There were no huge surprises this weekend. Several teams had good showings, among them Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, BYU, Boise, Georgia Tech, and Michigan State. However, other than Boise and maybe Georgia Tech, none of these performances jumps out at me as deserving of major props. This was a week when good teams did what they were supposed to do.
Phil Fulmer and the Tennessee Volunteers
I expected Florida to demolish Tennessee, so the loss by the Vols wasn't all that shocking. But, interestingly, I think Tennessee had chances to make this a game. Their defense did a decent job of containing the Gators' explosive offense, and the offense moved the ball competently at times. The Vols actually outgained the Gators by 10 yards or so.
However, a series of bizarre mistakes doomed the Big Orange. They had major problems in return coverage, once allowing a long return that set up a Tim Tebow jump pass for a TD, and another a Brandon James punt returned for a TD. Then, whenever their offense moved the ball, they stalled out deep in Florida territory. The unforced fumble on the goal line was a particularly ugly mistake. The agony on Fulmer face was palpable as he watched his Vols ruin his best-laid plans.
You honestly have to wonder if this is the end of the road for Phil. He's had a great career, but it seems unlikely that he'll be able to do what he did last year again. Don't forget, this team almost lost to South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky last year. With likely losses to Auburn, Georgia, and Alabama on the horizon, along with a likely upset or two at the hand of the Gamecocks, Commodores, and Wildcats, Fulmer could find himself at below .500 and out of a job at year's end.
There actually weren't too many epic meltdowns this weekend, but one did stand out among the rest. And that would be...
The Florida State Seminoles
Can someone get Brad Scott on the phone?
The Noles lost to Wake Forest, which isn't all that surprising. However, the way they did it indicates an utterly hopeless team: they had 220 total yards, seven turnovers, and 139 penalty yards. That's futility, my friends. Their two QBs combined for five interceptions, a welcome sight to Gamecocks fans who thought we had the worst QB situation in America.
The Noles are likely facing another 5-7 win season and, with major probation likely headed their way, their future looks very bleak. You think Jimbo Fisher regrets coming in as Bobby's heir apparent?
The funny thing is, the Noles have enough talent to compete in the depleted ACC. I guess senility has hit Bowden a bit harder than Joe Pa, who looks to have a potential Big 10 championship team this year.