How much longer can you keep making excuses for South Carolina? They struggled against East Carolina? At least they played a better midmajor than most BCS teams' season-opening cupcakes, and the Gamecocks have always seemed to look worst in their first games. Escape Athens with a narrow and fluky looking win against Georgia? It was on the road, and the Georgia series is full of games decided on bizarre plays. Scuffles with Navy and Vanderbilt? Both fraught games with South Carolina against teams that have spoiled, respectively, the best season in school history and what was shaping up as the best season in school history. Stephen Garcia completed more than half his passes for only the second time all year, but also threw four picks. The defense shut down Vanderbilt, but it's Vanderbilt. This is the most confusing team of the year for me so far, and I don't think it's just because I'm a South Carolina fan. I can't figure them out.
LSU or Alabama? Love to hear anyone's opinion, but I'm particularly interested in Alabama fans' take on this. Why? Because I tweeted Saturday night that I could see no reason for anyone to not have LSU as No. 1. Several Bama fans pushed back, but several others eventually replied that they were indifferent, or even happy to see the Bayou Bengals have the No. 1 target on their back for a while. Unless someone makes a really convincing case, I'm going with LSU at the top of the ballot until they give me a reason to drop them. But what do you think?
What in blue blazes happened to Mississippi State? I realize they lost Manny Diaz, but -- really? The Bulldogs almost lost to another set of Bulldogs this weekend. Which would be fine if it were Georgia, or maybe even Fresno State -- but we're talking about Louisiana Tech here. The Bulldogs -- er, Mississippi State was narrowly outgained by Louisiana Tech, while our old friend Lennon Creer rushed for 82 yards.
Pretenders or contenders: Arkansas, Georgia? These are the teams most often mentioned as a third wheel in the putative two-team battles in the SEC West and the SEC East. But does Arkansas' face-plant against Alabama take them out of the SEC Championship Game conversation? And does Georgia's blah win over Ole Miss (at least, on the scoreboard) give you confidence the Dawgs can turn it around, or more reason than ever to write them off?
Your most intriguing undercard game for next week? We're all probably going to be watching Alabama-Florida, but what's the next game on your list in the SEC on Saturday? We've got a future conference game in Texas A&M vs. Arkansas, a rematch that promises to be hysterical when Auburn visits South Carolina, a battle of Bulldogs in Georgia vs. Mississippi State, a
slaughter game when Kentucky goes to LSU, Ole Miss journeying out to Fresno and Tennessee hosting Buffalo.