Every Wednesday, “Across the South” touches a different topic on the SEC, breaks down the biggest matchups of the previous week, previews the coming week’s slate, and talks about where things stand in the best conference in the land. In this week’s edition, let’s break down week one including LSU’s beatdown at the hands of FSU as well as a look ahead to this weekend.
All offseason, the hot pick in the SEC West had been the LSU Tigers. A narrative that Brian Kelly’s team has arrived as the squad to beat, Nick Saban has fallen off, and the Tigers should be the favorites in the West permeated through the college football media world for months. And make no mistake, this could still end up being the case. But boy oh boy, LSU did not look like the team it was billed against the Seminoles on Sunday night.
Let’s give Florida State their due credit. The ‘Noles looked like national championship contenders in Orlando last weekend. After a back and forth first half where LSU led by three, Jordan Travis led his team on scoring drives every time he touched the ball in the second half en route to a 45-24 beatdown.
Of course, LSU can still get things back on track. A non-conference loss does not derail your season. And to state the obvious, Alabama could very well find itself in the same spot after a matchup against Texas this week.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the other matchups to keep an eye on in week two:
- No. 22 Ole Miss at No. 24 Tulane
If not for Alabama-Texas, this is probably the best matchup of the week on paper. Ole Miss handled business against Mercer in week one and Jaxson Dart was established as QB1 in Oxford. As for Tulane, they destroyed a very good South Alabama team 37-17 at
home last Saturday in a game that was expected to be much closer. Quarterback Michael
Pratt is a bona fide star and has a phenomenal opportunity against an SEC team at home. Ole Miss is favored by a touchdown.
- No. 23 Texas A&M at Miami
The Aggies are another team that had questions at quarterback answered in week one with Connor Weigman tossing five touchdowns. This is a rematch from last season in
College Station, where A&M was victorious 17-9. Tyler Van Dyke has had an overall
disappointing career for Miami after he was expected to be a star, but a win at home over an SEC team would go a long way toward changing people’s minds. The Aggies are favored by 4.5 points.
- Auburn at California
The late night game of the week in the SEC will kick off at 9:30 p.m. Auburn looked good in week one, but California’s potent rushing attack will look to expose an Auburn rushing defense that has been a tremendous weakness over the years. California is a 6.5-point underdog Saturday night in Berkeley.