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Bob Dixon

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Middlesboro, KY 40965

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SHANE SHACKLEFORD: Bowl Season Approaching For SEC


UK junior running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed 16 times for 114 yards and one touchdown, averaging 7.1 yards per carry, against Vanderbilt Saturday night. He played less than three quarters of the game. (SEC Media Photo)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The holiday season brings out the best (hopefully) in all of us as we prepare for all the various holidays and prepare to enjoy vast amounts of food and sports on the couches across America.


It’s this time of the year that also rings in Bowl Season, that mythical time of the year where if you can manage six wins, your team and your fan base can prepare for an extra game for fun, trophies, and free merchandise for the players. Not too bad.


We also know that there are some classic bowl names out there (the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and the Fiesta Bowl, among others) and some other, lesser-known destinations (the Quick Stop Bowl, the Foster Farms Bowl, and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl).


In the Alliance Killer known as the SEC, all of its schools except Vanderbilt have either reached the six-win plateau or are within a game or two of doing so.


So in honor of bowl season names, let’s recap Week 10 in the SEC, shall we?


Georgia 41, Tennessee 14


Why Should I Care: In the “Georgia Victory Tour Bowl,” the Dawgs proved again why they are the best team in America, limiting the hyperkinetic Volunteer offense to a pedestrian 55 rushing yards and 387 yards of total offense behind their stifling defense. Tennessee does have the distinction of scoring the most points on the Georgia defense, one more than Kentucky accomplished.


Alabama 59, New Mexico State 3


Why Should I Care: In the “Who Schedules Games at New Mexico State Bowl,” the Crimson Tide dismantled the Lobos. The good news is the Lobos will get a handsome payout for their troubles, the bad news is they have to stay another week in the SEC and play Kentucky whose offense is finally rolling.


Ole Miss 29, Texas A&M 19


Why Should I Care: In the “Our Head Coach Might be Looking to Move to Baton Rouge Bowl,” Hotty Toddy proved that in today’s SEC, a good offense is better to be had than a good defense. The Rebels made enough plays to win, plus they also played their best game of the season defensively against the Aggies, whose dreams of reaching Atlanta for the SEC Championship disappeared like the alcohol consumed in the Grove in the bathrooms around Oxford.


Mississippi State 43, Auburn 34


Why Should I Care: In the “NERDS Gummies Bowl,” the Pirate Mike Leach once again put on a coaching display offensively that was simply brilliant. MSU signal-caller Will Rogers threw for 415 yards and six touchdowns and the Dawgs ran off 40 (yes, 40) points in a row to blast the Tigers in Jordan-Hare Stadium on a day where War Eagle was retiring their prized eagle. The eagle deserved much better.


Arkansas 16, LSU 13 (OT)


Why Should I Care: In the “Battle For The Boot,” the Razorbacks beat the Tigers in a defensive slugfest. Hogs quarterback KJ Jefferson is an animal. He took hits all night and LSU defenders were just bouncing off him. For LSU, it has played much better since announcing coach Ed Orgeron would not be returning to Baton Rouge. Maybe other schools should fire coaches and get their teams playing better. Speaking of which…


Florida 70, Samford 52


Why Should I Care: In the “First Alert Smoke Detector Bowl,” the batteries around the seat of the Florida coach Dan Mullen must not be working because his seat is absolutely on fire. After firing his defensive coordinator and longtime offensive line coach, his two most trusted assistants, the Gators had to survive against the FCS Bulldogs in the Swamp. I suggest searching Twitter for Fire Dan Mullen. The comments are pretty entertaining.


Missouri 31, South Carolina 28


Why Should I Care: In the “We’re Glad We Aren’t Vandy Bowl,” the Tigers rode another epic performance from All-World running back Tyler Badie to survive an ugly game in Columbia. Badie rushed for 209 yards for Mizzou to lead them to a win. The Tigers face Florida next week at home in a game that Missouri can win, something I wouldn’t have said a month ago.


Kentucky 34, Vanderbilt 17


Why Should I Care: In the “Kroger South Bowl,” Commodore Stadium and Nashville became home again to Big Blue Nation as the Wildcats traveled down I-65 and beat Vandy to move to 7-3 on the season. The Cats’ offense was near perfect for much of the first half but sputtered in the second half. The UK defense once again beat up a starting quarterback (Ken Sears) and made the backup look like an All-American (Mike Wright). I can’t explain it, nor understand it. But the Cats needed a win badly, and now the losses to Mississippi State and Tennessee don’t look quite as bad after this Saturday. Next up for the Cats is New Mexico State in a final tune-up before traveling to Louisville to face the Cardinals.


Week 11 Predictions


Last week, the backwoods Swami had his worst week of the season, going a mediocre 8-7. For the year, he is 98-23 (.809.) Let’s try to turn this around. Again, we will also predict the Sun Belt and future SEC schools in Texas and Oklahoma.


Arkansas at Alabama


Charleston Southern at Georgia


Prairie View A&M at Texas A&M


New Mexico State at Kentucky


Tennessee State at Mississippi State


Florida at Missouri


Auburn at South Carolina


Vanderbilt at Ole Miss


South Alabama at Tennessee


UL Monroe at LSU


Texas State at Coastal Carolina


Arkansas State at Georgia State


Appalachian State at Troy


BYU at Georgia Southern


Louisiana at Liberty


Iowa State at Oklahoma


Texas at West Virginia


Week 11 Rankings


There’s been some movement in this week’s rankings, so it will look a little different. With that said, here are this week’s SEC rankings. And, as always, it’ll be fun for the whole family.

  1. Georgia

  2. Alabama

  3. Ole Miss

  4. Mississippi State

  5. Texas A&M

  6. Arkansas

  7. Kentucky

  8. Auburn

  9. Tennessee

  10. LSU

  11. Florida

  12. Missouri

  13. South Carolina

  14. Vanderbilt

Shane Shackleford is a regional sportswriter from Speedwell, Tenn.. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers of America. Shane is also a football color analyst for WRIL-FM 106.3 Sports in Pineville, KY, and is a member of the 13th Region Sports Media Network. He has written and published his first book “Bounce: A Basketball Love Story” which can be found on Amazon currently. You can find Shane on KySportsStyle.com Magazine, A Sea of Blue, The London Sentinel-Echo, The Corbin Times-Tribune, The Mountain Advocate, Harlan County Sports, and The Mountain Eagle. Contact Shane by email at coachshack50@gmail.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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