Just past the midpoint of the 2018 college football campaign, it’s time for SEC Banter’s midterm grades.
I’m the perfect professor to dole out grades.
Like most college professors, I have no experience in the field I’m teaching. I never played SEC football; after all, those who can’t do, teach.
I have no accountability, because I’m tenured.
I provide a warm, safe, and friendly learning environment bearing no resemblance to the real world, with essentially no consequences for poor performance, as I grade on a B+ curve.
My classroom is a place for the open exchange of ideas, where all viewpoints are welcomed unless I and my mob-mentality students disagree with them, in which case we’ll take to social media and trash you.
If you feel triggered by my grade for your SEC team, my office hours are Tuesdays from 1-1:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 8-8:15 a.m. Feel free to make an appointment and we’ll talk it out.
We start our grades in the SEC West, still the toughest division in college football:
Alabama: An “A+” for results but an “F” for the Tide’s boringly robotic habit of relentless winning, week after week, year after year.
Arkansas: Pretty good year brewing for the Hogs as they’re 0-4 in the SEC and 1-6 overall. Fayetteville starts with a big fat “F.”
Auburn: The Plainsmen have a 1-3 conference mark and handed Tennessee its first win over an SEC West team in 15 tries. Gus Malzahn has his Tigers looking “real nice,” as Cousin Eddie might say “D.”
LSU: Aside from me gaining only 7 pounds through seven weeks of the season, LSU is the surprise of 2018, notching three wins over teams ranked in the top-10. You can’t spell geaux without an “A.”
Mississippi: The Rebs should focus on what they do best: dress up all nice and proper and tailgate in the Grove. Their lone SEC win might be their only one all year. “C.”
Mississippi State: I give State an “Incomplete” because I can’t figure them out. Look for the Bulldogs to test LSU this Saturday, as the Tigers and their fans will be hungover from the win over Georgia.
Texas Agricultural & Mechanical: The dorks in College Station are quietly putting together a halfway decent season in Jimbo Fisher’s first campaign. They beat SEC East contender Kentucky and can win every remaining game on the schedule. “B” for the Agriculturals.
Now to the SEC East, surprisingly more competitive than most expected:
Florida: In his first year in Gainesville, Dan Mullen has the Gators contending and the Swamp rocking. Now if he could only do something about those tacky colors. “B+.”
Georgia: Will the stinging loss on the bayou galvanize a youthful Dawgs squad or portend a 2-3 loss season? One UGA fan I know gives the team an “F,” but that seems a bit harsh. Banter goes with a “B.”
Kentucky: The Wildcats, incredibly, control their own destiny in the East as they look for their first-ever SEC Championship berth. You can’t spell Kentucky without an “A.” Well, you can, obviously, but I couldn’t think of anything clever to say about Kentucky.
Missouri: This team is winless in the SEC and has remaining conference foes Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Arkansas. Show me a “D!”
South Carolina: It’s playing out like a TaxSlayer Bowl or even Birmingham Bowl type of season for Sakerlina. My uncle, an avid Gamecocks fan, says they should abolish football at the school. I’m not that harsh. “C-.”
Tennessee: Saturday’s matchup with Alabama will tell us a lot about this Vols team under first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Can they hang with Bama and keep it competitive on Rocky Top? “B-.”
Vanderbilt: Two games have defined the Commodores’ season so far: a five-point loss at Notre Dame and a squandered 18-point lead at home against Florida. Vandy’s supposed to be a smart school but they get a “C.”
Again, if you disagree with your grade, make an appointment during my office hours. I won’t be in the office Thursday, however, as there’s a speaker on campus whose views bother me, so I’m joining my students in a protest.
Ben Prevost writes SEC Banter during the college football season. Email him at SECbanter@hotmail.com.