SitRep: SEC Teams' First Week and What It Means for the Future

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Because there's only so much we can cover on a hectic Saturday, here's a few quick thoughts on each SEC team.

Alabama, def. Virginia Tech 35-10. One of the big questions about the Tide coming into this game was whether or not the offensive line would be able to replace three high-quality players. So far, not so good. Alabama gave up four sacks against Tech and ran for 96 yards. We'll find out whether that's a first-game hiccup or a trend in two weeks. [SB Nation blog: Roll Bama Roll]

Arkansas, def. Louisiana-Lafayettee 34-14. It's hard to tell how much you can take away from a game against a Sun Belt team, regardless of that team's standing in its conference, but there are a few takeaways. First of all, the Arkansas fans who were saying Bret Bielema's offense would still throw appear to be right. Brandon Allen was 15-of-22 for 230 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. But it's also clear the Hogs will run: They ground out 292 yards on 51 carries. This ain't going to be an Air Raid team. [Arkansas Fight]

Auburn, def. Washington State 31-24. The Tigers scored one of the more interesting non-conference games of the weekend, but the 16 points from special teams could (like Alabama) raise some questions about sustainability. And they allowed 5.3 yards per offensive snap to the Cougars. So let's not go all in on Gus Malzahn's first season just yet. [College and Magnolia]

Florida, def. Toledo 24-6. Florida always seems to slop around a bit in openers against MAC teams, and that's pretty much what happened Saturday. They outgained the Rockets by 210 yards and didn't do anything particularly terrible, so don't let the less-than-astounding score fool you. We'll get a much better idea this weekend against Miami. [Alligator Army]

Georgia, lost to Clemson, 38-35. Everybody calm down. I see ESPN analysts and South Carolina fans (and even a few Georgia fans) thinking that the Gamecocks are going to be too much for the Dawgs this weekend. Basing that on a mistake-riddled three-point loss to a Top 10 team on the road is absurd. Should South Carolina fans feel better about their game than if the Bulldogs had won Saturday night? Sure. But this rivalry has shown that overconfidence is a good way to lose. [Dawg Sports]

Kentucky, lost to Western Kentucky 35-26. I forgot the Wildcats in the first draft of this post, if that gives you any indication of how poorly the week went. Kentucky did get a nice performance out of Raymond Sanders, who ran for 98 yards on 14 carries, and the quarterback play approached thoroughly average, which is actually something of an upgrade. But the fact that UK gave up 487 yards and lost to Western Kentucky shows that they still have a long way to go to be competitive in the SEC East. [A Sea of Blue]

LSU, def. TCU 37-27. This is a game I would have like to have seen more of. (ESPN, can we try to avoid having like seven SEC games on at the same time again? That'd be swell.) But LSU never trailed and gained 448 yards of total offense against a program known for its defense. The only quibble you can have is that Zach Mettenberger needs to complete more than half his passes to win in the SEC. [And the Valley Shook]

Mississippi State, lost to Oklahoma State 21-3. Despite the box score, it didn't really look to these eyes like the Bulldogs got blown out in Houston. The Cowboys didn't really have this game firmly in hand until the fourth quarter. The defense looks like it could be pretty good, but that offense has to improve with or without Tyler Russell. [For Whom the Cowbell Tolls]

Missouri, def. Murray State 58-14. Yeah, it was an FCS team, but this weekend taught us that even those games can't be taken for granted anymore. And the Racers did lead twice in the first quarter before Mizzou took the lead in the second for good. Henry Josey had 113 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, a good sign for him and the Missouri offense. [Rock M Nation]

Ole Miss, def. Vanderbilt 39-35 (Thursday). The Rebels proved doubters like me wrong with the only conference win in the SEC this weekend. An eight-win season is not out of the question at this point, and the win puts Ole Miss in solid standing for at least a bowl berth. [Red Cup Rebellion]

South Carolina, def. UNC 27-10 (Thursday). The Gamecocks did pretty much what they want to do all year this year: Pass enough to win, run enough to milk the clock and defend the other team as well as possible. They will need to play better in the future to win the SEC East, but what they needed to do Thursday was win this game, and they did that. [Garnet and Black Attack]

Tennessee, def. Austin Peay 45-0. This game was 42-0 at halftime, so things could have been even worse for the Governors. Justin Worley completed 84.6 percent of his passes -- yes, it was against Austin Peay -- and Tennessee generally had a nice opportunity to tune up. The schedule continues to ramp up next weekend with Western Kentucky, and then the trip to Oregon, which is when the Era of Good Feelings could come to an abrupt end. [Rocky Top Talk]

Texas A&M, def. Rice 52-31. It's hard to tell what to think of this game given the defensive suspensions, as well as that other guy that sat out the first half. But the early struggle with Rice means that Kevin Sumlin might want to keep Johnny Manziel covered with bubble wrap during the week. [Good Bull Hunting]

Vanderbilt, lost to Ole Miss, 39-35 (Thursday). Given everything swirling around this team over the last two months, being in a position to win this game twice might actually not be all that bad. But they've now lost all the margin for error they had in their quest for another bowl game. [Anchor of Gold]

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