First impressions from Week One in SEC

Kirby Smart may have a new message for his players after Week One: Try not to get overconfident. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Kirby Smart may have a new message for his players after Week One: Try not to get overconfident. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Six quick first impressions of the 2016 SEC:

1. One more weekend like this and the “Make the SEC Great Again” hat and bumper sticker will become a regular part of the landscape.

The September match-ups had a Bowl Week feel to them, and the (debatably) best conference in the land did not step up, going 6-5 in interconference games – with one more loss pending Monday night when Ole Miss faces FSU.

One member – Mississippi State – loses as a four-touchdown favorite to South Alabama while another – Kentucky – blows a 25-point lead to lose to Southern Miss. When do we start criticizing those Sun Belt and Conference USA teams for not scheduling tougher opponents early in the season?

2. Once more on the tightrope for LSU’s Les Miles, now trying to balance the great weight of an uninspired loss to unranked Wisconsin along with all the other accumulated baggage.

Even he, the most skilled wire-walker of them all, the Great Wallenda of coaches, must lose to gravity eventually. The lone memorable moment of his team’s trip to Lambeau Field: An after-the-whistle tackle by an offensive lineman following a game-cinching interception. Gonna be tough to set that one to inspiring music use it as the lead-in to the 2016 highlight video.

If Miles makes it through to 2017 we can declare him officially as indestructible as the plastic milk jug.

3. Georgia may have entered the first weekend greatly underestimated in the East. But it exited one of the favorites.

A complete one-day makeover. Botox should work so fast. Tennessee pulls a horseshoe out of its end(zone) to beat App State. And Florida loses style points with a messy win over UMass. Kirby Smart mustn’t allow his team to catch wind of either of those results, lest his players turn smug and insufferable and begin wearing dinner jackets on game day.

4. The SEC is so top-heavy at the moment that it may fall over by Halloween.

It is like the college freshman’s food pyramid – completely upside down.

Alabama only seemed to separate itself more from the rest of the conference this weekend, leaving the rest of us behind on the dock, waving to this cruise ship as it slips over the horizon. Bless the Crimson Tide, for it keeps the SEC relevant.

5. Why, shockingly, it turns out you can spell “success” without the SEC.

This is going to take some getting used to. Humility becomes no one in this part of the college football world. It is as foreign a concept to the southern soul as is vegetarianism.

6. But it could be worse.

You could be a follower of the Pac-12.

Reader Comments 0

44 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

OH:IO since the SEC is such a weak conference why doesn't OSU, Mi. & MS put some of the SEC cupcakes on their schedule? I don't understand! They always schedule cupcake teams so why not schedule LSU, Miss. State, Auburn,GA. etc. all would be easy wins I'm sure, plus the paydays would be greater. Ya'll come down here and play!!

OH:IO
OH:IO

I'll go with dumpster fire for the severely exaggerated conference. 

TideDawg
TideDawg

The only poll that matters is the Bowl Committee. All of the other polls are for conversation, bragging, nagging, and dreamers. Beat a team by 70 pts. that doesn't belong on the same field with your team  and jump into the top 10. Move up from #18 to # 9 by winning 1 game......ridiculous! Where your team is after 5 games is what counts.We'll find out then if the SEC is having a down year. I don't think any team is #1 at this point of the season.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

The SEC is weak.. Think they went 6-8 for the week.

Only Bama will be ranked going forward...

TOJacket
TOJacket

@twelveofthirteen Enjoy for now mutt.....you guys will face plant as always.....who will it be against is the question?

TideDawg
TideDawg

Ole MIss proved my point about teams over hyped and full of adrenaline to start a game. They whipped FSU like a tied up goat for the first half. During halftime all of that adrenaline was gone and when they came out for the second half, they had nothing. It's a coaches responsibility to prevent his team from being overly hyped... .....ready, but not sky high.

dawg fan
dawg fan

Some bad losses but some good wins too.  UGA beat the defending ACC Coastal Chump with a new coach and freshman QB playing most of the game.  A&M beat ranked UCLA.  Alabama completely emasculated a ranked USC.  I'm not one for almosts but Auburn gave Clemson a game, probably a better game than most in the ACC will.  All is not lost for the SEC.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@dawg fan Those who think the SEC is no longer the best.....Beware! But give the ACC credit for gaining ground. They've got 2 teams that can play with anybody.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@dawg fan Clemson will clean any team from the SEC. Bama will be dawg meat for the Tigers!!

TideDawg
TideDawg

@LOGS1973 @dawg fan Easy for you to say since they may not play each other this year. I'd say that Clemson, Alabama, & FSU are close to equal. Neither team is going to run away with the other. Clemson & FSU will get a shot at each other(should be a great game) later. We'll see! I could say that your girlfriend's boyfriend is going to beat the crap out of you. That's about as stupid a comment as the one you made. Since you may never find out she has another boyfriend we'll never know.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@dawg fan Auburn gave Clemson a game?......they had 38 total yards in the first half.....must be called the Gus Bust?

