SEC Football: Examining Each Ranked Team's Greatest Weakness

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 10, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 17:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks back to the sideline after a defensive huddle against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The all-powerful SEC boasted six ranked teams this season, including No. 2 Alabama, which will be facing Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game.

No. 3 Florida, No. 7 Georgia, No. 8 LSU, No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 10 South Carolina were also ranked.

Heading into bowl season, we all know these teams have a lot of strengths. But what is the one weakness that has followed each team around all season long?

Take a look.

Note: All stats via

No. 2 Alabama (12-1, 7-1 SEC): Fumbles

It's hard to find a weakness with this Alabama team, but the Crimson Tide have had trouble taking care of the pigskin this season.

The Crimson Tide have not only lost 12 fumbles (tied for 86th in the nation), they are actually lucky they didn't lose more. They fumbled the ball 24 times this season, tied for 101st in the nation.

Alabama lost a fumble against Texas A&M in the 29-24 upset on Nov. 10 and also lost a fumble in the 32-28 nail-biter against Georgia in the SEC title game.


No. 3 Florida (11-1, 7-1 SEC): Penalties

A case could be made for the passing game here, but Florida has committed an astounding amount of penalties this season.

The Gators have averaged 8.0 penalties per game, 116th in the nation and worst in the SEC. That includes committing 10 penalties for 95 yards in the 17-9 loss to Georgia on Oct. 27.


No. 7 Georgia (11-2, 7-1 SEC): Run Defense

Penalties could be included here; but the fact of the matter is, in both of Georgia's losses this season, the Bulldogs allowed chunks of yardage on the ground.

Against South Carolina, they allowed 230 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Against Alabama in the SEC title game, they allowed 350 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

They also ceded a combined 608 yards and three touchdowns on the ground to the option attacks of Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern.


No. 8 LSU (10-2, 6-2 SEC): Penalties

LSU has averaged 7.3 penalties per game this season, tied for 102nd in the nation and second-worst in the SEC.

In the two losses to Florida and Alabama, the Tigers racked up a combined 15 penalties for 134 yards.


No. 9 Texas A&M (10-2, 6-2 SEC): Turnover Margin

Texas A&M's run defense has hurt the squad at times this season, but I'm going to go with turnover margin here.

The Aggies tied for 87th in the nation in turnover margin this season. In the 24-19 loss to LSU on Oct. 20, they committed five turnovers. They also committed a combined eight turnovers in the nail-biters against Ole Miss and Louisiana Tech.

It's frankly astounding that Texas A&M committed so many turnovers and still ended up with a 10-2 record.


No. 10 South Carolina (10-2, 6-2 SEC): Sacks/Tackles for Loss Allowed

Without Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina's running game could be listed here; but the fact of the matter is, it's hard for anyone to run the pigskin when you allow 80 tackles for loss on the season (101st in the nation). 

In the Gamecocks' two losses to LSU and Florida this season, they allowed a combined 16 tackles for loss. Lattimore rushed for 35 yards on 13 carries against LSU.

South Carolina has also allowed 35 sacks this season, 109th in the nation. LSU and Florida each collected four sacks against the Gamecocks.


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