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VOL. 130 | NO. 179 | Tuesday, September 15, 2015

College Football Notebook: SEC Fumbles in Week 2 Action

By Don Wade

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The chant “S-E-C, S-E-C!” still lives. In, you know, a mocking way.

Tennessee was one of three SEC teams to fall out of AP Top 25 after blowing a 17-0 lead and losing to Oklahoma in double overtime last Saturday. 

(Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP, File)

Last weekend No. 18 Arkansas was upset 16-12 by Toledo, No. 6 Auburn needed overtime to dispense with FCS program Jacksonville State, and No. 23 Tennessee blew a 17-0 lead over then-No. 19 Oklahoma and fell 31-24 in double overtime.

Reportedly, Austin Ward of espn.com showed the score of the Arkansas game to a member of the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes. The unidentified player’s response: “S-E-C, S-E-C!”

Payback, and all that.

Anyway, three SEC schools slid out of the Associated Press Top 25: Arkansas, UT and previously No. 25 Mississippi State, which lost at home 21-19 to LSU. Auburn dropped from No. 6 to No. 18.

The other SEC schools still in the Top 25: 2. Alabama. 7. Georgia. 13. LSU. 15. Ole Miss. 17. Texas A & M. 22. Missouri.

Former Michigan player and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard tweeted from @DesmondHoward that it is “really hard to make the 'BEST from top to bottom’ claim when you step out of conf and lose to Toledo (at home) and need OT to beat JVST.”

The Razorbacks lost in Little Rock, not on campus, but yeah, point taken.

All of this, of course, was preceded by a comment Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema made in advance of the Toledo game, pointing out that the Buckeyes had only one remaining ranked opponent on their schedule while the Hogs had, at the time, eight ranked opponents remaining on their schedule.

What Bielema said was valid. Well, until that other team from Ohio came in and beat Arkansas. Now, Bielema just looks petty and unable to take care of his own business.

Last weekend’s events also raise questions about how far along both the Razorbacks and the Vols really are. They were trendy picks to take a big step forward but right now neither seems ready.

Alabama has quarterback and kicker issues
After a promising performance in beating Wisconsin in the first week, Alabama quarterbacks Jake Coker and Cooper Bateman regressed against Middle Tennessee State. Each threw an interception and showed problems with both judgment and accuracy.

“Both guys really need to improve,” Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said.

Meantime, kicker Adam Griffith missed his first four field-goal attempts of the season. Alabama has struggled for consistency from kickers since Saban came to Tuscaloosa.

“We obviously need to get more production there, but we have confidence in him,” Saban said. “We think he can get the job done. There may come a point some time when we give somebody else an opportunity.”

Let Griffith miss his first attempt this week when Ole Miss comes to Bryant-Denny Stadium, and the opportunity for someone else may come quickly.

Rebels ready?
Much fun was had as Ole Miss romped past Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State by a combined score of 149-24 and Chad Kelly seized control of the starting quarterback job.

But now the competition rises several levels with Alabama’s formidable front seven next in line.

“Are we ready for SEC play?” coach Hugh Freeze asked. “I don’t know. It’s hard to tell.”

More quarterback woes
South Carolina starting quarterback Connor Mitch injured his shoulder and is expected to miss a minimum of four to six weeks and perhaps the rest of the season.

Auburn starter Jeremy Johnson has thrown five picks through the first two games – not what was expected of a “sleeper” Heisman candidate. He played well late against Jacksonville State to rescue the day, but Nick Marshall threw just seven interceptions all last season in almost 300 pass attempts for the Tigers.

Vanderbilt fell to 0-2 as QB Johnny McCrary tossed three interceptions in a 31-14 loss to Georgia, thus wasting a day when Vanderbilt had 400 yards of offense and only 25 fewer yards than the Bulldogs.

“That’s turnover power,” McCrary said.

No panic, no problems
The University of Memphis spotted Kansas a 10-0 lead last Saturday before giving the Jayhawks a 55-23 beatdown at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kan.

The Tigers had 651 total yards and QB Paxton Lynch completed 22-of-25 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns.

“We didn’t start very well, but our guys never panicked – which I was proud of,” coach Justin Fuente said.

The Tigers have scored more than 50 points in both games this season.

“If we can do that, we’ll go for it,” receiver Mose Frazier said. “All we’re trying to do is win by one point. If the score is 3-2, we’d be happy with that.”

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 14 51 326
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 115 606
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0