Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Mid-season report card in the SEC.
Florida, A+: Their ability to all of the sudden run the ball with power is an amazing transformation. All the areas of their offense that looked awful last year look solid this year. Muschamp's D may be a tad bit less than I thought they'd be, but they're still pretty stout. Already with 5 SEC wins, just USC and UGA remain as SEC tests the next two weeks.
Alabama, A: The Tide haven't really played anyone yet, but they've looked impressive nonetheless. Could there be a chink in the armor somewhere, that Ole Miss game still lingers as if there may be a chance for someone to sneak in. The 2nd half will present a different story schedule-wise, however, as they go to Tennessee, home vs. MSU, at LSU and vs. A&M in the next four weeks.
South Carolina, A: The Ole Ball Coach has done one of his best coaching jobs this year. The SEC is so tough, and when you have to play Georgia and then go on the road, at night to play LSU - that's a lot to ask. Now they've got to play Florida on the road this week. The Gamecocks still have all their goals in front of them despite the loss, we'll see if they can bounce back.
Mississippi State, A-: You can't get any better than 6-0. There have been several points during the first half that MSU did not play very well, but it seemed to be more of a lack of focus than ability. The first 5 games State was simply the better team and they seemed to get bored, but came alive vs. Tennessee. Those lapses are the reason for the 'minus', and they really haven't reached their full potential yet.
Texas A&M, B+: I knew A&M had good receivers, a good RB, and a good O-line, the only question was quarterback. Well, Johnny Football has answered that question. Their offense is the real deal. Defense, not so much, and that's what's keeping them from getting an 'A'. It will be interesting to see how they fair against LSU this week. But so far, A&M has been a very big surprise - for the better.
Mississippi, B+: Depending on how the 2nd half turns out, Hugh Freeze has to be under consideration for coach of the year. He has taken a group of players that looked awful and disinterested last year and have them fighting for everything they can get. No, they don't have the talent to compete with the big boys just yet, but they are making the most out of what they have, and it's something I think most everyone has been surprised by.
Georgia, B: I thought this team had the potential to be great, and for the first few weeks that is how they looked. The defense struggling is a shocker. After being top 5 last year and with a loaded talent pool that is 2-deep, they have really struggled the last two games - and this is after getting Ogletree and Rambo back from suspension. The offense has performed pretty well, but even they were shut down in Columbia. The Dawgs still have a chance to bounce back, so we'll see.
LSU, B-: Just because the Tigers beat South Carolina, I don't think they are back just yet. They were fortunate to get USC at home and coming off an emotional win vs. UGA. They still have major problems on offense as they muddle through their schedule. Huge tests coming up: at A&M, vs. Bama, vs. MSU - win those three and they're back.
Vanderbilt, C+: Vandy has struggled at times and looked like the 2010 team, then they've played well and looked like the 2011 team. Jordan Rodgers has been a bit of a disappointment really. Still, with Auburn coming to Nashville this week they've got a shot to win and the rest of the schedule looks pretty good: UMass, at UK, at Ole Miss, vs. UT, at Wake. If Dooley is fired early and with that game being at home, the 'Dores have an outside shot at winning out to go 8-4.
Tennessee, C: Derek Dooley cannot beat a ranked team. Literally, he has never done it at Tennessee. This team has talent, and a great offense. I kind of wonder if they are actually the same as Texas A&M with the schedule being the difference in how we perceive them.
Arkansas, D: I had a couple classes like this in college. I started the semester with high hopes but then failed to study for the first couple of tests. I dug myself a hole but then started getting back on track once we got to the easier chapters in the textbook. But it all depends on how you do on the final - and their final is at South Carolina, at MSU, vs. LSU.
Kentucky, D-: I won't give UK an 'F' because I think they've at least tried their best, they simply are a bad team. Unfortunately they've been hampered with some QB injuries which have prohibited them from competing at a slightly higher level. But this program has pretty much hit rock bottom.
Missouri, D-: I'd say 'F' but they did beat Arizona State. Their quarterback is a wimp....he put up mega numbers in the Big 12 last year but he is running scared in the SEC. Their big talk in the preseason and gone nowhere this year - time to join UK in the basketball is all that matters club.
Auburn, F-: Whatever the worst grade you can get, the Tigers deserve that. Only one win, and it took overtime to beat a Sun Belt team at home. It looked like they may have bounced back only losing to LSU by two, but then loses to Arkansas at home and then Ole Miss? With all the recruits they've had, to do absolutely nothing with them, this is pathetic.