SEC Football Rambling Recap: Week One
Georgia lost its No. 1 ranking after easily beating Georgia Southern and lost some ground to now No. 3 Ohio State. Who cares? Being ranked No. 1 is fun and all, but it doesn't matter until the end of the season.
Further, No. 2 at the end is just as good as No. 1. As long as a team is in the top five to start the year, a strong year will take care of itself.
I bet Ohio State fans wish Beanie Wells only had eight carries like Knowshon Moreno did this past weekend.
Alabama scored the biggest win of the opening weekend and jumped 11 spots in the AP poll to No. 13. Other than that, what did they get for having the stones to schedule a prime time early season matchup? Not a damn thing.
Bama's no closer to a BCS bowl this week than they were last week. They're no closer to a BCS bowl than Auburn or Georgia after scheduling cupcakes Snickers and Junior Mints. If one of the Mississippi schools catches Bama on the wrong weekend, the Clemson game will be easily forgotten.
At the same time, Clemson is erased from the national title picture. As far as the bowl implications are concerned, Bama is a small winner and Clemson is a huge loser.
Congratulations to Vanderbilt. Welcome to the SEC, where most season-opening games are more about tailgating and getting together with old friends and less about worrying if you'll win three games this season. Hopefully they can start playing those games in Nashville rather than in Ohio. Or Ruston, LA.
I wonder who is more upset: Louisville fans that Kentucky's football program is better than theirs, or Kentucky fans that Louisville's basketball program is better than theirs?
After one game, it appears South Carolina scored with the hiring of former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. It's hard to top a shutout, no matter how bad NC State was. Expect him to keep Chris Nickson from running anywhere Thursday night. Nickson will be forced to throw for 200 yards to keep Vanderbilt in the game, something he will likely struggle with.
Arkansas—the team that hired Johnson from Mississippi State, only to lose him to South Carolina—will end up being the biggest loser in the deal.
Speaking of Fayetteville, good for Houston Nutt. His Rebels handled Memphis easily, which was a needed change from the close games they've had the past few years. While it's fair to say he underachieved some at Arkansas, it's also fair to say that he and his family were flat-out put through hell.
Arkansas fans may take some time to forgive him for not doing more with Darren McFadden last year, but here's to hoping the two sides will be happy after going their separate ways.
Jury's still out on Tommy Tuberville's switch to the spread. I'm buying the decision.
Tennessee was 7-1 in SEC overtime games, and the Vols looked like they had never seen overtime in Los Angeles. And what was up with that please-block-this-punt formation? It looked like Phil Fulmer himself could have run through the gaps in that spread line to make the block, scoop, and score.
After the bloodbath in Gainesville this past weekend, the WAC's top two teams are now 0-5 in laughers in their last few trips to SEC country.
Here is the breakdown by quarter.
SEC teams outscored the WAC 45-6 in the first quarter
SEC teams outscored the WAC 70-0 in the second quarter
SEC teams outscored the WAC 80-14 in the third quarter
WAC teams outscored the SEC 44-16 in the fourth quarter
The games were Hawaii at Florida 2008, Hawaii vs. Georgia in the 2008 Sugar Bowl, Hawaii at Alabama 2006, Boise St. at Georgia 2005, and Boise St. at Arkansas 2002.
Perhaps Mississippi State should schedule one of them rather than going back to Ruston. Or Murfreesboro, TN next year, I understand.
Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com wrote in his "Cavalcade of Whimsey" column that the ESPN-SEC TV deal will lead to SEC teams having “better facilities, better coaches, and better overall programs than anyone else can possibly come up with.”
I wouldn't go that far, but nonetheless: Nice, nice, and very nice.
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