM WITH INJURY CONCERNS
Mark Ingram didn't have the best day ever last Friday. The sophomore running back for the Alabama Crimson Tide entered the annual Iron Bowl with rival Auburn leading the Heisman race (according to some...including yours truly), and was facing an injury-depleted Auburn defense that wasn't very good even when healthy. The result: 16 carries, 30 yards, zero touchdowns, out of serious Heisman contention and an injured hip.

Yikes.

Ingram says that he's fine, and will be ready to go against the Florida Gators on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game.

"I just kind of bruised it in the game, but it's getting better every day," Ingram said on Monday. "So I'll be ready for Saturday, most definitely."

Well, that's about as expected, If Ingram is hurt, I wouldn't expect him to say anything different. If he can't go, the Crimson Tide will rely on true freshman Trent Richardson to shoulder the load in the biggest game the conference has ever seen.

He's fully capable of doing that.

Richardson has rushed for 562 yards and six touchdowns on 115 carries in 2009. With Ingram collecting all the accolades, Richardson has been viewed by some Alabama fans as the running back with the higher upside. It pretty much goes without saying that right now, Richardson is no Ingram. But, with a 4.9 yards per carry average, he's pretty darn close. If Ingram can't go, or is limited in any way, there won't be much drop off between he and Richardson.

AND THE PICK IS...
Well, everybody's got to make a pick, so it's time for Three & Out to go on-the-record. The hype coming into this SEC Championship Game has really been unprecedented. This game has been discussed ad nauseam for about 12 months now. With both teams fulfilling their end of the bargain by going undefeated in the regular season, the hype machine has kicked into overdrive this week.

With everyone expecting this game to be a battle of the ages, it is prime for a bit of a let down. Don't get me wrong, I expect this game to be the high-intensity battle that everyone hopes for, but that Florida defense is just too good, even without Dunlap. It's no secret that the Gators will try to shut down the Tide rushing attack and force them to be one-dimensional.

If Auburn can do it, Florida certainly can too.

Florida will win a game that is never in serious doubt. There will be times where Alabama may be able to get back into it by making a play or two, but against the Gator D, that's not going to happen. Florida cornerback Joe Haden will take home SEC Championship Game MVP honors and the Gators will leave Atlanta as SEC Champions with a 27-17 win over the Crimson Tide.

Write it down in pencil – in case I change my mind.

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 - December 2, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - November 29, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - November 25, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - November 22, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - November 18, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - November 15, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - November 11, 2009
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes - November 8, 2009
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
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 -by FightinGators.com  Dec 1, 2009
Video: Gilbert Talks Bama
 -by FightinGators.com  Dec 1, 2009
Meyer: Dunlap Out for Saturday
 -by FightinGators.com  Dec 1, 2009








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