Shane: The SEC after nine weeks

By Shane from Centerpoint

This league is definitely no place for the weak. On the other hand, it may be even more dangerous for the strong. On any football Saturday in the SEC, the weakest team can rip the strongest team’s chance to play for the national title away in a split-second. Actually, overall records and poll recognition do suffer because each gridiron battle ends up being a violent war of attrition.

Basically, the talent level of all twelve teams is very close – the resulting outcome of recent games serves as a testament to that statement. Unlike most of college football, the heavy physical toll extracted from the players who compete in the SEC almost resembles the NFL’s.

Accordingly, team depth and the quality of that depth play a major part in the success rate of a program over the course a tough, demanding schedule.

Therefore, my assessment of every team’s performance to-date is based on the understanding that, although SEC teams brutalize each other week-in and week-out, the best teams from most conferences couldn’t beat a middle-of-the pack Southeastern Conference squad having a bad day.

I’m continually amazed by the pundits who think that USC, Texas, or some other team from a non-southeastern brand could really survive the “gauntlet” faced by every SEC team during some of their tortuous runs through the conference.

Let’s take a look at the two strongest SEC programs: Alabama and Florida (alphabetical order, not rank). There’s a very good reason why they’re ranked in the top-three positions of most polls. Both teams have championship caliber defenses and enough offensive firepower to manhandle any team in the country – period! Each squad has the luxury of being able to incorporate very talented young athletes on special teams as well.

In the game of football, speed kills. Want speed? The Gators and the Crimson Tide both have defensive linemen with enough of it to chase down running backs. They also have a stable of their own running backs that can’t be caught from behind. Simply put, Florida and Alabama are the fastest two football teams in America.

Throw in the fact that no team has been able to run the football with any consistency against their defenses, and it doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to see that either team is almost impossible to beat.

Meanwhile, the second-tier teams in the conference are caught in the typically viscous cycle that SEC fans have grown familiar with after years of watching the cannibalism take place.

At this point in the season, only LSU has a realistic shot to unseat Alabama from the long-predicted match-up between the Tide and Gators in the SEC championship.

Evidently, Florida has established itself as the eastern division champion.

However, several of the second–level SEC programs will have a chance to climb the ladder in the rankings. They get the unique opportunity to face Alabama and/or Florida, which offers each a window to impress the bowl committees, if they can beat either of the best two teams in the nation. For example: A win over Alabama by Auburn would probably catapult the Tigers into the Peach Bowl. Or, if South Carolina could defeat Florida they might steal that invite from Auburn.

Most of the experts acknowledge that it is an overwhelming task to produce consistent, winning performances as you rumble through the SEC jungle.

Truthfully, I intentionally focused on Alabama and Florida in this article because they are the “big dogs” in the SEC right now. But, there are a few other teams that have a chance to be considered highly successful.

LSU is still alive in the hunt for the national crown. They control their own destiny. All they have to do – to continue forward toward the championship – is beat Alabama on the road this week!

Auburn, as I mentioned above, plays the Tide as well. By the way, they do have a pretty fair chance to win their other games.

And once again, Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks could earn a New Year’s Day bowl bid by beating the team (Florida) that he coached for twelve years. Winning the remaining games before and after that would finalize the deal.

Not much to ask for the second-tier teams to be successful, huh?

As I said previously, only the strong survive; and that may very well be all they do – survive.

Bottom line: Southern athletes make the best football players. They flock to the SEC powerhouse teams in mass. This year, two programs are exceptional and about three are very good. Throw in a couple more that could upset the best two (if they forget to bring their A game), and you are looking at the strongest, most dangerous conference in the nation.

In my opinion, it’s not even close!
—Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.

Separator image Posted in misc.


Add Yours
  1. 1

    I tend to agree with Shane on Auburn; I think the Tigers could beat Georgia. That isn’t a great endorsement of Auburn as much as it is a criticism of this year’s Georgia team. As bad as Auburn’s defense is, Georgia’s entire team lacks discipline.

  2. 2

    Don’t feed the trolls, Cap. lol


  3. 5

    “Phillip Fulmer Syndrome”

    Houston Nutt and Spurrier, they have that “Phillip Fulmer Syndrome”. Where they build up their team to “hate” and play Alabama like it’s their National Championship game.

    So it’s never surprising when they play with a lot less “hate” and “heart” against other SEC schools they have a better chance of beating.

    They just don’t realize that in the end it will cost them their job! “Philip Fulmer Syndrome” !!!!!!



  4. 6

    crimsonbro you bought 17 sec crowns and

    11 national crowns. so really you are nothing without cheating. the ncaa said
    uat has cheated more than any school in this country.

