sports (2006-41)

Who’s passing, who’s failing and who’s just getting by

SEC Mid-term Grades

by Tony Basilio

With six weeks gone in the college football season, the midway point seems a natural place to hand out some mid-term grades. Several teams are surprisingly alive in the SEC, and a couple of powers are struggling. Meanwhile, college football at large has provided some tremendous theater from coast to coast.

The “A”s:

You need an “A” to spell Florida! The East Division leader used great imagination in getting to the midway point 6-0. The experts pegged the Gators to be 5-1 at best at this point, but huge wins at Tennessee and over LSU give the Gators pole position for Atlanta. True freshman quarterback Tim Tebow has been brilliant as a situational player. The win over LSU gives Florida the luxury of affording a loss over Auburn and still finding their way to Atlanta. Georgia in Jacksonville on Oct. 28 remains, but the Dogs have too many holes to handle Pope Urban’s troops.

The “B”s:

After a mid-week diatribe on the lack of a college football playoff, Tommy Tuberville went out and laid an egg against Arkansas. He “B”est focus on the task at hand. What once looked like a team running the table could turn into one fighting a two-game losing streak. The Tigers have Florida at home next. A win here virtually guarantees an 11-1 season. A great season, but not the BCS campaign reserved for the odds-on favorite to win the league. At this point, they will need Arkansas to drop two just to get to Atlanta. 

It takes a “B” to spell Bulldogs. That’s where Mark Richt’s troops come in after six weeks. With their open week not coming until week 11, the Dogs are a tired, beaten team in major trouble heading for an 8-4 season. Shaky quarterback play and Richt’s refusal to run the ball will make beating Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech tall tasks.

The “C”s:

The “D”s:

The “F”s:

Football replay is a “F”ailure. Longer games and rampant confusion have been wages of the second year of mandatory replay college football. It’s been comical at times watching officials make it up as they go while players, coaches and fans alike twist in the wind.

Major college games are running too long, but shortening games by not stopping the clock during change of possessions is “F”lawed. These near-ingenious tweaks to the rules will be overturned by a coaches’ mutiny in the off-season. Let’s hope they take replay with it.

Tune in and talk sports with Tony Basilio weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on ESPN Radio WVLZ 1180 AM. Visit www.tonybasilio.com for more information.