Daily Blog •July 21, 2011

One of the more popular sections of the regional magazines was the Best Case/Worst Case Scenarios where I take a look at the 2010 season and what teams records could have been in the Best Case and the Worst Case scenarios. Sometimes teams with solid winning records caught some breaks and were actually just a few plays away from a losing record. Some teams with losing records may have been just a handful of plays away from a winning record. Listed below are the SEC teams. The Best Case scenario record shows them winning all the games they lost by a TD or less. The Worst Case scenario shows what their record would have been if they had lost all the games they won by a TD or less.

Best Case/Worst Case Scenarios: SEC

Alabama 2010 Best Case 12-1 Close Losses (2)

LSU - It was only 7-3 at HT but the offenses got rolling in the 2H. Bama led 14-10 into the 4Q but trailed 24-21 with 3:23 left after a TD pass to Julio Jones. LSU on 3&13 from its own 20 opted to pass the ball and got a 47 yd pass to the Bama33 and they punted with just :18 left.

AUBURN - Alabama led 21-0 and fumbled at the Auburn19 before Auburn even got their first FD. Bama had a 1st & gl at the 3 but settled for a 24 yd FG and then Auburn got a 36 yd TD pass to Blake with 5:08 left in the half to get back in it at 24-7. Bama went 65/9pl but fumbled at the Auburn12. At half Bama had a 379-87 yd edge but failed to put Auburn away. Auburn took their first lead on a TD with 11:55 left. Bama punted with 5:18 left from the Auburn40. McElroy suffered a concussion and was out. Auburn converted on 4&inches with a 3 yd run by Newton when it looked like they were just trying to draw Bama offsides. They punted with :51 left. McCarron threw four incompletions on the final 4 plays.

Alabama 2010 Worst Case 9-4 Close Wins (1)

ARKANSAS - See Arkansas

Arkansas 2010 Best Case 12-1 Close Losses (2)

ALABAMA - Arkansas jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead. Up 10-7, they had a 3rd & gl from the 6 but Mallett was int'd in theEZ (11:32 2Q). Arkansas led 17-7 at the half with Mallett throwing for 250 yards in the 1H vs the inexp'd Tide secondary. Mallett threw for just 107 in the 2H and had 2 costly int'd in the game's final 4:40. Arkansas went on a 10pl drive to extend the lead to 20-7 (5:04 3Q). Bama got a TD with :44 left in the 3Q. Bama got a 36 yd FG with 6:01 left and then Mallett on 3&11 was int'd and ret'd 33 yds to the 12. Bama got a TD 3pl later with 3:18 left, their first lead of the game. Arkansas was int'd at the Bama35 and Bama on 4&1 converted and took a knee.

OHIO ST - OSU led this 28-10 at the half with a 338-234 yd edge. There was a controversial play in the 4Q when RB Herron got out of the EZ and appeared to have his progress stopped. It was pushed back into the EZ and ruled a safety. Arkansas also got a FG after the free kick to pull within 5. Herron dove over the pile on a gutsy call by Tressel going for it on 4&1 at his own 37 and got the FD but unfortunately he forgot the ball and AU recovered but AU lost 6 yds and punted with 4:33 left. OSU got a pair of FD's and punted with 1:09 left. AU blk'd the punt and recovered at the OSU18. They could have scooped the ball up and scored but fell on it after bobbling it. On 2&10 DE Soloman dropped back in coverage and got an int at the 17.

Arkansas 2010 Worst Case 7-6 Close Wins (3)

GEORGIA - Arkansas led this one 17-7 at HT and 24-10 entering the 4Q. UGA got a 10 yd td pass to cut it to 24-17 with 7:52 left then got the ball back with 5:28 left and drove 52/5pl to get a td to tie it at 24 with 3:55 left. The tms traded punts and it looked it was going to OT but Ark with just :47 left at its own 27 got 18 and 15 yd FD passes and then a 40-yd td pass with just :15 for the incredible win.

TEXAS A&M - AU got a 39 yd FG with 5:04 left 3Q to go up by 7. A&M got 3 FD's to the AU37 but after a 4&17, punted. A&M punted again on 4&13 with 3:06 left. A&M got it back at their 20 with 1:18 left. They converted on 3&10 and 4&13 to the AU39 but their Hail Mary pass was int'd.

MISSISSIPPI ST - This one went to OT which automatically puts it in this spot. MSU had a 32-21 FD edge and 37:24 to 22:36 TOP edge in regulation. They did need a 25 yd FG to force OT. In the first OT, MSU fmbl'd into the EZ for a TB and AU missed a 39 yd FG. In the 2OT AU got a TD and MSU on 4&7 was sk'd.

