The SEC completely dominated their opponents on the opening weekend of college football. The conference looked to reassert itself as the premier league in college and, outside of one team, they did just that.
It wasn’t that teams from the SEC won: they won without much problem. The conference looked as stacked as ever and this season we will see multiple teams jockeying for position. But I expect one to stay at the top from this point forward.
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0)
The Louisville Cardinals went into the showdown with the Tide a little overconfident. Actually that’s putting it mildly. They guaranteed victory, claimed their offensive line would dominate the line of scrimmage, and said their wide receivers could beat every one of Bama’s defensive backs. All that happened was a 55-14 whooping that could have been worse if Nick Saban would have allowed it. I’m not sure anyone in the SEC, let alone the country, is in Alabama’s league.
Week 2: vs. Arkansas State, 3:30 on ESPN 2
#2 Auburn Tigers (1-0)
The Auburn Tigers were in a position to make a statement early for the West of the SEC. The Washington Huskies were ranked sixth in the country and a neutral field game provided what could be a preview of a playoff game. While the numbers for the Tigers aren’t flashy, they arguably played the toughest opponent of the weekend with some of the highest stakes and came away victors. The 21-16 score doesn’t blow you away, but that’s one helluva notch on their resume. Now, the question is how good is the rest of the PAC 12, because I think we have a good idea about the SEC.
Week 2: vs. Alcorn State 7:30 PM on the SEC Network
#3 LSU Tigers (1-0)
Coach Ed Orgeron is firmly on the hotseat this season as LSU has not been in the thick of the playoff discussion since the inception of the new system. We all knew that their defense would be as good as usual but the questions are always surrounding the offensive side of things. Those questions were answered as the Tigers dismantled the #9 Miami Hurricanes 33-17. Transfer Joe Burrow didn’t exactly light it up but he did enough for the running back cores to run wild.
Week 2: vs. Southeastern Louisiana 7:00 PM on ESPN 2
#4 Georgia Bulldogs (1-0)
Although the Bulldogs are more than likely the second-best team on this list, I couldn’t put them above Bama or the SEC teams that earned wins over top-10 opponents. But Kirby Smart’s team looks poised to repeat in the SEC East. Their 45-0 romp over Austin Peay showed that Jake Fromm is still a national title caliber QB, and the 284 rushing yards showed that their running game is still one of the elite ones in America.
Week 2: at South Carolina 3:30 PM on CBS
#5 Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-0)
Now that Dan Mullen is at Florida, there were a lot of questions as if MSU could pick up where he left off. The good news is that they were ranked in the preseason top 20, and that ranking looked accurate on Saturday. They destroyed Stephen F. Austin, 63-6, with backup quarterback Keytaon Thompson throwing for 364 yards and five touchdowns. So yeah, I would say things in Starkville are chugging along.
Week 2: at Kansas State 12:00 PM on ESPN
#6 Texas A&M Aggies (1-0)
The Jimbo Fisher Era is officially here and the Aggies looked the part of a team that has the talent to compete in the West. Yes, it was against a patsy of a team, but there were times in Kevin Sumlin’s tenure there in which they looked downright average against inferior opponents. That wasn’t the case with Fisher, as they cruised to victory 59-7 in College Station thanks to a 28-point second quarter. We will find out how real they are in Week 2.
Week 2: vs. #2 Clemson Tigers 7:00 PM on ESPN
#7 Florida Gators (1-0)
Dan Mullen brought his high-powered offense to Florida and fans are saying “Jim McElwho?” Will Mullen be able to bring the Gators back to prominence after years of suffering through the mediocrity of Will Muschamp and McElwain? They’re off to a promising start with a 53-6 performance over triple option team Charleston Southern. They’ll open up conference play on Saturday against our own Wildcats.
Week 2: vs. Kentucky Wildcats 7:30 PM on SEC Network
#8 Ole Miss Rebels (1-0)
Matt Luke still has the offensive firepower that Hugh Freeze left but will the Rebs have the defense to compete in the West? They were able to blow out the Texas Tech Raiders 47-27 but one has to wonder how impressive that win is. Kliff Klingsbury’s team still lacks any kind of defense and he looks to be on his way out in Lubbock. With NFL talent at the wide receiver position, they should be fun to watch.
Week 2: vs. SIU 4:00 PM on SEC Network
#9 South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0)
Will Muschamp won nine games last season with the Gamecocks and folks think he has a dark horse in the East. They looked steady enough winning 49-15 over Coastal Carolina. Jake Bentley looks like he took the next step at quarterback throwing for four touchdowns. Things get real in a hurry for South Carolina in Week 2.
Week 2: vs. Georgia 3:30 PM on CBS
#10 Missouri Tigers (1-0)
Last season Mizzou looked to be dead in the water with new coaching, new players, and a tumultuous campus environment. But they were able to be better than experts gave them credit for and went bowling. Much of that was thanks to QB Drew Lock. He didn’t disappoint with a 262 yard/two touchdown performance in a 51-14 win over Tennessee Martin. Wyoming should provide a stiff test for the Tigers in the East.
Week 2: vs. Wyoming 7:00 PM on ESPNU
#11 Kentucky Wildcats (1-0)
The Wildcats looked absolutely atrocious in their first half against Central Michigan as they went down 17-7 and committed four turnovers. But the Cats were able to rally behind the running attack led by Benny Snell and A.J. Rose to win 35-20. The defense looked as stout as it has in years but the questions surrounding the quarterback position doesn’t elicit a great deal of confidence in the hometown team.
Week 2: at Florida 7:30 PM on SEC Network
#12 Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0)
Bret Bielema is no longer on the sidelines for the Razorbacks after years of being one of the worst teams in the SEC West. I don’t see that changing much in the toughest conference in America. There will still be some rebuilding there and a 55-20 win over Eastern Illinois doesn’t really tell us anything except that they can take care of cupcakes.
Week 2: at Colorado State 7:30 PM on the CBS Sports Network
#13 Vanderbilt Commodores (1-0)
Derek Mason hasn’t been able to duplicate the success James Franklin had in Nashville but the team is still competitive. Their 35-7 win over Tennessee Martin shows that they still have a good defense to work with and, outside of Georgia, the East once again looks to be open for movement. I doubt that Vandy will move any higher than where they are right now.
Week 2: vs. Nevada 12:00 PM on SEC Network
#14 Tennessee Volunteers (0-1)
The Vols were the lone team to lose this weekend. They were clobbered 40-14 by West Virginia. The more we see the more we realize that the Tennessee of old is dead and may never come back. Jeremy Pruitt’s seat is already hot and we haven’t even broke a sweat in the SEC.
Week 2: vs. ETSU at 4:00 PM on SEC Network