Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rambling Recap: Week 1, Part 2

Alabama scored the biggest win of the opening weekend, and jumped 11 spots in the AP poll to #13. Other than that, what did they get for having the stones to schedule a prime-time early season matchup?

Not a damn thing.

Bama's no closer to a BCS bowl this week than they were last week. They're no closer to a BCS bowl than Auburn or Georgia after scheduling cupcakes. If one of the Mississippi schools catches Bama on the wrong weekend, the Clemson win will be easily forgotten.

At the same time, Clemson is erased from the national title picture. As far as the bowl implications are concerned, Bama is a small winner and Clemson is a huge loser.

After one game, it appears South Carolina scored with the hiring of former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. Its hard to top a shutout, no matter how bad NC State was. Expect him to keep Chris Nickson from running anywhere Thursday night. Nickson will be forced to throw for 200 yards to keep Vanderbilt in the game, something he will likely struggle with.

Arkansas – the team that hired Johnson from Mississippi State only to lose him to South Carolina – will end up being the biggest loser in the deal.

Speaking of Fayetteville, good for Houston Nutt. His Rebels handled Memphis easily, which was a needed improvement from the former regime and the close games they've had the past few years. While its fair to say he underachieved some at Arkansas, its also fair to say that he and his family were flat-out put through hell. Arkansas fans may take some time to forgive him for not doing more with Darren McFadden's last year, but here's to hoping the two sides will be happy after going their separate ways.

Jury's still out on Tuberville's switch to the spread. I'm buying the decision.

Tennessee was 7-1 in SEC overtime games, and the the Vols looked like they had never seen overtime in Los Angeles. And what was up with that please-block-this-punt formation? It looked like Fulmer himself could have run through the gaps in that spread line to make the block, scoop, and score.

Pete Fiutak of wrote in his Calvacade of Whimsey column that the ESPN-SEC TV deal will lead to SEC teams having “better facilities, better coaches, and better overall programs than anyone else can possibly come up with.” Wouldn't go that far, but nonetheless:

Nice, nice, and very nice.

Rambling Recap: Week 1, Part 1