14 Thoughts to End the Regular Season

14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…

14. Kentucky (previous 14) (2-10, 0-8) – Kentucky was clearly the SEC’s worst team in 2013.  There’s no where to go but up for Mark Stoops’ team.

13. Florida (13) (4-8, 3-5) – Florida clearly digressed offensively as the season wore along.  By the end, other than Kentucky, I’m not sure if they could have beaten any other SEC teams.

12. Arkansas (12) (3-9, 0-8) – Too bad the Razorbacks played Florida in October and didn’t have Kentucky on the schedule.  At least the Hogs showed a pulse at year’s end by taking LSU to the limit.

11. Tennessee (11) (5-7, 1-7) – It took the Volunteers all the way to game 14, but they finally found in Kentucky a league foe they could beat.  This team should get better as Butch Jones improves the talent base.

10. Ole Miss (9) (7-5, 3-5) – So far the Rebels have equaled their win total from 2012, but a loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl definitely takes some of the shine off of the season.  The Black Bears were young this season and showed the related lack of discipline.  The RBBs appear to be a quarterback away from being really tough to handle.

9. Mississippi State (10) (6-6, 3-5) – The Bullies are bowling and that’s a big deal for them.  Before this season, Hugh Freeze certainly had the state of Mississippi’s momentum headed Ole Miss’ way, but Dan Mullen has stopped that for now.

8. Vanderbilt (8) (8-4, 4-4)- I thought Vanderbilt would take a step back this season and I was clearly wrong.  James Franklin is building a solid program at Vandy.  Will he hang around? 

7. Georgia (7) (8-4, 5-3) – Kudos to Georgia for pulling out a win in their annual rivalry game against Georgia Tech.  The were down big before rallying.  Could the skies be clearing in Athens?

6. Texas A&M (5) (8-4, 4-4) – The luster certainly faded off of Johnny Manziel as the season progressed.  Head coach Kevin Sumlin received a contract extension, but Manziel most likely won’t bring home a second Heisman.

5. LSU (5)  (9-3, 5-3) – LSU as the SEC’s fifth best team should tell everyone how deep this league is.  Tiger fans have to be pulling their hair out over this up-and-down team.  Clobber Auburn.  Manhandle Manziel.  Lose to Georgia (albeit a healthy Georgia).  Lose to Ole Miss.

4. South Carolina (3) (10-2, 6-2)  – Steve Spurrier has built an impressive, solid program at Carolina.  But how ironic is it that Tennessee kept the Gamecocks out of the SEC title game?

3. Alabama (1) (11-0, 7-0) – The run is over for the Tide.  What happens next?  That’s the big question now.

2. Missouri – (4) (11-1, 7-1) – The Tigers had an uphill home stretch, but pulled off an improbably SEC East title.

1. Auburn (2) (11-1, 7-1) – The Tigers took care of business against Alabama and move on to Atlanta.



14 Thoughts for Week 14

14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…

14. Kentucky (previous 14) (2-9, 0-7) – Of all the ugly losses Kentucky has suffered though in 2013, last Saturday’s loss to Georgia was perhaps the ugliest.  I’m very doubtful Mark Stoops can turn this program around because, well, because it’s Kentucky.  On the other hand, Tennessee is also in the SEC East.

13. Florida (10) (4-7, 3-5) – You can’t lose to a FCS team without a major drop in the poll.  The Gators did and, well, here they are.  It’s hard to imagine Florida keeping Will Muschamp after how this team threw in the towel on the year.

12. Arkansas (13) (3-8, 0-7) – Rank the Hogs ahead of Florida?  Yup.  At least for a week.  The Pigs are bad, but at least they have a direction.  Head coach Bret Bielema knows how he wants this team to look, he just doesn’t have the pieces yet.  In other words, they aren’t rudderless like the Gators.

