As opposed to putting out a full-body analysis of one game, I thought I'd throw out some readily-digestible chunks to spur some debate. I welcome any and all opinion and feedback on this format:
• What are the chances that certain teams are still "holding back" in terms of formations, sets, etc.? In the case of Alabama, there must certainly be a play in the books with Richardson and Ingram running some sort of ridiculous power sweep. What are the chances of Auburn or Arkansas having something similar, in terms of secret weapons?
• How happy must the Commodores be right now? Yes, Ole Miss is about as well-built as a soup sandwich, but I've gotta think that the Vandy crew celebrated this win in a big way. Masoli must be ready to yank his face off out of frustration. I am certain a few people are calling Karma on this one...
• Auburn has talent, no question about it. But I saw a couple of things in the Clemson game that has me thinking that 11-12 wins (as some predict) is more than a stretch. If Auburn starts to have to win games by passing the ball, they are going to be in serious trouble. Watching Newton throw to DA in double coverage while the other cat was wide open shows me that he has a significant amount of growing to do.
• Florida seemed to get it together long enough to beat Tennessee. I was thinking an upset could happen, but since I didn't see the whole game, I can't provide detailed analysis of that match. I will say this, though: this is the kind of fire that great teams are forged in. When Alabama was going .500 in coach Saban's first year, that group was learning some valuable lessons on what it takes to win ballgames. I can't help but think that Dooley could have a real beast in Knoxville in the next two to three years.
• True Story: I picked the Gamecocks to win the East when they signed Lattimore in the offseason. USC has been one-dimensional for years now, and he takes care of exactly what they have been lacking. In my view, Garcia's mental issues have stemmed from a belief that he had to shoulder all of the offensive burden, on top of wondering if he was going to be yanked at any second. That does not a happy QB situation make. Now that he has a stud RB, he has breathing room and some peace of mind in terms of offensive options. Teams can no longer sell out to stop the passing attack. The defense gets to rest a bit more since the g-cocks can actually sustain some long drives.
• Call me uninformed, but I had no idea Ryan Mallett was 0-fer-eternity in SEC road wins. My beloved Crimson Tide had better be ready for Petrino's team! Sidebar: Dre Kirkpatrick is going to be a lockdown, skull-cracking player before it's all over.
Thanks for reading!