Randy Smith: SEC Football 2013: What If?

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

In light of all the major upsets last weekend in the Southeastern Conference, I have composed a list of “What Ifs”  for this season. These scenarios are based upon the results so far in the SEC, as well as what could happen between now and the end of the season.

  1. What if…….Missouri and Auburn meet in this year’s SEC Championship Game? It will happen if the two teams win out. Auburn is 3-1 in the league, but they still have to play at Tennessee, at Arkansas and at home against Georgia before hosting unbeaten top-ranked Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Four wins in those four games places the Tigers back in Atlanta versus the SEC East champ. Missouri looks to be a lock in the East.
    The Tigers are unbeaten in league play; in fact their lead is two full games over South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. Only South Carolina has a realistic shot to catch Missouri, and those two teams square off this Saturday in Columbus, Missouri.
  2. What if…….Pig Howard holds on to the football as he crossed the goal line in overtime against Georgia? Tennessee would be 2-1 now in SEC play and all by themselves in second place behind  Missouri. Howard fumbled the ball through the end zone, resulting in a touchback. The Vols were not able to score a point in overtime number one, and the Bulldogs kicked the winning field goal on their first overtime possession.
  3. What if…….U.T. Coach Butch Jones had started Justin Worley at quarterback instead of freshman Nate Peterman when the Vols played at Florida? Would Tennessee have been able to beat the Gators, since Peterman’s rash of turnovers led to at least two Florida touchdowns? You never know.
  4. What if…….The Georgia Bulldogs had not suffered the major rash of injuries they did? They would still have lost to Missouri, but I believe they would have beaten Vanderbilt and would currently be 4-1 in the SEC and just a game behind Mizzou.     
  5. What if…….Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel had not gotten involved in the “pay for autographs” scandal over the summer? Would he be having a better year and still on top of the Heisman Trophy sweepstakes? Would he still be heckled as much around the SEC when the Aggies come to play? I don’t think so. He may still win the Heisman, but the Aggies won’t be playing for an SEC Championship in 2013.
  6. What if…….Alabama loses to LSU or Auburn? Does that mean the SEC streak of seven national championships in a row comes to a screeching halt? It very likely will as long as at least two other teams in the country remain unbeaten. (Keep your eyes on Missouri. If the Tigers win out and win the SEC Championship Game, they could very well be playing for all the marbles.)
  7. What if…….Vanderbilt didn’t have the rule that live mascots are not allowed inside the Commodores stadium? Would UGA’s presence have made a difference in the outcome of the game last weekend? (By the way, why is that rule in place? I didn’t know until halftime that UGA wasn’t there. I also wonder if any other college football program has a similar rule. I doubt it; Vandy is the only school I know without an athletic department or even an athletic director.)

A few what ifs, really gives football fans nothing at all, except perhaps some speculation. In the words of former UTC Head Football Coach, the late Joe Morrison, “If wishes, buts and what ifs were toys, candy and nuts, we’d all have a nice Christmas!”

rsmithsports@comcast.net

---

Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).


Dalton State Men’s Cross Country In NAIA Top 25

The fourth Dalton State sports team has been recognized as an elite member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Men’s cross country jumped into the NAIA Top 25 with the poll released Wednesday night. It took the season’s seventh poll, but the Roadrunners are now number 25. This marks the first ever national ranking in cross country. It is the team’s ... (click for more)

Chattanoogan.com Prep Football Picks: Week Ten

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex Fetches $15 Million

Walnut Commons, the first downtown apartment complex built in many years, sold for $15 million, one of the developers said. John Clark said the initial estimate on the project was $11 million and it wound up costing around $12 million to build. "We're very pleased with the sale," he said. Mr. Clark, along with partners David Hudson and Bob McKenzie, are selling their stock ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principal Ronald Hughes Named Tennessee's 2014-15 Principal Of The Year

A Hamilton County elementary school principal and an Anderson County supervisor have earned top honors for their work in Tennessee education. Ronald Hughes, principal of Apison Elementary School in Chattanooga, was named Tennessee’s 2014-15 Principal of the Year. He has served as principal at Apison Elementary for the past six years, and spent three decades working in Tennessee ... (click for more)

Congratulations To Ron Hughes

Hearty congratulations to Ron Hughes for being selected as Tennessee State Elementary Principal of the Year for 2014. Wherever Ron has been assigned as principal, he has exhibited strong leadership both academically and morally. His faith in God and his love for the students of Hamilton County have guided his actions and everyone that has benefited from the excellent education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Brittany’s Days Dwindle

So here we are, facing what is known as “Devil’s Night” before Halloween comes, and the almost macabre news now comes that Brittany Maynard, the beautiful girl who has chosen to end her life as soon as Saturday, is struggling to meet her own deadline. She has inoperable brain cancer and, at best, only months to live. The 29-year-old, who was married shortly before her devastating ... (click for more)