published Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

SEC questions and answers

Alabama's AJ McCarron celebrates during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
Alabama's AJ McCarron celebrates during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• 1. Alabama (2-0, 1-0 SEC)

Are we ready to say AJ McCarron is the best quarterback in Alabama history? He's 27-2 as a starter and is unbeaten in road games. He's eyeing his third consecutive national title as a starting QB and -- since he was a redshirt freshman in 2009 -- his fourth BCS ring overall. He'll likely rewrite the Alabama passing records this year. Forget just Alabama -- which has a few familiar names such as Starr and Stabler and Namath and Barker in its illustrious history -- you can make a hard argument that McCarron is the best college quarterback ever.

Saturday: vs. Colorado State, 7 (ESPN2)

• 2. LSU (3-0, 0-0)

Will LSU be tested this week? LSU has won each of its three games by double digits and has a margin of victory of right at four TDs. Sure, that was against UAB and Kent State after TCU, but LSU is crazy talented in every phase.

Saturday: vs. Auburn, 7:45 (ESPN)

• 3. Georgia (1-1, 1-0)

Will Georgia be caught looking ahead to next week's monster showdown with LSU? Possibly, but if the etiquette folks and English teachers out there will excuse it, let's answer that question with a question: If Georgia is looking ahead to LSU, would it really matter against North Texas, which is flush with a boss nickname (Mean Green is cool) but overmatched everywhere else?

Saturday: vs. North Texas, 12:21 (WDSI)

• 4. Texas A&M (2-1, 0-1)

If you were an NFL GM, would you draft Johnny Football in the first round? Most likely not, but his receiver Mike Evans sure looks the part of a first-round guy. That said, despite all the potential distractions and the Johnny Cam and all the attention, Johnny Manziel showed up and showed out when they turned the lights on last Saturday against Alabama.

Saturday: vs. SMU, 7 (ESPNU)

• 5. Florida (1-1, 0-0)

Will the first team to 24 win Saturday's UT-Florida game? It sure looks that way. Here's a bonus question: How can the Florida Gators -- yes, the state school of arguably the best and fastest high school football in the country -- not have a wide receiver who scares foes? This one is hard to answer.

Saturday: vs. Tennessee, 3:30 (CBS)

• 6. Ole Miss (3-0, 1-0)

Is this too low a ranking for the fast-rising Rebels, who arguably have the best resume this side of Alabama through three games, considering they have road wins over Vanderbilt and Texas. And do not sleep on Jeff Scott, the 5-foot-8 speedster who rushed for 164 yards against Mack Brown's struggling Longhorns and delivered a Mack-breaking 73-yard punt return for a score in Ole Miss's second-half onslaught.

Saturday: Open

• 7. South Carolina (2-1, 1-1)

Which is the real South Carolina -- the team that built a 21-0 first-quarter lead over Vandy or the team that was outscored 25-14 over the final three quarters? The truth is somewhere in the middle, considering South Carolina is getting very little from the country's best player, hobbled defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and maximizing its offensive strengths of two effective quarterbacks and running back Mike Davis.

Saturday: Open

• 8. Auburn (3-0, 1-0)

Is Nick Marshall a savior or living on borrowed time? The jury is still out, but Marshall, who has missed more wide-open Tigers than a drunk Otis Campbell on a hunting safari, continues to improve. He also showed some big-time poise in leading the Tigers down the field for a winning touchdown in last week's rally against Mississippi State. (Side question: Is it a new league suggestion that every team's starting QB has a last name that starts with "M" this season?)

Saturday: at LSU, 7:45 (ESPN)

• 9. Arkansas (3-0, 0-0)

Do you know who is the only freshman running back in SEC history to rush for 100-plus yards in his first three college games? Nope, it's not Herschel Walker or Bo Jackson or even former Razorbacks star Darren McFadden. It's Arkansas freshman Alex Collins, who takes his historic streak and 418 rushing yards this season to Rutgers, which has the nation's leading rusher in Paul James with 493 yards.

Saturday: at Rutgers, 3:30 (ESPN)

• 10. Missouri (2-0, 0-0)

Who had Missouri as the only unbeaten SEC East team three Saturdays into the season? Well, no one. That perfect start is unlikely to change this week against a Hoosiers team that is more Hickory Huskers than mighty South Bend Central.

Saturday: at Indiana, 8 (Big Ten Network)

• 11. Tennessee (2-1, 0-0)

Was last Saturday's historic beatdown because of Oregon's awesome talent or the Volunteers' awesome void of talent at several spots? Yes. Yes it was. Here's hoping that former Vol Jason Witten sees Dallas receivers coach Derek Dooley in the hall of the Cowboys training facility and says, "Thanks a lot, Derek, you goofball."

Saturday: at Florida, 3:30 (CBS)

• 12. Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-2)

Can James Franklin circle the wagons again this year? After a slow start in 2012, Vandy won nine games, including its final seven. The Commodores face a similar set of circumstances this year, and the order may be even taller considering Georgia and Florida are still ahead and Vandy swapped Auburn for Texas A&M out of the West.

Saturday: vs. UMass, noon (ESPNews)

• 13. Mississippi State (1-2, 0-1)

Wow, it seems like an awfully long time ago when the Bulldogs won nine games and trounced Michigan in a New Year's Day Bowl, huh? The Bulldogs let a much-needed win at Auburn on Saturday slip through their paws. In truth, with Ole Miss rolling and the West appearing as tough as ever, Dan Mullen's stock went from "Can MSU keep him?" to "Is he on the hot seat?" pretty doggone quickly.

Saturday: vs. Troy, 7:30 (FoxSS)

• 14. Kentucky (1-2, 0-0)

Did Kentucky wreck Louisville's national-title hopes with a too-close-for-comfort 27-13 loss Saturday? Most likely not. But don't think it won't be a serious discussion point when the BCS music stops and everyone is trying to find a postseason chair.

Saturday: Open

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 ...

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.