Who had the worse day: Auburn or Arkansas? Auburn did at least win a game in which it played dreadfully, but the Tigers were playing against the arguably worse opponent, Jacksonville State out of the FCS. And they were helped out mightily by the Gamecock coaching staff's feckless decisions at the end of the fourth quarter. Then again, Arkansas flat-out lost to a MAC team during a season in which a bowl game is now the floor of what will be acceptable in Fayetteville. So which team has more to worry about after Saturday? And can either of them find a way to get back into the race for the SEC West?
Who's the cream of the SEC West? On what appears to be the other side of the ledger in the division, Ole Miss and Alabama both cruised against their cupcakes. The Rebels annihilated Fresno State, 73-21, scoring three times in each quarter with the exception of the second. Alabama, as usual, was gentlemanly in blowing out Middle Tennessee just 37-10. Texas A&M leveled Ball State, but also watched its prize opening-night scalp of Arizona State struggle against Cal Poly. (You can be forgiven if the deja vu is causing your ears to ring at this point.) And LSU edged Mississippi State in a classic time-management battle between Les Miles and Dan Mullen. Which team is best positioned to win it all?
You still got Georgia in the SEC East? The Dawgs won a solid if less than spectacular win against Vanderbilt. The other top-tier SEC East candidates were not exactly playing the part of behemoths; Tennessee utterly collapsed against Oklahoma after seeming to have the game in hand relatively early, while Missouri kept things too close for too long against Arkansas State. Elsewhere, Florida scuffled with ECU and Kentucky walloped South Carolina early before holding on late. Can anyone really hope to compete with UGA?
What happens now to South Carolina? Until Saturday, the Gamecocks hadn't lost to Kentucky at home since 1999. That also happens to be the season in which South Carolina went winless to extend its nation-leading losing streak to 21 games. Was this an example of the Wildcats having a breakthrough moment? Or is Steve Spurrier's program finally running on fumes? And if so, how does the denouement of his tenure in Columbia play out -- with a minimum of muss and fuss, or with the messy divorces of the kind we've seen in Austin and Tallahassee and elsewhere?
What's your pick for best game of the week next Saturday? One marquee battle appears to be Alabama taking on Ole Miss, a game that should tell us which of those teams is best positioned to win the SEC West. There's also Auburn's tilt with LSU, a game that always promises to be fun. Because formality requires the Gamecocks to play all the games remaining on their schedule, South Carolina travels to Athens for the annual, emotional tilt against Georgia. And Florida journeys to Lexington to face a Kentucky team still trying to prove itself. So which of those games (not including your own team) are you most looking forward to?