Saturday Lessons: September 26

Superman is not indestructible.

In the end, no one will remember the 41-7 final score, the 31-0 first quarter score, or the avalanche of yellow flags and mistakes that Kentucky ultimately fell under. It's the Tebow Got Hurt Game now, two years after he sustained a bad shoulder injury in Lexington that didn't get surgically fixed until after the 2008 season. For two weeks we'll hear questions about why Urban Meyer didn't pull his quarterback sooner, but he never has pulled Tebow in similar situations in the past. The only irony is that the big knockout hit did not come on a run, as his detractors have predicted for three years, but on a pocket pass that they've been saying he needed to do more of all along.

As for on the field things, the Gator offense is an entirely different animal with a healthy Jeffrey Demps. Emmanuel Moody also continued to impress, but he had a curiously low five carries on the night. That is, it would be curious if it didn't happen every week.

Texas found its groove.

Not that UTEP is any good, but Texas seriously put on a show. The Longhorns scored 64 points, rolled up 639 yards, and held the Miners to 53 total yards. UTEP was a paltry one of 12 on third down and the only score was on a pick six of Colt McCoy. We knew the offense would be good, but so far the defense is looking good too.

Alabama is a very complete team.

I guess we could say we knew that, but it all was on display as Alabama really controlled its game with Arkansas from beginning to end. For all the love showered on Ryan Mallett, who appears to be Gary Danielson's new secondary crush (behind Tebow, his primary) now that Matthew Stafford is in the NFL, Greg McElroy was by far the best quarterback in the game.

Mark Ingram and Terry Grant never really got on track on the ground, but Trent Richardson picked up some slack and with McElory going bombs away against a bad Arkansas pass defense, it never mattered. The Tide defense was also impressive, holding the potent Hogs to seven points and 254 total yards. This team doesn't appear to have too many weaknesses.

The top ten will be a revolving door all year.

Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, USC, BYU, Ole Miss, Cal, Miami, and Penn State have all lost as top ten teams in the AP Poll. This is only one month into the season. On the one hand, BYU and Miami earned their way in thanks to big wins and some surprisingly resume-based voting from the pollsters, and VT and Ohio State lost to fellow top ten teams. On the other, teams like Oklahoma State and Ole Miss lost to expose faulty preseason analysis.

Now look at who's likely to be in the new top ten. Does anyone think LSU will be in it for long after some less than impressive performances? Does Boise State have the kind of schedule that supports them sitting up this high all season? Can Virginia Tech really run the table in the still-crazy ACC? Does Ohio State have enough offense to justify being there? We're just going to keep going through this over and over all year long.

The SEC West is more competitive than we know.

Alabama at this point is by far the best team, but with Ole Miss falling back to the pack and Mississippi State giving LSU a bona fide scare, everyone in the division has at least looked decent at some point this year. I mean, Arkansas exploded against Georgia, and Auburn rolled up 50+ this week for the first time in years after taking down West Virginia. The whole thing is a jumbled mess, but for the most part in a good way. It's not that everyone is bad, it's that more are good than we thought. This could be a really wild race down the stretch.

Arizona State still has no answer for A.J. Green.

174 yards on just eight catches. A grab to set up the game winning field goal. You can't ask for much more from A.J. Green, who is by far the best player on Georgia's team. The Bulldogs outgained the Sun Devils badly, but three turnovers kept this one closer for longer than it probably should have been. Georgia is just like FSU and South Carolina at this point, in that we don't know which team is going to show up to each game. At least with the Bulldogs, we know they'll probably win.

There's nothing easy left for Tennessee.

The Vols had to outlast a very game Ohio Bobcats team to pull out their second victory of the year. It's encouraging that Jonathan Crompton was able to go 34 attempts with just one pick, but his 6.5 yards per pass average isn't stellar. The 34-23 score was not misleading, as Tennessee outgained Ohio 399-340, though it is strange that the Vols gave up 319 passing yards a week after shutting down Florida's passing attack. The real concern is injuries now, and the fact it took four quarters to put away a team that needed overtime to beat North Texas.

Survive and advance.

That's the new motto for everyone this year. Maybe we are reliving 2007 after all.

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