One week of SEC football is past, and with a few exceptions (Ole Miss, Florida, and Vanderbilt) things went as expected. Now it's time to take a look at this week's slate of games.
For more in-depth analysis, listen to my weekly podcast analyzing each game at SEC Football Breakdown and also download on ITunes.
Last week I went 10-1 (Thanks a lot, Ole Miss!) and am 10-1 for the year.
Here's this week's schedule:
Auburn @ Mississippi State
South Carolina vs. Georgia
Florida vs. South Florida
LSU @ Vanderbilt
Arkansas vs. UL-Monroe
Kentucky vs. W. Kentucky
Ole Miss @ Tulane
Tennessee vs. Oregon
Alabama vs. Penn State
This slideshow is adapted from an article first published at: http://blogcritics.org/sports/article/sec-weekly-preview-week-two/#ixzz0yyXtRt8J
This one has major implications riding on it, as both teams jockey for position in the SEC East race. Both the Gamecocks and Bulldogs looked sharp in their season openers–Georgia without RB Washaun Ealey or WR AJ Green–and this one should feature a lot of points. Without A.J. Green on the field, the Bulldogs will have to be balanced on offense in order to keep what appears to be a much improved SC offense on the sidelines. The difference in this one will be Georgia's defense, as they have all but ditched the tentative approach that plagued them for the last couple years and gone to a more attacking style. This will give SC QB Steven Garcia fits all night. It'll be close early but the Bulldogs will pull away late.
Florida looked plain disorganized against Miami (OH) in week one and I'm sure Gators fans are wondering what Urban Meyer will do to right this ship. It's a test this week against South Florida, who seemed to be on the same track as before under new coach Skip Holtz but they still are a very young team going against a retooling, talent-laden one. Florida's defense is very good and I suspect that offense will be firing on all cylinders this week. It might be a close first half but Florida will win this one convincingly.
I guess it's finally time for me to exit the Les Miles/LSU train. That's a talented team, but I no longer have any confidence he can coach them consistently enough to be anything more than mid-tier in the SEC. Vanderbilt: hats off to you and that coaching staff for fighting hard against Northwestern. All that aside, not even Les Miles' idiocy can mess up the talent differential for the Commodores to win this game. LSU will win, but does is it really impress anyone? It's like Mike Tyson after he bit off Holyfield's ear. Sure he knocked out a bunch of tomato can opponents, but no one was in fear anymore. Same for LSU.
Arkansas gets another chance to tune up the offense before heading into SEC play next week. I expect to see Arkansas work more of the running game this week but Mallett will have another monster game.
Arkansas 45, UL Monroe 20*
*20 points because Arkansas patently refuses defense.
You know I would have said Tulane didn't stand a chance against Ole Miss in this one a week ago. I also thought the same about Jacksonville State. After that thorough embarrassment the Rebels travel to Tulane (really?) and try to keep the wheels from coming completely off. Ole Miss has the talent to beat Tulane. But again, I thought the same last week. Hopefully Nutt gets things right this week in New Orleans.
Look I'm glad Tennessee laid the wood to little ole UT-Martin last week but that is no indication of this week's game. Oregon possesses way too much speed for Tennessee to be able to contain.(That's why they get the picture featured.) Even with the home field advantage, the Volunteers just don't have the horses to consistently do anything against the Oregon defense. Oregon's offense will do way too much for Tennessee to be able to contain. Oregon is going to get a jump in national stature by blowing out a traditionally strong SEC team this week, and they deserve all of it.
Oregon 46, Tennessee 13
It's an old rivalry and a very interesting match up between and SEC and Big 10 power. The 101K will be rocking the bleachers in this one, but Alabama fans should know this is going to be a fight. Penn State will be fired up and ready for them, and I think they will give Alabama game–for three quarters. After that, Alabama's superior depth and experience will kick in and finish off the Nittany Lions, but it will be not be easy.