What We Learned from the SEC in Week 6 - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

What We Learned from the SEC in Week 6

Georgia's Chris Conley (31) makes a one-handed touchdown catch against Tennessee. (Source: Georgia Athletics) Georgia's Chris Conley (31) makes a one-handed touchdown catch against Tennessee. (Source: Georgia Athletics)
Auburn's defense terrorized Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace and brought him down for a sack... (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University) Auburn's defense terrorized Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace and brought him down for a sack... (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University)
...and again... (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University) ...and again... (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University)
...and again. (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University) ...and again. (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University)

(RNN) – Bob Stoops needs to shut his mouth.

Stoops, the head coach at Oklahoma, chose this week to make his yearly idiotic statement about the SEC.

Stoops is of the belief that because the SEC has a few pro-style quarterbacks that's why some teams are struggling to play defense. He even makes the hilarious equivalency that now that A&M is in the SEC it's disrupted the ecosystem.

HA! First off, A&M has nothing to do with that – it's all because of Johnny Manziel, who didn't play when A&M was in the Big XII. Also, he was preceded by two dual-threat QBs who upset the ecosystem – Tim Tebow and Cam Newton – so what Manziel is doing is nothing new, though he hasn't yet won a national title like they did.

But it goes deeper than that. Using the conference the players were in during college, there are currently five starting quarterbacks in the NFL who came from the SEC and five from the Big XII, so it would appear the conferences are even in that regard. Total QBs currently on an NFL roster is also a tie, with 11 each.1 Hmmm.

This is where Stoops' argument falls apart. In last year's NFL draft, the Big XII had 27 total players drafted (eight played defense). The SEC had 34 defensive players drafted and 63 total draft picks. In fact, the SEC equaled the Big XII's total defensive draft picks in the first round alone. The Big XII had one first round defender.

So yeah, it's a bit of a down year for the SEC on defense. Frankly, the conference is long overdue for one.

But here's the cherry on top of your Bob-Stoops-is-an-idiot sundae. Since 2003, "Big Game Bob" (try to read that without laughing) has played against four SEC teams. He is 1-3. His three losses came in two national championship games and last year's Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M. His win came in the only regular season game of those four and was a 20-13 win over Alabama in 2003. That year, Oklahoma lost to LSU in the national championship game and Alabama went on to win just four games.

Stoops also conveniently forgets that disparaging defenses in the SEC is akin to taking a shot at his own coaching record. Before being hired at Oklahoma, Stoops was the defensive coordinator at Florida for three years.

Good call, Bob.

Here is the weekly list of what we learned from watching SEC games in Week 6.

1. Saturday night is the best night. I wish I had kept notes of time because it would be interesting to see how things played out, but Saturday night Mississippi State was playing LSU tough, Florida was struggling to gain an edge over Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn were trying to out-bad each other, Kentucky was mounting a comeback on South Carolina, Missouri was playing like a real team, Oklahoma was on the verge of losing, Ohio State was on the verge of losing, Notre Dame was doing something Notre Dame-y and my alma mater was marching toward its second win of the season.

And all of that was after Tennessee and Georgia went into overtime. It was a good night.

2. Georgia is still Georgia. Whew! I thought somebody had replaced Georgia and Mark Richt, and I was getting concerned. But their 34-31 overtime win over Tennessee(!) dispelled that myth. It's very comforting to know they're still the same old Georgia we've grown to love. What a relief (to everybody but Georgia fans that is).

Richt was a Tennessee fumble at the goal line and a 57-yard run by Aaron Murray away from being back on the hot seat. Hold on. Did I really just say Aaron Murray made a 57-yard run? (Checks the Internet...) Yes, I did. Where did that come from?

It came from Georgia holding a raffle to choose its next running back.2 Todd Gurley was out before the game started. Keith Marshall went out during the game and he was followed by receiver Michael Bennett, and Murray went from having superior talent than the Vols to having oh-my-God-these-guys-wouldn't-even-start-for-Tennessee talent.

Murray was decidedly un-Murray-like. He only threw for 196 yards, though he did have three touchdowns, and Georgia converted on just 4 of 13 third down attempts. He just simply found a way to win.

You can disparage Mark Richt all you want, but you can't say a word about Murray. He led Georgia on a 75-yard drive with under 2 minutes in the fourth quarter and tied the game with five seconds left using a supporting cast that he probably couldn't name. And he was on the road.

By that point, he had heard Rocky Top played so many times he would have rather been on the other side of town at Tennessee's cadaver farm, and yet he tossed a touchdown to a guy who, until Saturday, had no proof he was a football player.

You know who likes seeing things like that? The Jacksonville Jaguars.

3. Tennessee's players are on scholarship too, and are likely hocked up on tacos, which explains the sudden burst of energy and the slippery fingers near the goal line (especially if they were the Doritos shell tacos).

In the near-upset you never thought would happen, Tennessee outplayed Georgia for most of the game and was in control for much of the second half. The Vols were down two touchdown at halftime, but outscored Georgia 28-7 in the second half and held a lead with under two minutes to play before Georgia tied it up.

Tennessee did it in exactly the fashion it needed to. Rajion Neal rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns and the Vols committed no turnovers. Tennessee also got plenty of help from Georgia with its injuries and inconsistency.

Then came overtime. Alton Howard got the call and put Tennessee in the end zone. Then they reviewed the play and it was revealed Howard lost control of the ball while reaching for the end zone and Georgia was awarded a touchback. Georgia's Marshall Morgan then ended the game with a 42-yard field goal.

