GUILBEAU: Upsets aren't uncommon in SEC

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – "Some things just defy explanation," a Florida columnist wrote in reference to unranked Arkansas' 27-10 upset of No. 2 Auburn over the weekend.

No, actually it is not that surprising, particularly if you read my weekly Southeastern Conference rankings on LSUbeat.com last week, thank you very much.

 

I predicted Arkansas' upset of the Tigers with the Razorbacks coming off an open week and Auburn in a trap game with Florida coming to town this week.

 

I also predicted an LSU win at Florida and an LSU win at Auburn, but those are other stories.

 

We should not have been surprised by Arkansas' win or No. 13 Tennessee's 51-33 win at No. 10 Georgia. Upsets such as this happen every season in the SEC; yet we never learn, which "defies explanation."

 

Unranked South Carolina upset No. 12 Florida 30-22 last season. No. 10 Tennessee, which would finish 5-6, beat No. 4 LSU, which would finish 11-2, in Baton Rouge.

 

In 2004, unranked and lowly Mississippi State, which would finish 3-8, beat No. 19 Florida 38-31. The week after No. 3 Georgia destroyed No. 11 LSU 45-16 that season, it lost to Tennessee.

 

 

In 2003, unranked Florida, which would finish 8-5, ripped No. 6 and eventual 13-1 national champion LSU 19-7 in Tiger Stadium.

 

In 2002, unranked Arkansas beat No. 24 Auburn bad, 38-17, in Auburn. Also that season, No. 10 Florida won 30-13 at No. 4 Tennessee, No. 6 Florida lost at unranked Ole Miss 17-14, unranked Florida beat No. 5 Georgia 20-13, and No. 17 LSU lost 21-20 at unranked Arkansas.

 

In 2001, No. 1 and 5-0 Florida lost at unranked Auburn 23-20. In 2000, No. 3 Florida lost 47-35 at unranked Mississippi State.

 

In 2000, unranked LSU, which had just lost 13-10 at home to UAB, beat No. 11 Tennessee 38-31 in overtime. Also that season, No. 24 LSU, which would finish 8-4, lost 14-3 to unranked Arkansas, which would finish 6-6 and 3-5 in the SEC.

Get the picture? This ain't the Pac-10, which is apparently guilty of collusion, the way it rolls out the winning carpet for USC.

 

This is why the SEC is such a great league. Arkansas' win over Auburn makes the SEC look bad on the national scene, in a way, because USC destroyed Arkansas 50-14, even with USC struggling to win of late. Just because you have the best league, though, does not mean the best team is in that league. Of course, if the SEC wasn't the best league like the Pac-10, it would be easier for one of its best teams to negotiate the land mines from Fayetteville to Athens without a scrape the way USC usually does.

 

Florida (6-0, 4-0 SEC) is the league's last hope to make it to the national championship game in Tempe, Ariz. But it plays at Auburn next week after the biggest win in the Urban Meyer era.

 

"Today was a great day for Florida football," Meyer said after his team took the BCS out of LSU's season with a 23-10 win Saturday. "The team that we played today has to be one of the most talented teams in America."

 

Such Saturdays and Saturday nights are hard to get over before next Saturday.

And look out for Auburn, which was probably ready to play again on Monday morning. It would be just like the SEC for Auburn to beat Florida next week.

 

Anything can happen in this league, and it usually does.

 

So do not be surprised if Auburn tops Florida Saturday night.

 

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Glenn Guilbeau covers LSU and the Southeastern Conference for Gannett News Service. Read him at www.LSUbeat.com  or in the Shreveport Times, Monroe News-Star, Alexandria Daily Town Talk, Lafayette Advertiser, Opelousas Daily World and occasionally USA Today. You can contact him at gguilbeau@gannett.com.


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