During the season, we'll be serving up what I like to call "SEC Sundays at the Pit". We all love barbecue and would fight to the death over our regional specialties, but in this column we'll help you recall what happened around the league while you were either at your school's game or blunting your senses with whiskey for the day. Or both. You're encouraged to avail yourself to the excellent SBNation blogs of our competitors for entertainment and insight. For the record, Texas brisket and sausage whips the reset of the SEC barbecue's ass.
Week 1 is a nice methadone to satiate the shakes we've had for months without our mainline of college football. We get to see the colors of opponents, some crashing of pads, and a good game or two. The depravity can also yield some hyperbole - more so than even standard football hyperbole. Save for a few outliers, we don't get to learn a ton in the first week, and that is okay. Newness is everywhere and rhythm is being established. After the jump we'll take a look at what happened around the SEC in Week 1.
South Carolina 17
Like many others, I love Stephen Orr Spurrier. He golfs, seems to have a nice work-life balance, and isn't afraid to bust the balls of his tight ass competitors. That said, it's very odd watching a Spurrier led team go into a veer offense and grind out a win. My childhood football was watching this coach-of-don't-give-a-damn stack four wide with a 40 point lead in the fourth quarter. South Carolina passed for all of 67 yards, but Cock QB Connor Shaw had a gutsy performance in front of a commendable crowd in Nashville to help Carolina to a 1-0 start in league play. After the beating Shaw took, he surely needed a bedpan and a forklift to get out of bed on Friday.
It was a nice road W for the Cocks, but it wasn't without some controversy late. As blatant as lies at a political convention, there was a late non-call of pass interference by Cock D.J. Swearinger on Vandy WR Jordan Matthews on 4th down. The non-call sealed the win for the South Carolina and derailed what would have been a huge win for the ballsy, improving Commodores. Marcus Lattimore showed great signs of getting back to his elite self with spry running and a 100 yard performance.
POSTPONED! I've never seen people so sad to hear they can't go to Shreveport.
NC State 21
Hot damn did Derek Dooley need a win here. Coach DD is on a scorching hot seat, and had to play a surprisingly stout Wolfpack squad in Atlanta to start the season. With the booting of Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee JUCO transfer WR Cordarrelle Patterson stepped to the plate and delivered two huge first quarter touchdowns (one long catch, one long run) to pace the Vols to a commendable victory. Watch out for this newcomer all year. You'll remember him due to his kick ass name. Tyler Bray was on point and seemingly sober to a nice 300 yard game. If Florida doesn't sort some things out, the Vols could be a handsome 4-0 going into a late September match up in Athens. Stay tuned.
Buffalo (BULLS NOT BILLS) 23
With a scant eight point lead at the half, it appeared as though Mark Richt had lost complete control of the Rust Belt. Buffalo is very, very bad. But, you know, Week 1. Georgia figured out some things after a sloppy first half to have a solid, balanced effort out of the offense en route to victory. The trip to Columbia next week is going to be great television.
Bowling Green 14
I used to go to hockey camp at Bowling Green. It is less university than it is rural Ohio Elks Lodge. The Falcons had no business keeping this game close in The Swamp, but I don't understand Urban Meyer Voo Doo and neither do you. We've documented here on GBH the oasis/confusion/duplicity that is the Gator QB situaish, but c'mon Muschamp. Anyway, the Jorts are coming to College Station on Saturday and I'll slice up a Lassie dog if there is any downplaying the Gators.
Clemson feels more SEC than ACC to me. The Tigers beat the Tigers in nice fashion even without receiving god Sammy Watkins. Clemson RB Andre Ellington was superb including a 68 yard scamper you'll see in highlights all year long. He finished the evening with 231 yards on 26 carries. Meanwhile, Auburn is still seeking quarterback answers as Kiehl Frazier went a paltry 11-27 for 194 yards. Answers need to come quick with an early game coming in what should be a rowdy Starkville next week.
North Texas 14
LSU QB Zach Mettenberger was quite average in his first start, but was kindly bailed out by RB Kenny Hilliard's 141 yard, two TD effort against the Mean Green or whatever UNT calls themselves these days. LSU is deep as hell at RB and will plan on leaning on the opposing defense for four quarters. The Tigers got to knock off some rust in preparation to host Washington next weekend in what should be another opportunity to say "suck it" to conferences that have schools where reading and spelling are valued at member institutions.
SE Louisiana 10
I won't pretend to give any actual analysis of this game. Just when I think I've heard of every college in America that plays football, the SE Louisiana Lions show up and prove me wrong. I hope Isaac was not too cruel to their families. Mizzou now gears up for the aforementioned Georgia Bulldogs.
Central Arkansas 27
Ole Miss 49
Ooof. Ole Miss was down at the half to a school I also didn't know existed. Regardless, they shook out the Grove cobwebs in the second half and rolled. Hugh Freeze has his hands full and I hope he has Sandra Bullock's white dress on speed dial.
Jackson State 9
Mississippi State 56
I'm going to pass. No idea. Nice stat enhancement.
This game wasn't as close as the final score would lead you to believe. Apparently Saban's reality show "The Process" is simply interchanging NFL draft picks with their clones. Did you see Saban coming out of the tunnel for the game? Chilling. The man is an executioner. Meanwhile, Michigan Men found solace on their flights home with rhetoric such as "well, at least we don't cheat", "at least we value academics", and "at least we aren't white trash". Feeble straws from one of the more elitist fan bases in sports. The Tide? Well, PAWL, they'd prolly be an AFC wildcard team.
Their season starts with Midnight Madness, right?
That's it for me. Take your stabs in the comments. I watched enough football yesterday to make it one blurred casserole in my brain. Can't wait for Week 2.