11. Tennessee (12) (4-7, 1-6) – The Volunteers moved up a spot this week despite losing to their in-state rival, Vanderbilt.  I guess the Vols should send UF a thank you card.  Vandy’s a decent team and the Vols hung in for almost the entire game.  Like Bielema, Butch Jones is a coach who knows how this team should look and play, he just doesn’t have the pieces.

10. Mississippi State (11) (5-6, 2-5) – The Bulldogs need one more win to go bowling and that win will need to come against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.  I’ll bet Dan Mullen isn’t so fired up now about playing Oklahoma State in the opener.  Had the Bullies scheduled another cupcake, they’d already have a bowl secured.

9. Ole Miss (8) (7-4, 3-4) – The Rebel Black Bears failed their latest test, their moment in the sun again, against Missouri.  If there was a way this team could flub around and make a mistake, they did it against the Tigers.  Next week brings the Egg Bowl against State and this should be a really good game.  After this tough defeat to Mizzou will Hugh Freeze be able to rally his boys and keep State out of a bowl?

8. Vanderbilt (9) (7-4, 4-4)- The ‘Dores have wins over Florida, Georgia and Tennessee in the same season.  Good work, James Franklin.  Vandy will be looking to finish off this bright, shiny season with a win over Wake Forest next week.  What is that rivalry called?  The Big Brain Bowl?

7. Georgia (7) (7-4, 5-3) – Yes, I do on-purpose have the Bulldogs ranked higher than Vandy, though the ‘Dores did beat UGA earlier this year.  Why?  Well, because it’s my poll for one, and two, I think if they played again this year, the Dawgs would win.

6. Texas A&M (5) – Johnny Football will be back on CBS at 2:30 this week against LSU.  That usually means a lot of points.

5. LSU (6)  (8-3, 4-3) – The Tigers thoroughly embarrassed Johnny Manziel and the Aggies last Saturday in a game that must have been bittersweet for LSU fans.  How could a team shut down a player like Johnny Football and lose to Freeze, Bo Wallace and the rest of the RBBs?  Next week’s win over Arkansas will close out a decent regular season for the Tigers.

4. Missouri – (4) (10-1, 6-1) – The Tigers made it passed their elimination game with Ole Miss and move on to the A&M round this week.  All they have to do to lock up the SEC East is beat Manziel and A&M at home.

3. South Carolina (3) (9-2, 6-2)  – The Gamecocks destroyed Coastal Carolina in their warm-up for Clemson.  I can’t wait to hear how Steve Spurrier will zing Dabo Swinney this week.  Just wait, it’ll happen.

2. Auburn (2) (10-1, 6-1) – The Tigers are fresh off a bye week and ready to host the Tide.

1. Alabama (1) (11-0, 7-0) – ‘Bama pasted Chattanooga, as expected, in their tune-up for Auburn.  

14 Thoughts for Week 13

14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…

14. Kentucky (previous 14) – If I could rank the Wildcats any lower I would.  Thankfully for ‘Cats fans, basketball season has started.

13. Arkansas (13)- There’s hope for hope yet for the Hogs.  This week they play Mississippi State and a win could send them up a least a spot on this list.

12. Tennessee (12) -It’s simple for Tennessee.  At 4-6, the Vols must beat Vanderbilt this week and Kentucky the following to go bowling.  At this point, I’m guessing no holiday plans for the Vols.

11. Mississippi State (11) – After a loss to Alabama, I guess State is now the best 4-6 team in the country.  The Dogs need a win this week against Arkansas and a win in the Egg Bowl to go for real bowling.

10. Florida (10) – The Gators are 4-6 and the doors are all but beat off their bus.  Georgia Southern (remember them boys, Tide fans?) is up next and will most likely be win number five.  Win number six will have to come against (gulp) Florida State.

9. Vanderbilt (9) – Vandy is coming off of a win over Kentucky and plays Wake Forest in two weeks.  Does that make Tennessee this week a trap game?

8. Ole Miss (8) – Get ready for another 15 minutes, Rebel Black Bears.  The Missouri Tigers are up next and most of the football watching world – at least those folks interested in the SEC – will be watching to see how the East shakes out.