  5. 7

    So when they they gonna shut down Auburn’s football program and start something with a chance at being successful?

  6. 9

    There is NO LEAGUE — only the BIG 12 comes close — to the SEC. These teams in the PAC-10/BIG 10/ACC — have NO IDEA what it’s like to play in the SEC. Even Mississippi State will give you problems. Hell — I’ll put Miss. State up against an upper tier BIG 10 team or middle of the pack BIG 12 team ANY OLE DAY OF THE WEEK. The SEC is formatted like the NFL so much — few trickery — we come at you nose to nose — hit ‘cha in the face — play real football. No fancy west coast offense (even though we have some spread offense programs…these programs may produce high numbers against inferior opponents but they will not produce NFL quality players) — no bullshit — just real hard knocks football. Great article Shane —

    There is a reason why ESPN and the SEC made a pact together — it’s because the product is FAR SUPERIOR than what is going on in the rest of the country. RTR!!!

    fact of the day: Alabama beating USC so many times back in the day is the reason why the Rose Bowl Committee decided to ban SEC schools

    Too bad that “at large” factor didn’t play in to equation at the time.

  7. 10
    Reality Check

    I’m not really sure what it was you were trying to say with this article, it contents didn’t really match it headline.

    Was it just another reason to try and pump up Alabama?

    For example you make this statement:”Let’s take a look at the two strongest SEC programs: Alabama and Florida”.

    Now if you had said let’s take a look at the two strongest teams in the SEC this year you could make a strong argunment, but saying Alabama in one of THE TWO strongest programs in is a joke. Florida and LSU have each won TWO BCS National Championships over the last six years and both of those schools have won at least two SEC championships over that same time period and LSU has at least three Western Division Championships over that period of time. LSU’s average recruiting classes over the last four,five or six years exceeds that of Alabama, as it did last year according to a couple of the recuiting services including ESPN and at this point in the current recuiting class, LSU’s class is ranked higher than Alabama’s in two out of the three major recruiting services.
    So with all of that said, tell me Shane how can you justify ranking Alabama’s program over LSU’s as one to the top two programs in the SEC. Why don’t you at least wait until Alabama actually wins an SEC championship or at least a BCS bowl game before looking like an idiot and making claims like you do. What exactly has Alabama done in the past 10 years besides win a single Western division championship? The only reason I can see for you making that claim in one of your clueless articles this week is you are afraid of what might happen to your Alabama team this weekend!

  8. 12
    E.G. White

    Zionhippy2 you pig fart, at least get the record straight. It’s 21 SEC and 12 national championships. Reality Check go play with your mamas ass. Half of those things that LSWho did in the last 6 years were done by Saban, who is now doing them at Bama. And whatever services you want to quote, we can quote others that say we had the #1 classes the last 2 years. And we are way, way ahead of where we were at this time last year in the rankings. We will as before make a signing day run and smash everybody. Only tit turd penis enviers like you would deny that Bama along with Florida is one of the 2 domimant teams in the SEC. For 2 years now it hasn’t even been close, and a look at our team and the players already commited ensures that it will stay that way. Ask anyone outside the SEC and you’ll get the same answer. Get out of the past fool. It’s a new world out there, but much like the old one pre 1995! RTR!

  9. 13
    Auburn is a joke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian

    Is moninant squeeking out a last second win over Tennessee ? Is dominant getting flogged by a bunch af polygamist mormans ? If thats dominant, Ill pass.

  10. 14
    E.G. White

    Yeah, I guess you will pass BP! Easy to say when you’ve already passed and have no hope of returning! Ya’ll love the Mormon thing don’t you? Well we love the Auburn thing! Bwwaaa Haaww Haaww! 21 and 2 since the ’07 Independance Bowl! Yep, that’s pretty damn dominant. Actually the same as Floridas’ record over the same period which ties us for best in the nation, and Florida lost to Michigan and Ole Miss with a combined 8 losses. We lost to #1 and #2 with a combined 1 loss! So go fornicate with your eagle! RTR!

  11. 15
    Auburn is a joke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian

    Hold it !!!! Diesnt Utah sahre the same recrd ? The plygamist mormans strike again !!!!!!!

    Plus, that last sentence is doo-doo. AYou fail to take into account that the Florida team that lost to the teams with a combined 8 lossses is the team that whooped that ass. Soooo, I guess that means you are worse thatn Ole Miss and Michagin ?

    huh ????

    And dude , why go back to the independence bowl ? Oh yeah., the team you played before that was Auburn. And they too, whooped that ass.

    As I said. facts are like kryptonite to a bammer.

  12. 16

    How about this fact. Bama is 20-2 in their last 22 games. What’s Auburn? We have the best coach in the country and a whole lot of victories in the future! Go Furman and RTR!

