Readers of this blog are likely aware several SEC programs did not depart the starting gate with SEC Speed(™) last weekend. Six teams lost to non-conference opponents, and while four others won their non-conference games, there's not much inspiration to draw from Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, or possibly even Texas A&M. Alabama and Georgia easily had the most impressive wins, and did their part to maintain conference prestige.
Getting back to the failures, these ranged from a small hiccup like Ole Miss losing to a very good Florida State team to the preexisting condition that is Kentucky football blowing a 25-point lead to a solid Southern Mississippi program. There is a nuance to the six non-conference losses, and degrees to the ineptitude. LSU, for example, may only require introspection and small tweaks to begin winning games given the bevy of talent. The same probably holds true for Tennessee and Arkansas too.
There's no reason to belabor the point: we don't learn much about how a team will perform over a season by their opening week performance. I'm old enough to remember Kenny Hill throwing for 511 yards against South Carolina in 2014, and the subsequent anointing of His Trillness. The Aggies looked poised to seriously compete for the SEC West that season, but they'd go on to lose five SEC games. Hill would lose his starting job, and now plays at TCU.
One could also go back to the august Week One Power Poll from 2015. Notice how the eventual SEC East Champion is ranked ninth, Georgia is ranked second, and Texas A&M is ranked fourth. By Week 12, only two teams would remain in the top five.
Which begs the question: which of the first week's performances will be the biggest anomaly for their 2016 season? I'm not sure the picture will become clearer after this weekend given the mostly bad slate of games, but new data is better than no new data.
Vote below in our totally scientific poll.