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They supposed to be SEC: A look back at Week 1's issues

September 7, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

Before week 1 is totally in the rear view mirror, it might be prudent to look back at what the supposed best conference in the country did.

While playing mostly cupcakes, the SEC had quite a bit of trouble exerting its dominance. In no game was that more apparent than Kentucky's limp to a win over Western Kentucky.

The Hilltoppers' Andrew Jackson summed it up best when the camera crew found him on the bench.

"They supposed to be SEC?"

Kentucky was never supposed to be the strength of the conference, but just playing in the SEC should give the Wildcats an advantage in recruiting. There is no reason Western Kentucky should ever be more than an speed bump.

And there definitely should never be a point when Kentucky is bad enough to get mocked.

Ole Miss set the bar lower, falling to a newly independent BYU team in a collapse that reminiscent of the fall of Atlanta during General Sherman's march to the sea.

That the Rebels managed just 208 yards of offense should have fans crying.

Mississippi wasn't supposed to do much in the supposedly stacked SEC West, but they supposed to be SEC!

Auburn, which lost its best playmaker on both sides of the ball, looked like it was lost against Utah State. The mainstream media was finally questioning a defense that was less than stellar last season.

That the defense showed up in the National Championship game quieted the critics in the blogosphere, but there was a reason that Auburn looked like it was about to self destruct each week last year. Without Cam Newton, this team is less than average as the Aggies showed.

They supposed to be SEC?

Alabama is still sorting out its quarterback situation, which should have been cleared up during its easy win against Kent State.

But the Tide managed to still turn the ball over five times in the win. While most of the turnovers came after Alabama was comfortably ahead, the Tide missed out on an opportunity to fine tune its attack for Penn State.

While the Nittany Lions currently sit with their own quarterback troubles, perhaps it won't be an issue. But this was an Alabama team that was expected to roll at least to a tie for the division title and likely a spot in the SEC title game. They were among the favorites to get to the National Title game.

Instead, this team is a good defense away from finding out that it doesn't have two quarterbacks, but rather no quarterbacks.

They supposed to be SEC?

The mood should be even more grim in the East.

South Carolina's Steve Spurrier seems determined to teach Stephen Garcia a lesson, although the rest of the country is having a hard time figuring out what the lesson is.

When Garcia is in the game, the Gamecocks win. When he is on the bench, they look like they are about to collapse.

South Carolina should have the inside track to the SEC title game for a second season in a row and yet can't get out of its own way in the first game.

It spotted East Carolina 17 points, and was down 24-14 at halftime.

East Carolina! And they supposed to be SEC?

Georgia has an even bigger problem. Boise State exposed its passing defense deficiencies, and provided anyone was watching (which is doubtful considering how some of the coaches voted in the polls this week), should have everyone gunning for Georgia's DBs.

This was a Boise team that lost its top two all-time receivers to graduation, and while Kellen Moore is no slouch, it shouldn't have been this easy.

Mark Richt just watched his job security leave on a plane back to Idaho.

And they supposed to be SEC?

The concerns end there for now, but the competition the rest of the conference faced (outside of LSU, who has its own offensive issues) might as well have been nonexistent (Seriously Vandy? Elon?).

But for a league that wants to be considered the best in the country, the concerns for some of its best teams leave a lot of open questions for week 2.

And they supposed to be SEC.


Posted September 7, 2011 12:30 PM

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