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Posted: Wednesday, October 11th, 2006, 9:02 PM
by Beano
• Permalink
Itís hard to believe that the College Football season has reached its midpoint. It seems as if it were only yesterday that we were wringing our hands over the arrival of Jeff Tedford and his talented Cal Golden Bears. It seems now that we reached six games almost as quickly as the Vols put that opener out of reach. Tennessee has shown every sign of putting last seasonís miserable performance in the rear-view mirror while some of their conference brethren are longing for the good old days of 2005. So who are the haves and have-nots at the midway point? Here are Professor Beanoís midterm marks:


FLORIDA (6-0; 4-0):
The vaunted front-seven has exceeded very high preseason expectations and with Marcus Thomas reinstated (Two positive drug tests resulting from one party? Where was it at Woodstock?) they show no cracks. The offense is executing much better than anyone thought possible due to Chris Leak and Dallas Bakerís big years, Percy Harvinís versatility and the brilliant weekly expansion of Tim Tebowís role. If Auburn doesnít get them Saturday the Gators will play for the National Championship.


ARKANSAS (4-1; 3-0)
A healed Darren McFadden and Felix Jones comprise the best 1-2 Running Back duo in America. Mitch Mustain has shown poise beyond his years and holding him back to assure his first collegiate start wasnít against the Men of Troy was wise. Their stampede of Auburn was very impressive but I drop them a letter grade for not showing up versus USC. I donít care if Dr. Ruth Johnson was playing QB you shouldnít lose 50-14 at home versus a team playing their first game without the last two Heisman winners.


TENNESSEE (5-1; 1-1)
The Vols only loss is a 1-pointer versus the #2 Florida Gators. The offense has been better than their most ardent supporter could have asked for. When David Cutcliffe said prior to the season he wanted to average 30 points/game I thought he would be calling plays from Peninsula but theyíve exceeded his goal. The Big Orange is one blown protection resulting in a sack that took them out of range for a game winning FG attempt from a solid A


AUBURN (5-1; 3-1)
Auburn won the battle of the Tigers in what many believed was the SEC-West Championship game. They then got caught looking ahead to what many thought would be a preview of the SECCG. Arkansas turned back the clock to 2002 and ran the Tigers out of their own house. Tubervilleís Tigers fell from worrying about a possible BCS Title Game snub to needing help to make it to Atlanta.


Moving Syvelle Newton to QB gives the Gamecocks a chance to overcome potty (a step below spotty) Offensive Line play. Getting shutout at home versus an unimpressive Georgia team squad is very unSpurrier-like. Iím sure he wishes he would have turned to Syvelle one game earlier

KENTUCKY (3-3; 1-2)
The Big Blue has beaten Ole Miss and was competitive with South Carolina. With games remaining at Mississippi State and Vandy and Louisiana-Monroe at home the Cats stand a solid chance of finishing .500 and bowl eligible.


ALABAMA (4-2; 1-2)
Kenneth Darby has been a major disappointment and the offense as a whole has sputtered. The defense is not nearly as stout or opportunistic as last seasonís edition. All that said The Tide is an awful kicking performance away from being in a 3-way tie for the SEC-West lead.


LSU (4-2; 1-2)
The Tigers have turned in all their homework beating Louisiana-Lafayette, Arizona, Tulane, and Mississippi State by a cumulative score of 187-30 (47-7). However they failed the two semester tests versus Auburn and Florida. JaMarcus Russell probably takes too much of the blame but for whom much is given much is expected. He looks like the A-Rod of CFB to me.

OLE MISS (2-4; 1-2)
Wins over Memphis and Vandy keep the Rebels from having to repeat the semester. Losses to Wake Forest and Missouri donít look so bad now that the Deacs and Tigers are a combined 11-1

VANDY (2-4; 0-3)
If Vandy HAD an Athletic Director he or she would deserve an ďFĒ for scheduling an opener at Michigan leading into an SEC opener at Alabama. The Dores should have beaten Arkansas but would have been expelled from the conference had they lost to TSU or Temple

GEORGIA (5-1; 2-1)
Yes they are 5-1 but if they traded schedules with Vandy they would probably be 3-3 and 1-2 in the SEC. Their QB situation is 2004 Vol-esque and their defense is shell-shocked.


The Dogs better enjoy Saturday versus Jacksonville State. Itís their only chance to win a game including a visit from Kentucky and the finale versus Ole Miss in the Rotten Egg Bowl.
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