Week 12 of the SEC season has been and gone and it felt like the calm before the storm with a host of rivalry games on tap this weekend. That doesn’t mean, however, it was boring, and here are five of the worst to prove that.
By Steve Wright
5 – Playing for overtime??
This won’t be the only time Florida hit the list this week, but this decision-making deserves its own spot. Florida lost to Mizzou in overtime in a game where they played for the lottery style format of overtime when they had a real chance of winning in regulation. The Gators needed to go roughly 40 yards in 1:04 to have a shot at a field goal against a defense that – while improved – still isn’t anything like a wall. The clock stops on fourth down – so there is plenty of time – but Dan Mullen sat on the ball and let time expire. Brutal.
4 – Matt Corral’s pick
This didn’t end up hurting Ole Miss, but in the same week that the junior announced he was leaving Oxford a year early for the 2022 NFL Draft, this was a pretty silly interception to throw. Leading 31-17 and about to put the game to bed, Corral completely missed Vanderbilt linebacker Ethan Barr dropping into a middle zone on the Vandy goal Line. Corral threw the ball right to Barr – who did make an athletic play to pull the ball in – but it is not a play that is going to look good on the quarterback’s film.
3 – Chris Rodriguez’s fumble
This is long past being a small issue for the star Kentucky running back. Rodriguez had a decent day on the ground – 16 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown – in a game where Will levis took over he burned New Mexico State for 419 yards and four touchdowns through the air. Rodriguez, however, should have scored again but he fumbled when being hit from behind inside the Aggies five-yard line. This was his sixth fumble of the year and the fifth time that he has fumbled inside the five-yard line.
2 – Auburn in second halves
Whatever Auburn is doing in the locker room at half-time is the opposite of a second-half adjustment. In their last four-second halves the Tigers have basically not existed as an offensive force. Instead, they have compiled stats like scoring 12 total points, scoring on 3-of-22 drives, and turned the ball over (including on downs) seven times. The Tigers’ faithful have gone from being happy with the direction of the program to questioning everything about it. That is the definition of a disaster in the SEC.
1 – Florida and Dan Mullen
It couldn’t really be anything else. The Gators parted ways with Dan Mullen on Sunday, roughly 12 months after leading Florida to the SEC championship game and giving Alabama all it could handle. Mullen had a 34-15 record with the Gators – something that would seem to suggest continual employment – but his team was a wretched 2-9 over its last 11 games against Power Five opponents. To put that in context, only Vanderbilt, Arizona, and Kansas are Power Five schools with worse records over Power Five opponents during that span. The shine fell off quickly here and it will be interesting to see in what direction the Gators go now.