  13. 17
    E.G. White

    BP that’s about as dumbass a statement as even you have ever made. We’ve whipped Ole Pisses ass twice during that period and for about a decade now too. No moron, Utah does not have the same record. They have played fewer games because they don’t play a championship game. Not to mention that they’ve already lost to a team that, Ha Ha, Boise St. beat, and will lose to TCU and maybe BYU. Nor was Utah ranked #1 for 5 weeks last year or proclaimed the best most complete team in the nation this year. I could go on and on, but what’s the point. You Barners just fabricate bullshit to hear yourselves talk anyway. Hell, you idiots probably think you can beat us off the results of the Old Piss game. Bwwaaa Haaww Haaww! RTR!

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  16. 21
    E.G. White

    Huntsville? Hell, nothing lives in Huntsville but faggots and rocket scientists, and since my uncle worked with Von Braun and is a rocket scientist, I know for a fact that you aren’t. That means only only one thing asshole – you are a faggot! Be careful of your mouth asshole. I don’t have to come to Huntsville. I have people who I can send up there for me, and belive me tit turd, these people can find you! Com’on shit for brains – try me! RTR!

  17. 22

    E.G. — I got to give you credit on the “Ole Piss” reference — your vocab amazes me — I’m stealing that one from you — that’s hilarious — Aubawrn, as usual, will be battling Ole Piss and for 3rd place in the West as usual. RTR!!!

  18. 24

    Riding a bike through Jello! That’s funny. The bammers will need something to laugh about after Saturday…..and you provided it!

    CrimsonBlood…..”Aubawrn, as usual, will be battling Ole Piss and for 3rd place in the West as usual.” You must have tuned into SEC football last year, or been recently hit in the head and lost your memory.

  19. 25
    E.G. White

    Why is that Aurox? He’s right. LSWho is gonna beat Ole Piss and Porky, and we’re gonna stomp the Barn. That will put you in a 3 way the for 3rd. Then again Ole Piss still has to play Porky and you have to play the Mutts. You might end up tied wíth em for 4th! Ha, ha! Yeah I like the jello – bike thing. Cute! RTR!

  20. 26


  21. 27

    I was commenting on the “as usual” comment by CrimsonBlood. Auburn is out of the mix for 2 years, bama’s finally in the mix, and suddenly, that’s the way it’s “always” been. Laughable.

  22. 28
    E.G. White

    I think that refering to it as usual was pretty accurate. Everything is cyclic. So you had your 6 fingers. But in the bigger picture our cycles have come far more often and usually have lasted longer and therefore we have domimated southern football for 100 years, irregardless of the last 10. Or the w/l records mean nothing? LOL! Now it’s our cycle again as usual. And the same for you as he said. Don’t worry, you’ll be back someday. Maybe. When Hell freezes over. Bwwaaa Haaww Haaww! RTR!

  23. 29

    You damn right “as usual” — AUROX — AS USUAL Aubawrn will be battling the Mississippi’s for 3rd place in the SEC West EVERY SINGLE YEAR from NOW on OUT — I’m trying to make it simple for the barner’s to understand — that’s all.

  24. 30
    Auburn is a joke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian

    Kinda like Bama did for about 8 years ? How quickly you forget Egg.

  25. 31
    Reality Check

    So typical of you to pick an arbitrary point in time to brag on Alabamers record – “21 and 2 since the ‘07 Independance Bowl”. If I wanted to do the same as you I could say since the last game of last years regular season, Florida is l0-0, Iowa is 10-0, Texas is 9-0, Utah(remember them) is 8-1, LSU is 8-1, Oregon is 8-1, Boise St. is 8-1, Cincinnati is 8-1 and ALABAMER is 8-2 which makes you the 9th best team in the nation since last year!!

    Or I could say that over the last 10 years, since 1999, including this season to date, LSU has the best record of all the SEC schools at 97-28. Florida has the next best record at 95-29, followed by Georgia at 94-30, Auburn at 86-37, Tennessee at 80-42 and then Alabamer at 73-48(before forfitures due to cheating). That makes the Bamaers the sixth best program in the SEC over the last 10 years!! SIXTH!

    So Shane an E.G my point is that if you want to use arbitrary dates and records Alabamer is the 9th best team in the nation and only the 6th best team in the SEC over the last 10 years, not ONE of the Two best progams in the conference!

    The real facts are Alabamer had a good, not great, team last year and has a good team this year, but they have not won anything on the field yet with “the great Nick Saban” as coach except a Western Division title and an Independence Bowl.

    So why don’t ya’ll wait until Nick and his bamers have actually won something before you start running off at the mouth and end up making a fool of yourself, like you did last year at about this time.