7. Georgia (7) – After losing to Auburn, the only trip this year for the Dawgs will be in two week to play Georgia Tech and, perhaps, later to the Chick-fil-a Bowl.

6. LSU (6) – How does a four loss season sound Tiger fans?  That’s what I thought.  But with a game again Johnny Manziel and the Aggies this week, you better get used to the idea.

5. Texas A&M (5) – Johnny Football will be back on CBS at 2:30 this week against LSU.  That usually means a lot of points.

4. Missouri – (4) – Here comes the stretch run for the Tigers.  Ole Miss this week and Texas A&M the next.  If Gary Pinkel was a fan of the nine game conference schedule, I’ll be he isn’t any longer.

3. South Carolina (3) – The hay is in the barn for the Gamecocks with their SEC part of the schedule finished.  All they have to do now is wait for Missouri to lose.

2. Auburn (2) – It’s now a one-game season for the 10-1 Tigers.

1. Alabama (1) – The Tide is 10-0 and has a bye week Chattanooga up this week.  

14 Thoughts for Week 12


14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…and at this point in the season things get a bit crazy…

14. Kentucky (previous 14) – The Wildcats came back to earth with a beating at the hands of Missouri.  The ‘Cats would probably call the season now if they could.  They can’t, so next up is Vanderbilt, Georgia and Tennessee.

13. Arkansas (13)- The Hogs just aren’t very good.  They have an open week followed by Mississippi State and LSU.  The Pigs could squeak out win number four if State has a let down following the ‘Bama game.

12. Tennessee (11) -Well, the Volunteers are out of wiggle room if they want to go bowling.  Butch Jones will have to channel him some Vince Lombardi just to get this bunch by Vanderbilt in two weeks.  The season ender is against Kentucky.

11. Mississippi State (12) – Hey, hey, hey look who moved up a spot.  Following a loss, no less.   I guess that’s what happens when you get beat and at least look respectable unlike Tennessee.

10. Florida (9) – I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.  If the Gators want to go bowling, all they have to do is beat Georgia Southern (not a gimme) and pick off either South Carolina (this week) or Florida State (season ender).  I’m guessing no bowl and at Florida, that takes some work.

9. Vanderbilt (10) – This bears repeating from last week: “What kind of season would it be if Vandy beat Georgia, Florida and Tennessee in the same year?  I dunno, but we may see it this year.”  It’s looking more and more likely.

8. Ole Miss (7) – Win number seven should be coming up next against Troy.  The the Blacks Bears will have a bunch of Georgia Bulldogs fans on their side as they try to upset Missouri and throw the Dawgs back into the SEC East lead.

7. Georgia (8) – Georgia is bowl eligible and ranked again.  If the Dawgs want a shot at Atlanta again, they’ll have to knock off Auburn in Auburn this week.

6. LSU (3) – Record-wise, the Tigers have taken a step back this year.  They have their second off week of the season coming up to prepare for Texas A&M.  The Tigers better get serious or they’re looking at a four loss season.

5. Texas A&M (5) – The Aggies also have an off week this week to get ready for LSU.  After that, it’s the season-ender at Missouri.  Obviously, the next two games will determine if this is a good or great year for the Aggies and could decide if Johnny Manziel becomes the second two-time Heisman winner.

4. Missouri – (6) – Well, Mizzou are you real or not?  You get an off week to help with your final two tests, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.  What a way to wrap up the season.  My guess is the Tigers beat Ole Miss, but fall to A&M.

3. South Carolina (4) – This has turned out to be a fairly quiet season for the Gamecocks, though it didn’t start that way.  Remember all the Jadeveon Clowney talk at the beginning of the season?  Seems like a long time ago.  The ‘Cocks need some help in order to get to Atlanta and they’ll likely get some.  UGA, as mentioned above, heads to Auburn this week and Missouri has a stout end of the schedule.  

