Dr. Football feels reborn after an amazing start to the season. The first week of SEC play was revealing in some cases (Alabama), almost meaningless in others (Auburn) and devastating if your nickname is the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State lost a game. Georgia lost one of its better players. Defensive tackle Jeff Owens was lost with a torn ACL in the second quarter against Georgia Southern. While Georgia has depth at the position, it will be both a physical and spiritual loss for Georgia.
Mississippi State? Embarrassing. First, you don’t schedule a game at Louisiana Tech. Second, you had better show up. Sylvester Croom didn’t take long to go from celebrated to dated with his archaic offense.
The 22-14 loss was bad for the SEC’s image, but we all knew Croom did it with smoke and mirrors last year and expected a slide in Starkville. Fortunately for Mike Slive, Arkansas avoided what would be an even worse loss when it rallied to beat Western Illinois.
While Bobby Petrino’s debut was a near disaster, the former Arkansas coach now in Oxford had a better day as Ole Miss handled Memphis 41-24.
But the biggest story in the conference was Alabama. It will be interesting to see if the Tide is for real or whether Clemson is just overrated. Because one thing we did learn this first weekend is that the ACC is a joke. It’s best team was destroyed. Its other ranked team (Virginia Tech) lost to East Carolina. N.C. State lost by 34 to an SEC team that had no offense.
Maryland barely beat Delaware. North Carolina barely beat McNeese State. Virginia never had a chance against Southern Cal.
Alabama does appear for real. That wasn’t a fluke. That was a football team lining up without any fancy spread offense and just being more physical than the other team. Now Alabama has to be full of confidence.
That’s a dangerous team. You have to think LSU and Auburn fans were gulping Saturday night. But I do caution Alabama fans to understand that it was one game and your team had a summer to get ready for it. We all know the true test is the grind of those eight SEC games.
But I also will say this ” I’d like to have my Media Days ballot back. I was tempted to go out on a limb and pick Bama to win the West. Instead, I did what most did and put them third. Dummy.