Early impressions of some teams are starting to crystallize. Others remain somewhat of a mystery. Welcome to the first quarter of the season.
- Alabama. Can I have a mulligan on my “Alabama won’t run the table” call? If the Tide loses a regular season game, it’ll be because they screwed up, not because another team took it to them.
- South Carolina. I don’t think the ‘Cocks can beat Alabama, but based on what I’ve seen so far, they’ve got a good chance with Florida.
- Florida. The secondary has been great. So have the special teams. Run defense is good. The offense is… ordinary. They’ve done a decent job adjusting their power game, but nobody respects the option with Brantley running it and the passing game isn’t anything special. The Gators are good enough to win this year’s version of the East, but not much more.
- LSU. Setting a field goal record in a game where they go +4 in turnover margin tells you a lot about where the Tigers are at right now. Getting outgained by a struggling Mississippi State offense tells you even more.
- Auburn. Yes, Clemson’s coaches are that dumb. But I give Ted Roof and Gus Malzahn credit for making adjustments in a game where they could have gotten buried.
- Arkansas. World-class passing game, mediocre running game and a secondary that even Georgia exposed add up to sixth-best right now. I don’t think the Hogs will mount a serious threat to Alabama, but that Auburn game sure could be interesting.
- Kentucky. You know that kid who stayed out of everybody’s way when there was a big fight? That’s Kentucky. Let’s see how the ‘Cats do this week with Florida.
- Georgia. Can’t say the slow start is a huge surprise, especially given the absence of A.J. Green. But a loss in Starkvegas this Saturday means the wheels are coming off the wagon.
- Mississippi State. The hardest call this week was whether to rank these Bulldogs ahead of the Vols or vice versa. I gave them the tiniest of nods because I think their defense is slightly better than Tennessee’s. But I reserve the right to change my mind.
- Tennessee. Passion – which these Vols are playing with – will only take you so far. They just don’t have the horses to hang in there with decent teams for a full sixty minutes.
- Vanderbilt. My apologies, Commodores. I’ll doubt you no more.
- Ole Miss. The last time Vanderbilt scored 28 points on an SEC team? November 15, 2008, in a 31-24 win against Kentucky. Houston, you have a problem.