Week 10: Chattanooga. The Mocs five game win streak came to an end this week as Elon came to town and won 49-35. Chattanooga trailed 35-14 at the half. Chattanooga couldn’t come back. At home. Against 2-5 Elon.
Worry Level: Flatlined
Week 11: Georgia. The Dawgs scored 3 TDs in the 4th to make a miraculous tie-the-game comeback. But they turned the ball over in OT — resulting in “the greatest meaningless interception return of all time” — and the Gators took advantage, winning 34-31.
The game started out both teams were trying to out-suck each other, but Florida went on a run and looked like they would blow UGA out of the stadium in the 2nd quarter. Then, in the 4th, the Gators started sleepwalking and let them sneak back in it. Aaron Murray looked sharp (but his receivers were also making some miracle catches in that game). With a little bit of luck the, Dawgs tied it at 31. Then the luck promptly ran out. The interception set up a chance for Florida to kick a field goal and win it. They did. Georgia gave up 450 yards to what has been a lackluster Florida offense; I think Newton and the boys can top that. And Lord help Georgia if Fairley gets his hands on Aaron Murray as they don’t have a backup QB. Trivia: Beat UT-Chat and Chizik goes into this game with a record of 23-24. Going from 5-19 to 24-24 would make his career record feel a lot, lot better about itself.
Worry Level: Down a bit.
Week 12: Alabama. The Tahd took the week off to get ready for the big showdown in Baton Rouge next week. They lose this one and we can start reserving entire hotels in Atlanta.
Worry Level: Constant
SEC Championship?: My money is still on Florida, and I think most Auburn fans would rather get a chance to beat the Gators than play South Carolina again. The East title goes through Gainesville and a 9-3 Florida team would be a good Top 25 opponent for Auburn’s resume and a game I think our QB might be fired up for.
THE CONQUERED (AND THE CONQUERORS)
Arkansas St. Was off Saturday but plays MTSU on Tuesday night.
Mississippi State. If it weren’t for Chizik, Dan Mullen would have to be the coach of the year in the SEC; State beat a solid Kentucky team 24-17 in Starkville. The Bullies improved to 7-2 and are now positioning themselves for a bowl game. They have this weekend off to get ready for a trip to Tuscaloosa, and a final record of 8-4 looks highly likely.
Clemson is not the same team that played in Jordan-Hare several weeks ago. Kyle Parker has not looked good since that game and the Tigers are now 4-4 after an embarrassing loss to Boston College 16-10 in Death Valley. They are going to struggle to get to a bowl game with games against FSU, NC State, and South Carolina left on the schedule.
South Carolina won a 38-24 contest over Tennessee that was a little too close for comfort. The Gamecocks should have blown out the Vols (2-6) at home, but instead needed some big, last minute plays win by two TDs. The Cocks are now 6-2 but host a tough Arkansas team this coming week.
Louisiana Monroe surprised with a 28-14 win over Troy, The Warhawks are 4-4 and positioning themselves for a bowl game and a chance at the Sun Belt title with three winnable games left and a probable loss in a trip to LSU.
Kentucky lost a tough one in Starkville against Mississippi State 24-17. UK has played some teams tough, but could only win one of those close games. At 4-5 they are still setup for a bowl game with Charleston Southern, Vandy, and Tennessee left on the schedule. The Wildcats may win all 3 of those games.
Arkansas blew out Vanderbilt 49-14 Fayetteville. The Commodores jumped out to a 14-6 lead but then the Hogs woke up to the tune of 555 yards (409 by Mallett) and ran away with the game.
LSU was off this week installing a game plan to beat Alabama in Baton Rouge, or Les Miles was eating taffy. Probably a 50/50 chance of either.
THE OVERALL PICTURE
Exhale Part Deux: getting past this four game stretch unscathed and mostly healthy is a godsend. We get a game against an FCS opponent to give us a breather before we take on Georgia at Jordan-Hare where a win will guarantee us a trip to a BCS game (and maybe Atlanta). It’s good to have a week off to watch everyone else’s trials and tribulations. We are #2, we should be #1, and we have the Heisman frontrunner… It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger. But let’s all keep the horses in the barn, boys and girls: if we go 14-0 and win the title, we’ll have the biggest party this town has ever seen. Until then, I’m keeping my feet on the ground.