Stars fell on Alabama on Saturday, but they were wearing purple and gold, and red and blue. LSU removed any doubt concerning Auburn’s new defensive scheme. Leonard Fournette ran for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns, and the Bengal Tigers racked up over 400 yards in total offense. While the War Eagle defense was being shredded, the offense was equally inept, and the future looks dismal.
Later in the night, the Ole Miss Rebels marched in to Denny Stadium and spanked the Crimson Tide. Actually, Bama did pretty well. They held the Rebel offense to 43 points, when it had been scoring over 70 per game. The Red Elephants refused to give up, and kept coming back all evening. From what I saw on TV, the whole thing came down to highly skilled athletes defeating a bigger, deeper opponent. Alabama turned the ball over, and Ole Miss capitalized on each miscue.
As all of you know, I predicted a National Championship for Ole Miss, and stated that Alabama posed the biggest threat to Ole Miss during the regular season. I’m not saying that there are not big games ahead for the Rebs, but I am saying that if they continue to play with the mental attitude they brought into the Bama game, they should run the table.
Other SEC action saw Arkansas lose to Texas Tech at home, and continue to disappoint their fans. Hopes were sky high for this edition of Razorback football, and already, the season is in shambles. Arkansas has a bunch of quality athletes, and will likely pull itself together and win some ball games. They haven’t lost a conference game, and could still win the SEC West.
Georgia took The Ole Ball Coach and his Gamecocks to the woodshed and avenged last year’s upset. It’s my thought that Georgia is the class of the SEC East, and will finish the season in the top ten. Ole Miss will beat them in the SEC Championship game for their only loss of the season.
The other conference games went as expected. Missouri pulled out a close win over U. Conn, A&M trounced Nevada, and Vandy abused Austin Peay. Meanwhile, Tennessee ran all over Western Carolina, and Kentucky lost a close game to Florida in a battle to settle second place in the East.
My Mississippi State Bulldogs romped all over Northwestern Louisiana in a game that featured Dak Prescott’s season debut as a runner. For some unknown reason, the MSU offense felt it could beat LSU with just Dak’s passing, and we darn near pulled it off. LSU was glad to escape with a 21-19 victory in a game that went down to the wire. To read my comments click here.
In recognition that the SEC isn’t the only football conference, I have to admit to watching parts of several other games. The most notable was Notre Dame’s close call with Georgia Tech. Considering the starters lost to season ending injuries, the Fighting Irish won a big one at home. Stanford’s win over USC was kind of surprising, as was Ohio State’s squeaker over Northern Illinois. Urban Meyer, the only man whose ego makes Nick Saban and Donald Trump seem modest, hung on to his undefeated season and probably the number one ranking, at least for the time being.
Next week there are at least three games worthy of special attention. Undefeated Texas A&M will travel to Dallas to play Arkansas in a SEC West contest. The Aggies will be favored, but this is a must win for the Razorbacks if they hope to salvage their season. I’m picking Arkansas to finally get it all together.
TCU and Texas Tech will both be undefeated when they meet in Lubbock. The Horned Frogs will be the favorite, but I expect a hard fought close game. The Red Raiders will give the Frogs a real scare.
Kentucky will trounce the Missouri Tigers by a couple of TDs, and Ole Miss may return to its 70 point scoring pace against the hapless Vandy Commodores. In the Pac 12, UCLA’s undefeated Bruins will face off against the equally undefeated Arizona Sun Devils, and I’m picking Arizona.
The battle for the cellar in the SEC West could be decided when my totally un-regarded Bulldogs travel to Auburn. Auburn needs a win in the worst kind of way, and I can only hope that they continue to beat themselves. This game looks like the best chance for either team to get a conference win, and I’ll be pulling for the Dawgs.
We are only three games into the season, and there’s a bunch of football left to be played. We all know that with parity ruling the sport, no game is a lead pipe cinch, but we also know that the team with the most talent usually wins. Week four will reveal a little more about who will be in the four team playoffs.