published Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

5-at-10: SEC Questions and Answers, quarterback updates and week 1 winners and losers

From the "Talks too much" studios, it's go time.

SEC Questions and Answers

It's Tuesday. It's time to address the questions facing the SEC teams. You want answers. We want the truth. Some of you can't handle the truth. (Order based on our own SEC power poll.)

1. Alabama (1-0)

Will the offense find its way? Yes, it will. There's too much talent there. And for all the Alabama fans gnashing their teeth and worrying about the offensive line, remember this: A lot of the tough sledding last week was because Virginia Tech and defensive coordinator Bud Foster are pretty good at what they do. And please remember you feel like you struggled and still beat a good program by 25. Ah, expectations.

Saturday: Bye week

2. LSU (1-0)

Is the offense that good? Yes it is. The Tigers rolled to 448 yards against a TCU defense that returned eight starters from a group that was nationally ranked last year. And that was without major contributions from Odell Beckham or Jeremy Hill, two of the Tigers best playmakers.

Saturday: vs. UAB, 7 (ESPNU)

3. South Carolina (1-0)

  • photo
    South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney is hugged by a teammate after making a sack on Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Will Jadeveon Clowney play hard on every snap? Here's saying the motor will be a little more active this week. And, considering Georgia's offensive line struggled protecting Aaron Murray at Clemson, here's saying Clowney's stats are a little better than three tackles, no sacks this week as well.

Saturday: at Georgia, 4:30 (ESPN)

4. Georgia (0-1)

Can the Bulldogs still win a national title? Doubtful. Yes, it's just one game — and UGA's 38-35 loss at Clemson was a great game — but in a college football season in which it looks like there could be several unbeaten teams, one loss could do it.

Saturday: vs. South Carolina, 4:30 (ESPN)

5. Florida (1-0)

Should we be worried about these Gators? Not yet, but Saturday is a much stiffer test than the listless walk through the Swamp that was Toledo. Florida's offense better show up, because Duke Johnson and the Hurricanes are pretty stout.

Saturday: at Miami, noon (ESPN)

6. Texas A&M (1-0)

  • photo
    Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel throws during NCAA college football practice in College Station, Texas.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Will Johnny Manziel quit acting like a punk? Nope, this leopard's spots are self-evident. And like him or loathe him, the Johnny Football act is obviously not an act. The real question is when will this come back and hurt the Aggies as a whole, because you know it's going to.

Saturday: vs. Sam Houston State, 7 (Pay-per view)

7. Ole Miss (1-0, 1-0 SEC)

How's that for an instant impact? The Rebels' much-touted 2013 recruiting class made an immediate impression in last Thursday's win over Vandy. Laquan Treadwell had nine catches, Robert Nkemdiche was a beast, tight end Evan Engram caught five passes and Tony Conner had a big interception in their first college games respectively.

Saturday: SE Missouri State, 7 (Pay-per view)

8. Tennessee (1-0)

How does it feel to have the nation's top-ranked scoring defense? Yes, it was Austin Peay, but the surge of energy from Knoxville had to feel good to Johnny Vols Fans everywhere Saturday. The real work starts now, however.

Saturday: vs. Western Kentucky, 12:21 (WDSI)

9. Auburn (1-0)

Was Nick Marshall's inaccuracies first-game nerves or a potential season-long dilemma? Marshall finished 10-of-19 for 99 yards and missed several open receivers deep down the field. Here's saying it was nervousness — a feeling Auburn fans may share come Saturday night if the passing game does not improve.

Saturday: vs. Arkansas State, 7:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

10. Arkansas (1-0)

Are we surprised by Alex Collins' big week 1? Absolutely not. Collins, the prized freshman recruit from south Florida, was the bell cow for run-first, run-last, run-always coach Bret Bielema on Saturday, going for 131 yards on 21 carries. Arkansas ran for 292 yards and held the ball for more than 37 minutes in its 34-14 win over La-LaFayette.

Saturday: vs. Samford, 7 (Pay-per view)

11. Vandy (0-1, 0-1)

How big a stud is Jordan Matthews? Huge. Dude may be the best-skilled position player Vandy has ever had. Seriously.

Saturday: vs. Austin Peay, 7:30 (CSS)

12. Missouri (1-0)

Could the Tigers be a sleeper in the East? Doubtful, but let's see how they fare against a Toledo team that competed with Florida in the Swamp last week.

Saturday: Toledo, 3:30 (ESPNU)

13: Mississippi State (0-1)

Didn't the Bulldogs have a returning QB and a stud RB? Yes, they did, but it was hard to tell in a woeful 21-3 loss against Oklahoma State that was the Bulldogs worst offensive showing under Dan Mullen since a 31-3 loss to Alabama in 2009.