    And You BETTER pray that LSU and Les Miles doesn’t beat Alabamer this Saturday, because that will mean Les will be 2-1 against little Nicky and he will have done it with “HIS PLAYERS” and against an Bamer team loaded with the “best” recruits in the nation coached by the “best” coach in the nation! OMG, what will you say then? Fire Nick! No, you’ll blame it on the OC or the McElroy, couldn’t blame it on Nick!

    And I know you Bamers will say there is not a chance in hell that Les and LSU will come close to beating bama, but remember thats what you said about Kiffen and Tenn the week befor you played them!

    Have a Great Day!

  26. 32

    Isn’t the “great nick” still 3-4 against Auburn?? That’s with some of the “best” recruiting classes, a national champ lsu team, and his “superior” coaching prowess! Laughable.

  27. 33
    The BAMMER From St. Clair

    YO! Kudos to “The Guru!” “Riding a bike through Jell-O” IS original. Moving on, here are the FACTS about Alabama in ’09 as we roll into this weekend. ‘Bama IS 8-0. The TIDE is in the driver’s seat in the West. Nick Saban HAS PROVED what kind of coach he is by taking over a program that had fell into MEDIOCRITY and transformed it into what we as Bammers are USED TO-being a TRUE CONTENDER and CAPABLE OF BEATING ANY TEAM, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. Before the season began, I was concerned about our offense and I STILL have some reservations but I KNOW WHAT THIS TEAM IS CAPABLE OF. “Aurox,” “Reality Check,” “Zionhippy2” (there’s 2 of you? Please don’t let it be true!) and the rest of you bashers, you KNOW what Alabama is capable of, and its EATING YOU UP INSIDE! Don’t be shy, ADMIT IT! THE TIDE IS HIGH! ENJOY THE PSUNAMI!

  28. 37
    JD Cahill

    LSU has only 3 sacks for the season….If they can’t put pressure on GHMAC he is just good enough to pick you to pieces…they will have to back up to defend the pass…wich will open up the run,,,,,results BAMA ROLLS..31-17

  29. 38
    JD Cahill

    I was very concerned about thew TENN game and it turned out I was correct in thinking it would be close,,LSU is fired up about this game,,,and the attitude coming fron Tusc,,isn’t good,,They are very concerned about this game,,,but I think a team plays better in that mind frame,,,not hooping and hollering but just simply thinking about what they have to do,,,LSU doesn’t have enough sacks but they are good at picking off passes and their defensive backs are very fast and good at running down the break away play but still we are going to move the ball against them,,,I don’t like the coaches pushing GMAC to throw the ball into coverage,,,this could result in some picks,,,I really hope they won’t do that,,, and he has enough time to find somebody to throw to that is open,,,Julio still has some nagging injuries and has not been catching well, but last week he did allright,,,if they just keep the ball out in front and not behind the line,,,,it seems that when they need to trow short they are trying to go long or trying to throw the ball behind the line,,,,bad play calling these last few games have been ranpid,,,but I kinda feel like this sat,. they will put it all together,,I know it’s a big prediction on the points when you look at what The Gators did but we are in the right frame of mind and its time to put it all together,,,,I fell like we learned a lot these past games,,,,,,and if we haven’t than lets get another play caller,,,,RTR

  30. 39
    JD Cahill

    augh,,,, I missed it by a touch down,,well I guess if your beaten on a route just trip the guy and it won’t be a penalty

  31. 40
    JD Cahill

    This was my response to post on al,com to LSU fans that felt like they got robbed,,,what a lot of BS,,,,Well I watched that play. I don’t know if his toe was in or out, but what I do know is. That when you make the move to tuck it under the arm they consider it juggelin the ball,I’ve seen it week after week, if he would have just held it with his two hands he might have got it. But you know, in this game I did find out one thing, that if your beaten on a route you should just trip the guy and its not considered pass interfearance…Alabama beat the hell out of this LSU squad. Every other play they had to come in and scape and LSU player off the turf and call for a medic,,,It’s a given that their is more humity in the air in Baton Rouge and it was dryer in Tusc,, alas the cramps but damn , are you kidding me, they were hitting the ground all over the place,,, the conditioning on that LSU squad didn’t look very well………they got the hell beat out of them,,,,,

  32. 41

    JD……welcome to LSU football. When they lose, it’s always because of the refs. Auburn has been hearing that shit for years (even though, if anything, LSU has been the beneficiary of “bad calls” all season…against UGA, AU and UA.)

  33. 42
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO! Since some of y’all asked, a psunami is a massive tidal wave. Perhaps I’ve misspelled that word.

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