Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 4, 2012
A few notes to end the day and wrap up Week One of the college football season…
The imminently readable Chris Low, the lead SEC blogger at ESPN.com, looks back on the first weekend of SEC football. While he doesn’t have anything to say about the Razorbacks romp over Jacksonville State, he does state the obvious: Alabama is still Alabama.
Nick Saban won’t be thrilled with the second half and how the Crimson Tide eased their foot off the gas. Even so, an impressive performance by the defending national champions in their 41-14 pummeling of No. 8 Michigan. They absolutely took apart the Wolverines and looked every bit as suffocating on defense as they did a year ago. Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, Mark Barron and Dre Kirkpatrick might be in the NFL now, but how would you ever know given the way the Tide played defense at Jerry World? And on offense, while there might not be a Trent Richardson on this team, Alabama has its pick of weapons and appears to be just as balanced as it was last season. It’s just one game, but it’s a game that sent tremors across the college football landscape.
Low also asks the burning question: Who’s #3 in the SEC? Okay, that’s not exactly a burning question, but I do think it’s a relevant one to ask. Low turned to ESPN’s loath-able SportsNation to get some insight. Surprisingly the Razorbacks topped the charts with relative ease.
With 7,927 votes the results look like this:
- Arkansas – 40%
- Georgia – 24%
- Tennessee – 20%
- South Carolina – 14%
- Florida –3%
I caution anyone to take this too seriously, though, since the ESPN math reaches 101%. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see the Hogs get a little respect. Apparently this poll was not linked to any Arkansas message boards.
Arkansas junior defensive end Chris Smith earned SEC Player of the Week honors, cited as the Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week. As Adam said, I think it’s pretty awesome he got that award given that the prevailing opinion of the message board set is that the Hog lines got blown off the line on both sides off the ball.
Back over at ESPN’s SEC blog, Edward Aschoff named Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson the SEC’s Player of the Week. Wilson looked very, very sharp in the Hogs win over Jacksonville State. While JSU won’t be confused with an elite defense, Wilson picked them apart to the tune of 367 yards and 3 touchdowns. Per Aschoff:
Wilson might have been down his three NFL receivers from a year ago, but he did an excellent job of spreading the ball around Saturday. Two of his receiving targets — wide receiver Brandon Mitchell and tight end Chris Gragg – both eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark. Gragg caught a game-high seven catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns and Mitchell, who moved from quarterback, caught four passes for a game-high 122 yards.
Wilson has what it takes to be a real Heisman candidate this season and he’s off to a great start.
And finally…Edward Aschoff gives us the Week 2 SEC Power Rankings. Yes, this is an utterly useless tool for the most part. But it’s a fun read, and Aschoff – like his blogging cohort Low – appears to like Tyler Wilson in a borderline inappropriate way.
3. Arkansas (1-0): We know Arkansas can score and churn out yards. The Hogs made both of those things look very easy against Jacksonville State, especially quarterback Tyler Wilson, who threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns Saturday. But the defense still has some questions surrounding it, as the Hogs gave up 24 points. The defense settled down the second half and gave up 322 total yards, which was one yard less than the average given up by top 15 teams this weekend.