SEC's Hot and Not: Week 8
Each week, we break down who in the SEC is lighting it up and who needs to pull it together. After a Saturday full of blowouts, we’re in for another interesting week in the SEC.
- Will Muschamp’s seat. There might not be anyone or anything in the nation as hot. Florida’s head coach came into the season with high expectations and the assumption he was coaching for his job. If that was the case, he’s done nothing to give himself any job security. In its homecoming game, Florida got wiped out by Missouri, allowing four different returns to be returned for touchdowns and falling behind 42-0 before a couple of garbage time scores. The blowout happened despite Florida gaining more than twice the yards that Missouri did. Fans in The Swamp were chanting for Muschamp’s firing during the game, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they get their wish.
- Post-Gurley Georgia. To be clear, no team is going to be better after losing a Heisman-candidate running back. But in two games without Todd Gurley, Georgia is playing some inspired football. After storming Missouri’s home field and cranking out a 34-0 victory a week ago, the Bulldogs ran off 38 unanswered points against Arkansas to pick up another road win. The Bulldogs are up to No. 9 in the polls and have a clear path to Atlanta.
- The Landsharks. Officials might be able to stop the Rebels defense from doing their “Landshark” celebration, but nothing is stopping them from steamrolling the opposition. After holding Tennessee to a solitary field goal, Ole Miss surged into the national lead for scoring defense (10.6 points per game), and they pushed up the third in the country with 20 total takeaways after forcing four more against the Volunteers. Ole Miss takes on a one-dimensional LSU team next week, and they’ll match strength against strength when they gear up to stop the Tigers’ power running game.
- Texas A&M’s offense. For the first time in 86 games, a Kevin Sumlin-coached team was blanked on the scoreboard. It’s not the first time the Aggies offense has struggled this season, though. Texas A&M scored a combined 10 points in the first halves of its previous two losses, only to pad stat totals when the game was out of reach. On a three-game losing skid, Texas A&M is in shambles. The problems extend to the defense as well, but Sumlin’s publicized and prolific offense’s failures have helped drop A&M out of the polls.
- Arkansas’ rushing attack. The Razorbacks were one of the most dominant teams in the nation on the ground in the first third of the season. They’re running into walls now. After putting up 2.3 yards per carry against one of the best rush defenses in the nation in Alabama, the Hogs were held to 3.4 yards per carry and 137 rushing yards in total against Georgia. Teams have figured out how to force Brandon Allen and the Razorbacks to go to the air, and it’s helping shut Arkansas down.
- SEC West quarterback competitions. Two West teams in vastly different situations had a question mark at quarterback, and both seem to have worked it out. At Alabama, Blake Sims won the job over Jacob Coker in preseason camp, and despite a few down games has performed admirably and strengthened his grip on the position. In Baton Rouge, LSU hasn’t gotten strong play from Anthony Jennings, but the sophomore’s steady mediocrity has made him Les Miles’ guy despite the presence of talented freshman Brandon Harris. It doesn’t look like there will be any change in either position’s status going forward, barring injury.