5 SEC Teams That Want a Do-Over for 2013

Kurt Wirth@Kurt_WirthCorrespondent IDecember 3, 2013

5 SEC Teams That Want a Do-Over for 2013

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    Every season has winners and losers. Some teams rise, some teams fall. It's part of the circle of football life.

    This is particularly true in the ultra-competitive Southeastern Conference. Being on top ain't easy—ask Alabama fans—and rarely does one season come close to resembling the next.

    Naturally, this season worked out well for some (Auburn, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss) and not as expected for others. For some, it was a matter of bad luck. For others, it was egregiously poor coaching. For nearly all, injuries played a central role.

    Let's check on those SEC teams that would prefer to hit the "reset" button on 2013. Call it rage-quitting, but that was unfair, dude, and you're basically cheating by spamming that play over and over.

5. LSU

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    Preseason AP Ranking: 12th

    Current AP Ranking: 14th

    Current Record: 9-3 (5-3 SEC)


    Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban altered the very foundation of the SEC's balance of power with his return to SEC coaching in 2007. Alabama has now won two straight over the Tigers, and LSU coach Les Miles has struggled to eclipse the big red elephant in the room.

    With Alabama coming off of two straight national championships, LSU brought back a senior quarterback in Zach Mettenberger, and Tiger fans hoped that the Tide's defensive losses would be the breathing room the program needed to bring another national title to Baton Rouge.

    Instead, an uncharacteristically subpar defense led to losses not only to Alabama, but also to a struggling Georgia team and a mediocre Ole Miss squad.

    This certainly hasn't been a terrible season for LSU. Miles has a chance to take the program to double-digit wins for the fourth consecutive year. Three conference losses, though, just isn't going to keep fans of an elite program like LSU happy for long.

4. Georgia

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    Preseason AP Ranking: 5th

    Current AP Ranking: 25th

    Current Record: 8-4 (5-3 SEC)


    When names like Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley show up on the injured list, you're bound to fall short of some goals. At a point in the season, long-time Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt was down to fumes at running back as three backs were down.

    Still, this team didn't quite ever fire on all cylinders. With the season mostly behind us, we're a long ways from the Georgia-Alabama matchup in Atlanta we were expecting. Aaron Murray, as phenomenally talented as he is, will graduate without having stepped foot onto a field for a BCS bowl game.

    Tragically enough, Murray is done for the year with a left knee injury and won't lead his team for his final bowl game. With his graduation, the historic program will be relying heavily on Todd Gurley for a comeback season in 2014.

3. Mississippi State

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    Preseason AP Ranking: NR

    Current AP Ranking: NR

    Current Record: 6-6 (3-5 SEC)


    The story for the Mississippi State Bulldogs isn't preseason expectations; it's missed opportunity. In a style that has become almost signature MSU, head coach Dan Mullen simply couldn't catch a break in 2013.

    Well, except for that whole Egg Bowl thing.

    State was universally picked to do about what it did: win five games, perhaps six with some breaks to make a bowl again. The season could have been so much different, though.

    After losing starting quarterback Tyler Russell and running back LaDarius Perkins against Oklahoma State in the season opener, the defense couldn't overcome a poor offensive showing, and the Bulldogs lost a game that left their fans wondering "What if?"

    Next came a last-minute touchdown drive by Auburn, in Auburn by the way, to give State fans more headaches. With Auburn still in contention for a national title and in the SEC Championship Game, that one still stings.

    MSU was competitive with LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama in the fourth quarter and couldn't seal the deal. Make no mistake: This was not the pushover Mississippi State team that the national media has sold to you. That fact alone makes 2013 a frustrating season for Mullen and company.

2. Arkansas

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Preseason AP Ranking: NR

    Current AP Ranking: NR

    Current Record: 3-9 (0-8 SEC)


    Whether leaving a successful Wisconsin program was the right decision for head coach Bret Bielema is still to be determined. Though not much of the Arkansas Razorbacks was expected in 2013, the program somehow managed to fall short.

    The 'Backs ended the season with a 31-27 heartbreaker in Baton Rouge, having dropped nine consecutive games.

    Losing all eight conference games is a tough pill to swallow, even for diehard Arkansas fans. With a good deal of young talent returning and many of the SEC's power teams in ebb, Bielema will have a chance to prove himself in 2014.

1. Florida

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    Preseason AP Ranking: 10th

    Current AP Ranking: NR

    Current Record: 4-8 (3-5 SEC)


    Oh, Florida. How to begin.

    Perhaps no team in the nation was as disappointing, and frustrating, than the Florida Gators in 2013. Coaching a college football team isn't just X's and O's, it's motivation and publicity. Head coach Will Muschamp failed—in fantastic fashion—at all three aspects this season.

    Let's review the carnage. The Gators have won less games than in any campaign since the winless 1979 disaster. The program's offense, a program that is among the nation's most elite on the recruiting scene, ranked 111th nationally in scoring offense and 112th in total offense.

    Need I mention the jaw-dropping home loss to Georgia Southern, the program's first to an FCS program, in a game where the Eagles passed for a grand total of zero yards?

    Yes, there have been injuries. The quarterback situation in particular has been horrific. With a program like that in Gainesville, against an FCS team with far fewer scholarships available, four wins is simply inexcusable. Results like that come down to one thing: coaching.

    Florida fans have every right to be angry. Muschamp has miraculously saved his job for another year, but rest assured that anything less than competing for the SEC championship in 2014 will end it.

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