No offense but ...

There's a simple rule of thumb in Southeastern Conference football: Heads roll when your offense doesn't.

- Head coach Tommy Tuberville is out at Auburn because the 2008 Tigers ranked No. 99 among 119 NCAA Div. 1-A teams in passing offense, No. 102 in total offense and tied for No. 110 in scoring offense.

- Head coach Phillip Fulmer is out at Tennessee because the 2008 Vols ranked No. 89 in rushing offense, No. 107 in passing offense, No. 115 in total offense and tied for No. 110 in scoring offense.

- Head coach Sylvester Croom is out at Mississippi State because the 2008 Bulldogs ranked No. 105 in rushing offense, No. 94 in passing offense, No. 113 in total offense and No. 115 in scoring offense.

Meanwhile, Bobby Petrino will be back at Arkansas next year, even though his Razorbacks ranked No. 92 nationally in scoring defense and No. 73 in total defense. The Hogs were dead last among the 12 SEC teams in each category.

So, what have we learned here? Clearly, the inability to stop your opponent from scoring points is a forgivable offense but the inability to score points is not.

Just ask Fulmer, whose '08 Vols ranked No. 4 nationally in total defense and No. 11 in scoring defense.

Just ask Tuberville, whose '08 Tigers ranked No. 15 nationally in scoring defense.

Just ask Croom, whose '08 Bulldogs ranked No. 38 nationally in total defense.

Finally, here's a tidbit Big Orange fans may find interesting:

Fulmer's 1993 Tennessee team opened the season by beating Louisiana Tech 50-0 and Georgia 38-6, losing 41-34 to Florida, then beating LSU 42-20 and Duke 52-19.

Thus, his initial Vol squad scored more points in its first five games (216) than his last Vol squad scored in an entire 12-game season (208).


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