Auburn 2010 Best Case 14-0 Close Losses (0)

Naturally, going 14-0 and finishing #1 in the country with the National Championship and a Heisman Trophy winner, Auburn did indeed achieve a best case scenario.

Auburn 2010 Worst Case 7-7 Close Wins (7)

MISSISSIPPI ST - It was a Thursday night game and there were plenty of cowbells. The crowd was loud the entire 2H with MSU trailing 17-14. MSU blocked a 37 yd FG with 2:19 left. They got a FD to the AU41 but on 3&10 dropped a pass at the 15 that would have put them in FG range for the tie and on the next play they fired incomplete.

CLEMSON - CU was in complete control leading 17-0 and had a 276-56 yd edge when AU drove 65 yds for a 35 yd FG on the final play of the half. AU would actually roll up 258 yards in the 3Q to stunningly take a 24-17 lead. CU tied it early 4Q and the game went to OT. On 3&8 Parker had an open receiver but just missed him in the EZ on what would have been a TD. They got the game tying 27 yd FG but the C had moved and this time they missed a 32 yd FG and AU won.

SOUTH CAROLINA - SC led after 3Q's, 27-21. In the 4Q SC turned it over an amazing 4 times with QB Garcia fumbling twice and then he was benched and his backup QB Shaw threw 2 int's. At the end of the game SC dropped a TD pass with :33 left which is why I included it, despite the 8 point margin.

KENTUCKY - While AU scored on their first 5 poss to take a 31-14 lead, UK rallied back to make it 34-34 with 7:31 left. AU fmbl'd the KO but rec'd at their own 7 and then went on a 19 play drive converting on 3&6, 3&4 and 3&2. They got a 24 yd FG on the final play to pull out the win.

LSU - While AU had a 526-243 yd edge, they did need a 70 yd TD run by McCalebb with 5:05 left to take the lead. LSU was SOD at their own 32 and AU did get to the LSU7 at the end.

ALABAMA - See Alabama

OREGON - Auburn had 28-23 FD abd 519-449 yd edges. Shockingly it was 0-0 after the 1Q but the teams would score on their next 3 drives with UO taking a 11-7 lead. Auburn went for it on 4&G at the 1 and failed but got a safety and added a TD to make it 16-11 with 1:47 left. AU would add a FG on their opening 2H drive to make it 19-11 and UO was stopped on 4&G at the AU1 late 3Q. After an AU fumble, Oregon took over at their own 45 with 4:50 left and drove 55/8pl to get a TD and 2pt conv to tie it at 19 with 2:33 left. RB Dyer had arguably the play of the game when he continued running on a play (several players thought the play was over) and went for 37 yds. AU kicked the game winning 19 yd FG on the last play of the game for the championship.

Florida 2010 Best Case 10-3 Close Losses (2)


MISSISSIPPI ST - See Mississippi St

Florida 2010 Worst Case 6-7 Close Wins (2)

GEORGIA - UF had the advantage of a bye the week before. The game went to OT tied at 31. UGA opened OT with the ball but was int'd at the 7 which was nearly ret'd all the back for a TD. UF did get a 37 yd FG for the win.

PENN ST - PSU had a 350-279 yd edge. The 13 points that UF won by was their largest lead of the game and it only happened b/c of a late IR TD. Matt McGloin threw 5 int's for PSU. UF's first TD was on a 15 yd drive after an int. Their 2nd TD came on a blk'd punt with 6:48 left in the half. PSU still led 17-14 at the half and had a commanding 202-87 yd edge. PSU led 24-17 late 3Q. UF pulled within 24-20. UF then got a 13 yd IR to the 25 and after a questionable pass interference call on 3&11, they got a TD for their 2nd lead of the game, 27-24 (13:02). UF added a 30 yd FG with 7:32 left. UF punted with 3:04 left and PSU was driving. They had 2 FD's to the UF25 but on 3&3 were int'd by Black and ret'd it for a TD. PSU was int'd again at the UF5 with :14 left.

Georgia 2010 Best Case 10-3 Close Losses (4)

- See Arkansas

COLORADO -UGA led 24-22 and CU got a 38 yd FG but roughing the K gave CU a FD and the Buffs got a 11 yd TD run on the next play to take the lead, 29-24 with 4:39 left in the 3Q. UGA went 80/10pl but on 4&gl from the 2 opted for a 20 yd FG with 12:30 to go, 29-27. UGA got to the CU27 with in distance for a 44 yard game winning FG. CU blitzed from the outside, forced a fumble and rec'd at the 30 and held on for the win.

