This week’s High Five after a great weekend in Knoxville.
1. On Saturday, I wrote that if I had a vote I would have Oregon No. 1 on my ballot. Alabama has been dominant as well and both teams have all of their difficult games ahead of them. But the Ducks have outscored their opponents 189-13 and lead the nation in both scoring offense and defense. You’ll need two TVs in the living room the night of Oct. 2 because Florida-Alabama and Oregon-Stanford overlap.
2. I keep getting this question about whether or not Mark Richt is on the hot seat and I have the same answer. It will take a disaster of a season to get him there. But at 0-2 in the SEC, the Bulldogs may be heading there. Richt is now 2-6 in his last eight SEC games. Those are Vanderbilt numbers. There is a lot of grumbling in Athens, but with a new athletic director and Richt’s track record it’s hard to believe he could be in trouble this season. On the other hand, if things go the way they have been going for Georgia (losses, arrests) and the Bulldogs have a third straight disappointing season, Richt will be able to see the hot seat wherever he is.
3. Tennessee showed a lot of fight against Florida and it’s not like the Vols are devoid of talent. But the offense almost requires a breakdown on defense to get anything going and we could be looking at a 2-6 Tennessee team when October is over. Here’s the UT schedule next month: at LSU, at Georgia, Alabama, at South Carolina. The Vols have their usually easy November but Kentucky is not an automatic win, Vandy is showing some spunk and Ole Miss, well, I don’t know what to say about Ole Miss. I have neither the energy nor desire to look this up but I’m pretty sure the Rebels are the first team to ever lose to Jacksonville State and Vandy at home in the same month.
4. Nothing better than getting back to the hotel in Knoxville after a long day and being treated to back-to-back overtimes. Great wins for Auburn and Michigan State and you have to give Mark Dantonio a Manwich for the fake field goal call. At the same time, you have to wonder why Notre Dame wasn’t in safe coverage. It was a 46-yard field goal with an inexperienced kicker and even if he makes it you’re going to another overtime. Those games were followed by a pair of late night games that I couldn’t make all the way through because of a 7 a.m. flight. But just when you thought things could not get any worse for the ACC, Wake Forest gets beat 68-24 by Stanford.
5. MVP for the week — I’m going with Mark Ingram. I know it was against the soft Duke defense, but to bounce back from surgery and gain 151 yards on nine carries deserves some praise.
If you are not going to see Florida and Kentucky, here are your best three viewing options.
Alabama at Arkansas, 3:30, CBS: Put up or shut up time for the Razorbacks.
South Carolina at Auburn, 7:45, ESPN: Both are undefeated with big wins under their belts.
West Virginia at LSU, 9 p.m., ESPN2: Big East gets a chance to save some face.