Overrated and underrated: Week 13
Let’s be honest, this is the week we give thanks for so much great college football. As teams reach the final weekend of the regular season we’ve got a good idea where everyone stands, but at this point of the year we still have to adjust our expectations from time to time. Here’s a look what teams, players and things are overrated and underrated around the SEC.
IN-STATE RIVALRIES — Some of them are great, but just having more than one large university within a state’s borders doesn’t necessarily make the football games important. The Iron Bowl and the Egg Bowl should be entertaining, but give us Texas A&M versus LSU over Louisville and Kentucky or Tennessee taking on Vanderbilt.
THE OPTION — Preparing for Georgia Tech is almost always a pain in the neck for teams who have the Yellow Jackets on their schedule, and that includes Georgia each year. The Bulldogs figured out the best way to prepare and scheduled Georgia Southern last week. The Eagles option attack makes for a nice preview of what the Dawgs will see when they make the short drive over to Atlanta.
SEC-ACC MATCHUPS — Fans like to compare the two premier conferences in the South and this weekend is full of games pitting SEC teams against in-state rivals from the ACC. But unless South Carolina can pull off the upset of the century against Clemson, the Florida State-Florida game is the only one that’s particularly interesting or relevant.
LITTLE BROTHER SYNDROME — There are more great athletes to go around these days and not all of them who play high school football in the South can wind up in the SEC or even the ACC. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a little bitter about it and looking for some revenge when they face the big state school that passed them over. Maybe it shouldn’t come as such a shock when motivated teams such as the Citadel can knock off South Carolina or Georgia Southern and Florida Atlantic can give Georgia and Florida all they can handle at home.
WINNING SEASONS — As it begins to look more and more likely that coaches with outstanding records will be pushed aside for failing to keep up with Alabama, perhaps we should remember that there can only be one national champion, one SEC champion and just four playoff teams in a given season. Unless you can replace a coach with Nick Saban on Urban Meyer, it’s always a pretty big risk to run off a coach who never has a bad season, even if they aren’t all great.
PHAROH COOPER — There have been so many losses at South Carolina this season, including the loss of its head coach midway through the year, that it’s been easy to overlook that Cooper has been as excellent as advertised this season. He’s put up All-SEC level numbers — 62 catches for 882 yards and seven touchdowns — despite the Gamecocks pitiful quarterback situation and the fact that everyone knows if South Carolina is going to throw it, it’s probably coming Cooper’s way.