The SEC has this marketing slogan that you have heard a million times with that young lady walking into your living room telling you … “It Just Means More.”
It’s an easy target for SEC bashers when something goes wrong, but it certainly is an accurate statement.
Think about it this way — of the 14 schools in the conference, 10 of them have had at least part of the fan base that has wanted the head coach to be fired at some point this season.
Not Alabama, of course (the fan base may be crazy, but not that crazy). Or Georgia. South Carolina fans may not have wanted Will Muschamp at first, but they have warmed up to him. Mississippi State fans know Dan Mullen didn’t hire Jimmy Sexton to negotiate a better deal to stay, but they hope he does.
• Arkansas: Bret Bielema is now 10-25 in SEC games and his seat is getting warmer than a Fayetteville sidewalk in the summer.
• Auburn: You blow a 20-point lead in a place where you haven’t won this century and the lunatic fringe gets pretty loud.
• Florida: Gator fans are not happy with consecutive home losses and another year of bad offense.
• Kentucky: What? The Wildcats are 5-1. But you should have heard the call-in shows after Mark Stoops’ team left two wide receivers uncovered against Florida.
• LSU: They’re back in Ed Orgeron’s corner now, but after Troy it was so noisy that everyone started checking his buyout.
• Ole Miss: Only a miracle finish is going to allow Matt Luke to continue after this “interim” season.
• Missouri: Barry Odom has the worst defense in the conference and it feels inevitable that his stint is a short one.
• Tennessee: Speaking of inevitable.
• Texas A&M: Kevin Sumlin seems to have righted the ship, but after the opening loss remember how even a regent went public with his desire to have him fired. And he’s not out of the woods yet.
• Vanderbilt: Four straight losses during which you allow one point shy of 200 will turn a fan base pretty quickly.
It Just Means More.
Fortunately, Dr. Football rallied so The Picks will not be fired. A 9-1 week (now 47-23 for the season) was much needed and perhaps I should take the bye week off. But that’s not how it works.
TENNESSEE AT ALABAMA: Who has Sunday in the Butch Jones firing pool? Is it possible the Vols could go 0-8 in the SEC? Alabama, 38-13.
MICHIGAN AT PENN STATE: As crazy as college football has been, you could see Mr. Khaki Pants pulling this one off. Right? Nah. Penn State, 28-19.
LOUISVILLE AT FSU: Nobody can explain Louisville giving up 45 to the Fighting Addazios last week. FSU, 27-21.
SYRACUSE AT MIAMI: The amazing thing is that both Mark Richt’s old team and his new team are unbeaten. Miami has just made it more interesting in its wins. Miami, 34-24.
KENTUCKY AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: Big game for Stoopsie. Don’t count the Wildcats out of the race in the SEC East. OK, now you can. Mississippi State, 23-21.
LSU AT OLE MISS: There has to be a letdown for the Tigers after last week and the emotional win over Florida the week before. And yet … LSU, 27-17.
USC AT NOTRE DAME: This might be the biggest game of the week and the most difficult to pick. USC is just too erratic. Notre Dame, 30-28.
AUBURN AT ARKANSAS: Memo to Gus Malzahn — stay out of the offensive playcalling. Your ego will survive. Auburn, 34-21.
OKLAHOMA STATE AT TEXAS: The Cowboys still have a shot at the playoff. I think. Oklahoma State, 38-28.
UCF AT NAVY: UCF leads the nation in scoring. Enjoy Scott Frost while you have him. UCF, 30-21.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.