Snap Judgments: Florida's perfect run, Wild Rebel's huge day, more
Despite offensive struggles, Florida completed an undefeated SEC run
Ole Miss has finally realized Dexter McCluster is its best offensive weapon
Plus Clemson's biggest fan, TCU's new unis, Michigan's struggles and more
As a resident of the Sunshine State, I've gotten to hear a lot of people complain about Florida's offense this season. For that, I blame Steve Spurrier.
I don't mean to pile on the South Carolina coach, whose team fell to the Gators, 24-14, on Saturday. It's actually a compliment to the Head Ball Coach, who set such a standard of dominance in his 12 seasons at Florida that Gators fans can't be happy unless their team wins every game 55-14.
Obviously, this season's Gators aren't going to beat any decent opponent by such a margin. Against an above-average defense, Florida's offense has no real downfield threat, and it doesn't protect quarterback Tim Tebow very well. The Gators run plenty of lateral plays for speedsters Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, but those two tend to get swallowed by faster defenses.
Fortunately for Florida, the Gators have a defense many NFL teams would envy. Florida is two or even three deep with players who could start for almost any BCS-conference team at every position, and if the offense can hit 20 points, the Gators are probably standing in front of their band singing the fight song.
If you're reading this and nodding, Alabama fans, don't be so shocked. You two basically are the same team, except that your offense revolves around a dominant tailback playing tailback (Mark Ingram) instead of a dominant fullback playing quarterback (Tebow). The key difference is that Bear Bryant conditioned Alabama fans to appreciate hard-nosed football. They may grouse a little when the margin of victory dips below 21, but they can see the beauty in a hard-fought 24-15 win like the one Alabama claimed last week against LSU.
Florida fans were trained to expect Spurrier-esque blowouts, which is why they can't appreciate the fact that the Gators just ran through the SEC regular-season schedule undefeated for the first time since 1996. It's why they also probably won't appreciate when Florida completes its first perfect regular season since 1995. And it's why they may kick themselves on Dec. 5 for not enjoying the ride if Alabama -- which right now is playing like a slightly better version of Florida -- wins a matchup that could go either way.
Suspended SEC crew returns to work
The SEC officiating crew that was suspended for three weeks -- after some jaw-droppingly awful calls in the LSU-Georgia and Arkansas-Florida games -- returned to work Saturday at the Kentucky-Vanderbilt game in Nashville.
I'd say the game -- a 24-13 Kentucky win -- went off without a hitch, but I didn't watch it. I'm guessing you didn't either. Because it was Kentucky and Vanderbilt. In mid-November. Which probably is exactly where this crew belonged after those calls.
Those aren't tears...
CBS College Sports sideline reporter Lauren Shehadi brings us this tasty nugget concerning TCU's new Nike Pro Combat uniforms. The Horned Frogs have red stripes on their helmets because actual horned frogs -- which actually are lizards -- squirt blood from their eyes when threatened.
So they've got that going for them.
Fit to be tied
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy tied former Georgia quarterback David Greene on Saturday for the FBS record for wins by a starting quarterback. Texas whipped Baylor, 47-14, and McCoy ran his record as a starter to 42-7. If Texas beats Kansas next week, McCoy will stand alone in the record book.
No matter how many more games McCoy wins, he still won't inspire a play-by-play call as awesome as the Larry Munson soliloquy a certain Greene pass produced.
It's rough out there
Georgia safety Baccarri Rambo suffered a concussion in a violent collision with Auburn's Mario Fannin, but Rambo has movement in all of his extremities, Georgia's sports information department reported late Saturday.
Rambo's hit on Fannin to break up a Chris Todd pass on the goal line late in the fourth quarter knocked Rambo unconscious, and it may have saved Georgia's 31-24 win. After a long delay as Rambo was loaded onto a stretcher, Auburn failed on its next two downs.
The Bulldogs needed this win, but it was costly. Besides Rambo's injury, Georgia also lost star receiver A.J. Green to a sprained left shoulder in the first half. Green spent the second half with a sling on his arm.
Congratulations to June Jones and Southern Methodist. With a 35-31 win against UTEP on Saturday, the Mustangs became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2006. While it hasn't been too long since SMU was eligible to be selected for a bowl, the last time SMU actually went bowling was a quarter-century ago. The Mustangs beat Notre Dame in the Aloha Bowl on Dec. 28, 1984. A little more than two years later, the NCAA handed down the death penalty.
The Mustangs should make a bowl game this year, but just making a bowl isn't the only accomplishment still on the table. Houston's loss at Central Florida gave SMU sole possession of first place in the Conference USA West Division. If the Mustangs can beat Marhsall and Tulane, they would play in the conference title game.
Congratulations also to Iowa State, which beat Colorado on Saturday to run its record to 6-5 and qualify for a bowl game for the first time since 2005. Other teams that qualified to go bowling Saturday include: UCF, Michigan State and Missouri.
Clemson's biggest fans
Excuse ACC officials if you see them wearing Clemson orange next week. It's not that they want to be partisan, but if Clemson beats Virginia next week, the Tigers will win the ACC Atlantic Division. That might guarantee a sellout of the ACC title game in Tampa, which appeared to have been played in front of friends and family only last year when Virginia Tech beat Boston College at Raymond James Stadium.
Clemson really does belong in the SEC. The Tigers have a huge stadium, a great, quirky tradition (touching Howard's Rock and running down the hill) and a fan base that obsesses about everything with a Tiger paw on it. If the Tigers can clinch and then beat in-state rival South Carolina, the title game could provide an excellent Heisman showcase for back C.J. Spiller, who caught a touchdown pass, threw a touchdown pass and ran for a touchdown in Saturday's win against NC State. After all, the ACC game will be on opposite the Big 12 title game, and people are going to need something to watch after Texas goes up 21 in the first quarter.
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