But, looking ahead for Tennessee, this can only be seen as a good sign. Tennessee has what is now a very winnable game against South Carolina in two weeks and then plays Alabama, but closes the season with struggling Vanderbilt and reliably bad Kentucky. A bowl game is not out of the picture.

4. Auburn might get a decent bowl game. Auburn completed the Mississippi sweep with a 30-22 win over Ole Miss in not exactly impressive style, but held the Rebels without a touchdown until late in the third quarter and ran the ball at will.

Nick Marshall threw for a paltry 93 yards, but he ran for a game-high 140 and two touchdowns. Tre Mason added 77 yards rushing another score and had 62 receiving yards.

Auburn's defense gave up 336 passing yards to Ole Miss, but sacked quarterback Bo Wallace six times.

5. James Franklin (player) is legit. Missouri is apparently good now. This may take some getting used to.

Johnny Football Junior3 gave Bob Stoops something to pointlessly yammer about with a 278-yard, four-touchdown game and hung 51 points on Vanderbilt. He also ran for 63 yards in the 51-28 win.

Missouri is 5-0 and a win away from bowl eligibility. The Tigers now get Georgia, who they came close to upsetting last season and Florida in consecutive weeks, and their undefeated mark is in jeopardy. Kentucky looks like the only easy win left for Missouri, so that sixth win may be hard to come by.

6. James Franklin (coach) may be at Vanderbilt for a while. Franklin's name was getting thrown around for job openings like Southern Cal and Texas (who still has a coach) and was mentioned for Texas A&M's job when Texas A&M's coach leaves for Southern Cal, because, you know, those openings won't speculate about them themselves.

Well, no more. Last year, Franklin could have dropped a resume on some unsuspecting AD's desk and said "I just won nine games at Vanderbilt" and get hired on the spot. That ship has sailed, Commodore.

With Vandy's loss to Missouri and my newfound respect for the Tigers and Jimmy Football, I am afraid Franklin is falling out of favor. This upsets me. I like Franklin. He's goofy, likes to evaluate his assistants' arm candy and looks like Key from Key & Peele.

Vanderbilt is struggling and in danger of missing a bowl game. No way is Southern Cal hiring another guy from Tennessee who didn't win a bowl. On the plus side, this means Franklin should be around for a while because five wins and an oh-man-we-came-so-close will get the stadium named after you at Vanderbilt.

Wait a second. This is good news. It means Franklin will be around for a while. This can only be a good thing, both for me and any coach out there with an attractive wife.

7. Steve Spurrier did what Steve Spurrier does. Jadeveon Clowney said he couldn't play. Then Spurrier said something about Clowney that was vague and dismissive. Anybody surprised?

Spurrier said a lot, and also didn't say anything. He said Clowney said he couldn't play and that he was injured and may not play next week, either, because he missed a day of practice and couldn't run. Spurrier also said he wasn't worried about it. Then he said "if he doesn't want to play, he doesn't have to play."

Thanks for the insight, coach.

The Gamecocks could have used him their 35-28 win over Kentucky, and will probably need him next week against Arkansas.

8. Bo Wallace will never say anything bad about Alabama again. Ole Miss part-time quarterback and full-time hairdo Bo Wallace said he didn't think Alabama was all that tough. He meant the University of Alabama, but instead he fired up the whole state.

Now, two games later, both Alabama teams have handed Wallace's Rebels a loss after Auburn topped them 30-22. Neither was pretty. After 'Bama shut him out, Auburn picked off two of Wallace's passes – including one returned for a touchdown – and held the dual-threat QB to -8 yards rushing. Yes, negative 8, including consecutive sacks on his final two plays of the game.

For what it's worth, those numbers are worse than his game against the Tide. However, Wallace didn't give up a safety to Auburn and actually scored some points, so he's making progress.

9. Florida is a buzzsaw. Arkansas went into its 30-10 loss to Florida with two running backs averaging 100 yards a game and was held to 111 rushing yards.

But the Gators themselves only ran 115 yards. New quarterback Tyler Murphy threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns. But the important stat for Florida is turnovers. I've said this before, but when Florida doesn't turn the ball over, it wins.

Florida had no turnovers and Arkansas had two.

10. Mississippi State has the world's lamest QB controversy. The Bulldogs don't really have a quarterback controversy, it just looks like one. What they really have is a quarterback and a running back who sometimes plays quarterback.

Dak Prescott is Mississippi State's leading rusher and sometimes plays quarterback. He rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown in a 59-26 loss to LSU. He threw for 106 yards and an interception as well. Tyler Russell returned from a bang on the skull to throw for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

So, what does it mean? I have no idea, but I think it would look really cool to put them both in the shotgun at the same time and alternate snaps between them.

Extra points: 1The Big XII actually benefits greatly in this assessment. Two of their players are from schools that are now in the SEC, and it just gained a starter in Cleveland's Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State) due to injury. The SEC recently lost a starting quarterback in Oakland's Matt Flynn (LSU). Buffalo's Geno Smith (West Virginia) played in the Big XII for one season, so he's included as well. The SEC also had a quarterback drafted (Arkansas' Tyler Wilson) who was cut by Oakland in training camp, and the Big XII had one cut this week (Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman) by Tampa Bay. Neither is included in the count.

2Why not? The NFL has players destroying your fantasy team by playing rock-paper-scissors. They really should be playing rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock, though, because they won't tie as often. Of course, then you have to find a way to choose who gets to be Spock.

3Jimmy Football? Yeah, I like it. James Franklin (player) is now Jimmy Football.

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