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Kicking Off Week 4 Already Running Behind


Apologies for the lateness this week. The news is a casualty; we'll pick up any major misses for Sprints tomorrow. Meanwhile, enjoy the Hype-O-Meter, Ups and Downs and For Your Consideration; the game-by-game review will also publish this evening as we attempt to sort out a pile-up.

On a scale of 1 to 100

They did win. But the underwhelming victory against a struggling Tennessee leaves many wondering if we aren't seeing shades of other "invincible" teams that ended up being beatable. Only the coaches poll (see For Your Consideration below) keeps this from going even lower.

A look at who's going which way in college football 

Takeup_medium LANE KIFFIN
Old: Annoying loudmouth who doesn't know what he's doing. New: Annoying loudmouth who knows what he's doing.

Mike Bobo's offense is rolling along two weeks after the problems in Stillwater. Willie Martinez's defense, on the other hand ...

Takedown_medium SOUTHERN CAL
Another loss on the road to another previously unranked Pac-10 team. Maybe they would have a better record in the SEC.

Takedown_medium MOUNTAIN WEST
Still think you deserve an automatic BCS bowl? Twin killings of BYU, Utah end national title game hopes for the league leaves the whiniest of Tim Brando's flies looking more like the Sun Belt than the ACC.

Takedown_medium SEC ON ESPN
Overload of late games on Saturday leaves fans scrambling to keep up. Can we have the Three Daves back?

A few things to think about

We're No. 1! And No. 3! And No. 4!
The SEC has three of the top four teams in the AP poll this week, a mark that hasn't been matched in a long time. I say a long time because I got back to the 1994 preseason poll before I gave up on finding the last time any league had three of the teams ranked 1-4.

Florida remains at No. 1, Alabama is No. 3 and Ole Miss is No. 4. Only Texas' claim on No. 2 keeps the SEC from holding onto the first three spots in the AP poll. Penn State is No. 4 in the coaches' rankings, presumably because of their ability to overwhelm MAC teams.

But the Gators once again lose a bit of ground in the AP balloting, losing another first-place vote. They now have 55 voters putting them at No. 1. The lead over Texas is down to 60 points from 87 points last week. At least they ended up ahead of Houston and Cincinnati. Florida is a unanimous No. 1 among coaches, a fraternal lot obviously willing to give Urban Meyer and Co. a pass on their disappointing win in the Swamp. But Texas also shaved 10 points off Florida's lead, which fell from 73 points last week to 63 points this time.

A trap for Ole Miss?
The Rebels finally get to take on a team that might be able to challenge them Thursday, when Ole Miss heads to Columbia for a Thursday night showdown with the Gamecocks.

They might want to be careful. South Carolina is 5-2 on Thursday night under Steve Spurrier and 4-1 at home. The defeat was a 24-17 loss to the then-No. 2 Auburn Tigers after the Gamecocks outgained the visitors 349-307 and just missed a last-minute tying TD pass. (Auburn would finish No. 8 or No. 9, depending on which poll you use.) South Carolina defeated then-No. 8 Kentucky on a Thursday night in 2007, though the Wildcats would finish the season unranked.

The Thursday night road loss for South Carolina? Last year's defeat at Vanderbilt.

Offense wins championships?
Last year's SEC offenses were bashed nationwide last year, even here at Team Speed Kills, for a lack of production. After three weeks, that appears to not be a problem this year.

In the first six intraconference games this year, SEC offenses have scored 330 points, an average of 27.5 points per team per game. Through the first six games last year, the offenses averaged 17.2 points per team per game. The SEC would not surpass 330 points in 2008 until the ninth game of the season, Auburn's 14-12 win against Tennessee.

There were three games in common between the two seasons. Georgia defeated South Carolina 41-37 this season after winning 14-7 last year; Auburn outscored Mississippi State 49-24 after the 3-2 disaster in 2008; and Florida and Tennessee piled up 36 points in this year's 23-13 Gators victory after scoring ... 36 points in last year's 30-6 Florida triumph.