Three SEC East teams stroll into their first bye week, and each team will benefit from the week off for different reasons.
MVP: DT Dominique Easley
Why it’s important: Florida has to get back to playing Will Muschamp’s ugly football. Ugly doesn’t mean turning it over; ugly means controlling the clock, not turning it over and winning with the running game. Florida has numerous questions on offense, but they get back OG Jon Halapio for the Tennessee game. The O-line took a major step back last week, as did Driskel. Florida’s top defense will keep them in every game, but the offense has to limit the brutal penalties and turnovers. It’s not time to overreact yet, but if things don’t change, it soon will be.
Next game: Tennessee
MVP: RB Todd Gurley
Why it’s important: Georgia gets a chance to catch their breath after two fast and furious games against top 10 opponents. The biggest takeaway from the South Carolina win was more about Clemson. How did they lose the opening game? The porous defense gets a chance to regroup and get healthy, and the Bulldogs will return for a tune-up game against North Texas before hosting LSU, which looks like a top three SEC game in 2013. Aaron Murray got redemption against Carolina, and Todd Gurley looks like the best player in the country through two weeks.
Next game: North Texas
MVP: QB James Franklin
Why it’s important: With a road trip looming to Indiana, Missouri gets a chance to fine-tune the offense and defense. With MLB Andrew Wilson suspended for the first half of the game, the Tigers defense gets a long week to work through that. The offense has been better, notably James Franklin. He’s already thrown for four TDs, almost half of last year’s TD passes for the season. He’s healthy, and so is RB Henry Josey, who leads the team with 139 yards rushing and three TDs. They have two final non-conference games against Indiana and Arkansas State before the Tigers jump right into SEC play with a road trip to Vanderbilt.
Next game: at Indiana
Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports