Cumberland Times-News

Football

October 21, 2013

5 ranked SEC teams fall in crazy day for league

LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina all lose

(Continued)

The rise of Missouri and Auburn exemplified how much things have changed in the SEC.
One year after going 3-9 and failing to win any conference games, Auburn is 6-1 under new coach Gus Malzahn. Missouri has gone from 5-7 in 2012 to 7-0 this season. Missouri has a commanding lead in the Eastern Division, where every other team has at least two conference losses.
"I thought we were going to have a good football team," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "I don't know why everybody else thought we weren't going to have a good football team."
Injuries have shaken up the Eastern Division.
Florida lost quarterback Jeff Driskel and star defensive tackle Dominique Easley for the season. Georgia is dealing with season-ending injuries to running back Keith Marshall and wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley. The Bulldogs have played their last three games without star running back Todd Gurley.
That takes a toll, particularly when a team is on the road. Of the five ranked teams that fell this week, only Texas A&M was at home. It's worth noting that injuries to their starting quarterbacks didn't prevent Missouri and Vanderbilt from winning.
"I don't care who you are, you can get beat any Saturday," Freeze said. "That's especially true with any of the home crowds in the SEC. If you're on the road, the home crowd can pick up a team and carry them. Then you throw in the injuries. Everybody in this league has injuries, and the injuries change everything you do and what your opponent can do. "
Alabama has remained immune to upsets. After edging Texas A&M 49-42 on Sept. 14, Alabama has won its last five games by a combined 201-16, including Saturday's 52-0 blowout of Arkansas.

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