2011 SEC Football Review

Best Game

Alabama-LSU part 1 -- So many members of the national media and those who don't appreciate great defensive football criticized this game for the lack of offense. Anyone that has watched college football for any length of time should have the ability to recognize what this game represented.  Defense has been the No. 1 catalyst in six consecutive national championships for the SEC.  Many teams can claim to have a good enough defense to win.  Alabama and LSU proved they have defenses great enough to dominate... The 1999 St. Louis Rams.

LSU won the first matchup, 9-6 in overtime, but the 'Tide has an opportunity to avenge the loss in New Orleans on January 9, 2012 in the BCS Championship Game.

Sophomore kicker Cade Foster could redeem himself after missing three field goals in the first matchup or he could be given an opportunity early to get his head right and miss again. It will be interesting to see what Nick Saban will do the first time he has fourth-and-6 from the LSU 30-yard line.

Coach of the Year

James Franklin, Vanderbilt -- Les Miles is the obvious choice here, so naturally we'll go with Vanderbilt head coach, James Franklin.

A bowl game in his first season?  At Vandy? Do I really need to write anything additional?

Upset of the Year

Tennessee's loss to Kentucky had historical impact and any Ole Miss win has to be considered a monumental setback to the opposing program.  Yet there is one game that stands out as complete head-scratcher -- Auburn over South Carolina in Columbia.

[caption id="attachment_365" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Auburn was better this day... And only this day."][/caption]

If South Carolina wins this game, they finish with one loss on the season and an opportunity to beat LSU in Atlanta to stake their claim as the best team in the country.

However, the No. 10 Gamecocks laid a big fat egg and lost 16-13. The game ended in controversy when Carolina appeared to have :01 left in the fourth quarter to line up and possibly try a long field goal, but the officials deemed the game over and Auburn left with the most confusing win of the season.

This stink on this game may never leave Columbia.  Or maybe it's leftover corn dog aroma from the last visit LSU made in 2008.

Biggest Surprise

Jordan Jefferson, QB, LSU -- When senior quarterback Jarrett Lee entered Bryant-Denny Stadium on the night of November 5th, he might as well have opened the driver-side door of Doc's DeLorean and set the year to 2008.

[caption id="attachment_366" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="He whistles too? **Chin hands**"][/caption]

After Lee doubled his interception output for the season in only seven pass attempts, it appeared as though the Lee that was a picture of consistency and poise had decided to come to the week-late Halloween party dressed as the Ol' "Pick 6" Lee.

Seven pass attempts is all Lee would get in the Alabama game.  In a move that changed the entire game and possibly defined the LSU season, Les Miles put Jordan Jefferson in the game.  The spread-type option did just enough to keep 'Bama's aggressive defense on its heels.  Jefferson and the Tiger offense never found the end zone, but they were able to play well enough to set up three field goals.

Biggest Dud

Mississippi State -- Blah.  The second biggest dud is the Music City Bowl for getting not only Mississippi State for this season's edition of the bowl,  but Wake Forest is the opponent.

Sucks to be You Award

Arkansas -- Ranked No. 3 in the country going into Thanksgiving weekend.

Ranked N0.3 in the SEC West going into Thanksgiving weekend.

Turned Up Heat on Own Seat

Derek Dooley -- Dooley's Vols hammered Cincinnati in the second game, but the season crashed to the ground with Justin Hunter when he tore his ACL in the Florida game.

Dooley stating that he really didn't care if the Vols went to bowl or not was bad.  Saying it after being the first Tennessee coach to lose to Kentucky since 1984 did not gain him any Kool-Aid Kool Points.

Predict for 2012?

Why not.  Missouri wins SEC East.


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