Czar Report, Dominion in Doubt: Texas, UF, Alabama, LSU Control Destiny

Henry BallSenior Analyst IOctober 25, 2009

From the Bleacher Report:

Who's No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, who cares?  

Clearly, Texas can make a case for being one of the best, if not the best, teams in the country after soundly beating Missouri in Columbia, MO on Saturday.

Yet, despite an epic battle with a rebuilding Tennessee team-that required Mt. Cody to block two field goals with his face mask—and another Florida win, that may have been at least aided by the wild herd of Zebra that has been menacing big-game Gator hunters for the last four weeks, the Tide and Fighting Tebows remained unbeaten.

Any of three could be ranked No. 1 or No. 2 or No. 3 but then it gets a little murky.  If we are ranking based on body of work or who is playing the best right now or who looks the prettiest in uniform we come up with many different answers.

The Czar, however, chooses to focus on what is important; who is in control of their own destiny, and that takes us right to the War Zone in the SEC.

One could make the case that Iowa after surviving again this weekend, TCU for sending BYU on a mission—to find a lid for the industrial sized can of whooping the Frogs opened up—and Cincinnati, as well as Boise-pending the results of their Luau in Hawaii are still in control of their destiny.  

Yet, when it is all said and done, Texas and an undefeated or even single loss SEC team would likely go ahead of any of them.

So what’s happening in the SEC War Zone?

No. 1 Florida 7-0 (5-0 SEC) @ Mississippi State 3-5 (1-3 SEC)

Is it just me or is Florida a two trick pony?

Trick one-one heck of a defensive unit.  Trick two-Tim Tebow.

Not Tim Tebow of Heisman fame mind you, surely he’s not still in contention, but the somewhat mortal and really needing some help version.  

Since the running game isn’t providing the help and their really doesn’t seem to be any wide receivers capable of coming to his aid the officials have had to provide the assistance.  

In the last four games the officials are 4-0 and coincidentally so are the Gators!

Florida 29 – MSU 19 (But it was much more competitive than the score would suggest.)

Outlook: The Gators have a rough road ahead with the Cocktail party looming and South Carolina on the road before finishing up with FIU and FSU at the Swamp.  

They will be tested and cannot continue to rely on bad officiating to get by but with a two game cushion Florida should be the East representative in Atlanta. 


Tennessee 3-4 (1-3 SEC) @ No. 2 Alabama 8-0 (5-0 SEC)  

Alabama’s offense continues to struggle against stout defenses, even as sophomore RB Mark Ingram rushes his way past 1000 yards on the season and perhaps takes another step toward etching his name on the Heisman trophy.

In the end, the Tide needed Tennessee to miss a FG and have two more blocked to escape the upset bid before a much needed bye week.

Alabama 12 - Tennessee 10  

Outlook: The Bye week couldn’t come at a better time for Nick Saban and the Alabama offense.  Nick Saban said they were tired and just need a little rest.

From what we saw in Death Valley on Saturday night, the extra week to prepare for Saban Bowl III might just come in handy.  

Despite road games @ MSU and Auburn down the road LSU seems to be the only threat to Alabama’s bid to return to Atlanta.

An 11-1 regular season and Sugar Bowl berth might seem like a let-down to some of the Bama faithful but they’ll have a little time to get used to it.


Auburn 5-3 (2-3 SEC) @ No. 9 LSU 6-1 (4-1 SEC)

Things can get a little crazy when the big Cats of the SEC hook up.  This time Jordan Jefferson answered the "crazy" fans calling for him to be benched in favor of backup Jarred Lee.  

Lee did see some action after Jefferson’s career performance put the game out of hand.

On the other side of the ball the Bayou Bengals defense was spectacular and continues to improve each week under first year coordinator John Chavis.

With one of the best performances of the year by LSU’s defensive front four Auburn QB Chris Todd found himself under pressure constantly and was unable to rely on a usually potent running attack.  

LSU held the No. 8 (nationally) offense to less than half of its season average with only 193 total yards and its lowest point production of the season.

This one was all LSU all the time.

LSU 31 - Auburn 10  

Outlook: LSU is peaking at the right time; with a home game against drastically over matched Tulane next Saturday Night in Tiger Stadium to prepare for what could be the game of the year on Nov. 7 in Tuscaloosa and Ole Miss the only road games remaining the Bayou Bengals are not out of the National Title hunt by any stretch of the imagination.  

There is a long way to go and Saban Bowl III is a tall order but don’t sleep on the Mad Hatter, he just might have a little more magic under the brim!


National Outlook

No doubt Texas, USC, Iowa, Boise State, TCU, Cincinnati and others will still have their say and of course this is college football with about five weeks to play so anything and everything can happen. 

Yet, it is hard to argue with the strength of the SEC as the only major conference with two unbeaten teams, three in the top ten and all three still control their own destiny for the BCS.

That being said, Texas looks to be firmly in control of their fate and would provide a sensational matchup for any of the SEC's big three assuming they survive the conference with no more than one loss.

The Czar's Destiny Dime (Top-Ten based on their destiny assuming they win out)

1. Texas

2. Alabama

3. Florida

4. LSU

5. Iowa

6. Boise

7. USC

8. Oregon

9. TCU

T10. Cincinnati / Georgia Tech

By Henry Ball (a.k.a. Southern Man) Featured Columnist and Syndicated Writer

Henry contributes to the Bleacher Report, College Gameday Network and other Sports Media outlets.

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