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Around the SEC, Week 3 - Huge battle looming between two Tigers

Seth Dunlap
September 12, 2018 - 7:18 pm
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SEC play is here for LSU, who travels to Auburn this Saturday for a showdown with the #7 ranked Tigers.  Here’s what you need to know around the conference as we head into Week 3 of the college football season.

 

SEC WEST

Alabama (2-0) – The Tide just passed Ohio State for the most-ever appearances on top of the Associated Press college football rankings, which started back in 1936.  Alabama is making their 106th appearance at #1 as they head into their first SEC game, a battle against ‘Ole Miss and their explosive offense.   LAST WEEK – W vs. Ark St. 57-7, THIS WEEK - @ Ole Miss

Arkansas (1-1) –  The Hogs blew at 18 point second half lead on the road against a non-Power 5 school last week in one of the more embarrassing moments for a program that’s had a slew of them recently.   The loss to Colorado State already has some Arkansas boosters restless with first year head coach Chad Morris.  LAST WEEK – L Colorado State 34-27, THIS WEEK – vs. North Texas

Auburn (2-0) –  Head coach Gus Malzahn said last week’s tune up test against Alabama St. was just about the Tigers getting better.  This week, it’s about the opportunity to entrench themselves among the top tier of the SEC.  QB Jarrett Stidham played well against a good Washington defense in Week 1, but he'll have perhaps his toughest test of the season against a ferocious LSU unit that looks as complete as any defense in the country.  LAST WEEK – W vs. Alabama St. 63-9, THIS WEEK – vs. LSU

LSU (2-0) –  It doesn’t quite feel like fans can make up their mind on expectations for the Tigers this season.  Just a couple weeks ago most were saying seven or eight wins was realistic.  Now, you have a good portion of Tigers Nation saying they expect LSU to go on the road, against #7 Auburn, and win a football game.  In any case, this week should be a great barometer progress in the Orgeron Era.   LAST WEEK – W vs. Southeastern Louisiana 31-0, THIS WEEK – @ Auburn

Mississippi State (2-0) –  A trendy preseason dark-horse in the SEC West, the Bulldogs haven’t disappointed the first two weeks, outscoring their opponents 96-17.  The catch?  They played Stephen F. Austin and Kansas State, hardly two powerhouses, although the K-State game was on the road.  The relatively soft opening schedule continues for a couple of weeks as they face Louisiana this week followed by a road game at Kentucky.  LAST WEEK – W @ Kansas State 31-10, THIS WEEK – vs. Louisiana

Ole Miss (2-0) –  Not many people had Ole Miss with two wins to start the season, but their opening week road victory at Texas Tech opened some eyes.  Hopefully they soak in all the good vibes while they last, as Alabama is coming to put an end to that on Saturday.   LAST WEEK – W vs. Southern Illinois 76-41, THIS WEEK – vs. Alabama

Texas A&M (1-1) –  The Aggies are 1-1, but the most celebrated news on campus was passing Texas as the most valuable college football program, according to Forbes.  On the field, if anything is a moral victory in this sport, last week’s two point defeat to #2 Clemson certainly fits the bill. Head coach Jimbo Fisher certainly looks like he’s put any rebuild in the rearview mirror already.  LAST WEEK – L vs. Clemson 28-26, THIS WEEK – vs. Louisiana-Monroe

 

SEC EAST

Florida (1-1) –  Uh oh, that wasn’t supposed to happen.  The Gators got beat up by Kentucky (!) last week, and now face a surprisingly tough test at home against a Colorado State team that just beat Arkansas.  This team looks far, far from the SEC East challenger many people thought they might be this season.  LAST WEEK – L vs. Kentucky 27-16, THIS WEEK – vs. Colorado State

Georgia (2-0) –  These Bulldogs still look like the class of the SEC East after their curb stomping of South Carolina on the road.  They’ll be heavy favorites the next four weeks and are likely to head to Baton Rouge undefeated to face LSU.  LAST WEEK – W @ South Carolina 41-17, THIS WEEK – vs. Middle Tennessee State

Kentucky (2-0) –  What a week for the Wildcats, who got their first win against Florida since 1986.  They’ve got two really good looking runners in Benny Snell Jr. and Asim Rose to compliment dual threat quarterback Terry Wilson.  They should get to 3-0 after a tune-up against Murray St.   LAST WEEK – W @ Florida 27-16, THIS WEEK – vs. Murray St.

Missouri (2-0) –  Like much of the SEC, a 2-0 record can be a little misleading when most fans couldn’t point out where the opposing schools are on a map.  Mizzou gets a good test on the road against Purdue this week before a shot against Georgia.   LAST WEEK – W vs. Wyoming 40-13, THIS WEEK – @ Purdue

South Carolina (1-1) –  It’s been a pretty brutal month for Will Muschamp who made a fool of himself in a press conference defending disgraced Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin, then getting humiliated by Georgia in what Gamecock fans pointed to as a bellwether game for the program.  Does anybody really think Muschamp is going to make South Carolina consistently relevant in this conference? LAST WEEK – W @ Florida 27-16, THIS WEEK – vs. Marshall

Tennessee (1-1) –  Things had fallen a long way at Rocky Top and the rebuild was always going to be slow and painful.  Don’t focus too much on the opening week let down against West Virginia.  They looked much better last week, albeit against a directional school.  Let’s see what happens in a couple of weeks against Florida.  Meanwhile, it’s another four letter program served up this week.   LAST WEEK – W vs. ETSU 59-3, THIS WEEK – vs. UTEP

Vanderbilt (2-0) –  The Commodores looked good against Middle Tennessee and Nevada.  Now, they step way up in class and face #8 Notre Dame.  There might be some reason for optimism this year, though, as Vanderbilt has upper classmen littered across the roster.   LAST WEEK – W vs. Nevada 41-10, THIS WEEK – @ Notre Dame

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