THE SEC REPORT

The SEC Report:  A&M wins close, Alabama loses Tua and Florida pulls out a win

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Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

LAST WEEKEND

Wow, last weekend was crazy right? Texas A&M was only up three coming into the fourth, Missouri and Vandy were tied into the fourth, and South Carolina led against Florida at the top of the fourth; it was a tense weekend. A&M pulled it out obviously to get their season over .500, Vanderbilt went on to win, as did Florida in a really good fourth quarter. Georgia finally got all that bad football out of their system and after being shut out in the first half, scored 21 points in the second half against Kentucky. Here's the real news though, Tua Tagovailoa had a high ankle sprain on the opposite ankle as last year and is now going to miss time to let the ankle heal from surgery. Last year he missed zero games but there was 20 plus days off between his injury in the SEC championship and the first round of the playoffs, it's difficult to gauge how many games he'll miss this time in the middle of a season that now faces actual adversity for Saban's seemingly automatically in the playoffs, usually undefeated, Alabama.

THREE STARS OF LAST WEEKEND

Joe Burrow, Quarterback of LSU, I'm sure by now you know but he was a massive underdog to win the Heisman before the start of the season and is now currently the front runner. That's because he had another great game - 327 yards and another four touchdowns through the air. He's been incredible this season.

Ke'Shawn Vaughn, running back of Vanderbilt, had two of Vandy's three touchdowns, one rushing along with 96 yards and one receiving with 80 yards on 4 catches. Vaughn is the engine that drove Vanderbilt to victory this week.

Kyle Trask, Quarterback of Florida who was efficient with only 200 yards but 4 touchdowns to pull out the come behind win over South Carolina who was stalking another upset.

THIS WEEKEND

My how things have changed in just one week. Last week Missouri was protecting first place in their division and Florida and Georgia were both reeling, now unranked Missouri is going to Kentucky to try and save their season while both the Gators and Bulldogs are ahead of them and off. All the eyes of the SEC and College Football will be on Arkansas at Alabama, to see how Saban's team handles this very real crisis of Quarterback. Also No. 9 Auburn travels to No. 2 LSU, if LSU wins big again and Alabama wins close against an inferior team, does LSU leapfrog them?

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Joe Burrow, quarterback of LSU, for the reasons above. If they have a big game and Burrows continues his Heisman worthy campaign then maybe Alabama falls to No. 2 in both the national rankings and in their own conference.

Mac Jones, quarterback of Alabma, this almost feels unfair but it's such an important game for this kid. Alabama needs him to step up and play, as he is likely to be the guy starting against LSU on Nov. 9, a scant 19 days away.

Bo Nix, Quarterback of Auburn, this is the big showdown this weekend and he needs to recapture some of that early season magic. Auburn is back in the Top Ten and nothing is out of reach now with Tua's injury and LSU on the schedule for Auburn this week and then Alabama playing LSU next week. Winning here and LSU then beating a weakened Alabama makes Auburn and in turn Nix, look amazing.

Feel free to check out my brand new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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