How every SEC fan base should feel entering Week 3
The college football season is truly an emotional roller coaster ride. One week, you’re selling tickets for a bandwagon, the next you’re losing to a team that hasn’t won a conference game since before Baker Mayfield grabbed his groin.
There will be more ups and downs in the coming weeks, but here’s how each SEC fan base should feel entering Week 3.
Bryce who? It may be tough to swallow for Tide fans who long for the days when Alabama ground-and-pounded its way to 50-point blowouts, but Mac Jones and his trio of wideouts are more electric than a Forrest Gump kick return. It has to feel good knowing that no matter how many assistants leave Tuscaloosa, they can never beat their master.
WOO PIG SOOIE. It had been 1,071 days since Hog fans could yell that with honor, so let’s hear it. Not only did the Razorbacks sink the Pirate’s ship and remove KJ Costello’s name from the Heisman, but that first half against the Bulldogs looks a lot more impressive. Dare we say there’s optimism in Fayetteville?
If you took the under on the 2.5 weeks it would take to put Malzahn back on the hot seat, you’re feeling pretty good. Otherwise, a historically poor offensive performance may have you seriously questioning if Bo Nix is better than a former walk-on at Georgia. The good news is that there should be plenty of weeks for fans to supplement their toilet paper supplies.
But seriously, Kyle Pitts for Heisman. This Florida offense would make even the “Head Ball Coach” proud, let alone Gators fans who have been waiting for the next offensive star since the original savior, Tim Tebow. Maybe the only person in Gainesville not happy with the 2020 Gators is punter Jacob Finn, who just seems to do a lot of standing anymore.
Oh, and Dan Mullen wins the award for best mask of 2020.
This is an A+ move from Dan Mullen. pic.twitter.com/RmChVYMjrC
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 3, 2020
Save the Postal Service because the Mailman always delivers. There was never any doubt about who the right guy was to start at QB as Stetson Bennett looked cool, calm and collected all night in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Heck, throw his name into the Heisman conversation at this point … but how much longer until JT Daniels is ready?
College kickers … No one runs the ball quite like the Wildcats do even in defeat, and Terry Wilson looks all like he was billed to be. But an 0-2 start and 3 treacherous weeks to follow, when does Rupp Arena open? If Mark Stoops has eligibility remaining, he might be the best option in the secondary with elite 4.4 closing speed to guard those Mississippi State receivers.
Mark Stoops chases down officials after Kentucky loses to Ole Miss pic.twitter.com/tcSnIKZARC
— OutKick (@Outkick) October 3, 2020
Time to put the Bo Pelini pitch forks away. It turns out a team chalked full of 4- and 5-star players is still pretty good. No, Vanderbilt isn’t exactly a group of world-beaters, but the Tigers looked much closer to their preseason prognostications than they did a week ago. LSU isn’t going to repeat, but it could be worse. Les Miles has been outscored 132-44 this year.
It’s Bazelak-tion time! Eli Drinkwitz needs to start the freshman QB against LSU and give him as much time under center as possible because the Mizzou Super Bowl is 2 weeks away against Vanderbilt. With Arkansas’ improvement, that is legitimately the only winnable game on the docket, so Tigers fans need to carve out time for 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17.
Live by the Pirate, die by the Pirate. It turns out when a team doesn’t exclusively run man coverage, KJ Costello is not the next coming of Patrick Mahomes. It’s way too hard to stay mad at Leach for choosing not to adapt his play-calling against the Razorbacks. On the bright side, there’s way more room on the bandwagon.
The FAU Lane Kiffin would have gone for 2 in OT. Or gone for the 83-yd field goal at the end of regulation. Just ask Sebastian Janikowski.
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) September 28, 2020
But in all seriousness, Rebels fans have to be pleased with the trajectory of the program in a few pandemic-altered months under Kiffin. Matt Corral has proven he was the right choice at QB, and the Ole Miss offense is always a joy to watch.
Will “The Tortoise and the Hare” officially become a banned book in the city of Columbia? Slow and steady does not win the race in football, especially when you’re down by 14 in the 4th to a high-flying offense. Neither does opting to kick field goals while down multiple scores in the second half. At least now Gamecocks fans know why Muschamp is a former employee of the very Gators team he lacked any urgency to beat.
From a rocky bottom to Rocky Top, the Volunteers are here. Eric Gray is Alvin Kamara 2.0, and that Cade Mays bolstered offensive line looked like men pushing around boys. For once there was no need for a cocktail to take the edge off an anxiety-inducing game in Knoxville. Do Volunteers fans even remember what it feels like to lose?
Lather, rinse, repeat. We’re still right where we were 7 days ago, which is the same place as Aggies fans were a year ago, which is the same as 2018. Is Jimbo Fisher any good, and is Kellen Mond capable of greatness? The answer at this point seems like a resounding no. The long play on that $75-million investment better have one heck of a return for the 12th Man.
The CMA Festival isn’t for how long?