Football Fireworks in Mississippi

nutshellWell, the State of Mississippi kept it going.

After the biggest week in the history of college football in the state of Mississippi, much of the nation felt like there would be a hangover. Both Mississippi State and Ole Miss made sure we knew there wasn’t.

One week after knocking off my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide, the Ole Miss Rebels went on the road, as an underdog, and convincingly beat the Aggies of Texas A&M. Ole Miss jumped on the Aggies early and often, never looking back. With that victory, Ole Miss remained ranked 3rd in both the weekly coach’s poll and AP poll.

Back home in Starkville, the Bulldogs of Mississippi State took care of the then-ranked #2 Auburn Tigers. Mississippi State was taking Auburn behind the woodshed, up 21-0 at one time. Momentum then changed and Auburn was trying to play their way back into the game. However, Mississippi State, behind the leadership of QB Dak Prescott, was able to turn it back up in the 2nd half and hang on to a convincing victory at their on campus Davis Wade Stadium. With this victory, Mississippi State had beaten 3 top 10 teams in consecutive weeks, earning their first #1 ranking in school history. Well deserved, in my opinion.

The Alabama Crimson Tide, who were upset in Oxford, Mississippi the previous week, went on the road to face a much improved Arkansas team. To be honest, this was the worst performance of an Alabama team I had seen in years. The Crimson Tide escaped Fayetteville with a 14-13 victory over Bret Beliema’s Razorbacks. Thank God we can block extra points.

No Gurley, No problem. True freshman Nick Chubb ran wild on Faurot Field, home field of the Missouri Tigers, this past Saturday. Subbing for suspended running back Todd Gurley, Chubb made the most of his playing time, leading the Georgia Bulldogs to a convincing 34-0 victory.

Up the road in Knoxville, no one thought Chattanooga would give the Vols much of a game. Well, they were right. UT walked away with a convincing 42-10 victory over the Mocs. UT now faces Ole Miss at Oxford this week.

Les Miles may have put the nail in the coffin for Will Muschamp at Florida. With the game tied, Florida QB Jeff Driskel absolutely killed the Gators again. He threw another interception, setting up LSU to kick a game winning field goal in the Swamp. Muschamp’s days are number. Athletic Director Jeremy Foley looks 20 years older since Muschamp was hired, only a few years ago.

Fireworks at Charlotte

In the 2nd race of the 2nd segment of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Brad Keselowski managed to piss off just about every other driver on the circuit. After the race, Denny Hamlin slammed on his brakes with Keselowski behind him, he backed into Tony Stewart’s car, and rammed into Matt Kenseth’s car.

Kenseth and Keselowski tangled between the car trailers in the pit area. This incident has garnered a ton of attention. In fact, Talladega Superspeedway sold 10,000 tickets to the fall race this weekend this past Sunday, a day after the shenanigans at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s gonna be fun to see how this 3rd race of the 2nd segment goes this weekend. With cars dropping like flies at Talladega, and the certainty of “the big one”, who in the heck knows who will come away the victor at the 2.66 mile Superspeedway. We don’t know what car or driver will win, but we do know NASCAR and Talladega has already won.

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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