5 things I can’t believe after 3 weeks

  1. Missouri is the only unbeaten team (2-0) in the SEC East. Yes, they’ve played two slacker games while everybody else has actually broken a sweat. But, Missouri’s conference schedule is one that could play nicely in their favor as we move toward December. Georgia on the road is their toughest remaining game. But I won’t get ahead of myself. Let’s see what coach Gary Pinkel does on the road against Indiana Saturday.
  2. Nobody can figure out how to slow down Johnny Football. His most slippery move, of course, came before the season even started by making the NCAA whiff in the wake of the autograph scandal. Somebody called him Johnny Cash on twitter, and that was pretty funny, but I digress. Anyway, even though the Aggies fell to Alabama, Manziel still manufactured 628 yards of offense. If Saban can’t stop him, who can?
  3. Alabama has problems on defense. Virginia Tech moved the ball against the Tide in week 1, and we’ve already given Manziel enough ink. Of course, Saban has plenty of time to tinker and tweak (I almost typed twerk.)before their next test, which doesn’t happen until Nov. 6 against LSU.
  4. Auburn is 3-0. Of course all three of their games have come against schools with “State” after their name (Sorry Mississippi State). But still, nobody had the Tigers picked to be perfect after 25% of the season was in the books.
  5. Mississippi State is bad with their only win coming against Alcorn State. They will even it up after beating Troy on Saturday, but that just makes the game against LSU and the Mad Hatter that much closer. Mississippi State fans, go on and book that New Year’s Eve package. It’s not going to conflict with football.

 

What we Learned in Week 1

What we learned from Week 1 in the 2013 college football season.

  1. Georgia lost their biggest playmaker for the season in Malcolm Mitchell when he reinjured his knee air bumping with Todd Gurley after a Bulldog touchdown. That’s incredible bad luck for Mark Richt’s team who put themselves precariously behind the 8-ball already after losing to Clemson. At least for a while, we don’t have to worry about the Bulldogs doing much celebrating on defense after giving up 38 to Clemson. Which leads us to…
  2. Steve Spurrier surely cannot wait for Saturday to invade Athens to turn up the heat on Mark Richt’s seat. Odds makers are calling this one a virtual toss-up. And for sure it’s the marquee game of the week if not the year. Listen to SEC Pigskin Picks this week to get our prediction for the winner. Of course, it’ll be a slam dunk. Which leads us to…
  3. Basketball is right around the corner, which is a good thing if you’re a Kentucky fan. Last year the Cats could only muster 2 wins. Their 2013 campaign opener proved they probably won’t outpace that this year with a loss to Wild Man Bobby Petrino’s Western Kentucky team. Which leads us to…
  4. Give Butch Jones’ Tennessee Vols an A for effort in their shutout of outmanned Austin Peay. But the playmakers in Knoxville are few. True, games are won up front, and the Vols have that covered on both sides, but big names at the skilled positions are yet to emerge. You won’t hear it publically, but anything less than a 3-touchdown win over WKU Saturday will be a sad statement on the 2013 Vols. Which leads us to…
  5. Johnny Football. ‘Nuff said, right? He has drawn the ire of every college football talking head on TV as well as fans across the nation. And he’s even alienated some of his own faithful after a horribly childish and ill-conceived performance on Saturday. Besides his “show me the money” and “air autographing” gestures after Aggie TDs, he snubbed Kevin Sumlin after  the coach benched him for unsportsmanlike conduct. Sumlin later called the penalty “foolish.” We say Sumlin is foolish if he doesn’t take care of the Manziel Problem immediately. On Saturday, we’ll either see two fools or zero.

The SEC West in 2 minutes…

1. Alabama is going to win the West. There’s not much that could happen that could sidetrack that. I hate clichés, so I’m not going to say “they don’t rebuild, they reload.” But right now, that’s what they’re doing in Tuscaloosa. You know the names; I won’t bore you.

2. LSU has been the forgotten team this preseason with Bama’s dominance and Johnny Namath, uh I mean Manziel’s misgivings (which I will address in a minute). And I’m sure Les Miles loves it. He’s down there in Baton Rouge devising his diabolical plan to win it all. He can’t do it, because a bad case of graduation-itis struck his defense. But he’ll be good enough to finish second.

3. Over in College Station, things are going in a different direction with Johnny Manziel. Last year, we named him our @secpigskinpicks Player of the Year. Well, player of the year he was; but his high flying off-season shenanigans have soured me on him. Did he sell autographs? It sure looks that way. Will he ever step behind center for A&M again? Probably. A slap on the wrist is a likely scenario since the NCAA’s burden of proof goes way beyond reasonable doubt. And, A&M has hired a fancy law firm with NCAA investigation experience to keep him in an Aggie uniform. But he’s a target now, and we know Saban, the Mad Hatter and all the other SECW coaches have been keying on turning him from unstoppable to merely effective. And “effective” isn’t going to get it done in the SEC.

4. Last year, Mississippi State won their first seven games before a loss to Alabama forced the Bulldogs to implode. Tyler Russell still has plenty of weapons, but don’t look for them to get there this year. I’m seeing about a .500 conference record.

5. Ole Miss: heading in the right direction, but not there yet.

6. Arkansas: nope.

7. Auburn: look for the Tigers to be mainstays on their opponents’ highlight reels.

Whenever I’ve got 2 more minutes, I’ll preview the East. And remember to listen to @secpigskinpicks every Thursday night during football season during @thesportsdrive on 101.3 The Buzz!

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