Come as yourself.
The decision not to wear a costume either means an individual is too lame to party or too cool to party. Sometimes being too cool is actually lame, and sometimes being too lame is actually cool. Texas A&M’s season started off well, and then it started going not so well. Alabama bullied them down the stretch, and Ole Miss finished the job with a 23-3 thumping.
Meanwhile, South Carolina, despite a win last week against Vandy, appears to have its best days in the Spurrier era behind them. The team is 1-4 in the conference, and most of the games have not even been close. With games against Tennessee and Florida on the horizon, a loss today would doom the Gamecocks to a 1-7 conference record. A record like that speaks not to underachievement but to being flat out abysmal.
The question then becomes: who should these teams be for Halloween? They already seem to be struggling with identity, so a costume may only make matters worse. After all, if they come as themselves, who are they? Is Kevin Sumlin’s team an exposed group of early season overachievers or are they late season underachievers? Are they potential or execution?
On the other hand, Steve Spurrier needs to show up as the ole ball coach, and quit pretending he’s coaching the Washington Redskins. Enough already. You had your fun, Steve. Now be yourself.
Ole Miss and Auburn show up wearing the same costume.
Both teams secretly want to be Alabama, so they both go out and buy lots of Houndstooth clothing, probably wearing even more Houndstooth in one night than Paul Bear Bryant ever wore in a lifetime. Costumes tend to be like this: hyperbolic and full of caricatures. Neither of these teams is Alabama. If they were, they would have hit their stride by now.
Auburn may be .500 the last two weeks, but they barely edged out Kentucky and they lost in a shootout to Arkansas. Ole Miss looked impressive against Texas A&M, but the memory of Memphis still lingers.
An Alabama wannabe shouldn’t lose to schools like Memphis, even when they’re good. An Alabama wannabe should suffer crises against the likes of Ole Miss, and perhaps here is why Ole Miss wears the Houndstooth better than Auburn this year: The Rebels are their own worst enemy.
And the best Nick Chubb costume goes to . . . .
Whether by suspension or injury, the Bulldogs rarely keep their best weapons on the field. Oh well. Now the team who had Nick Chubb must search for another Nick Chubb amongst a stable of talented backs who were all more talented when they were a rung down on the depth chart. Sometimes what kills potential is not the lack of opportunity, but the opportunity itself. Georgia will start junior Faton Bauta at quarterback, hopefully he’s not planning on dressing up like poor Greyson Lambert, who has turned out to be a rather sheepish lion.
Florida, on the other hand, has found a way to dress full gator this year, which has been fun and miserable all at once. Ever been at a Halloween party where you respect someone’s commitment to the costume, but after a while the thickness of the makeup and the dimness of the lighting renders the individual too hideous and grotesque to interact with? I fear this game may feel like that conversation. Georgia will a team of human beings that are appear so reptilian there will be nothing left to do but ponder the apocalypse and hunker down in an underground bunker as the reptile zombies take over the earth.
An encyclopedia salesman travels to Houston.
This game features two teams masquerading as SEC schools. One of these teams does so on a yearly basis. The good news for Vandy is that the home team may be without one of its top running backs, Kenneth Farrow. The bad news for Vandy is that Houston’s other backs may be just as good.
Like taking candy from a baby.
As doorbells ring around the country, the Vols will travel to Lexington. One of these teams will be sitting with its bag of candy spread out all over the floor. The other team will eye the candy and think, “I could just take that.” I’ll let you figure out how this works, but both teams have to view this game as a must win if they are to become Bowl eligible by season’s end.
Bryan Harvey tweets @LawnChairBoys. He's watching Ole Miss and Auburn with mild interest as he posts this. By the time you read this, however, "posts" should be read in the past tense of the verb. Happy Halloween.