Alabama’s Rout Of USC The Good While LSU Is The Bad & Mississippi State The Ugly
If the first weekend of college football is any indicator – and things can certainly change but it sure starts to put things in perspective – then the SEC won’t quite be the challenging juggernaut it’s been the past several years.
It’s still the best conference in America until proven otherwise, but is sure looking like it will be a top- heavy league.
In fact, based on the first week, the two best teams in the SEC West are not Alabama and LSU, but Alabama and Auburn. And there may be no other team to challenge either one of them.
In the East, Georgia is the clear front-runner to win that division. Florida obviously continues to be offensively challenged and Tennessee is sidelined by a coach who apparently can’t handle big-time college football.
And on the bottom, one wonders if poor ‘ol Vanderbilt can ever get an offense to relieve its defense, if Kentucky should just give up trying to be any good in football and if Mississippi State can’t beat South Alabama if it will win any conference games.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the good, the bad and the ugly teams from Week 1.
The Good In The SEC
Alabama looked talented, angry and focused and based on other Week 1 games it appears the Crimson Tide may have little opposition steamrolling every opponent through the regular season, in the SEC Championship game and straight into the College Football Playoffs. That won’t be the case, of course, but don’t be too surprised if it happens.
The second-best team – and shockingly so – might be Auburn. Sure, the offense is a mess but is the defense really good enough to pretty much shut down Clemson? I don’t think so because it seemed as if the Tigers forgot they had a Heisman Trophy runner-up at quarterback and instead handed the ball off for dive plays the whole game. Still, somebody is going to have to get after the Tigers and it may not be the Tigers from Baton Rouge.
A lot of pundits in the SEC are no doubt touting Texas A&M but not me. UCLA should have put that game away in the first quarter and would have done so in the fourth if its receivers had realized their role is to catch the ball and not bat it away. Sill, I’ll put this in the “good” category because after this first brutal weekend, it’s a team that got a win.
Georgia got a huge win – even tho it was only over North Carolina – and showed toughness in doing so, and toughness is the one thing the Dawgs consistently lacked under Mark Richt. This is now the team to beat in the SEC East. Tho it will probably lose to Florida like it does pretty much every year.
Missouri may have lost but it put up a good fight against West Virginia. Had LSU competed like this, the Tigers would have easily beaten Wisconsin.
The Bad In The SEC
LSU started out the way it always starts out a season – by sleepwalking through the first half. Except this time, it never snapped to it. It continued to be in a daze and the quarterback situation may be even worse than anyone imagined. The Tigers now face the prospect of losing to Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, perhaps even Texas A&M and almost certainly Alabama, and that will have Les Miles eating grass out in a pasture somewhere by the Bama game.
Tennessee came out for the most highly-anticipated opener in nearly 15 years and looked ill prepared, had no offensive game plan and could not make any in-game adjustments on either side of the ball. More and more Butch Jones is proving himself to be a Cincinnati-Western Michigan type of coach, not one who can handle the pressure and exposure of big-time college football. Becasue of the overloaded expectations (apparently, nobody but me could see UT’s achilles heel is Jones) could turn out to be one of the most disappointing seasons on Rocky Top in a long, long time.
Here’s what i think happened to Ole Miss: it got cocky at halftime, started thinking about how it would beat Alabama, win the SEC West and make the College Football Playoffs. Then the second half hit and it didn’t have the mental toughness to handle Florida State’s comeback. In other words, it’s Mississippi’s recent seasons summed up in one game.
Florida, seriously, you couldn’t score more than 24 points on UMass!? Even Bowling Green hung 62 on this team a year ago.
Arkansas didn’t lose but it was a scare. Is starting slow a true part of “Being Brett Bielema?”
The Ugly In The SEC
Mississippi State and Kentucky flat-out embarrassed the league. Hopefully, nobody outside the conference saw Vandy and South Carolina set offensive football back to the three-and-out days.