2. Auburn (2) – How good is Auburn?  Good enough to be 9-1 and ranked seventh in the country.  The Tigers easily dispatched of the Vols and face a final stretch of Georgia and Alabama.  

1. Alabama (1) – The Tide dominated LSU and now heads to Starkville take on the Bulldogs.  After that, it’s Chattanooga and Auburn.  

14 Thoughts for Week 11

14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…

14. Kentucky (previous 14) – The Wildcats get win number two, but it was over Alabama State, so that ain’t sayin’ much.

13. Arkansas (13)- Poor execution plus poor doused any chance for an upset win over Auburn.  There are no more wins left on the schedule for the Hogs.  Three-and-nine here they come.

12. Mississippi State (12) – Another big SEC game for the Dogs and another huge loss.  The 4-4 Dogs have Texas A&M and Alabama next up.  Without an upset in either of those, they’ll need to close out with wins over Arkansas (doable) and Ole Miss (probably not) in order to salvage a bowl season.

11. Tennessee (11) – So much for being competitive this year.  Auburn is next up, so the 4-5 Vols will likely need season-ending wins over Vanderbilt (not likely) and Kentucky (probably so) in order to bowl.

10. Vanderbilt (10) – What kind of season would it be if Vandy beat Georgia, Florida and Tennessee in the same year?  I dunno, but we may see it this year.

9. Florida (8) – Georgia hung the Gators’ fourth loss on of the season on them Saturday.  Five losses are now almost guaranteed (FSU) and six (South Carolina) and seven (Vanderbilt) are possible.  Florida is way too talented to be having these struggles – even with injuries.

8. Georgia (9) – Todd Gurley provided the oomph needed to beat a struggling Gator team.  Next up is Appalachian State and the season maker-or-breaker against Auburn.  Georgia is alive in the East, but barely.

7. Ole Miss (7) – Wins six (Arkansas) and seven (Troy) are up next for the Black Bears.  After that, we’ll see just how far Hugh Freeze moves the RBBs forward with season-enders against Missouri and Mississippi State.  Think a few folks from the East will be watching that Mizzou game?

6. Missouri – (6) – Missouri responded with a nice win over Tennessee.  The 8-1 Tigers get a breather this week against Kentucky, then an off week before facing Ole Miss and Texas A&M to end the season.

5. Texas A&M (5) – The Aggies barely broke a sweat in beating UTEP.  The same will probably be the case against Mississippi State this weekend.  After that, though, things get serious with LSU and Missouri to close the season.  A four loss A&M team?  No one would have thought that before the season, but it’s entirely possible.

4. South Carolina (4) – The Gamecocks are the best team in the East, but need some help to go to Atlanta.

3. LSU (4) – The Tigers took a week off to prepare for ‘Bama.  Their dream for a championship is gone this season, but they can knock a serious hole in Alabama’s dream with a win this week.

2. Auburn (2) – I don’t think Auburn is the second best team in the league, but they are 8-1 and they control their path to Atlanta, so here they sit.

1. Alabama (1) – The preseason is over.  It’s LSU week.

14 Thoughts for Week 10

14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…

14. Kentucky (previous 14) – Another week goes by in the cellar for the Wildcats.

13. Arkansas (13)- The next five weeks for the Razorbacks mean four games against Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU.  I don’t see a win in there for the Hogs.  Look out, 3-9, here come the Hogs.

12. Mississippi State (12) – Thank goodness for Arkansas, says Mississippi State.  Next up for the Dogs?  South Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss.  The only win I see in there is Arkansas.  For 4-3 MSU, that means bowling this season will come down to the Egg Bowl.

11. Tennessee (10) – Momentum, the Vols hardly knew ye.  Whatever the mo UT had after games against Georgia and South Carolina is gone.  The Volunteers sit at 4-4 with games left against Missouri, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.  Unless Missouri totally tanks, I only see two possible wins there: Vandy and the Cats.

