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Topics for Discussion // 09.26.10

Are we right back where we were last year? Alabama defeated Arkansas in what was billed as the greatest challenge to the defending reigning national champions, while the Gamecocks looked less than impressive in their SEC road debut as Florida's biggest concern. At about the same time, the Wildcats were getting waxed by a Florida team that seemed to finally remember how to play that whole "offense" thing.

Seriously: Is Mark Richt on the hot seat? I want to be totally clear that I am asking, not advocating or even saying that he is, after another game that Dawg fans would like to forget ever happened. The Bulldogs haven't started a season 0-3 in the SEC since 1993 -- when Ray Goff was the head coach in Athens. (Even Goff only met that mark twice in seven seasons.) Tell me if any of this sounds familiar: The Dawgs actually outgained Mississippi State but lost the turnover battle and were penalized twice as much as the Western Division Bulldogs. At some point, doesn't it become the head coach's issue if these things happen over and over again?

Ole Miss: Explain. They can't defeat an FCS team, can't even win at home against Vanderbilt, but can score 55 points against Fresno State? Sure, Fresno's a WAC team, but they haven't allowed 55 points to anyone since a trip to Boise at the end of the 2008 season. (And they've only allowed 50 -- or even 40 -- three times since then.) So how many wins when they play Kentucky, at Alabama, at Arkansas, Auburn, at Tennessee, at LSU and Mississippi State in seven of the next eight games?

Tennessee's final SEC record will be ... The Vols' only FBS win this year is a double-overtime, three-point win against a team from Conference USA. Yes, there's every reason to believe that -- in the middle of a four-week period that also includes Florida, LSU and Georgia -- Tennessee simply overlooked UAB; but that doesn't change the fact that they would have lost at home to a Conference USA team if that team simply had a competent field goal kicker. Is it really possible to overlook a team enough to justify that?

At what point do we start to give LSU some credit? None of their wins have been a thing of beauty, including last night's victory against West Virginia. But don't all the criticisms start to ring a little bit hollow when the Bayou Bengals are not only the first SEC team to win four games against BCS teams, but the first to play four games against BCS teams?