Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes 12/6
Alabama head coach Nick Saban
Alabama head coach Nick Saban
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 6, 2009


CFN SEC Blogger Barrett Sallee shares his thoughts on the 18th edition of the SEC Championship Game, the Heisman Trophy race and the SEC bowl picture.

By: Barrett Sallee


The final regular season edition of Three & Out takes a look at the SEC Champion, Heisman chaos and the SEC bowl picture.

LEAVE NO DOUBT
To steal a line from Clark Griswold, “If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.”

All the talk coming in to the SEC Championship Game revolved around whether Alabama's offense could do enough against the top-ranked Florida defense to keep them in the game. Greg McElroy and Mark Ingram answered that question early and often Saturday night in the Georgia Dome, in Alabama's 32-13 romp over the defending National Champion Florida Gators.

In our weekly SEC predictions, my four SEC CFN cohorts and I picked Florida to beat Alabama rather handily. We were WAY wrong and Lane Kiffin was right. Alabama was better coached and better prepared than Florida, and that was apparent from the opening kickoff. Alabama controlled every aspect of the game on both sides of the ball, and proved that they are the best team in the country, without a doubt.

The Crimson Tide will play Texas in the Citi BCS National Championship Game. With more than a month to prepare, that will be more of an Alabama coronation than a competition.

If you caught any of the Big 12 Championship Game, you saw what Texas looks like against tough defenses. Nebraska and Oklahoma, the two toughest defenses Texas faced in 2009, made the Longhorns look silly this year. Bama's defense is better than both of those two.

Personally, I think TCU would be a better game for the title, but sadly, that ain't gonna happen. Alabama, Texas, TCU and Cincinnati would make quite a fun “Plus One” post-season. Oh, but wait, you can't get in the way of the academic progress of student athletes during Winter Break.

HEISMAN CHAOS
After a miserable performance in Alabama's 26-21 win over Auburn, Mark Ingram was moved to the back of the Heisman race. His 191-yard performance Saturday in the SEC Championship Game, coupled with the disasters that were the games of Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy, have launched Ingram back into legitimate Heisman contention.

Ingram, a sophomore, will most certainly need to get his suit tailored, because he's getting invited to New York. But the good folks at Stiff Arm Trophy, a site that functions essentially as a Heisman Trophy voter exit poll, currently see Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Stanford RB Toby Gerhart with healthy leads over the rest of the field. If you saw Suh single-handedly disrupt the high-octane Texas offense in the Big 12 Championship Game, it's hard to argue with that logic.

The Heisman ballot says that the trophy is for “the most outstanding player in college football.” While Ingram is a great running back, he's not even the most outstanding player on the team. That honor would go to linebacker Rolando McClain. Ingram also has to deal with splitting at least some of the southern vote with Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, who ran for 233 yards and four touchdowns in Clemson's ACC Championship Game loss to Georgia Tech.

Alabama fans desperately want to get their first Heisman Trophy in school history, but from the looks of it, they may have to wait till next year. The only question is, will it be Ingram or Trent Richardson vying for the hardware?

SEC BOWL WINNERS AND LOSERS
With six teams tied at seven wins, the SEC bowl picture is about as muddled as it can possibly be. Spots 4-10 don't have anything to do with standings and have everything to do with who can make the better deal. So who got the best and worst deal of the teams not headed to the BCS?

Winner: Auburn
The Tigers used a 5-0 start and a close game vs. the future National Champions to lock in a visit to Tampa, Fla., for the Outback Bowl on New Years Day. The Tigers square off with Northwestern, a team that Auburn has never played. Of all the available bowls for the seven-win teams, this was the top spot available. The Tigers get the luxury of playing the first game of the day on New Years Day, a game in which virtually every college football fan watches at least a part of. Recruiting wise, the game is in a football hot-bed, and allows the Auburn coaching staff to sell the prestige and perception of the program to Florida high school players in their own back yard. It doesn't get much better than that.

Loser: Georgia
Despite righting the ship vs. Auburn and knocking off nationally-ranked intra-state rival Georgia Tech to end the season, the Bulldogs are relegated to the Advocare V100 Independence Bowl, a game that's essentially a punchline among SEC circles. It's a tough pill to swallow for Georgia fans, as I'm sure they had visions of the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in their minds. The Bulldogs get to face off against the Texas A&M Aggies in Shreveport. The Bulldogs haven't faced Texas A&M since 1980, and are 1-3 all-time against them. The Bulldogs are short some coaches on the defensive side of the ball, and the Aggies offense looked awesome against Texas. Take the over.

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 6, 2009
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
Auburn Seniors Like Bowl Destination
 -by autigers.com  Dec 6, 2009
Chizik: Tigers "Jacked Up" Over Outback Trip
 -by autigers.com  Dec 6, 2009
Northwestern going Outback
 -by PurpleWildcats.com  Dec 6, 2009