Around the SEC
Simply the best ...
In case anyone still needed convincing, this week's bickering provided evidence aplenty of the Southeastern Conference's supremacy in college football.
First, Steve Spurrier called out Alabama for breaking rules. Seems Alabama's kicker (Leigh Tiffin) was putting down a small marker to show where the football would be placed down on extra points and field goals. That may be about the most meaningless rule-breaking that has ever gone on in Tuscaloosa (or anywhere else), but the head ball coach picked up on it and turned in the Tide.
Where else but SEC country would so much attention be given to a little square piece of white tape?
Next, word of a suspension broke.
Not a player or coach, but an official. Actually, make that a whole crew of officials.
The same 20-20 gang that potentially cost Georgia an upset of LSU a while back (with a phanton unsportsmanlike conduct call that the league acknowledged as a mistake) was up to its old tricks, this time in Gainesville.
A 15-yard personal foul call against Arkansas aided Florida's comeback (the Gators scored on the play after the call). The conference released a statement saying no video evidence supported the call ... wonder why it got made then?
This time commissioner Mike Slive had seen enough. The group will not be assigned a game together before Nov. 14th. It's the first time the SEC has ever publicly suspended an officiating crew.
Then came Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin (aka Agent Orange).
Possibly bored after not offending anybody during the Vols off week, Kiffin informed the Big Orange nation that UT had requested to wear their home orange jerseys on the road against Bama this weekend, but had been rebuffed by that mean old Nick Saban (who's also a cheater for using white tape on field goals). I don't think Kiffin mentioned that he hired Bama's best recruiter last winter (and went na-na-na-na-na-na while sticking out his tongue) ... but he may have.
Kiffin has quickly become a sportswriter's best friend. After his Vols beat Georgia two weeks ago, he declared Georgia to be Tennessee's biggest rival (something he had neglected to share previously). Do you get the feeling that had the Vols beaten Florida .. or should they roll over the Tide this weekend, that one of those teams might supplant the Bulldogs as his top rival? Me too.
(By the way, UT could wear those orange jerseys anyway, but would face a 15-yard penalty at the start of each half)
One final bit of melodrama played out deep in the heart of Texas with another UT.
Coach Mack Brown apparently got fed up with being asked why his Texas Longhorns only beat Oklahoma (sans Sam Bradford) by three points. At a press conference, Mack got as testy as Bevo during branding season and sputtered that if it was an SEC game everybody would have been bragging on the defenses.
Not sure why Mack was whining because his Longhorns are in the best position of any team to play for a national title, but his performance was just another bit of evidence.
White tape ... suspended officials ... orange jerseys ... surly coaches from rival leagues.
Yep, the SEC reigns supreme right now.
Campus Game SEC Rankings Week 8
12. Vanderbilt: Commodores just not getting it done on either side.
11. Miss State: Bullies and Dan Mullen get Gators in prime time.
10. Auburn: That 5-0 start is getting farther into rearview mirror.
9. Kentucky: Wildcats had nice comeback on Plains.
8. Georgia: Pretty good game together against pretty bad Vandy.
7. Tennessee: Will week off have Vols ready for Bama?
6. Ole Miss: Rebels can regain respect against Arkansas.
5. Arkansas: Razorbacks battled Florida to the wire.
4. South Carolina: No shame in loss to Bama.
3. LSU: Bengal Tigers still in hunt but face wounded Auburn.
2. Florida: Gators getting by with mental toughness.
1. Alabama: Tide stays atop conference and national TCG rankings.
Check back for Professor's Picks on Friday!