What happened to you on Saturday? This is the must read for every SEC football fan on Monday morning right here at Saturday Down South. Pulling no punches as we recap a weekend of SEC football action…
Rumors of The SEC’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
At 11:59 am, sitting there on my couch, watching Lee Corso snap that duck’s neck on live television I knew this was going to be a crazy day.
What didn’t happen to you on Saturday? If you’re anything like me you started the day begrudgingly watching most of the SEC lackadaisically beat inferior competition in games that never should have happened. You left feeling dirty and worse about yourself. But now I can barely remember those games. All I can remember Kansas State and Oregon dropping must win games while I laughed like Robert De Niro in Cape Fear. I wasn’t laughing at these schools or their players, I was laughing at how angry those losses would make everyone who thought the SEC’s run of dominance was over. As Miracle Max said in the Princess Bride, “Your friend here is only Mostly Dead. There is a difference between Mostly Dead and all dead.”
Throughout the 2012 season, Alabama was considered the unbeatable team but Oregon was the team that actually looked unbeatable. Through their previous 10 games Oregon averaged 54.8 points per game. They were usually pulling their starters around halftime. The Ducks were destroying teams. But last week’s win over USC showed some potentially fatal flaws, like not having a defense.
But who needs a defense when you can score 60 points every game, right?
Wrong. Stanford piled up 411 total yards on the ducks, six more than Oregon gained themselves. Stanford held the ball for 37:05 to Oregon’s 22:55. This wasn’t Andrew Luck, the greatest NFL prospect ever, methodically moving the ball across the field, it was a sophomore named Kevin Hogan who was making his first career start. If it wasn’t for three Stanford fumbles this game never even gets to overtime.
A home loss to a two-loss Stanford team in OT isn’t a bad loss for the Ducks. But their problem is their lack of quality wins. Oregon’s best win is over a four-loss Southern Cal in a game in which they gave up 51 points? The first time they play a quality defense they suddenly go from scoring 54.8 a game to scoring 14? Their hopes for a BCS title are likely dashed.
Kansas State is another story all together. I honestly can’t think of a more humiliating outcome than Kansas State’s 52-24 loss to 4-5 Baylor on Saturday. It was like a con man turning himself in to the police moments before pulling of the crime of the century. It’s not like they got smoked by a rival or a sleeping giant, they got smoked by a perpetual nobody with a losing record one season removed from losing the greatest player in the history of the program. It makes absolutely no sense. It’s like they were desperate for the world to know what a joke they were so voters are less likely to make the mistake of overrating a Big 12 team in the future. Their BCS title hopes are extremely done.
So where does that leave us? Well, barring losses in their respective regular season finales, the winner of the SEC Championship, Georgia or Alabama, will play for the BCS National Championship. Neither has the best resume but if Alabama wins they will have wins over LSU and Georgia as well as the likely #2 ranking in the human polls. If Georgia wins they have wins over Alabama and Florida. Both resumes are better than Oregon’s.
The other spot will go to that college your grandparents always talk about, Notre Dame, unless…
Well, Notre Dame still has to finish off their regular season at the Coliseum against Southern Cal. If the Trojans win that game then the winner of the Florida-Florida State game is in a very interesting spot. If Florida State wins they will likely shoot up the human polls as everyone scrambles to keep two-loss LSU out of the Championship game, but their championship hopes likely died the second they lost to terrible-ass NC State. If Florida wins (and ND losses) they will likely be in the BCS Championship game. Despite having an atrocious offense and a handful of less than impressive performances in wins over inferior teams Florida will also have the best collection of wins of any team in the country: Texas A&M, South Carolina, LSU and FSU.
If Lane Kiffin and USC can pull the upset over Notre Dame and Florida can remember how to play offense then we will have an All-SEC National Championship game for the second consecutive season.
It’s Not Going to Happen
Listen, it’s not going to happen. Remember how we have been saying for years now that Lane Kiffin is an absolute clown who got all of his jobs simply because his father is a famous coach and that Lane has done nothing (except pull a hot wife, also on his father’s name, we assume) with the amazing opportunities given to him except fail upwards after each round of humiliating failures? Well, we were right. We have always been right. He’s not going to pull this off.
