|"If it were my choice, Will, you'd be Florida's head ball coach forever. |
I think we've got a good thing going here," Mark Richt at his most sincere
Reptiles vs. Canines
As a UGA fan who grew up in the '90s, I should've known the Apocalypse was approaching as soon as Georgia won three straight games against their Cocktail rivals. After all, in the early years of this rivalry the Dawgs were the more powerful program. Then, the Gators dominated. But, now, that the Dawgs are once again atop the rivalry, and the Biblical nature of this Cain meets Abel relationship is like it was in the beginning. This week's game therefore strikes the chords of a benediction. Either Georgia's title hopes will come to an end or Will Muschamp's time in blue and orange will cease. In each endings, there will be other beginnings. Adding further proof to this epic archetype is the announcement this week that running back Todd Gurley II can return mid-November. Now there is a doomsday clock for the rest of the SEC as Mark Richt's team awaits its red and black redeemer.
The Wildcat shall lie down with the Tiger
In age when conference geologies have changed drastically, it's sometimes easy to forget that Missouri, like Texas A&M, is still new to the conference. Therefore, games like this one in Columbia are important to indoctrinating states and fans and new rivalries into the collective memory of the conference. Kentucky's SEC record right now is weighed down by three conference losses. On the other hand, Missouri's record is spoiled by only two conference losses. A win by Kentucky positions it to finish at least second in the SEC East (ahead of neighborhood bullies Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina). Meanwhile, a win by Missouri keeps it within striking distance of Georgia. If Missouri somehow pulls off another SEC East victory since joining the conference, the event would strangely enough speak to Mizzou's rise and power and the descent of every other program in the division. In other words, don't sleep on the potential for cataclysm in this seemingly meaningless game.
|The thrill of victory & the agony of defeat may wear the same face in The Grove.|
Last week, LSU out muscled and hustled the Ole Miss Rebels. If Ole Miss can earn redemption this week, then the game against Mississippi State looms large for both teams. However, if Ole Miss were to lose, then their role is reduced to that of spoiler. For, Auburn on the other hand this game is everything, as next week, and the week after, and the week after. Looking at Auburn's schedule over the next few weeks is like sitting down with any hero in any age and mapping out the struggle to the end of days. Auburn will either survive as the mightiest of heroes or be impaled by the hubris that the SEC schedule demands. This schedule, as always, is a blessing and a curse. It should be noted, however, that an Auburn win here would signal a return to normalcy in the West, as Ole Miss' rebellion, which started with an upset of mighty 'Bama, would be quelled.
|The apple may be all that's missing.|
Of late, all the hot seat talk has focused on Florida's Will Muschamp, but Bret Bielema is 0-12 since moving from a Bit Ten coaching position to the SEC. That's, um, not good. Yes, Mississippi State is the number one team in the country, a contender for the national title, and in the driver's seat of the SEC. They even have a Heisman candidate at quarterback. But, at some point, either Arkansas reveals itself as a snake in the grass and strikes a blow for Bielema or he gets his head chopped off by a garden hoe. I know it's a stretch, but just like the Bulldogs' in-state rival Ole Miss stumbled against under appreciated LSU last week, this game could sneak up on all those cowbells in Starksville. There's venom in the garden; it's just a matter of who's bitten.
A bird in the hand
The last SEC game of the night will feature the Volunteers at South Carolina. Both teams are struggling mightily: Tennessee is win-less in conference and the Gamecocks have dropped three in a row. This game should be close, it may even be ugly, and, if it's anything like last year's rendition, it promises to entertain.
Bryan Harvey can be followed on Twitter