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Around the SEC: And They're Off!

College football news & notes from around the conference.

Oklahoma visits Tennessee
Oklahoma visits Tennessee
Brett Deering/Getty Images

It was a long time coming and the ESS EE SEE did not disappoint going 12-1.

In case you missed it, the SEC and Atlanta Falcons have reached a 10-year agreement to hold the SEC Championship in Atlanta at the Falcons' new stadium scheduled to open in 2017. The Alabama-Florida State game on Septmeber 2, 2017 will be one of the first events held at the stadium.

Win-Loss Record key:
  • SEC - conference record
  • P5 - non-SEC record against Power 5
  • MM - record against Mid Majors/Non-Power 5 but projected bowl participant
  • CC - record against cupcakes

Trying something new this season, we will attempt to put a weight on records.

  • Win over P5 = 1 point
  • Win over a ranked opponent = additional 0.5
  • Road win = 0.5
  • Neutral site win = 0.25
  • Win over a MM = 0.5
  • Win over a CC = 0
  • Loss to CC = -1
  • Loss to MM = -0.5
  • Home loss = -0.5
Ole Miss Rebels (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 1-0) 0 Points

Points this week: 0 for home win over cupcake Tennessee-Martin.

Fresno at Ole Miss 2:30pm/3:30pm - ESPN2ESPN2

Twelve different Rebels put points on on the board on Saturday including Robert Nkemdiche. The defensive lineman took a swing pass out of the backfield for a 31-yard score in the 2nd quarter of their romp over the mighty Skyhawks.

LSU Tigers (0-0, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 0-0) 0 Points

Points this week: 0 for canceling a game with McNeese because of weather. I am tempted to take away points for not rescheduling on Sunday.

LSU at Mississippi State 8:15pm/9:15pm, ESPN ESPN

The Tigers are now thrust into the SEC West schedule without much known about the play of quarterbacks Brandon Harris, who was named the starter, and Anthony Jennings, nor the defense under Kevin Steele. Harris got to throw only two passes, completing one for a loss of 4 yards. The Tigers got one first down before having to punt. LSU's defense forced a three-and-out when the rains came.

Auburn Tigers (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 1-0, MM 0-0, CC 0-0) 1.25 Points

Points this week: 1 for P5 win, 0.25 for neutral site win over L'ville.

Jacksonville St at 6 Auburn 11am/12pm, SECN

The Auburn training staff was busy on Saturday with Tigers dropping left and right. Running backs Roc Thomas (leg) and Jovon Robinson (leg), safety Tray Matthews (shoulder), linebacker Carl Lawson (hip) all left the field against the Cardinals. They will not need any of them this weekend. However, Comrade Gustav Malzahn expects all of them back.

Tennessee Volunteers (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 1-0, CC 0-0) 0.5 Points

Points this week: 0.5 win over a MM Bowling Green.

Oklahoma at #25 Tennessee 5pm/6pm, ESPN ESPN

Alvin Kamara made his Tennessee debut a memorable one with 144 yards and two scores on 15 carries. However, he tended to run around the end, outrunning defenders to the edge to get his yardage. Observers will be able to see pretty quickly against the Sooners if he is able to get away with this strategy against a higher quality defenses.

South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 1-0, MM 0-0, CC 0-0) 1.25 Point

Points this week: 1.25 for win over UNC at neutral location.

Kentucky at South Carolina 6:30pm/7:30pm, SECN

The city of Charlotte has watched the great success that Atlanta has had with their Kickoff Classics and decided to get into that business. And who better to match up than UNC and South Carolina? Despite the game opening the college football season and being a close drive for fans of both schools, several thousands of tickets went unsold in the Carolina Panthers' 73,298-seat stadium. The main deterrent was the price tags of $70 for upper deck tickets to $258 for club level. The official attendance was 51,664. SC and UNC each received a guaranteed a $3.2 million payout for the game.

Texas A&M Aggies (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 1-0, MM 0-0, CC 0-0) 1.625 Points

Points this week: Win over a ranked team (1 + 0.5); the "neutral" site of Houston was not so neutral, so they get 0.125 for that.

Ball State at Texas A&M 6pm/7pm, ESPNUESPNU

The buzz around college football this week surrounds the explosive season debut by the Aggies. Before we proceed, let's flash back twelve months ago to when a young dynamic quarterback named Kenny Hill took TAMU into Columbia, SC and dominated the ninth ranked Gamecocks. Check out this article from the Dallas Morning News. The word "beast" seems to be flung around rather loosely. The Aggs reeled off four more Ws before the wheels fell off going 3-5 in the SEC. Back to 2015, Hill has transferred out and two-fifths of the OL is in the NFL. The defense appears to be flourishing under John Chavis and there are some crazy fast guys catching balls on offense. But maybe, just maybe, we should wait and see if Texas A&M can get through the SEC West gauntlet of Arkansas-MSU-Bama-Ole Miss that starts with Sept. 26.

Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 1-0) 0 Points

Points this week: 0. If USM proves to be more than just a cupcake (four wins since 2012) then we can revisit this.

LSU at Mississippi State 8:15pm/9:15pm, ESPN ESPN

Starting cornerback Tavaez Calhoun missed MSU's game last week against Southern Miss due to a knee injury but Dan Mullen expects him to be back for the Bullies' home opener against LSU on Saturday. A slightly torn meniscus occurred in training camp and had not completely healed. Calhoun is looked upon as the catalyst of the Dogs' secondary. He led all MSU defensive backs last year with 53 tackles. He is the only returning starter in the secondary from last year's team and has started 25 games for the Bulldogs the last two seasons. Mississippi State allowed 311 passing yards to Southern Miss without Calhoun on the field.

Missouri Tigers (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 1-0) 0 Points

Points this week: 0 home win over cupcake SEMO St.

Missouri at Arkansas State 6pm/7pm,

Mizzou joins the odd fad of P5 teams playing a road game at a non-P5 team's stadium. Last weekend, Mississippi State was at Southern Miss, Michigan State trekked to Western Michigan, and Oklahoma State visited Central Michigan. I can only guess the Tigers hope to expand their recruiting reach into their neighboring state and perhaps into nearby Memphis. Centennial Bank Stadium seats 30,964.

Florida Gators (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 1-0) 0 Points

Points this week: 0 home win over King cupcake New Mexico St.

ECU at Florida 6pm/7pm, ESPN2 ESPN2

One game in the books and the quarterback battle in Gainesville is still raging on. Neither Will Grier nor Treon Harris distanced themselves from each other against New Mexico State. Harris was the starter but both played equal amounts with pretty similar results. Coach Jim McElwain said Monday that starting redshirt freshman Will Grier against ECU is "something we talked about".

Georgia Bulldogs (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 1-0) 0 Points

Points this week: 0 home win over cupcake La-Monroe.

Georgia at Vanderbilt 2:30pm/3:30pm, CBS

Georgia ran the ball 38 times and only threw it 14 times in a 51-14 domination of the Warhawks. There were no deep downfield passes and only a handful of intermediate pass attempts. Players and coaches are describing the offense that was run on Saturday as "vanilla", alluding that they were holding back on the playbook. Wile certainly possible, could it be that QB Greyson Lambert doesn't have that big arm? Also, could it be a lack of faith from the coaches? If the last few seasons are any indication, it appears that Mark Richt will run Nick Chubb into the ground until he breaks.

Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-0, CC 1-0) 0 Points

Points this week: 0 home win over cupcake UTEP.

Toledo at #18 Arkansas 3pm/4pm, SECN

QB Brandon Allen had a career best 308 yards passing and Alex Collins ran 12 times for 127 yards - which is good and all but ... c'mon. It's UTEP. The "T" tour rolls on as they face Toledo and Texas Tech before Texas A&M comes to town to provide a real test on September 26. The jury is still in deliberations.

Vanderbilt Commodores (0-1, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 0-1, CC 0-0) -1 Point

Points this week: -1 home loss (-0.5) to MM (-0.5) WKU.

Georgia at Vanderbilt 2:30pm/3:30pm, CBS

If the 'Dores want to fire Derek Mason after this season (they won't), James Franklin might be available soon.

Kentucky Wildcats (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 0-0, MM 1-0, CC 0-0) 0.5 Points

Points this week: 0.5 Win over a MM La-Laf.

Kentucky at South Carolina 6:30pm/7:30pm, SECN

Kentucky fans rewarded the administration for the $120 million renovation to Commonwealth Stadium with 62,933 raucous fans. The real question is can they keep fan excitement on the rise with the next two home games being against Florida and Mizzou - both winnable games.

alabama logo script a 100x100

Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0, SEC 0-0, P5 1-0, MM 0-0, CC 0-0) 1.75 Points

Points this week: 1.75 win over ranked P5 on neutral site.

Middle Tennessee State at Alabama 3:00pm CT / 4:00pm ET - SEC Network

If there was any doubt that Kenyan Drake was back to his dynamic self, it was answered against the Badgers. The Crimson Tide RB/WR showed bursts of acceleration on the field that looked inhuman!