Lane Kiffin is the kind of guy who boasts to reporters that the AD assured him that he’s not getting fired as if that is an accomplishment. He’s not the kind of guy who wins the biggest game of the college football season. Lane Kiffin isn’t a winner. He’s the son of a winner. He’s a vampire who sucks the winning out of winners like Matt Barkley and his aforementioned Father.
Notre Dame is going to the BCS National Championship Game. Done Deal.
I know Collin Klein hates kissing, but if he did kiss, he would have kissed the Heisman Trophy goodbye on Saturday night.
The Heisman Trophy will likely come down to a two horse race between Redshirt Freshman Texas A&M Quarterback Johnny “Johny Football” Manziel and Notre Dame Senior LB Manti Te’o.
The guy with the great nickname and the guy with the great name name. The Freshman against the Linebacker.
Manti Te’o feels like the people champion going into the final weekend of the regular season and a big game against USC might be enough to clinch the Heisman. But Manziel should be the favorite. His numbers are massive (leads the SEC in rushing, 38 Touchdowns), he has the signature win against Alabama and is easily the most important individual player to his team in the country.
Did Saban Plan This Entire Thing?
Did Nick Saban go into last week’s game against Texas A&M and say to himself, “We can have it all. Both spots in the title game again, the Heisman Trophy, and embarrass every college football pundit who has bashed our success along the way. We can have all of it. But I will have to lose.”
That loss gave Johnny Manziel a signature win over the defending national champion to go along with his amazing statistical season. Combined it should be enough to clinch him the Heisman Trophy, something no freshman has ever done.
That loss also put an intense spotlight on both Kansas State and Oregon for the first time all season. It’s one thing to be the scrappy underdog fighting for respect; it’s another thing to be the man. Both teams had severe stage freight on Saturday night and flailed to their BCS deaths, leaving Alabama in a spot to control their own destiny.
Was this Nick Saban’s plan all along? Did the evil genius strike again? Nah, Alabama lost because their defense is overrated and Johnny Football and Kevin Sumlin are badass. But they won’t have to play anyone nearly as dangerous as Johnny Football the rest of the way so they’ll be alright.
Plays That Mattered
Ole Miss wouldn’t die on Saturday night. Jeremy Hill’s TD with only 15 seconds left in the game locked up LSU’s ninth win of the season and allowed the SEC strength of schedule to look just a little bit prettier. It also allowed for this…
Les Miles is a crazy person. We’ve long suspected as much dating back to this play call against Auburn in 2007, but this odd press conference after LSU’s 41-35 win over Ole Miss is the final nail in the crazy person coffin. I’m not sure which one of Les’ many personalities this is but this one is my favorite. He’s like a lovable schizophrenic pushing a shopping cart full of bottles of his own urine through downtown.
What They Meant To Say
“Spectacular group of men. Tonight, follow them back to their dorms. Hide in the shadows so they don’t become suspicious. When you see the light go out in their windows you must then scale the side of the building. Risk life and limb if necessary. Break into their room and force yourself on these men and give them your bodies and say thank you… if you’re a girl.” – Les Miles, Head Coach, Insane Human, LSU
“I had 367 yards and five touchdowns today. You know, the usual. Let’s see what Manti Te’o did today… let’s pull up the old ipad… oh, he had 3 solo tackles. WOW! So I had more touchdowns than he had solo tackles? Give that man the Heisman!” – Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M
“I’m not even thinking about the SEC Championship game (hides his smile). We have Auburn (giggles, covers mouth) this weekend. The Iron Bowl (breaks down laughing). I can’t do this. In all honesty, we’re not even watching film on Auburn. They are a joke and have been ever since I ordered those trees to be poisoned. We’ve moved straight on to watching film on Georgia and a little Notre Dame.” – Nick Saban, Head Coach, Alabama
“If we beat Florida State, a team that lost to NC State, and Notre Dame loses we’ll play for the National Championship? Really? Did anyone see our game against Louisiana-Lafayette? It was only a week ago, we had to block a punt and return it for a touchdown as time expired to win. I’m going to have a hard time defending this one.” – Will Muschamp, Head Coach, Florida