Random Thoughts from Around the SEC

With week two of the college football season in the books, a few thoughts:

Alabama: With a solid, system-confined showing in a difficult environment against a quality opponent, A.J. McCarron all but guarantees himself the starting job moving forward in Tuscaloosa. The defense had another strong showing, but offensive line woes must still be resolved if 'Bama wants a trip to New Orleans.

Arkansas: Week two of the preseason in Fayetteville goes off without a hitch. Don't you know their players have to be bored at this point playing East Popcorn State week after week? Also, note to self, do not kick the football to Joe Adams.

Auburn: The Plainsmen edge out the Bullies thanks to an interception returned for a touchdown after a ball careened off an Auburn DB's helmet who was looking in the wrong direction and a goal line stand inches short of a touchdown when Chris Relf botched the option by not pitching to the trailing back who could have strolled into the end zone with a four-pronged walker. You just cannot make this stuff up, folks. Gene Chizik ought to be in the business of buying lottery tickets. I'll restate my previous position: Auburn is not a good football team, they will play poorly, they will win anyway. They'll take Clemson down next weekend in another ugly exhibition as well, who almost fell to mighty Wofford this past weekend.

Florida: Somewhat of a slow, sluggish start by the Gators against the ever laughable UAB Blazers, but given the quality of the opponent nothing of value can really be gleaned from this one. We'll find out about the Gators this weekend in Gainesville.

Georgia: Valiant effort by UGA but dumb mistakes and a soft defense once again dooms the Dawgs in the end, and the close game arguably says more about South Carolina than it does Georgia. On the upside for UGA, though, the offense settled in, and Isiah Crowell does look like a budding star. Even so, teams not named Auburn cannot give up 45 points in this league and win, and the bow of the Titanic sinks ever lower in the north Atlantic.

Kentucky: Another god-awful performance by UK somehow results in a win with the 'Cats moving to 2-0. The cupcakes will be running out soon, though, and Louisville v. Kentucky this weekend may be a repeat of the 2008 Auburn v. Mississippi State game. Either way, the ensuing three-game stretch of Florida, LSU, and South Carolina will put this team out of its misery.

LSU: For those unaware of Louisiana geography, Northwestern State University is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, which is a piss-stop town on I-49 just south of Shreveport. LSU treated them on Saturday night much like most passing-through motorists treat their hometown. In reality, this was just a glorified practice for the Bayou Bengals in preparation of hopefully committing crimes against nature this Thursday night in Starkville.

Ole Miss: The Fighting Nutts holds off the mighty Division 1-AA Salukis 42-24 -- who are fresh off a 5-6 season in 2010 -- thanks in large part to a twenty-one point first quarter surge and four interceptions from SIU quarterback Paul McIntosh. Ole Miss came away with the victory despite giving up 420 yards of offense, so no worries about seeing a real defense in Oxford this season. How about we just try to end the Baylor impasse by negotiating an Aggie-for-Johnny Reb trade with the Big X? DeLoss Dodds probably isn't that dumb.

Mississippi State: 2-0 is apparently the bridge too far in Starkville. Likewise, Dan Mullen is now 0-9 against SEC West teams not named Ole Miss. Hat tip to Mullen and all, but it's still very much Mississippi State and they are still a long way from rising into any form of prominence in the SEC. Remember that Memphis team MSU was supposedly so impressive against in the opener? Yeah, Arkansas State took that team to the woodshed 47-3 on Saturday. And where the hell is Joe Lee Dunn Manny Diaz?

South Carolina: Something of a performance that put all of the Gamecocks flaws prominently on display, but a win is a win is a win, and Carolina solidifies itself as the favorite in a division where winning ugly is likely all that will be required to get to Atlanta. This team still looked a long way behind 'Bama, LSU, and Arkansas, but Jadeveon Clowney looks like a superstar even at this early stage and it took him all of two weeks to become a game-changer in Columbia.

Tennessee: Strong showing against Cincinnati as UT lights up the scoreboard and runs away with relative ease. Bray looks very good, but can the Vols play defense and run the football against quality opponents? Based on 23 points and 396 yards of total offense for the Bearcat offense combined with the Vols averaging only 3.6 yards per carry on the ground, the early returns indicate the answer is no.

Vanderbilt: Don't look now but Vandy is 2-0 under James Franklin after an albeit ugly win against Connecticut. With Ole Miss, Kentucky, Army, and Wake Forest remaining on the schedule, the 'Dores might fare better than usual, and it's hard to say they've been the bottom feeder of the conference to date.

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