Saturday: Alcorn State, 3:30 (CSS)

14. Kentucky (0-1)

Is there a worse way to start your head coaching career? Probably, but Mark Stoops' first game with the Wildcats was pretty forgettable, considering UK had to score a cosmetic TD late to make in a 35-26 loss to Western Kentucky. Add to it that there now appears to be some serious QB questions, and, well, at least the pays good, right Mark?

Saturday: vs. Miami (Ohio), noon (Fox Sports Net)

————

Quarterback shakes and wiggles

Beyond the SEC, there are a slew of quarterback stories to follow.

Try to keep

• EGADS — all caps were needed — how good was Jameis Winston's debut? Dude went 25-of-27 and accounted for five TDs for FSU last night and was poised in his first start. Forget Johnny Football. We're all about Jameis Football.

  • photo
    Quarterback B.J. Coleman from Chattanooga drops back to pass during the fourth quarter of a preseason game on Aug. 17 against the St. Louis Rams. He survived the cuts to 53 players but then was released Sunday night.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• Former McCallie and UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman was cut by the Packers late Sunday night, as our Johnny Frierson told everyone here. It will be interesting to see if Coleman catches on with anyone in the next few days.

• Terrelle Pryor has emerged as the starting quarterback for FE to the C's Oakland Raiders. Hey, it's got be better than what's been happening in Oakland for the last few seasons. Is Rich Gannon still on the roster?

• The New York Jets' QB tilt-a-whirl continued when they signed Brady Quinn over the weekend. Hey Jets, QB is the rare exception to the rule "there's strength in numbers."

• Timmy Tebow was cut by the Patriots over the weekend. That's all we got. Maybe the Jets will sign him.... or maybe not.

————

Midseason form

The Fab 4-plus-1 picks went a sterling 5-0 in Week 1. Here's hoping your entertainment war chest got some padding this weekend. Good times.

But the 5-at-10 was not the only one right on the money. Knowing that Vegas sets point spreads to entice an equal amount of betting on each side, the sharks were spot-on right out of the gate.

Here's how good Vegas was this first weekend of college football (numbers courtesy of RJ Bell and pregame.com):

There were 75 college football games with point spreads this weekend. The favorite covered 38 times; the underdog covered 37 times.

In the 61 games that offered an over/under total, the over hit 30, the under hit 30 and there was one push.

Incredible.

————

This and that

— Tommy "Gun" Morrison died this weekend. He was 44. Hey, you cross Rocky Balboa, and eventually the end will come.

— Hey Roger Federer — thanks for the memories and start working on your delivery. The commentator chair next to McEnroe is calling your name.

— Freddie Freeman for NL MVP. Who's with us? And as Spy reported yesterday, since taking two weeks off for the eye surgery, Danny Struggla has remained his consistently stinky self. Uggla is 3-for-18 with five Ks since the eye procedure. See the ball, miss the ball, right Dan?

————

Today's question

We have shattered our word limit, so as always feel free to freestyle on any of the above.

If you need a talking point — and we'll likely do a lot of this on the Press Row radio show today from 1-3 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 FM — who were your weekend winners and losers from the opening from of college football.

In the college quarterback division, the envelope please....

WINNER — FSU's Jameis Winston

LOSER — Mississippi State's Tyler Russell

Discuss.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

10
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JonathanMCook said...

Morning Ten-Ring, Minna-san.

It feels strange. It's Tuesday but still feels like Monday.

Anyway,

I have to go to Time-Warner Cable today to see if I can get my cable re-subscribed before Saturday (for obvious reasons). Given the fact they raised my Internet rates again, what's $20-30 extra to have regular cable? At least until maybe the end of football season. Good thing I got a small raise in my seasonal position at work with the Quality Assurance Department.

I know Tennessee is no Alabama and Austin Peay is no UT Martin. But given some of the write-ups regarding WKU, the Hilltoppers are almost poised (on paper mind you) to pull a North Dakota State (or Appy State) in Mother Knoxville. Thoughts?

Ironically, I find it interesting that Sam Houston has A&M for their paycheck game. They were the opponent for NDSU at last years FCS championship game. Unfortunately, the Aggies are not Kansas State but I don't expect a lopsided result as was handed to the dirty Guv'nas over at the Da' Peay.

September 3, 2013 at 10:21 a.m.
chas9 said...

Did Sam Houston State used to be Sam Houston Institute of Technology?

UK may have QB questions, but they have two who performed better than the War Eagle leader did. The Cats' offense is OK. In fact, they'll go for over 500 yards this Saturday. It's the defense that better get better fast.

And here's saying dangerous WKU blasts UT way out of its national best scoring defense spot.

September 3, 2013 at 10:24 a.m.
Buschleague said...

5- Prolly not a good idea to look past Pinocchio/ Petrino but Oregon..770+ yards, 30+ first downs, under 20min time of possession..yikes.

September 3, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.
jgreeson said...

