The last week of the regular season in our beloved conference has come to an end, resulting in the Tennessee Vols and LSU Tigers squaring off in Atlanta for the title next weekend.
The Porch did alright on the season, ending with another solid week at 6-2. A 58-17 record is respectable picking the winner in college football. The lines, yet again, proved to be much more difficult on the week 5-3, and a brutal season at 25-19.
If anything, I hope this proves to all the potential gamblers out there that it simply doesn't pay to bet against the house. In the win-loss column, I picked as many upsets as I missed, so it worked out to a wash in the end.
Let's see how "Rivalry Week" broke down in the season finales:
-Coach "O" is done after blowing a 14-0 fourth quarter lead and ending up 0-8 in SEC play after the 17-14 loss to the Wool dogs. That kind of record in a coach's 3rd season is not what the rebels wanted, and the big wigs in Oxford put him out of his misery early Saturday morning.
Rumor has it that Coach O's family was packing up this week (for real) and his resume went out to several places on Wednesday. He was told that he must win the Egg Bowl to keep his job, and that should show you how much confidence Oy-Oy had in his team.
The Rebels dominated the ground game, 204-81, and was very lopsided in their time of possession. The turnovers and penalties were a push, so the only thing left to explain the collapse is the hidden yardage of special teams and the intangibles that Ole Miss has lacked for the last half decade.
Sly is looking to garner an Independence Bowl bid, while Ole Miss will look to some up and coming coordinators, or the coaching carousel in the Big 12, to find O's replacement.
-This LSU team is just so disappointing. The squad that showed up the first seven weeks was very different than the one we saw the last two in the lackluster win over Ole Miss and on Friday with the 50-48 loss to Arkansas.
The stat lines are a little inflated from the overtimes, but 385 rushing yards is a lot to give up (even to Arkansas), no matter how many OTs the game lasted.
Matt Flynn was just awful, and the touted LSU defense was gashed and bullied all day until LSU just didn't have anything left in their 2-point conversion try.
Les Miles will likely take the Michigan job only a couple of days after the SEC Championship game (regardless of the outcome), while the Arkansas hierarchy might just be dumb enough to bring Houston Nutt back because of the win. I know many, many Hog fans who hope they don't have to suffer another guaranteed two or three years of mediocrity because of one upset win. Whoooooo Pig!
-Actor Christopher Walken was heard saying, "Kentucky never scared me," as the Vols outlasted Kentucky in triple OT, 52-50. The stats were one big wash, as it came down to just one play in the final overtime. The Vols let a 17 point halftime lead slip through their fingers, and almost gave Fat Phil an M.I. before they finally sealed the deal.
Phil Fulmer continues to get it done when he must. Vol fans will have to deal with at least several more years of ups and downs on Rocky Top as Fatty will likely get another contract extension. I still think John Chavis will have to be sacrificed to appease the heathen Vol nation for early season embarrassments on defense, and that won't make too many people sad.
-I really thought Clemson would lay a whoopin' on the Gamecocks, but Spurrier's squad put up a big fight as it came down to a 35 yard Clemson field goal as time expired for Tommy Bowden to get another win in the rivalry, 23-21. The rushing yards were probably the big difference in the game for Clemson, 214-80, that just wore out the Carolina defense for the final drive of the game.
Carolina will likely go bowling anyway, as Clemson slinks back into the obscurity of the ACC and might have to play Auburn in the Peach Bowl (I refuse to call it the "Chik-Fil-A" Bowl) after BC loses the rematch to VT.
-Despite my admiration and respect for Vanderbilt coach, Bobby Johnson, the Vanderbilt stink just doesn't wash off very easily no matter how hard one may try. In BJ's defense, the November schedule was rather brutal, and Wake wasn't the ideal opponent to play to wrap up their first bowl appearance in ages.
Wake was up comfortably 31-3 in the middle of the third quarter before Vandy scored two late TDs to make the final a more respectable 31-17 loss. Vanderbilt's 16 yards rushing didn't help anything, and Bobby J. will look to next season to try and shore up that elusive 6-win season.
-SIX STRAIGHT LOSSES IN THE IRON BOWL. Do you think the Bama program will survive? The Tide faithful are disappointed after not being able to buy a bowl game and a victory over Auburn by reeling in St. Nick from the pro ranks. Alabama fans need to buy themselves some patience, and learn that this is the modern era of college football; SEC and National Championships don't roll around every other year anymore, and Coach Saban's scheme takes time to recruit personnel and "coach 'em up."
In this edition of the Iron Bowl, the stat line was pretty close with Auburn slightly ahead in total yards, most notably in rushing yards (165-112). The Tigers have the momentum in the series, and Tuberville will likely cash out Auburn's gratitude into a $4.1 million contract, which should make Ears' agent very, very happy (as he manages the affairs of both Tuberville and Saban).
The hatred will only heat up in the rivalry with a comparable coaching contract, hotly contested recruiting, and the number "6" hanging everywhere to abuse the spirits of Bama fans for another 364 days.
Relax. Y'all still have 12 national championships, right? Keeping living in the past, it's much better than the reality of the present..........WAR EAGLE!!!!
Championship Weekend Games of Interest:
Watch: LSU-Tennessee, Oklahoma-Mizzou, Army-Navy.
Don't Buy The Hype: All the other games that will be thrown your way and advertised as "good football."