Week 9: Ole Miss. Constant weather delays turned the game between the Rebel Black Bears and Arkansas into a 5 hour affair that ended 38-24, with only a handful of die hards sticking around till the end of the game. The Rebels may have lost by 2 TDS, but they are making strides by putting up 512 yards of offense with Masoli doing almost all the damage (327 passing. 98 rushing). Unfortunately for Auburn the Rebels (3-4) are peaking at the worst time and will be primed for the Tigers come Saturday night.
Worry Level: Cabin Fever (Might look scary, but halfway through you’ll be laughing and wondering why you were so worried).
Week 10: Chattanooga. At the start of the 4th quarter Furman led Chattanooga 28-10. With almost 7 minutes left in the 4th it was 36-28 Chattanooga… Yes, you read that right. The Mocs improve to 5-2 and host Elon this week. UT-Chat should be 6-2 coming into Jordan Hare. They may be an FCS team, but they certainly appear to be a good one ,which helps in the computer rankings.
Worry Level: Casper
Week 11: Georgia. The Dawg defense stood up to the test on the road; they may have allowed 423 yards but they forced 4 turnovers, which helped Georgia jump out to a 28-3 lead. Georgia had only 290 yards of offense, and threw the ball only 12 times, but it was all they needed to beat the Cats, 44-31. This was the same Kentucky team who beat South Carolina last week and gave Auburn fits the week before. After starting 1-4, Georgia has righted the ship. Color me worried.
Worry Level: Dawn of the Dead (The Dawgs have risen, could get intense.)
Week 12: Alabama. Went on the road to a bad Tennessee team and got the backups plenty of playing time in a 41-10 win. The Vols jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and kept it close at halftime 13-10, but it was all Alabama (7-1) in the second half. The Tide wore down a pitiful Tennessee team and ran away with it. Since the cachet-killing loss to South Carolina, people are starting to realize that Bama is one of the most boring teams in the country to watch. The Tide is off this week as they get ready for LSU.
Worry Level: The Shining (terrifying, but not as scary as the book… admit it, you thought I’d go with this)
THE CONQUERED (AND THE CONQUERORS)
Mississippi State nearly let one slip away in Starkville, but the Bulldogs were able to put UAB away in the end, 29-24. State improves to an impressive 6-2 with the losses coming to Auburn and LSU. It’s a pretty impressive job by Dan Mullen. The Bulldogs host Kentucky this weekend.
Clemson hosted and handled Georgia Tech, 27-13. Kyle Parker is still hurting from the Auburn game and has yet to play up to par, but Andre Ellington is still taking care of business rushing for 166 yards. Clemson (4-3) travels to Chestnut Hill this weekend for a winnable game against Boston College.
South Carolina struggled to put Vandy down in Nashville, 21-7. While the Gamecocks almost doubled up the Dores in the yardage department, they struggled to put points on the board. This week they face a tough test as they travel to Arkansas. South Carolina remains in the driver seat in the East, but they still have to travel to Gainesville, and my money is still on the Gators to get to Atlanta.
Louisiana Monroe traveled to Murfreesboro, TN this week and shouldn’t have gotten off the bus. MTSU won easily, 38-10, dropping the Warhawks to 3-4. It’s only going to get toughter – they host the conference-leading Troy Trojans this weekend.
Kentucky was looking for another home win this week when Georgia came to town, but the Dawgs jumped them early and the Cats couldn’t recover. The Wildcats fall to 4-4 and travel to Starkville this weekend.
Arkansas jumped out to a 21-0 but fell asleep at the wheel against Ole Miss thanks to 90 minutes of rain delays. Mallett didn’t finish the game, but the Hogs didn’t need him to. Arkansas held on to win 38-14. They host South Carolina this week.
THE OVERALL PICTURE
As exciting as Auburn likes to keep things, we can’t look past anyone. Ole Miss is improving and you can’t look past any SEC road game. Georgia is playing their best ball of the year and have things back on track. (Thankfully that game is at home.) And Alabama is still looming large at the end of the season. But smile Auburn fans – a BCS game is certain with two more wins. And the championship game? They can’t keep us out this year.