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SEC Spin Zone: Week 3

So your team lost. You’re sad and maybe even mad. It’s not ALL bad, however.

LSU v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Week 3 of the college football season is very informative. After three games, we can start to make some real assessments about the make up of teams that aren’t sweeping generalizations or overreactions in most cases.

When it comes to total season trajectories, five or six games into the season is more of the spot to determine these and that is mercifully the case for a couple of schools in the SEC. By “couple of schools,” I mostly just mean Arkansas who was among the four conference teams to taste defeat on Saturday.


Vanderbilt

The Vanderbilt Commodores marched into Notre Dame Stadium pumped to make a statement against one of the storied titans of the sport and a statement was indeed made. The only problem is that the Dores made the trip back to Nashville with a loss. This is a tough pill to swallow.

Vandy managed to out gain the Irish in the game, but crippling miscues were the difference in the 22-17 defeat. You could say that...sigh…luck was with Notre Dame because it took Vanderbilt fumbling on the one yard line, dropping a touchdown pass in the end zone and missing a field goal among other flubs to pull off this victory.

Derek Mason and co. can walk away from this game knowing that if they clean things up, they will pull off some big wins this season. TE Jared Pinkney is a late blooming, but fast rising star that will be a major weapon going forward. With 241 receiving yards already, he can certainly eclipse 300 yards in a season for the first time in his career next week.

Auburn

Meetings between the Auburn Tigers and LSU Tigers are typically some of the closest and grittiest games in all of college football every season. On the plains on Saturday afternoon, yet another photo finish took place.

As time expired, Cole Tracy, a transfer from Division II Assumption College, knocked in a 42-yard field goal to give LSU a 22-21 victory. To make matters worse, it was a pass interference call that automatically placed LSU in field goal range. No matter which way you slice it, this is a gut wrenching loss for criers of “War Eagle” everywhere. You simply do not have much leeway to commit 111 yards in penalties against a team like LSU, however.

Solace can be taken in the fact that it is now clear that LSU is fielding an elite defense at all three levels. This is not a shameful loss at all. Also, any LSU team that has a QB that is a remotely competent thrower is tough to beat. Joe Burrow — whose completion percentage is iffy, but has no INTs —has the potential to be LSU’s best quarterback in years.

A big bowl trip is not off the table at all after a September loss to a Top 10 team.

Ole Miss

If you’re a fan of the Ole Miss Rebels, all I have to say is that you have to play Alabama exactly zero (0) more times this season.

Let that sink in.

It is evident that the Crimson Tide is the best team in the country and it’s truly hard to say how big the gap is between them and whoever is the second best team. Not only is Bama a juggernaut, Ole Miss is victim of something I deem the “Consecutive Curse.” What is the Consecutive Curse, you ask?

Ole Miss is one of only two schools to beat Nick Saban coached Alabama squads in back-to-back games (2014 and 2015) since he arrived in Tuscaloosa in 2007. The other school is LSU, which defeated Bama in the 2010 and 2011 regular seasons. Starting with the Sugar Bowl in January 2012, LSU has now lost seven in a row to the Tide. The Tigers have been beaten to a pulp in these matchups as well, averaging only 10 points.

The wrath of Saban is a real thing, so just dust your shoulders off and keep it moving, Rebs. You can beat Alabama again whenever he retires. This of course depends on if he decides to retire.

Arkansas

Welcome to the Spin Zone for the second time in this young season, Hogs. Someone had to be the first team to accomplish this feat and unfortunately, it was you.

At this point there’s no secret that this a 100 percent a building year for the Arkansas Razorbacks, but a beat down at home to North Texas is honestly quite alarming. The game was effectively over on Saturday when the Mean Green pulled off the most disrespectful special teams play of all time. The final score in Fayetteville was 44-17.

So where do the Razorbacks go from here? QB controversy is an overplayed and over-hyped talking point in college football at times, but it is truly at play here. The rest of this season should be dedicated to fully establishing the identity that Chad Morris is going for. By the end of the season, what is seen on the field should be more cohesive than what we’ve seen in these first three games.

Playing spoiler for a rival late in the season is always fun.