JMC —

No doubt, cable/internet is a monster. Biggest bill in the 5-at-10 compound.

No one in Knoxville is sleeping on Western Kentucky, for that you can be assured.

Bobby P(inocchio — full credit to Buschleaguer) is the best in-game play caller in the BID-ness right now.

World-class scumback; world-class play caller.

9er —

We see what you did there, and there are no acronyms needed.

Stats are not what matters from week 1; W's are. That said Forgetting Nick Marshall Mize — REEEEE-gardless — needs to improve the accuracy.

B-leaguer —

Oregon had 14 plays of 20 yards or more. FOURTEEN.

EGADS.

(Sorry about all the screaming. LOUD NOISES. Brick killed a guy.)

September 3, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay,

Surprised to read that about your cable bill. Then again, you probably have one of those packages with four TVs wired + DVR perks + premium channels etc.

If I can keep mine under $100, I'll be doing good $90 for the win!

Nice to see I'm not the only one whose taking WKU seriously admit not Florida or Alabama serious but still serious.

It's funny actually when you think about it. Five years ago, if you had told me that college football might develop the same kind of "giant killer" match-ups we've grown accustom to in men's and women's basketball, I'd laugh in your face. However, given the mass-exodis of "BJ Colemen" talented players leaving "Division Four" for either a UTC, Western Kentucky, UNT, or North Dakota State, it wouldn't take long before the some minor ripples became apparent.

Note to Spy:

This is not to indicate the boys of Statesboro will be able to pull a North Dakota State "between the hedges" anytime soon, but...whose to say? (Actually, I believe they have a better shot at upsetting that small engineering school on North Avenue across from the Varsity but that's just me).

Chase-

Sam Houston State started as Sam Houston Normal Institute until 1923 when it became Sam Houston Teachers College. It started morphing into Sam Houston State around 1965.

September 3, 2013 at 12:51 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

JMC, Tech will have Vad Lee and Justin Thomas back next year. Southern loses Jerick McKinnon and most of its O line after this year. And the Eagles kicking game isn't any better than it was last year (that's more of a this year concern but its trending downward). Kevin Ellison looked good as the No 2 QB (he's beaten out the best QB name of all time - Vegas Harley), but .... it was savannah state after all. There's no good and terrible. There's just terrible.

September 3, 2013 at 2:09 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I was watching ESPN or MLB network or some blathering head program as I ate dinner ( buffalo chicken sandwich, fries, key lime pie, sweet tea) and in a discussion on NL MVP candidates, no one, not a one, brought up Freddie Freeman. They're drawing a paycheck for this miss-poor (it ain't miss, but you get the drift) analysis?

September 3, 2013 at 2:16 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

I just wanted to swing by and state for the record that I did not call any sports talk radio shows in Atlanta on Saturday night and breakdown in tears. I was disappointed, but c'mon man, tearful temper tantrums are annoying when displayed by small children and stomach turning when displayed by a grown man over a football game that didn't go his way. C'mon man!

The match-up of South Carolina's defensive front led by Jadeveon Clowney and Georgia's offensive line led by rotating left tackles that took turns getting blown-up Saturday night and of course Center David Andrews. Who can forget David? If you watched the UGA-CU game you no doubt will remember a fella in a striped shirt saying "Holding. Number 61, Offense." This match-up led me to think, Oh acronym for Sam Houston Institute of Technology! By the way, well played 9er. In spite of one of the key match-ups in the UGA-USC game seeming to favor the fightin' chickens quite decisively, I saw where Georgia opened as a three-point favorite yesterday. I was genuinely surprised by that. As entertainment seekers lay down their hypothetical action, that line will probably tighten up before the end of the week but I was convinced Carolina would be favored from the very start in this game.

September 3, 2013 at 3:16 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Spy-

OUCH-standing.

GDawg-

That really happened? I was mundo upset over the loss to UT-Martin but came to terms with it once I realized there was nothing I could do about it. The worst I did was just have my phone turned off for like 48 hours. (I still went into work the next day with no one knowing the wiser and just worked on the stuff that needed working on). I don't think I've called Sport Talk for anything in the last eight months. So yeah, it's a football game, I hate it when my team loses (something I've gotten wayyy to comfortable with) but I've moved on and getting ready to see vs. Georgia State on Saturday. (BTW, this one is on the Trey)

September 3, 2013 at 3:36 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

JMC, it really happened. A fellow Dawg asked if I had heard the audio of the Georgia fan crying on the radio. When he said "crying" I assumed he meant in a figurative sense and the guy just got a little whiny on the radio. Then I heard it for myself and the guy was literally crying. While the rest of Bulldog Nation bares no culpability with this one guy that turned on the waterworks, there were a lot of us with our palms firmly affixed to our faces upon hearing that.

September 3, 2013 at 3:52 p.m.
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