Grades

Midway through the season means SEC Banter’s doling out midterm grades for football teams and whatever else floats my boat.

Disagree with your grade?  My office hours are Tuesdays from 8-8:15 am.  Or, for ’round-the-clock access, you can always fax me.

We start with college football itself.  This past Saturday felt like the first real week of consequence.  The season has mostly lacked “pop” and, for that reason, college football gets a C with hope for turning in an A+ performance as the season progresses.

SEC Banter isn’t faring much better, to be candid.  Perhaps it’s the ho-hum season, life’s general obligations, or science’s abject failure to invent a time machine to 1985, but Banter feels a bit off and that earns me a C+.

Speaking of feeling a bit off, Georgia gets a D despite its 5-1 record and No. 10 ranking.  That home loss to unranked Sakerlina was more embarrassing than being cast in the next “Weekend at Bernie’s” sequel.

I might add Georgia looked as lifeless as Bernie.

UGA is in the middle. Bernie.

UGA is in the middle. Bernie.

Alabama:  The rest of college football needs ‘Bama averaging 51 points per game like I need another golf shirt.  For those who don’t know me well, I do NOT need another golf shirt.  It’s an A+ for Alabama.

Toy Story 4:  I watched the latest Toy Story installment with my kids over the weekend.  Darn it if those little animated toys don’t make me cry to infinity and beyond, and this flick was no different, earning an A in my book.

Woody, All-American cowboy and guaranteed tear-jerker.

Woody, All-American cowboy and guaranteed tear-jerker.

Florida:  Despite nearly insurmountable challenges that accompany perpetually tacky uniforms, Florida’s backup quarterback Kyle Trask was poised in Death Valley during a competitive loss.  Look out if the Gators beat Georgia in Jacksonville, which suddenly seems plausible.  A- for Florida.

LSU:  The Tigers have a high-flying, record-setting offense, about as unlikely as a new “Magnum P.I.” movie starring Tom Selleck, not some knock-off actor.  An uncharacteristically porous defense keeps LSU from a perfect grade.  A.

My most recent chili:  I was proud of the 5-alarm chili I honchoed last weekend.  Then, a good buddy from New Orleans sent pics of his boiled shrimp, blue crabs, grilled frogs’ legs, boudin, gator sausage, and pork ribs.  My 5-alarm chili looked alarmingly pedestrian in comparison, so it gets a B-.

Click here for my Nola pal’s feast:  IMG_0561

Missouri:  I learned recently that Missouri is, in fact, still in the SEC.  They’re also tough to gauge after dropping the season opener to Wyoming but remaining capable of winning the SEC East.  B+ for the Tigers.

My wife gets an A+ not just for being the best wife around (duh), but for going on a girls’ trip to Destin this weekend.  Their plans include a fishing boat excursion in Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.  How cool is that?

Actual boat my wife will be fishing on this weekend.

Actual boat my wife will be fishing on this weekend.

The only private school in the SEC, Vanderbilt, brings down the curve with a big fat F.  The Commodores are understandably not an SEC powerhouse but getting blown out by a one-win UNLV team at home 34-10 earns a failing grade.

My playlist for going low on the golf course — I fired a 94 last week, boom! — gets an A+.  Heavy on Tom Petty with some Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton and Creedence thrown in for good measure, it’s a winner.

There you have SEC Banter’s midterm grades.  If I didn’t grade your team, it’s because they’re pitiful (Arkansas, Tennessee), typically boring (Kentucky, Mississippi State), or were once known as East Alabama Male College (Auburn).

See you during office hours, and I’m also waiting by the fax machine for infinity and beyond.

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