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SEC Analysis: Forever unclean

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Aaron Murray celebrates during the Georgia Bulldogs' 41-30 win over South Carolina on Saturday. (Source: Georgia Athletics) Aaron Murray celebrates during the Georgia Bulldogs' 41-30 win over South Carolina on Saturday. (Source: Georgia Athletics)
Even the loss of his helmet couldn't stop running back Todd Gurley on Saturday. He finished with 134 yards rushing and a touchdown in the 41-30 win against the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Source: Philip Williams/Georgia Athletics) Even the loss of his helmet couldn't stop running back Todd Gurley on Saturday. He finished with 134 yards rushing and a touchdown in the 41-30 win against the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Source: Philip Williams/Georgia Athletics)
  • Texas A&MMore>>

  • Hot Reads: 'Dogs open eyes and SEC East race

    Hot Reads: 'Dogs open eyes and SEC East race

    Thursday, September 11 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-09-11 12:00:27 GMT
    Georgia emerges from the dark depths of a bye week and heads across I-20 to take on South Carolina. Redheaded stepchildren have gotten better treatment than the Bulldogs in their last two trips to Columbia.
    Georgia emerges from the dark depths of a bye week and heads across I-20 to take on South Carolina. Redheaded stepchildren have gotten better treatment than the Bulldogs in their last two trips to Columbia.
  • What We Learned from the SEC in Week 2

    What We Learned from the SEC in Week 2

    Sunday, September 7 2014 12:54 PM EDT2014-09-07 16:54:17 GMT

    It's still much too early to talk about who will be in the playoff at the end of the year, but it looks safe to say the Big 10 won't be represented.

    It's still much too early to talk about who will be in the playoff at the end of the year, but it looks safe to say the Big 10 won't be represented.

  • Hot Reads: Up is down, down is up in SEC this week

    Hot Reads: Up is down, down is up in SEC this week

    Thursday, September 4 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-09-04 12:00:24 GMT
    Texas A&M was a surprising team in its first game, but that may not be such a good thing. On the other hand, an Alabama squad that was just blah is likely headed in a more positive direction.
    Texas A&M was a surprising team in its first game, but that may not be such a good thing. On the other hand, an Alabama squad that was just blah is likely headed in a more positive direction.
  • AlabamaMore>>

  • What We Learned from the SEC in Week 3

    What We Learned from the SEC in Week 3

    Sunday, September 14 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-09-14 17:47:12 GMT

    Two top 10 teams were upset this week, and to the surprise of few, they were Southern Cal and Georgia.

    Two top 10 teams were upset this week, and to the surprise of few, they were Southern Cal and Georgia.

  • No. 3 Alabama cruises past Southern Miss.

    No. 3 Alabama cruises past Southern Miss.

    Saturday, September 13 2014 11:53 PM EDT2014-09-14 03:53:56 GMT
    The No. 3 Crimson Tide managed seven touchdowns and 547 yards in their 52-12 win over Southern Miss. Even so, head coach Nick Saban believes his team got off to a "slow start." "I didn't think we had very
    The No. 3 Crimson Tide managed seven touchdowns and 547 yards in their 52-12 win over Southern Miss. Even so, head coach Nick Saban believes his team got off to a "slow start." "I didn't think we had very
  • No. 3 Alabama cruises past Southern Miss 52-12

    No. 3 Alabama cruises past Southern Miss 52-12

    Saturday, September 13 2014 10:49 PM EDT2014-09-14 02:49:01 GMT
    (Source: WSFA 12 News)(Source: WSFA 12 News)
    Is it possible that the Alabama starting quarterback job now belongs solely to Blake Sims? It somewhat appears that way. Sims started for the Crimson Tide on Saturday enroute to a 52-12 blowout win against
    Sims started for the Crimson Tide on Saturday en route to a 52-12 blowout win against the Golden Eagles from Southern Miss.
  • GeorgiaMore>>

  • What We Learned from the SEC in Week 3

    What We Learned from the SEC in Week 3

    Sunday, September 14 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-09-14 17:47:12 GMT

    Two top 10 teams were upset this week, and to the surprise of few, they were Southern Cal and Georgia.

    Two top 10 teams were upset this week, and to the surprise of few, they were Southern Cal and Georgia.

  • No. 24 South Carolina upsets No. 6 Georgia 38-35

    No. 24 South Carolina upsets No. 6 Georgia 38-35

    Saturday, September 13 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-09-14 02:09:54 GMT
    Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns and No. 24 South Carolina's maligned defense stood strong on a fourth-quarter goal line stand to topple No. 6 Georgia 38-35 on Saturday night.
    No. 24 South Carolina's defense showed it's not nearly as bad as it looked two weeks ago - and maybe that No. 6 Georgia isn't the runaway favorite in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division.
  • USC season on line; UGA looking to break bad; Vols face tough road test

    USC season on line; UGA looking to break bad; Vols face tough road test

    Friday, September 12 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-09-12 22:00:26 GMT
    Georgia can establish itself as a top-tier beast if it gets by South Carolina this weekend - and USC would drop to 0-2 in the league with a loss. Tennessee travels to Oklahoma, where Coach Bob Stoops doesn't believe the SEC is all-powerful.
    Georgia can establish itself as a top-tier beast if it gets by South Carolina this weekend - and USC would drop to 0-2 in the league with a loss. Tennessee travels to Oklahoma, where Coach Bob Stoops doesn't believe the SEC is all-powerful.

