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SEC Bowl Recap: The Bad

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Ten SEC teams accepted bowl invitations. I have divided the results into three areas: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

These three games fall into the "Bad" category.

CAPITAL ONE BOWL
Penn State 19, LSU 17
It's not so much that LSU lost to Penn State; State's a good enough team. It's how they lost. A late defensive breakdown, miscues on what could have been the game-winning drive, and what clearly looks like a lack of a cohesive plan on offense have led LSU down the path of defeat more than once this season. LSU is loaded with talent, but they are clearly one of the worst-coached teams in the SEC and it's only getting worse. John Chavis brought some cohesiveness to the defense but they still underachieved in big games this year. The offense, a mesh between whatever is in Les Miles' head and Gary Crowton's attack is just a mess.

LSU's running game slowly expired this year — the final nail when Charles Scott was lost for the season in the Alabama game. Jordan Jefferson is serviceable, but not special and for some unknown reason a cadre of talent, physical receivers played very small in big games this season for the Tigers. LSU's spot as top dog in the SEC West was short-lived and now they appear on the brink of sliding all the way back down the mountain.

LIBERTY BOWL
Arkansas 20, East Carolina 17, OT
East Carolina had three different chances to make a field goal and put the Razorbacks away and didn't cash in on any of the opportunities.

How did they get said chances? Arkansas's vaunted offense went completely in a shell in the Liberty Bowl (reminiscent of the performance against Alabama earlier in the season) and the Hogs defense wilted against the Pirates' running game. Let's ease off the "Bobby Petrino is an offensive genius" routine until he proves he can put together a gameplan and coach players to execute it properly in a game that means something.

Arkansas is a hard team to figure out in terms of future because they are so Jekyll and Hyde from game to game. If they want to be taken seriously in the future, the Hogs are going to have to show up when the stage is set for a breakout moment. Otherwise, finishing third (or lower) in the SEC West is about the best that can be expected.

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