SEC East Headlines: Week 11
SEC East Week 11 Headlines
Week 11 means that the college football season is quickly winding down. In the SEC East, it means teams are fighting for bowl hopes. This week in the SEC East, No. 8 Missouri, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt were active, while South Carolina was idle.
Week 11 proved to be positive for Missouri, Georgia and Vanderbilt, each able to win in their respective games. But for Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky, losses continued to pile up.
Missouri continued to top out the SEC East rankings, at 9-1 overall and 5-1 in conference and extended their win streak to two after losing to South Carolina in Week 9. They continued to be an SEC surprise after finishing 5-7 overall last season. The quick turnaround can be attributed to head coach Gary Pinkel and the relentless attitude of the whole Tigers squad.
Georgia was able to take it easy this week while playing non-conference opponent Appalachian State. The Bulldogs have been trying to pick up the pieces after falling from the rankings after losses to Missouri and Vanderbilt.
Tennessee lost at home to No. 9 Auburn, after being out played throughout the matchup.
In the mean time, Vanderbilt was able to happily embarrass the Gators, leaving them with several questions swirling. The big winner of the week in the SEC was easily Vanderbilt.
With only three weeks left in the regular season, each game has become critical. What does each team’s performance in week 11 indicate for the remainder of the season?
Lahari Subraveti is an SEC Football and NFL writer for Rant Sports. Follow her on Twitter: @Lahari_S
No.8 Missouri Tigers
No. 8 Missouri: The Tigers had the option of playing senior quarterback James Franklin at Kentucky, but decided to continue with freshman quarterback Maty Mauk, who has been outstanding. The Tigers cruised onto a 48-17 win including five touchdowns by Mauk. The Tigers sit upon the top of the SEC East at 9-1 and are poised to reach the championship game if they can keep the momentum going and win the last two games at Ole Miss and against No. 15 Texas A&M. The question is will they go back to Franklin, or stick with Mauk?
No. 12 South Carolina
The South Carolina Gamecocks had a bye week, allowing extra preparation time for their last three games against a struggling Florida, Coastal Carolina and closing out with No. 7 Clemson. At 7-2, the Gamecocks would have to win out and Missouri would have to lose at least one of their last two in order for the Gamecocks to qualify for the SEC Championship game, as they hold the tie-breaker with a win over the Tigers. With that many conditions in place, it seems unlikely that they would make it, but they are playing for landing the best bowl possible.
The Georgia Bulldogs went out of conference to play Appalachian State, cruising to a 45-6 win. Quarterback Aaron Murray threw two touchdowns to set an SEC record for touchdowns thrown. Todd Gurley continued to improve after recovery from an ankle injury, rushing for 75 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. The win makes the once ranked Bulldogs bowl eligible at 6-3. They still have No. 9 Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia Tech on their schedule.
The Florida Gators continued their spiral down losing 34-17 to Vanderbilt. The loss puts Florida at 4-5 and searching for answers. The Gators, who started off ranked No. 10 in preseason polls, have lost four in a row. The injuries have taken a toll, but lack of discipline, and lack of overall talent against their opponents have hurt the Gators immensely. The loss questions the validity of head coach Will Muschamp. The Gators will have to win two of the last three against No. 12 South Carolina, Georgia Southern and No. 2 Florida State. By the looks of it, the Gators may miss the mark. Will (not his name) Muschamp be able to pull the team together just in the nick of time?
The Vanderbilt Commodores defeated Florida in the Swamp for the first time since 1945 and it is the first time ever that they have beat Florida and Georgia in the same season. Vanderbilt was able to capitalize on three of four turnovers to snap a 22-game losing streak. Vanderbilt, 5-4, needs just one more win to become bowl eligible for a third-consecutive season, but the Commodores should be able to do much more than that with three games remaining against Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest. Head coach James Franklin has turned around a once overlooked program
The Tennessee Volunteers have been up and down all season, but looked like two different teams in each half against No. 9 Auburn. The 55-23 loss leaves them confused and pressured to win out to become bowl eligible in head coach Butch Jones’ first season. One of the only consistencies throughout the season has been the lack of talent compared to other teams. The Vols will need to dig deep to find enough drive to win against an extremely strong Vanderbilt team and a talented Kentucky team. Regardless of if the Vols make a bowl, Jones has proved to be a blessing for the Vols, building the program up.
The Kentucky Wildcats lost to No. 8 Missouri at home, leaving them at 2-7. Although they cannot become bowl eligible, the Wildcats can spoil bowl hopes for Tennessee to close out the season. They will also be able to show what they can do against a struggling Georgia team. The Wildcats shouldn’t be underestimated as they have played well, but much like Tennessee, lack the talent compared to their competitors.