SEC Heavyweights Upset in Week 8 to Rejuvenated, Revitalized Programs
The SEC was turned upside down with a Saturday that was rife with upsets as everything we thought we knew about the conference was rocked off its axis. That is everything outside of Alabama who has yet to really break a sweat since their win at Texas A&M.
South Carolina blew a late lead to Tennessee as the Vols kicked the game-winning field goal expired to give Butch Jones his biggest win of his career as he announces that the once proud program is back. Tennessee is literally five seconds away from a win over Georgia in addition to their win over the Gamecocks.
Missouri took out Florida who was a top-10 team to start the season, but now have three losses and any hopes they had of an SEC east title has all but washed away. The Gators lost to the Tigers who started a redshirt freshman Maty Mauk at quarterback and look like a five-loss team.
Georgia, Florida and South Carolina each have two losses in the SEC as Missouri controls their destiny to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. Raise your hand if you saw that coming in August.
But how about the western division, were there any upsets on that side of the conference?
Auburn came in with a run-heavy approach behind Tre Mason and Nick Marshall as they knocked off Johnny Manziel and the Aggies in College Station. Auburn is the biggest surprise outside of Missouri this season as the Tigers are already bowl-eligible after only winning three games a season ago.
All this was leading up to LSU at Ole Miss as the Rebels put an exclamation mark at the end of a day filled with upsets in the conference. LSU trailed 17-0 in the third quarter in Oxford, Mississippi before the Tigers knotted it up late in the fourth quarter.
However, continuing with today’s theme, Ole Miss marched down the field to boot a game-winning field goal with two seconds remaining to complete the upset.
It’s a fair question to ask if the SEC is the best conference in the nation at the moment with the three preseason powers in the east combining for seven losses, but at the same time there is a 7-0 team in the east.
However, because it’s not a traditional power in Missouri the perception is it’s weaker. If it was any of the big three at 7-0, then it wouldn’t even be a debate.
What this week tells us is Alabama is head and shoulders above the second best team in the conference and much more parity exists in the conference than in years past. The teams that were thought to be a pushover in the preseason are anything but that.
Just wait until Ole Miss, Auburn and Tennessee get their recruits some seasoning and Hugh Freeze, Gus Malzahn and Butch Jones get a couple more recruiting classes. Then this conference will be as deep as it’s ever been.
This was a weekend unlike one we’ve seen in the conference in a long time, but as crazy as it was, we may see more like it on any given Saturday.