FLORIDA - See Florida

UCF - On their 1st drive of the game, the Bulldogs went 95/15 pl but settled for a 20 yd FG 3-0. A couple of poss later they were int'd at the UCF18 but the Knights were then int'd in the EZ. Before the half Murray threw another int which set up 27/8 pl drive that resulted in a 22 yd FG to tie it at 3. After UGA took their first 2H drive for a FG the teams traded several punts before UCF went 65/11 pl for a TD 10-6 with 9:02 left. The tms exchanged 4 punts before UGA took over at their own 20 with 2:20 left. They got to the UCF38 but their Hail Mary pass on 4&19 fell incomplete on the final play.

Georgia 2010 Worst Case 6-7 Close Wins (0)

All of Georgia's wins were by 8 points or more so they did indeed achieve a worst case scenario

Kentucky 2010 Best Case 9-4 Close Losses (3)

- See Mississippi

AUBURN - See Auburn

MISSISSIPPI ST - See Mississippi St

Kentucky 2010 Worst Case 4-9 Close Wins (2)

LOUISVILLE - UK led this one 20-6 and at the half had a 271-103 yd edge. An 80 yd TD run by Powell got UL back in the game. UK missed a 25 yd FG with 10:24 left and UL got a short 27 yd FG with 3:16 left after a late hit on 4&17 had given them a FD. That got them within 7 but UK took the KO at their 20 and got 3 FD's and were able to run out the clock.

- There were a couple of keys to this one. With Marcus Lattimore healthy, SC had 377 yards in the 1H. With him injured, they had just 95 yards in the 2H. UK had a 4-0 TO edge and UK also caught SC the week after their big upset of Alabama. This is a game SC blew a 28-10 halftime lead in. At the end of the game UK faced a 4&7 from the 24 and got a 24 yd TD pass with 1:15 left for a stunning lead. The 2 pt made it 31-28. SC got 3 FD's to the 20. Instead of the game tying FG, they opted to try once for the EZ and Garcia just threw it up for grabs and the under thrown pass was off the WR's hands and int'd in the EZ for a TB with :04 left.

LSU 2010 Best Case 12-1 Close Losses (1)

AUBURN - See Auburn

LSU 2010 Worst Case 5-8 Close Wins (6)

NORTH CAROLINA - LSU had a big edge as NC was without 13 key players and Davis had 55 to 60 kids including some walk-ons seeing their first game action. The lack of depth hurt the return game as Patrick Peterson had 257 yards in PR/KR's. LSU jumped out to a 30-10 lead at the half but NC battled back. At the end of the game, trailing by 6, Penalto dropped a TD pass in the EZ. On 4&1 and LB grabbed Penalto from behind but pass interference was not called and he dropped another TD pass and LSU escaped. NC had a 20-11 FD edge and 436-313 yd edge.

WEST VIRGINIA - WV was down 17-0 mid-2Q before going 53/10 pl to get a TD with :48 left in the half. After an int WV went 30/2 pl to make it 17-14 with 12:19 left 3Q. LSU went on a 72/14 pl at the end of the 3Q that ate up 7:13 and ended with a 23-yd FG to make it 20-14. WV would miss a 48-yd FG and would have poor field position the rest of the game and did not get any further than their own 15 the rest of the game.

TENNESSEE - UT led 14-10 with a TD early in the 4Q. LSU was int'd in the EZ but UT was SOD at the LSU31 with 5:41 left passing up a 48 yd FG. LSU converted on 4&14 with a 21 yd pass down to the 17. On 3&1 LSU couldn't get the team set and the snap went past QB Jefferson and was rec'd by UT for a 12 yd loss and UT had won the game and came on the field and celebrated and the refs ruled the game was over. A late flag for too many men on the field gave LSU one more crack at it and they got a 1 yd TD run by Ridley with no time left for the win. Dooley pointed out that with LSU running players on the field, they should have been allowed time to substitute adequately so they wouldn't have been caught with 13.

FLORIDA - This is one that LSU actually deserved to win as they had a 385-243 yd edge and 20-12 FD edge but they needed a miracle to pull out the win at the end. Trailing 29-26 they lined up for a game tying 53 yd FG. The holder tossed the ball over his head on what could have been a forward pass and incomplete but it was ruled a lateral and K Jasper picked it up for the FD and replay did not overturn it. LSU on 3&gl got a 3 yd TD pass with :06 left to pull out the win.

ALABAMA - See Alabama

MISSISSIPPI - UM got a TD with 4:57 left to take a 36-35 lead but WR Summers dove into the EZ for the TD and had to KO from the 15 so LSU started at the UM49. LSU went 51/8pl for a TD and 2 pt conversion, 43-36 with :44 left. UM's last pass was int'd.

