The 2012 Battle for the Golden Egg did not go in the favor of the Bulldogs. While there were many negatives to take out of this game, Bulldog fans should be able to latch onto positives from the game and the season.
The Good: Cam Lawrence had a fantastic game, leading the Bulldogs in tackles and snagging two interceptions. Bernardrick McKinney has come into his own as a player as well this year. Jameon Lewis broke the kick return that Bulldog fans knew that he could, and Chad Bumphis had a fantastic game in his final Egg Bowl.
The Bad: It has become painfully obvious that the Bulldogs struggle against up-tempo and spread offenses. Bo Wallace has the tools to be a fantastic quarterback, and Donte Moncrief is more than a "decent" player. Here's hoping Mississippi State uses this extra practice time to start rectifying this situation.
The Ugly: Mississippi State may be in a bit of sticky bowl situation. Everything could go according to plan, and Mississippi State will play in Jacksonville. Of course, the bottom could fall out, sending the Bulldogs to Birmingham. Either way, Mississippi State fans need to speak up now about supporting their team with presales and in other areas, if they so feel like they want to do so.
No. 7 LSU 20, Arkansas 13-It seems the Battle for the Golden Boot always provides a close contest, and this fit the bill. If not for an early fumble, the Razorbacks may have had a chance to win on the way out, but that sums up their season. Arkansas let their coach John L. Smith go not long after the game.
No. 3. Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10-In what turned into a snoozer early, the Bulldogs destroyed the Yellow Jackets. With this showing, one has to expect the Bulldogs will be ready to fight in the SEC championship.
Tennessee 37, Kentucky 17-The Volunteers avenged their previous loss to the Wildcats to send Derek Dooley's staff off on a winning note. The loss brought an end to Joker Phillips' time in Lexington.
No 4. Florida 37, No. 10 Florida State 26-In keeping with the theme of SEC dominance over the ACC, the Gators rallied from a 20-13 deficit going into the fourth quarter by scoring 24 points to knock of the Seminoles. The win assures the Gators of a BCS birth.
Vanderbilt 55, Wake Forest 21-The Commodores slammed the Demon Deacons to win their sixth straight game. Now Vanderbilt must wait to see if they get to leave home for their bowl game. Strange that bowling is becoming common for the Commodores.
No. 2 Alabama 49, Auburn 0-In the second most lopsided Alabama in Iron Bowl history, the Tide destroyed the Tigers and snuffed out any hopes that Gene Chizik had of being retained. Only a second-string fumble kept the Tide from breaking the record of a 55-0 basing of Auburn.
No. 12 South Carolina 27, No. 11 Clemson 17-On paper, it should have been close, but the Gamecocks closed the door in the second half to take down their rival Clemson. The win wrapped up a 4-0 day by the SEC over the ACC, and ended the BCS hopes of the Tigers. It also may have thrown the SEC bowl picture into a bit of chaos.
No. 9 Texas A&M 59, Missouri 29-Johnny Manziel survived an injury scare and added to his Heisman resume with a big win to close out the regular season. Now football fans will wait and watch to see if he becomes the first freshman to hoist that trophy in New York.
SEC Offensive Player of the Week: Bo Wallace, Mississippi -The former JUCO All-American completed 15-of-22 passes for 294 yards and five touchdowns. While he did toss two picks, he bounced back nicely from them. He also picked up 40 yards on 13 carries and did a great job confusing the MSU defense with playfakes all night.
SEC Defensive Player of the Week: Jadeveon Clowney - Early in the day, I thought this would go to Bacari Rambo, who had a fantastic game with a pick and two forced fumbles, but that was against Georgia Tech. Clowney finished with seven tackles and 4.5 sacks against a good Clemson team. He gets it this week.
SEC Power Rankings: This has become quite the task the last few weeks, and at this point, it starts becoming difficult to combine the early part of the season with the performances of teams over the past few weeks. Here we go, and as always, I love the conversation this starts.
1. Alabama (1)
2. Georgia (2)
3. Florida (5)
4. Texas A&M (3)
5. South Carolina (6)
6. LSU (4)
7. Vanderbilt (8)
8. Ole Miss (9)
9. Mississippi State (7)
10. Missouri (10)
11. Arkansas (11)
12. Tennessee (12)
13. Kentucky (13)
14. Auburn (14)
I have felt Alabama has been the strongest of the teams all year, and they deserve to stay in the top spot. Across from them, Georgia just edges out Florida, who looked fantastic against Florida State Saturday. Texas A&M, LSU, and South Carolina feel like a bit of a pick ‘em, and they could be in any order, and I would not have much of an argument. Vanderbilt has proven to be a legitimate team all year, and I am rewarding them by putting them in the top half of the league.
Yes it was just one game, but Ole Miss flattened Mississippi State in the Battle for the Golden Egg. The Rebels played LSU closer than Mississippi State did. Part of Ole Miss' 6-6 record had to do with the schedule, just as part of Mississippi State's record had to do with their schedule. Right now, I have to give the nod to Ole Miss.
At the bottom, Kentucky edges out Auburn because they were not beaten as bad in their final game.
FIVE THINGS I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS WEEK
1. Even though the regular season ended on a sour note, Bulldog fans should still be happy with an 8-4 record. Of course, the question will remain how big of an achievement is that 8-4 record. Mississippi State beat Jackson State, Troy, South Alabama, and Middle Tennessee State in the out-of=conference schedule, and their four SEC wins (Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas) came against teams with losing records and currently filling coaching vacancies. The Bulldogs may very well lose to Oklahoma State to open next season, but we will have a much more clear idea about who the Bulldogs really are.
2. Is it really time to make coordinator changes? That is going to be a question for Dan Mullen and company. My opinion is that it should be done now, if it is going to be done. You could have a three week test drive of someone on staff, and then decide if you want to bring someone else in or not. I am not sold that the issue is the coordinators though.
3. Watching the Egg Bowl, I felt that the Mississippi State defense looked a step slow. I wouldn't say they play with Big Ten speed, but it was not quite SEC speed. That has been evident in the four losses.
4. The bowl scenario will be an interesting one. If you haven't seen it, you can read my post from Sunday MORNING....
5. This isn't football related, but I hope a good crowd welcomes the basketball team back home tomorrow night against Alcorn State.
Enjoy, and look forward to the comments.