TideDawg
TideDawg

It's well noted that I don't care for PJ's brand of football, but that means "Zip" to anyone but me. PJ took a lot of the blame for a less than stellar performance against BC. I think the blame should be on whoever scheduled that game in Ireland, not PJ. Tech won the game. Ugly wins count in the record book the same as great wins. He didn't have to fall on his sword for winning. I'm sure players and coaches are happy to back on home turf and playing in the USA. No coach likes distractions and that game was a distraction from the day it was scheduled.

UpWithTheWhiteAndGold
UpWithTheWhiteAndGold

While the SEC does have a few stinkers, they win more of the games that matter between the power 5 conference members. Here is an excellent break-down of all the matchups from 2015. https://www.topdan.com/sports/college-football-conference-records/2015.html  


I agree that the SEC is top heavy. But we could say that about every other conference as well. There are a few superior teams in each league while the other schools have a good level of parity.


Two areas about the current system I don't like:

1. FBS schools scheduling FCS schools. These games prove little, are not interesting for the fans, and add to inequities at the end of the season when trying to select the best teams to play for the championship.


Here's a good look from 2015 of how the power five scheduled each other and FCS.


http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/what-league-plays-highest-percentage-of-power-five-nonconference-games/


I know those games make the FCS schools budgets for the year. But I think the Division I-A should only play division I-A.


2. Player stipends - Apparently a free education, room and board isn't enough. Paying stipends (and you know the amount will grow) pretty well makes Div I-A football like a minor league professional system. It would be nice to see true amateur student athletes compete. 



DawgNole
DawgNole

@UpWithTheWhiteAndGold

Right with you on playing powderpuffs. NO legit justification for it whatsoever. It's buying wins--literally!

The hope is that the playoff committee will continue to emphasize strength of schedule so all the cowards eventually will be forced to schedule competitively or sit their sorry a**es at home during the only postseason that matters.

AMFILMSHD
AMFILMSHD

You forgot to mention that Texas A&M, won, and beat a ranked opponent in #16 Ucla.  


whups.  LSU lost by a mere 2 points on the road in Green Bay.  they were set up to lose this one.  its like saying UNC should have won at the Dome.


LSU will bounce back, and the SEC will reign no matter this start.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Except for Bama, they all suck.


SEC! SEC! 

GTroller
GTroller

@OH:IO Agree.  The SEC  is a washed up "used to be good" conference.  

AMFILMSHD
AMFILMSHD

@OH:IO Dawgs will get revenge in 2016.  Bama loses SEC title to the DAWGS.

AMFILMSHD
AMFILMSHD

@GTroller @OH:IO GT goes 6-5.  can't talk much here, and are they still using that 70's high school offense?  


they need to play grown up football at some point, as every year they fail and its awful football to watch btw.  pathetic.  you would think a bunch of engineers could engineer an offense.  but hey you guys still tote around that old car.  is that the last invention at Tech?  lol



GTBob
GTBob

@AMFILMSHD Every year we fail? Is it really that hard to remember all the way back to 2014?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@twelveofthirteen

Perhaps he'd like to bring up last season's BG offense yet again--as if that had a damn thing to do with his team playing trash and running up the score. Yet again.

reddjonn68
reddjonn68

Only surprise of the losers is Miss St. I knew Tenn was way overrated by all preseason pubs, as well as LSU , Les Miles should be home watching instead of coaching. QB play will dictate this season for the SEC !!!

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@reddjonn68 UGA was a surprise and should have lost by 21 points. They would have if dogs hadn't had Gurley

or is it Hershel???LOL

19palmer49
19palmer49

Great article Steve. Well written. Great humor.

GTBob
GTBob

@buellerbuellerbueller Did you see the Alabama/USC game? No one is seizing control of the SEC until Nick Saban decides he is tired of coaching.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

You mean bama is not a "has been" Bob? Nice change of tune.

GTBob
GTBob

@twelveofthirteen They look better to me this year than last year. They may actually have a decent QB for once, which is scary.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob

For once???

You don't win all those NCs without "decent" QBs.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgNole Name some of the great Bama QBs in recent years.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob @DawgNole

You said "decent."

I said "decent."

Now you want to switch it to "great"???

Same ol' BS from you, loser.

By the way, has Bama lost since you proclaimed their program a "has been" last year?

Fool.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@GTBob @DawgNole Can't do that, but I think I could name a few that won National Championships. They don't fit under the "great QB column"....their names are under the "Winners" column.

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

I'm thinking Miles old Lady Luck may have served him divorce papers. For years it appeared he got every break when it came to luck. Now, things may take him out of his job while the 50/50 thing catches up.