As great of a start the league had a week ago, Week 2 found a way to crush that momentum. By no means is this the Big 10... I mean there are standards. But by the league's standards, this was about as low as it gets.
Non-conference play should be a tune-up for the challenges that loom ahead or spent proving dominance over inferior leagues. This was not the case this weekend as the SEC came across to the rest of the country as mediocre. The top of the class played as such, but the bottom half, including Arkansas, took its respective beatings.
The Tide has this down to a science now. 1) Enter the game as the favorite (70 games and counting). 2) Rest starters most of the second half 3) Win game with a vanilla offensive/defensive plan. 4) Celebrate at Gallettes with free drinks and no arrests.
Nick Chubb put the team on his back with 189 yards on only 19 carries. That will pretty much be the gameplan going forward, too, because the passing game was far from impressive. He'll be enough in most of their games, but a date with Alabama should scare Bulldog fans if the air attack does not improve quickly.
3) Texas A&M
Defensive coordinator John Chavis is worth every penny. His first string held Ball State to 104 yards in the first half en route to a 49-3 lead before the starters were pulled. The Aggies are arguably the most impressive SEC team of the young season and look primed for SEC play.
4) Ole Miss
The Rebels are ready for the preseason to end now after scoring 70 points each of the last two weeks. They won't have to wait long as they travel to Tuscaloosa for what will be the best game of the SEC season so far on Saturday.
Leonard Founette is out to prove everyone wrong who thought Georgia's Nick Chubb is the best back in the SEC. After not playing last week, the Tigers returned to their "run toss middle, left and right" offense: see here. The sophomore will be in New York for the Heisman ceremony if he can keep this pace.
The Vols entered the season prepared to make their return to SEC prominence but this week they demonstrated that they are close but not quite there. In an electric night game at Neyland, UT suffered an enormous fourth quarter letdown in an overtime loss to Oklahoma. Tennessee still has its SEC schedule to get offense turned around.
This could have provided so much more fun if only Arkansas had taken care of business. The Tigers again come up lucky and find a way to win a close game. Jeremy Johnson continues to be a disappointment as the signal-caller. The big loss for Jacksonville State? Now no SEC team wants to schedule them. The Gamecocks will always have this though: The first points scored on Auburn's massive new scoreboard were by an FCS team!
You get the feeling that Maty Mauk's inconsistencies (16-of-36, 148 yards, 3TD, 2 INT) will plague the Tigers in their defense of the SEC East crown. The defense is good enough to carry this team to a certain point, but will it have a quarterback to help with the rest of the way?
Hey Jim... You mad, brah? The New Head Ball coach exploded after running back Fred Taylor was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for celebrating a touchdown with the "throat slash" gesture. McElwain went all Bobby Knight and let his players know there was no room for that at UF. Here is video from the sidelines (WARNING: Video contains incredible amounts of profanity and is #NSFW)
You wanna know what McElwain really said to Kelvin Taylor after his throat slashing penalty? pic.twitter.com/po4Dm8eLA8— #InAllKindsOfWeather (@AllKindsWeather) September 13, 2015
Oh yeah and the Gators won.
10) Mississippi State
Mullen the Magician doesn't have the same pixie dust that he was able to use last year. The Bulldogs kept it close and had chances late but could never overcome LSU, despite scoring 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
"The Black Eyed Peas" were coming off of consecutive No. 1 songs the last time the Wildcats returned to Lexington from a road game with a win. That's really saying something when you get to play Vanderbilt every other year on the road.
Holy Tol... No chance. You've heard it enough and it wasn't funny the first time. This was a pathetic showing by the offensive line, which was supposed to be this team's strength. The Hogs had as strong of an identity as anyone in college football but have strayed away from it. Fifteen first downs and almost 200 yards more than Toledo and fifty-freakin'-three passes!!!
13) South Carolina
The Gamecocks Athletic Director should start the search committee because at this rate it's not going to be Steve Spurrier's choice as to when he steps down.
Though the Commodores didn't play as poorly as we thought they may, it's still a long set of stairs to climb before exiting the basement.