Mississippi 2010 Best Case 6-6 Close Losses (2)

JACKSONVILLE ST - UM led this one 31-10 at the half with a commanding 323-70 yd edge. They still appeared in control late but gave up a TD and 2 pt conv with :18 left to force OT. In the 2OT JSt went for the win on a 2 pt conv and got it, dealing UM a tough loss to an FCS school in the first game of the season.


Mississippi 2010 Worst Case 3-9 Close Wins (1)

KENTUCKY - UK had a 424-301 yd edge but UM had three 1H TD's all set up by TO's. UM went 11/3pl for a TD after a fumble, got a 38 yd IR setting up a 9 yd TD "drive" and then went 43/5pl for a TD to lead 21-14. In the 2H UM got a TD 2pl after a 73 yd PR to the 7 which actually put them ahead 42-20. After a couple of UK td's, UM recovered the onside kick that bounced off several players' hands and got 2 FD's and were able to run out the clock.

Mississippi St 2010 Best Case 11-2 Close Losses (2)

AUBURN - See Auburn

ARKANSAS - See Arkansas

Mississippi St 2010 Worst Case 6-7 Close Wins (3)

FLORIDA - MSU led this one 10-0 at the half but UF finished with a 361-245 yd edge. UF was forced to use P Henry, replacing the injured K Sturgis and they missed a 38 yd FG in the 2Q. Trailing 10-7 they fumbled at the MSU17 with 7:50 left. UF got it back and went 71/14pl. They settled for a 42 yd game tying FG that never hooked in and missed to the right with :04 left.

UAB - UAB took the lead 24-23 with 10:16 left but then committed a personal foul on a pop up KO and MSU started at the 42. They got a 4&4 6 yd QB draw to the 30 and a 39 yd FG for the lead, 26-24. MSU got a 51 yd run by Perkins and a 28 yd FG with 1:48 left to go up by 5. UAB then fmbl'd the KO and MSU got 1 FD and took a knee.

KENTUCKY - UK had 85 plays to MSU's 58 and a 347-325 yd edge and also held the ball for 35:45. MSU did lead 17-10 at the half with a 214-162 yd edge. Tied at 17, MSU got a TD with 10:28 left for the 7 pt lead. UK punted with 8:55 and 6:00 left then went 70/17pl. On 4&10 from the 20, Hartline was int'd.

South Carolina 2010 Best Case 11-3 Close Losses (2)

KENTUCKY - See Kentucky

AUBURN - See Auburn

South Carolina 2010 Worst Case 9-5 Close Wins (0)

South Carolina's closest win was by 11 points so they did indeed achieve a worst case scenario at 9-5.

Tennessee 2010 Best Case 8-5 Close Losses (2)


NORTH CAROLINA - For the 2nd time this year the refs announced the game was over and UT had won but once again ended up losing. UT missed a crucial xp when taking a 20-17 lead with 5:16 left. UT got the ball back after NC was SOD at their own 44 with 1:36 left. UT punted on 4&11 with :31 left and it went for a TB. NC got a 28 yd pass and a late hit moved them ahead. On 2nd & 10 from the UT25 they gained 7 yds and the clock kept running with NC not having a time-out. With :05 left NC sent the FG unit on the field. There were 16 players on the field when NC spiked the ball with :01 left. They were only accessed a 5 yd penalty, allowed to regroup, set the FG unit up and when the play was blown in play the C snapped the ball and they got a 40 yd FG to force OT. UT's DL Williams threw his helmet in disgust after they had ruled there was :01 left about :05 after the game was officially ruled over. That allowed NC to start at the 12 yd line in OT. Each team scored a TD but then UT was int'd at the NC7 and NC got a 23 yd FG for the win.

Tennessee 2010 Worst Case 5-8 Close Wins (1)

UAB - Tough loss for UAB. They had an amazing 544-287 yd and 23-15 FD edges but missed 5 FG's. Despite the missed FG's, UAB still had the game tied at 23. UAB went on a 12pl drive but settled for a 54 yd FG with :38 left and missed their 5th FG of the game. Each team got a FG in the first OT and UAB got a 21 yd FG and UT got a 25 yd TD pass to pull out the win.

Vanderbilt 2010 Best Case 3-9 Close Losses (1)

- NU led 10-0 late 2Q before VU got a TD (missed xp) and then a FG on the final play of the half with 10-9 left. The teams traded TD's in the 3Q as NU led 17-15 and NU made it 23-15 with 4:39 left. Vandy drove 69/6pl to cut it to 23-21 with 2:25 left but NU was able to get a FD and run out the clock.

Vanderbilt 2010 Worst Case 2-10 Close Wins (0)

Vanderbilt's 2 wins were by 14 and 46 points so they did indeed achieve a worst case scenario at 2-10

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