Monday, October 25, 2010
Hot and Not in the SEC: Week 9
By Chris Low
Auburn’s hot, so hot that the Tigers took over the No. 1 spot in the BCS standings this week.
It’s that time again when we take a look at who/what is Hot and who/what is Not in the SEC:
Auburn QB Cam Newton has rushed for more than 600 total yards in his past three SEC games.
Newton’s Heisman chances: Every week, Auburn’s Cam Newton does something that makes you think back to past greats in this league. His 49-yard touchdown run against LSU had Heisman Trophy written all over it. For the umpteenth time, 6-6, 250-pound guys aren’t supposed to have those kind of moves, that kind of acceleration and that kind of speed. He’s rushed for more than 600 yards in his past three SEC games. Not even the great Bo Jackson had a three-game stretch against SEC foes that prolific, and he was a tailback. More and more, though, it looks like Newton and Jackson will have one thing in common – the Heisman Trophy.
Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston: He burst onto the scene last season as one of the best pass-rushers in the SEC. After 2.5 sacks last Saturday against Kentucky, Houston now leads the SEC with 8.5 sacks.
Kentucky vs. the East: The Wildcats are just 6-17 against Eastern Division teams going back to the 2006 season, which was the start of their four-year bowl streak.
Tennessee running back Tauren Poole: The Vols’ junior tailback did last Saturday night what nobody else had done for 41 straight games, and that’s rush for 100 yards against Alabama’s defense. Poole finished with 117 yards on 14 carries, including a 59-yard touchdown run.
LSU’s tackling: It’s been demonstrated repeatedly this season that Cam Newton isn’t easy to tackle. But there were times last Saturday when LSU defenders looked like they didn’t want to tackle him. The Tigers picked a bad time to have their worst tackling performance of the season.
Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline: He didn’t lead the Wildcats to a win this time, but find a quarterback any hotter throwing the ball right now than Hartline. In his past two games, he’s passed for 702 yards and eight touchdowns, while completing 68.6 percent of his passes and throwing just one interception.
Florida-Georgia loser: An already disappointing season will become an insufferable season for the team that loses this game. It’s the first time in 31 years that at least one of the teams in this game hasn’t been nationally ranked.
This last month: We wanted high drama in this league for a change, and we’re going to get it. The West might come down to that Alabama-Auburn showdown on Nov. 26, which could also have national championship implications. The East is still wide open, with South Carolina having the inside track but Florida and Georgia still very much in the picture.
Tennessee’s substitutions: The Vols have issues when it comes to talent, experience and depth. They also have issues when it comes to getting the right personnel on the field. It’s a recurring problem and something you thought they’d get fixed after the unlucky 13 fiasco at LSU.
LSU’s passing game: You think back to all the talented skill people LSU has signed over the years and the fact that Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee were both highly rated quarterbacks coming out of high school, and it’s hard to believe the Tigers are this bad in the passing game. They’re 113th nationally (out of 120 teams) in passing offense this week. They’ve thrown five touchdown passes all season and nine interceptions. One of those touchdown passes came last week in the 24-17 loss to Auburn, but there’s a catch. Running back Spencer Ware threw it after gathering in a lateral and finding Rueben Randle down the field. The longest pass Jefferson or Lee completed all day was for 12 yards.