10. Vanderbilt (9) – The Dores aren’t an outstanding team, but they are solid.  If they can play just a tad of defense against Texas A&M, they may have a chance this week.

9. Georgia (11) – Todd Gurley should be back this week against the Gators, but I don’t think he plays defense.

8. Florida (8) – With the potential for four more losses on the schedule (Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Florida State) this season is ready to blow up for the Gators.

7. Ole Miss (7) – Sitting at 5-3, a bowl birth is all but assured for the Black Bears.  With games left against Arkansas, Troy, Missouri and Mississippi State, the RBBs are looking great for at least a seven win regular season.

6. Missouri – (2) – Allowing 17 fourth quarter points makes a trip to the SEC championship game very doubtful for the Tigers.  Yes, Mizzou still controls its own destiny, but they have games left against Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.  One slip and Carolina likely returns to the driver’s seat.

5. Texas A&M (6) – The Aggies don’t have a shot at Atlanta, but they do have a chance for a 10 win season.  Games against UTEP and Mississippi State should be wins seven and eight.  LSU and Missouri could be nine and 10.

4. South Carolina (4) – The lights are back on in Columbia, SC.

3. LSU (4) – The season maker or breaker is up next: Alabama.

2. Auburn (3) – Holy cow (no pun intended), do I really have Auburn at No. 2?  Yes, yes I do.  Why?  At 7-1, the Tigers are one of two teams in the West to control their own destiny.  Win out and AU is Atlanta bound.

1. Alabama (1) – The Tide’s trend line is straight up heading into the off week before LSU.

14 Thoughts for Week 9

14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…it may be a tad challenging this week, too.

14. Kentucky (previous 14) – A week off was certainly just fine by the Wildcats.

13. Arkansas (12)- The Razorbacks will most likely lose out with games against Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU.  That’s a tough way to end the season for Bret Bielema (or anyone).

12. Mississippi State (13) – One week is three points against world-famous defenders Oklahoma State and 62 points in another week.  And then there’s a one-point win against Bowling Green.  Who is this team?

11. Georgia (6) – “Injuries are one thing, but that horrible defense is another.”  That’s what I wrote last week and it’s true, again.  Against Vandy, throw in some noxious play calling and you have yourself a humiliating loss.

10. Tennessee (11) – The Vols are headed in the right direction under Butch Jones.  A close loss to Georgia.  A last-second win over South Carolina.  And now a visit to Tuscaloosa.  

9. Vanderbilt (10) – The Dores aren’t an outstanding team, but they are solid.  If they can play just a tad of defense against Texas A&M, they may have a chance this week.

8. Florida (7) – I wonder how Florida fans will feel about their team (and coach) if they lose three or four more times this year?  They may get the chance to think those thoughts.

7. Ole Miss (9) – “Would the real Rebel Black Bear team stand up?”  True words, again.  The RBBs used some Saturday night magic against 6th-ranked LSU to pull off a big upset.  Right now, the Black Bears are pretty much guaranteed six wins.  Missouri and Mississippi State in the last two games will determine if this season is, in fact, another step up for Ole Miss under Hugh Freeze.

6. Texas A&M (4) – The lack of any semblance of defense from the Aggies is disgusting.

5. South Carolina (3) – Forget all that talk about Atlanta.  It ain’t happening this year.

4. LSU (2) – Saturday night’s loss to Ole Miss should not have happened.  But that’s what happens when you turn the ball over and let teams think they have a chance.

3. Auburn (8) – Well, look who made a huge jump this week.  Auburn’s in the same spot as Alabama after their win over A&M.  Can you really feel good about winning when you gave up 602 yards of offense and the 615 yards you gained were against the worst defense in football?

2. Missouri – (5) – The Tigers are now atop the SEC East and are all but assured a spot in the championship game.  Well done, Mizzou.

1. Alabama (1) – Funny how things change in a week.  Tide fans are a little more worried about next week and the Iron Bowl and a little less worried about November 9th and LSU.