While it was another national championship season for the Southeastern Conference not all of the league’s teams had a strong finish to their football seasons.
LSU was certainly disappointing in its bowl game loss to Clemson. LSU had the ball with time running out with a second down and two yards to go. For some reason LSU decided to let Zach Mettenberger throw the football although Clemson had struggled to slow LSU’s running game. An incomplete pass stopped the clock and gave Clemson hope. A repeat on third down did the same thing and gave the ACC team more hope.
Clemson got the football back at its 20-yard line with 1:39 left and had enough time to get into position to kick the game-winning field goal as time expired. I am not sure what the Mad Hatter was thinking in that game.
While the LSU game was puzzling, I really hated what I saw from the SEC team that played in the Sugar Bowl where Florida lost to Louisville and received 98 yards of penalties in the process. It was disappointing to see Florida players pushing and shoving, jumping and down and getting in the face of their opponents. On one play the Gators got 30 yards in penalties.
I have to tell you that I was concerned about Will Muschamp getting so hysterical on the sidelines in his first year as head coach. I thought he had settled down, but in the bowl game he looked like he did last year. I am sure that the way the game was going was frustrating and set it off, but I think that Will hurts himself and his team when he does that.
The other SEC team that was disappointing in its bowl loss was Mississippi State at the Gator Bowl against Northwestern. It looked like there was only one team serious about playing football in that game and it wasn’t the Bulldogs, who didn’t perform like an SEC team.
It was quite a contrast from the game played a day earlier when Vandy defeated North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl. The Commodores played fast and hard and it looked like they were getting everything they could get out of the talent the coaches had to work with on that team. James Franklin deserves credit for doing a good job with his 2012 Vandy team.
As a member of the Coaches Legends Poll, I get to vote for our national coach of the year. I chose another SEC coach, Kevin Sumlin, as the top guy on my ballot. He did an outstanding job in his first season at Texas A&M, a team which was one of the pleasant surprises in college football. My second place coach was Bill O’Brien at Penn State. It would be hard to give him too much praise for the job he did in a very difficult situation.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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