UK Football

Early SEC football assumptions haven't played out

Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk (7) is brought down by Kentucky linebacker Josh Forrest (45). The University of Missouri hosted the University of Kentucky, Saturday, Nov. 01, 2014 at Faurot Field in Columbia. Photo by Derek Poore
Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk (7) is brought down by Kentucky linebacker Josh Forrest (45). The University of Missouri hosted the University of Kentucky, Saturday, Nov. 01, 2014 at Faurot Field in Columbia. Photo by Derek Poore Herald-Leader

Turns out, what we thought we knew wasn't really true.

We thought Georgia was a shoo-in to win the SEC East, even without Todd Gurley. Instead, after Saturday's surprising 38-20 loss at Florida, the Bulldogs are going to need some help to get to Atlanta.

We thought Missouri was no factor after home losses to Indiana and Georgia, but the Tigers are now 4-1 in the conference following Saturday's win over Kentucky, and Mizzou will capture its second straight East Division title by winning out.

We thought Florida Coach Will Muschamp was certain for the unemployment line, but after Saturday's upset of the Bulldogs, the Gators could be 7-3 heading into the regular-season finale against Florida State.

We thought Kentucky had proved itself to be a better road team after the Cats took Florida to triple overtime in The Swamp. Since then, UK has lost 41-3 at LSU and 20-10 at Missouri.

We thought Neal Brown was bringing back the old Air Raid Offense to Kentucky, but through nine games, the Cats have 322 rushing attempts compared to 316 passing attempts.

We thought Louisville's offense would cost the Cardinals a chance of beating the defending national champions. Instead, it was U of L's top-ranked defense that caved in the 42-31 Florida State win.

We thought this might be the year South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier would bring an SEC title to Columbia, but the Gamecocks are 4-5 after Saturday's overtime loss to Tennessee, which caused Spurrier to say a few words to the media then walk out without taking questions. "You guys saw what happened," said the Head Ball Coach.

We thought Mississippi State to be its usual middle-of-the-pack self, but Dan Mullen's Bulldogs keep rolling right along, beating Arkansas 17-10 to go 8-0 and keep their spot atop the polls.

We thought Ole Miss was the real deal after beating Alabama back in early October, but now the Rebels have lost back-to-back games to LSU and Auburn and dropped out of the AP Top 10.

We thought Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill was a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender. Or we did after Hill ripped up South Carolina the first game of the season. Now the redshirt freshman has been benched and suspended.

We (or at least I) thought Oklahoma would be the No. 1 team in the country, but defensive lapses and clutch mistakes have cost the Sooners a pair of victories.

We thought that, sure, TCU dominated the lesser conferences, but the Horned Frogs would find the Big 12 too tough. Instead, Gary Patterson's club is now 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference after rallying from 27-14 down in the third quarter to beat West Virginia 31-30 at the gun.

We thought at age 75, Bill Snyder was getting a little too old to field successful teams at Kansas State. Instead, the Wildcats lead the Big 12 at 5-0 after Saturday's 48-14 trouncing of Oklahoma State.

We thought Duke was a one-year wonder after reaching the ACC title game last season, but here stands David Cutcliffe's Blue Devils at 7-1 after a 51-48 win at Pittsburgh. (Hey Ole Miss, whatever happened to Ed Orgeron?)

We thought Mike Leach would revive Washington State — some here thought he should have been hired to replace Joker Phillips — yet the Cougars are now 2-7 after being blown out 44-17 Saturday by USC.

We thought having a four-team College Football Playoff would solve some of the criticism chaos from the old two-team format, but it could well be that the new system may simply double the criticism.

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