(RNN) – Congratulations to Tennessee and Missouri. Two weeks in, they are the last of the undefeated teams in the SEC East.

In the loss Saturday at Miami, Florida's offense got downgraded from "question mark" to "laughingstock." And South Carolina decided to institute its new drive-thru defense (more than 530 yards served!) at one-loss Georgia. And the team's star is griping. And coachfight. Dangit.

I guess it's time to cue the Dawn of a New Era music: http://youtu.be/WSwHaswkaCM

(Side note: Celine Dion?? That's just … man, that's not right.)

I refuse to accept that, on principle and on eardrums: http://youtu.be/_7VsoxT_FUY

Better.

So, who thinks Smokey or Truman can lead their teams to a division title? Show of hands? Anybody? Fair enough, but who among us thought SC, UGA and UF would all be stained by Week 2? Exactly.

This SEC Analysis-ist even went so far as to anoint the Gamecocks as conference kings … yep.

A look at the numbers shows some good for the Vols. Their top two running backs are averaging about 6.4 yards per carry, and QB Justin Worley has only been sacked once on 33-plus dropbacks.

So the O-line is doing its job, albeit against Hilltoppers and Governors. Here's the bad news: At Oregon, at Florida, cupcake, then Georgia, South Carolina, at Alabama and at Missouri. Even with the aforementioned issues for those on the schedule, that's rough.

Mizzou got to 2-0 by going through breezy Toledo and even breezier Murray State. Still, senior signal-caller James Franklin has recovered nicely from an injury-filled 2012, completing 67 percent of his throws and averaging 8.4 yards per pass so far.

Plus, he has 6'6" super sophomore Dorial Green-Beckham to throw at, which is nice. However, two more winnable games remain before the Tigers get into their own gauntlet-like stretch: At Vanderbilt, at Georgia, vs. Florida, vs. South Carolina and vs. Tennessee.

For the teams that already got blemished, all hope for a conference title may not be gone. The way this SEC season is looking, no one may get through it without a little dirt on their records.

Let's look at the top candidates for losses.

SEC contenders:

Dropped out (for now) – Florida Gators

Alabama Crimson Tide

Saturday at Texas A&M, Sept. 28 vs. Ole Miss, Nov. 9 vs. LSU.

Everybody's in breath-holding mode until someone emerges from Saturday's matchup. There are so many variables – the Tide's O-line and the Aggies' defense chief among them – that the game feels like a complete tossup.

Georgia Bulldogs

Sept. 28 vs. LSU, Oct. 19 at Vandy, Nov. 2 vs. Florida.

The offense got nearly everything right in the home opener, but South Carolina stopped itself more than the Dawgs' D did.

LSU Tigers

Sept. 28 at Georgia, Oct. 12 vs. Florida, Oct. 19 at Ole Miss, Nov. 9 at Bama, Nov. 23 vs. Texas A&M.

What, they couldn't fit the '85 Bears in there, too?

South Carolina

Saturday vs. Vandy, Nov. 16 vs. Florida, Nov. 30 vs. Clemson (non-conference).

The Commodores are borderline candidates to knock someone off, and the Gamecocks coming off the Georgia loss are serious candidates for a complete derail. Again, coachfight. Double dangit.

Texas A&M Aggies

Saturday vs. Bama, Oct. 12 at Ole Miss, Oct. 26 vs. Vandy, Nov. 23 at LSU.

I tried to have a Manziel-free column. Almost made it.

Johnny Football could show he's still the best QB in the land with a win over the top-ranked Tide, and he could finally quiet all the critics of his off-field shenanigans. And by "quiet," I mean "make talk a little less."

And by that, I mean "it probably won't make a difference." The win would still be nice, though.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Southeastern ConferenceMore>>

  • What We Learned from the SEC in Week 3

    What We Learned from the SEC in Week 3

    Sunday, September 14 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-09-14 17:47:12 GMT

    Two top 10 teams were upset this week, and to the surprise of few, they were Southern Cal and Georgia.

    Two top 10 teams were upset this week, and to the surprise of few, they were Southern Cal and Georgia.

  • No. 24 South Carolina upsets No. 6 Georgia 38-35

    No. 24 South Carolina upsets No. 6 Georgia 38-35

    Saturday, September 13 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-09-14 02:09:54 GMT
    Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns and No. 24 South Carolina's maligned defense stood strong on a fourth-quarter goal line stand to topple No. 6 Georgia 38-35 on Saturday night.
    No. 24 South Carolina's defense showed it's not nearly as bad as it looked two weeks ago - and maybe that No. 6 Georgia isn't the runaway favorite in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division.
  • USC season on line; UGA looking to break bad; Vols face tough road test

    USC season on line; UGA looking to break bad; Vols face tough road test

    Friday, September 12 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-09-12 22:00:26 GMT
    Georgia can establish itself as a top-tier beast if it gets by South Carolina this weekend - and USC would drop to 0-2 in the league with a loss. Tennessee travels to Oklahoma, where Coach Bob Stoops doesn't believe the SEC is all-powerful.
    Georgia can establish itself as a top-tier beast if it gets by South Carolina this weekend - and USC would drop to 0-2 in the league with a loss. Tennessee travels to Oklahoma, where Coach Bob Stoops doesn't believe the SEC is all-powerful.
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