Good afternoon, boys and ghouls. It's that wonderfully eerie time of year when the wind is a little crisper and the night is a little darker. Our imaginations run wild as the shadows play tricks on us, leading into the scariest day of the year.
Of course, I'm talking about Nick Saban's birthday! Truly a frightening way to end the month of October.
Coincidentally, Saturday is also Halloween. Candy, costumes and creepy stories, sounds and images, will fill the festivities on the final day of the month. Saturday doesn't feature a healthy heaping of savoring matchups, but we are approaching the most cannibalistic month of the year in college football. Teams will feast on each other like those walkers supposedly did to a lovable character in last week's episode of "The Walking Dead."
The SEC won't be any different, with a few a handful of scary good matchups remaining before the season ends in a month.
Here's to all the tricking and treating we'll see in the coming weeks, as we celebrate Halloween in the SEC:
Freddy Krueger: Does anyone else in the SEC terrorize the dreams -- nay, nightmares -- of quarterbacks the way Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett does? That's a resounding NO. Like the grizzly Krueger, who haunts his victims in their sleep, Garrett attacks his prey when it least expects it. He has blazing speed off the line and delivers a monstrous blow with every bone-rattling hit. There's a reason he leads the SEC with 8.5 sacks and has 13.5 tackles for loss.
The Mad Hatter: LSU coach Les Miles always has some ghastly trick up his purple-and-gold sleeves, much like that tormentor from Wonderland. Miles is always good for a mind-numbing trick play (just ask Florida, like every year) or a grass smoothie. He also has the hat to boot! You won't find a more sinister smile from a more evil genius in the SEC.
Predator: If you want a heat-seeking missile of a defensive back who hunts like a true alien warrior, look no further than Ole Miss safety Trae Elston. When he puts that helmet on, he almost resembles the alien headhunter perfectly with those dreadlocks flowing from underneath. Elston delivers a powerful blow with every frightful hit and has four interceptions, with two returned for touchdowns.
The Walking Dead: Will Missouri's offense ever wake up? The Tigers have been dreadfully sluggish and downright grotesque when they've had the ball this season. Like a horde of clumsy, mutilated walkers, Missouri's offense has stumbled along with an SEC-low 277.6 yards per game (126th nationally) and 4.4 yards per play. Mizzou is also last in the SEC and the nation in scoring (14.9 points per game). What's scarier? Mizzou hasn't scored a touchdown in 13 quarters!
The Invisible Man: Oh, where did Auburn's national championship hopes go? The widely accepted contender to win the SEC and compete for a national title sits at a disturbing 4-3 and well out of the SEC Western Division race. Jeremy Johnson vanished at quarterback and the defense, which was supposed to be much improved, is near the bottom of the SEC in all major categories.
Michael Myers: Leonard Fournette just won't go down. Like the horrifying star of the "Halloween" franchise, LSU's terrifyingly good running back withstands a constant beating and still dismantles his opponents with ease. He lurks behind a mammoth offensive line and does all his dirty work with his arms and lethal legs. Just like a bullet to Myers, one tackle won't take Fournette down.
Frankenstein: No, not the monster, you horror movie novices! If you'll remember correctly it was Dr. Frankenstein who actually created that gruesome monster. Much like that the ghoulish doctor, Nick Saban has yet again created a monster at Alabama. The Crimson Tide was left for dead after a home loss to Ole Miss, but is now right back in the SEC and national championship picture with a frighteningly ferocious running back in Derrick Henry and a viciously good defense.
Trick: This was supposed to be Georgia's year in the SEC Eastern Division. On paper, the Bulldogs had the best team and with the division trending downward, the Bulldogs should have taken the East with relative ease. But as we approach Halloween, the Bulldogs are looking up to 6-1 Florida and its brand new coach in Jim McElwain. Georgia was blown out at home by Alabama and then blew a 21-point lead in its loss to Tennessee.
Treat: Well, look at the new kid on the block. McElwain has Florida two wins away from clinching the SEC East for the first time since 2009. The Gators actually have an offense that moves in the right direction and still has one of the nation's best defenses. The East isn't great by any means, but the Gators weren't supposed to be this good, either. McElwain has this team playing at a different level.