One of the SECs bell cows.
What a weekend of football. It was a letdown for some, but if you were just a spectator it was exciting in some key match-ups.
The AP poll moved a little bit here and there. Alabama took back the No. 2 position, placing LSU in third. South Carolina moved up to 11th. Mississippi State took a slide to 25th and Auburn jumped back in at 21.
Nonetheless, let's peer back at Saturday.
First up was Mississippi State at Auburn. A lot of media hype helped fuel this game, and I actually bought into it as well. Both offenses played well, and MSU actually dropped over 500 yards of offense on the Tigers. The only problem was the Tigers dropped a load of special teams play on the Bulldogs.
It is safe to say that Auburn doesn't have a great defense, but that is not to say that MSU does. What is safe to say is that Auburn makes the right plays at the right times on defense. Do it once and it is luck. Do it twice and it is becoming skill.
Analysis of both of these teams is that they will have trouble when they line up against good defensive units in the coming months. Question is, who will those defenses be? The Bulldogs will find out next Thursday night. The Tigers will have to wait a few more weeks.
Florida handily took care of the UAB Blazers and showed that the offense is back....not really. UAB had their first season game this past weekend. And the Blazers aren't exactly a stellar program. The Gators haven't been smacked in the mouth yet and wont until next weekend against UT.
Let's see how they react. This should be an interesting match up.
Who is still pretending?
With UT coming off of an impressive win against Cincinnati, the build up for this swamp game is a segue into the eastern division playoff. I'm not sure whose music will sound better after that game.
Analysis of this situation is that UF's defense is solid and UT's offense is a little bit more tested than the Gators. But, the Gators are ranked at 16th, while UT is nowhere in sight. So that tells me who the pollsters think have the better talent, and, maybe the coaches.
Ole Miss rebounded against Southern Illinois and now have to go play at Vanderbilt. From the looks of it, the Rebels still need a lot more defense than the Commodores. This game will almost be a toss up.
Besides the injuries Arkansas sustained, the Hogs demolished the Lobos Saturday. Still not playing anybody of substance, one can only wonder how strong the Razorbacks will be this year. Right now I'm suspect of both units. Don't get me wrong, I think this team has potential, but I just want to see them line up against Alabama or LSU. We shall see the former happen in a couple of weeks.
The second thrill game of the SEC weekend was South Carolina at UGA. The aftermath of the "must win" game for Richt will start coming down a little bit harder Monday morning, but this team has to press on. The funny thing about this game was that USC had three non-offensive touchdowns, two on defensive plays and one a special team's fake.
Next week's big winner?
What does this tell us? It says that USC's defense is suspect against the pass but is going to get theirs if you keep doing it, most SEC defenses would. Though the passing game was light for the Gamecocks, it is generally not needed when your running game is effective.
As for Georgia, they have a long season ahead of them. Not a hard one, but a long season—literally. The team proved that they can make some offensive plays and have some moxie. The schedule sets up for them to win the next 10 games. This perception is one thing, and reality can be another.
What will the Dawgs choose?
Kentucky, I will just say that they have reached a new low of unimpressive. Central Michigan? Allowed 383 yards? This UK defense is horrible, and only by the grace of Calipari goes this SEC program. It appears that the Wildcats may not win one SEC game with this kind of play.
Finally, we come to Alabama at Penn State. The excitement from them is not palpable, and the synergy seems like a workmanship more than a natural flow. However, I give that more to the offense than the defense.
I'm not saying this is bad, because pro teams use that same kind of synergy, and a lot of them are successful. It is their job. Maybe the Tide looks at it similarly.
I think that Alabama takes a methodical approach, similar to slow roasting pork. It is steady, deliberate, no deviating from the temperature, and can only be tasted after several hours. And, the truth is, why would you change your approach when your opponent can't maintain the same level?
What does this boil down to? We don't know how well Penn State will be, but we do know that visiting 108,000 ravenous fans doesn't change the course of the Tide. However, This will be a team whose offense is going to have to find some serious excitement when the defense has a let down game.
And, this will happen.
Overall, the SEC bounced back against the poor performance of week one's out of conference schedule, cannabalized itself in the AP poll, and generally looked good across the board.
What will week three bring?