After nearly two months of heavy combat on the college gridiron, we have reached the mid-way point of the season. And because most of us focus mainly on southern football I figured that I should put together my thoughts on Southern schools and how they compare with one another.
23. Vanderbilt - congrats Commodores, you are my pick as the worst team in the South at the mid point this season. Things are not looking much better this season in Nashville when compared to last season.
21. Duke - the only reason why the Blue Devils are not lower is because they have actually won two games this season, which is a big improvement for Duke.
20. North Carolina - ugly, that is what this season has become in Chapel Hill, maybe the Tar Heels can climb from near the cellar of the ACC by the end of the year, but that is not likely.
19. Georgia Tech - loss of running back was key to Tech's slide. Can they afford another pathetic recruiting season? Not unless the goal is to stay in the bottom half of the ACC for the next few years. Will this be a multiple year slide? Let's hope so, oops, I mean, it looks that way.
17. Clemson - a promising season looks really grim right now. Clemson has been going sideways or downward since the 2000 season. I don't care what the Clemson fans say, Tommy Bowden needs to be fired. The only thing that can save the season is a win over NC State this Thursday night and a win over hated South Carolina. Both won't happen.
16. Auburn - when they took State to the woodshed earlier this season it looked like the Tigers' game against LSU would decide the SEC West. Now Auburn just looks worn down. They gave great effort against Florida, but for all intense purposes, they are eliminated from the SEC title hunt because of the loss.
15. Arkansas - after knocking Auburn into shambles, the Hogs' loss to Kentucky at home was a catastrophe; can they still win the west? Nope. Which Arkansas team will show up each week? This team looked like a serious threat to get to Atlanta when they were playing Auburn, but after a pathetic performance against Kentucky, the West looks like LSU's to lose.
14. Kentucky - their win over Hogs should scare Georgia. Kentucky showed that they can play with the likes of Florida, but have not gotten a win over big name opponent in years. Win over Georgia is just what the Kentucky program needs.
13. South Carolina - Carolina still thought that it could win the East, but after showing promise early in the LSU contest, they were exposed. The East race is totally out of the question for South Carolina. Holtz should reconsider their starting QB position if he plans on making any progress the rest of the season. Also, with brutal schedule, Carolina might finish 6-6 and sit at home during bowl season (Outback committee is sad).
11. Tennessee -with all of the excuses coming out of Knoxville about the loss to Georgia, Tennessee, specifically Casey Clausen, had better realize that they might end up in the dreaded Peach Bowl if they don't win the remainder of their SEC games. Already behind Georgia and Florida in the standings, and with games against Kentucky, Miami, and Alabama coming up, the Vols will be lucky to get to the Peach Bowl.
10. Ole Miss - Rebels are on the slide, because of their loss at Alabama. The Tide destroyed Ole Miss and made it look like the Rebels are just another "wannabe" in the West. That is still to be determined. Right now, the Rebels have to figure out how to beat both LSU and Georgia, good luck.
9. Florida - will he or won't he? Be fired that is. Ron Zook can still "turn the ship around". But he is going to have to beat a very scary Georgia team, and the Gators have not beaten anyone worth anything this season. With that said, if Florida beats Georgia and the Dawgs lose another SEC game (which is very possible), Florida is back in Atlanta and all is forgiven. Actually, Zook still might get fired even if they manage to win the East.
8. Virginia - this team is taking off. They are 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the ACC with their only loss coming to FSU. They can still grab 2nd place in the ACC with a couple more big wins. The Gator Bowl seems like a realistic goal for this team. If they can beat NC State, there is still a chance that they could split the ACC title, but that's a lot of ifs.
7. North Carolina State - undefeated, but struggled against mighty, Duke? Pack had better watch out this Thursday night against Clemson. No one really knows what NC State has, but anyone that struggles against Duke is either asleep at the wheel or not very good. Clemson needs a big win, and this might be their last chance to do that this season.
6. Florida State - the Noles played Miami as close as possible. But watching the loss to Louisville showed that they are nowhere near the team that they once were. Florida State still has to play Notre Dame, Florida, and NC State. And while all of those games are winnable, it is clear, the Noles are venerable to a loss every game. The game against the Irish is probably biggest game of the season for FSU.
5. Alabama - with their only two losses coming ag