The SEC: Still Anyone’s Game

The following is a guest post from Andrew Hall of I invited him to share his thought’s on the SEC and college football generally. Please read through and let us know what you think in the comments!

The Georgia Bulldogs followed up their season opening demolition of Louisiana-Lafayette with four consecutive losses. Now the Bulldogs are taking aim at a BCS Bowl. If the Bulldogs can beat Florida and Auburn and get a little help in the form of a few SEC losses for the South Carolina Gamecocks then they could find themselves in the SEC Championship. A win in Atlanta then propels the Dawgs into one of the BCS games. While this scenario is certainly unlikely, it’s demonstrative of just how wide-open the Southeastern Conference is as we head into the final stretch of conference play.

In the East three teams have the potential of winning their division. While Georgia needs a little help, both South Carolina and Florida control their own destinies. If either of these teams win-out then they will assuredly claim the East Title. South Carolina would do so my virtue of having the best conference record. Florida would do so by virtue of winning a head-to-head tie-breaker over the Gamecocks.

The West also has three title contenders. Auburn, Alabama, and LSU all have potential to travel to Atlanta for the Conference Championship. Auburn boasts the only undefeated record in the conference and winning-out would obviously guarantee the Tigers an opportunity to vie for the SEC Title. However, Alabama can punch a ticket to the Big Game by defeating LSU, Mississippi State, and Auburn. Lastly, LSU could defeat Alabama and Arkansas and hope that Auburn suffers setbacks against Bama and UGA to claim the spot.

Thus far the SEC’s Western division has dominated the East in inter-divisional play. But, each division has won exactly five conference championships dating back to 2000, so each of these six teams still has a shot.

It’s still anyone’s game in the SEC.

Cam Newton: In Perspective

Cam Newton is running (and passing) away with the Heisman Trophy. While his numbers are certainly impressive on their own, it takes reference points to fully comprehend his success.

Newton has run for 1,077 yards in 8 games this season for an average of 134.63 yards per game. If Newton remains healthy and the Tigers reach the SEC Championship game and a bowl game, Cam will participate in 14 games. Given his current average he should run for 1,885 yards in 14 games. Herschel Walker ran for 1,891 yards in 1981.

Newton did not run the ball against LA-Monroe, so in reality he’s averaging 153.86 yards per game when his dual-threat abilities are included in the game plan. If he could maintain that pace over the next 6 games he could attain an additional 923 yards for a total of 2,000 yards on the season.

Newton is also putting up unbelievable passing numbers. His QB Rating of 172.1 ranks third in the nation and first among SEC signal-callers.

SEC Depth Still Present in BCS

While some may be calling this year’s SEC “down” from previous seasons, half of the conference is currently ranked in the BCS top 25. Auburn (1), Alabama (7), LSU (12), Arkansas (19), and Mississippi State (21) are representing the Western division, while South Carolina (20) represents the East.

No other conference has as many teams ranked in the BCS. The Big XII has five (Mizzou, OU, Nebraska, OK State, and Baylor). The Big “10” has Mich. State, Ohio St., Iowa, and Wisconsin ranked. The Pac-10 and the ACC each have three teams ranked (Oregon, Stanford, Arizona and FSU, Miami, VA Tech respectively). The other four teams – Boise State, TCU, Utah, and Nevada – represent non automatic-qualifying conferences. The Big East is missing in action.