No SEC team will play for the championship for the first time since Vince Young led Texas over Southern Cal in 2005. Since that Rose Bowl, Young won AP Rookie of the Year, graced the cover of Madden 2010, competed in a Pro Bowl and declared bankruptcy in part because of the $5,000 a week he would spend at The Cheesecake Factory.
Also, I'll throw in that Texas has fired its coach, had a losing record and been hammered by Arkansas since that championship team because hatin' the Longhorns feels so right.
I digress... The SEC won't play in the championship so it's time to publish the Final SEC POWER Rankings of the season and what a disappointing bowl season it was.
Nick Saban has as many wins in the College Football Playoff as Houston Nutt. This stat may hold true for maybe another year, so enjoy it. Meanwhile, Ohio State's Urban Meyer is now 4-2 against No. 1-ranked opponents, which is incredible.
Starting senior quarterback Hutson Mason went down with a game-ending injury and his backup Brice Ramsey was not all too impressive. Nick Chubb though... He rushed for 266 yards and two scores on 33 carries all over Bobby Petrino's Louisville team. All I wanted was for Chubb, when asked about next season in his postgame interview, to answer: "Did you see our backup? Did you see me run the ball? I'm getting 45 carries a game next year!." Gotta hate the humble superstar.
Maty Mauk already seems like he's been there forever, but he still has TWO MORE YEARS! He was saved by two 100-yard rushers in Marcus Murphy and Russell Hansbrough in a win over Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl.
4) Mississippi State
The first of two disappointing bowl loses for the Magnolia State. The Bulldogs outgained Georgia Tech in total offensive yards by putting up over 600 yards of offense. Too bad they couldn't stop the option as Tech ran for 452 and had three (almost four) players average 8 yards a carry.
Keeping with the theme from Mississippi State, the Tigers decided not to stop the run as Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon ran every which way for 251 yards and three touchdowns. A missed Auburn field goal in overtime was the final nail in the coffin.
Nothing here can be said that our staff hasn't already put into words. It was an amazing night to be a Razorback fan. Now, with a win over a long-hated rival, and with the passion he exudes towards this state and program (and with #hookemgate2014), it feels as if Bert is truly one of us.
7) Ole Miss
Sure the Rebels were down several noteworthy offensive threats, but to be blown out in the fashion in which they were? That's downright embarrassing. The chants in Oxford of jubilation: "No more Bo!"
The Vols had the most lopsided victory among SEC teams and coach Butch Jones seems to have this program headed in the right direction with another possible top-5 recruiting class. Watch out next season for a potential undefeated matchup when UT hosts the Hogs.
9) Texas A&M
Coach Kevin Sumlin's best move of the season was stealing John Chavis from Baton Rouge. Winning the bowl game is nice (an assistant hitting two West Virginia players isn't), but making one team in the West worse while making yours better is even finer
A late Notre Dame field goal put the Irish over the Tigers in the Music City Bowl. A deep and talented roster returns to the Bayou next year, but settling the quarterback position will be key going forward.
11) South Carolina
After an up-and-down season, the Gamecocks put together a win over Miami. Solid recruiting over the last couple of years shouldn't keep USC down for long. The question is, how much longer will Steve Spurrier keep doing this thing?
It wasn't Jim Harbaugh or Jon Gruden, but the Gators will come away this winter with a win in the Birmingham Bowl and a solid hire in Jim McElwain, who has put together a nice staff in Gainesville. It includes Randy Shannon who, as we well know, can recruit the heck out of the Miami area.
Why is Arkansas' and Kentucky's 2-6 SEC record not equal? The Hogs played eight ranked opponents while the Wildcats faced only three.
It can only go up for coach Derek Mason's program. Better luck next year.