From cocky to irate: The state of every SEC fan base entering Week 10
We’re entering the final month of the regular season, and with all the drama that has happened along the way, the SEC is pretty much in the same spot it started at: the West goes through Alabama, the East goes through Georgia and the Music City Bowl goes through South Carolina.
Let’s check in on each SEC school and see how each fan base is feeling heading into Week 10:
Alabama fans had the week off to sit at home and watch the rest of the Playoff contenders pretend that everything isn’t pointless. This week, though, Bama faces its toughest competitor … their second-string unit in practice. Also, they play LSU on Saturday.
The Razorbacks were riding high coming into last week’s game against Vanderbilt with a massive one-game winning streak. But they were taken back to reality with a double-digit loss. As they head into the bye week, Arkansas fans are getting through it all by saying “at least we’re not Nebraska.”
Auburn fans are looking forward to the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. No, it’s not Georgia – it’s Gus Malzahn vs. Auburn fans. This week on the field, though, they’ll play A&M. The good news is, unlike the last time Auburn faced off against a Jimbo Fisher team, nobody will have to worry about the pressure of a national championship.
The Gators might have lost a tough game to their in-conference rival last week, but at least it wasn’t 59-10. Anyway, Florida fans know they can still finish out the season strong and really prove the critics wrong by going through another whole season with Feleipe Franks at quarterback and not have fans flinging themselves off the top deck of the Swamp.
The Dawgs answered a lot of questions with their big victory over the Gators last week, and they now have to prove it against the gatekeepers of the SEC East, Kentucky. UGA fans were also very happy to see Jake Fromm bounce back from a poor performance against LSU, but they are more than ready to reactivate their Justin Fields For Heisman Twitter accounts at a moment’s notice.
Some critics might say that UK got “lucky” to escape with victories these last two weeks, but Cats fans will tell you it was merely “winning with style.” Who knows what will happen with Georgia on Saturday, but just the fact that Kentucky is playing in a nationally televised CBS game in November with a trip to Atlanta on the line is enough to last them another 30 years, until they beat Florida again.
It all comes down to this for the Tigers, and LSU fans are trying to squeeze every ounce of black voodoo magic they can out of Tiger Stadium this Saturday night to try to turn the tides. That includes Coach O-themed ouija boards, shrunken Tua heads, and, of course, very heavy drinking.
The Bulldogs put a beating on Texas A&M and showed once and for all who the real third-best team in the SEC West is. This week, they have Louisiana Tech, and Alabama is just around the corner. But the good news is coach Joe Moorhead finally found the perfect offensive system: just tell Nick Fitzgerald that whoever they’re playing that week is Texas A&M, and they’ll go undefeated.
The Tigers dropped a tough one to Kentucky last week, although Missouri fans are a little skeptical about the suspicious pass interference call that set up the game-winning touchdown. But to be honest, if you’re a Greg Sankey phone call away from losing to Kentucky, that’s no one’s fault but your own.
Ole Miss had a bye last week, which gave fans a preview of what bowl season will feel like.
USC gutted out a victory over Tennessee in a game watched by only diehard fans and people with huge gambling debts. Now they get to travel to Oxford, Miss., in a game they desperately need in order to get bowl eligible. The Gamecocks are not about to let a birth in the Music City Bowl slip from their grasp.
The Vols are still searching for an identity, but at least whatever they end up as will be better than last year’s burning trash can identity, and they most likely won’t end up spending all offseason as a national laughingstock again, so things are looking up in the Jeremy Pruitt era.
The momentum that the Aggies were building came to a screeching halt last week, but they have a chance to get the good times going this week at Auburn – a place where no one is having a good time. It may be too early to tell what kind of change Jimbo has brought to the program, but it’s heartening to see he has carried on the A&M tradition of letting Nick Fitzgerald run wild against his defense.
Vandy has the opportunity to end the year on a high note heading into the final month of the season with a series of very winnable games (sorry, Tennessee), and Derek Mason has even more opportunities for opposing coaches to knock out with his bare fists.