Week 7 had a bit of everything. There was a cross-country flight, an upset special and a meeting of top-10 teams that turned into a runaway.
Here’s the one big thing each SEC coach had to say about the week that was:
It had to be frustrating for coach Dan Mullen to deal with the media after a 28-21 double-overtime loss at BYU on Friday night. In a 3-minute presser filled with short, terse answers, there wasn’t much material for the assembled writers when it was all said and done.
Asked what was different about his attitude this post game, "I don't like losing. Nothing. I'm still me." Mullen
— David H Murray (@DawgsBiteMag) October 15, 2016
Georgia and Vanderbilt
Georgia coach Kirby Smart’s team dropped a 17-16 decision to Vanderbilt on Saturday. A home loss as a 14-point favorite is a bitter pill to swallow, and Smart responded in kind.
“It’s not acceptable,” he said. “I’m upset about it. And I think the best thing you do is you go to work. The only thing we can do as a team is look ourselves in the mirror, each individual guy — starting with me — (and say), ‘What can I do better to help this team?’ We have to improve. We have to get better.”
Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason was, as expected, slightly more cheerful.
“It’s the biggest win that I’ve had probably in my career because I’m the head coach,” he said. “This is a win that I think could help move this program forward. … You saw a football team committed to doing one thing, and that’s going on the road and getting a win.”
Tennessee and Alabama
Alabama strolled into Neyland Stadium and thumped Tennessee, 49-10, on Saturday. Even Nick Saban, who is always looking for a way to improve his team, was forced to admire the precision with which the Crimson Tide cruised to their seventh win.
Nick Saban: "This is as proud as I've been of our team all year long."
— David Paschall (@DavidSPaschall) October 16, 2016
Butch Jones had plenty of time on the sideline to make peace with the result, and he sounded like a coach ready to move forward.
“Pretty simple game, it’s a line of scrimmage game,” he said. “When you give up 438 rushing yards and offensively you have 32 yards rushing, you’re not giving yourself an opportunity.”
Florida and Missouri
Thanks to a suffocating defense that chipped in with a pair of touchdowns, Florida trounced Missouri, 40-14, to seize first place in the SEC East.
“Guys, that was a fun day out there in the park,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “As I talked to our guys earlier about just grabbing your helmet, putting your jersey on, let’s run out to our park, which is The Swamp, and have a good time.”
Missouri, on the other hand, fell to 2-4 overall and left coach Barry Odom looking for answers.
We can't make excuses and we have to get better. – Missouri HC Barry Odom following loss to Florida @KOMUsports
— Nick Yahl (@NickYahl) October 15, 2016
Southern Miss and LSU were tied at 10 at the half, but the Tigers scored five unanswered touchdowns during the final two quarters to run out to a 45-10 win.
So, what did interim coach Ed Orgeron say at the break? He wasn’t telling.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron: I didn't give a Vince Lombardi speech at halftime. We knew we were going to face some adversity.
— Jim Kleinpeter (@JimKleinpeter) October 16, 2016
Ole Miss and Arkansas
It was going to be tough to top last year’s 53-52 overtime thrill ride, but Arkansas and Ole Miss served up another instant classic Saturday.
Arkansas came out on top again, 34-30, and coach Bret Bielema was glad to get a win in a wild SEC West contest.
Bielema: The SEC West is just a whole other world. It's just kinda fun. … We lost to two undefeated teams that might be the best.
— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) October 16, 2016
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze sounded like a man who knows his team missed a golden opportunity.
“Obviously really disappointed to not get it done tonight. I thought our defense gave them cheap scores early on, which was frustrating,” he said. “We had chances to take control of the game, but those (drops) were critical and really hurt. It stinks. It hurts. We give credit to them, but we certainly leave here feeling like we let one get away.”