As we approach the midpoint in this abbreviated 2020 season in the Southeastern Conference, some disturbing trends are becoming apparent. For one, the threat of interruption by Covid-19 related issues from false positives to rescheduled games was evident as four teams missed playing opportunities. How this will play out in the future is anyone’s guess, but suffice to say, there remains the chance of more interruptions at any time, and both teams and coaching staffs have to be flexible enough to anticipate an unintended bye week at any time.
Secondly, it is increasingly evident that defensive play conference wide has taken an unexpected turn for the worse. Few teams are performing at the level of expectation, and fewer still seem to be able to reach even the average level of classic “SEC Defenses” of previous seasons. Whether this is a lack of practice, resurgence of offensive prowess across the conference or some other explanation is unknown, but the stark reality is that no one seems to be able to influence games with defense in the manner we’ve all come to expect from the recent past.
This weekend’s games were no exceptions. Certain teams performed exactly as they had previously this season, improving or deteriorating at only minor levels from their earlier games. Others had wildly divergent performances in one aspect of their game, but otherwise were unchanged that what we’ve seen from them all season. Georgia’s defense and Tennessee’s offense spring to mind in this respect. Both squads took huge hits in performance and expectations.
What does this mean going forward? From previous years, this is usually the point of the season in which drastic changes in performance are less likely to occur. But in this unique season that may be a premature expectation. With the added benefit of game film and experience, it is entirely possible that the surge of offensive play in the conference will begin to subside. Hopefully, this will not be in the manner of the Mississippi State collapse, but perhaps the defensive competency we’ve all grown to expect from the conference will begin to emerge as the various squads adjust going forward.
As always, the standard of excellence is as follows:
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With the news of Harvey Updyke's death, I hope I am keeping my promise.Read Full Story
This writer understands the need for caution when the CDC warns against large crowds. However, what I can’t understand is why couldn't the NCAA postpone the NCAA Tournament (and the other championships) till April or even May. If the threat is still there in a month or two, then a decision could be made at that time to cancel all championships.Read Full Story