published Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

SEC questions and answers

1. Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC)

Was it injury or indifference that slowed the Crimson Tide in a sluggish 31-6 win over Colorado State? Likely, it was some of each. Without receivers Kevin Norwood and Amari Cooper, quarterback AJ McCarron was blah-tastic during the game and downright grumpy after it. Side note: This is how it is for Alabama and its atmospheric level of expected excellence. Think of it this way: This the No. 1 team in the country with two 25-plus-point blowouts and a road win over a top-10 conference rival, and all we can see is Alabama's flaws. Somewhere Nick Saban just smiled.

Saturday: vs. Ole Miss, 6:30 (ESPN)

2. LSU (4-0, 1-0)

How young is too young? LSU landed a commitment from Dylan Moses, who is still three-plus years from high school graduation. The 15-year-old, 6-foot-1, 211-pound linebacker with 4.46 speed in the 40 picked LSU over a host of the nation's power programs. He was first offered a scholarship before he started the eighth grade and said at the time playing for LSU was his lifelong dream. What were some of the others, getting his braces off and getting a learner's permit?

Saturday: at Georgia, 3:30 (CBS)

3. Georgia (2-1, 1-0)

Is Georgia -- and Aaron Murray in particular -- ready for the national stage and the chance to get back into the national-title picture? ESPN's "College GameDay" is in town for the first time since Alabama visited Athens and trounced the Bulldogs in 2008. (It was so bad that before Alabama, the last visitor to Georgia to inflict that much damage was General Sherman.) Fair or not, Murray has been nagged by the "can he win the big one" question throughout his record-setting time in Athens. He can end those whispers for good Saturday, because this is definitely a big one. Plus, if Georgia wins and runs the table, this one would make it the most attractive one-loss team in the country.

Saturday: vs. LSU, 3:30 (CBS)

4. Texas A&M (3-1, 0-1)

How is this just a 3-point spread? Johnny Football is rolling -- he threw for 244 yards and ran for 102 in last week's cruise-control win over SMU -- and the Aggies have scored 40 or more in each of their four games this season.

Saturday: at Arkansas, 7 (ESPN2)

5. South Carolina (2-1, 0-1)

Will the Gamecocks be ready for a potential upset special Saturday? Following a bye week, South Carolina visits an unbeaten Central Florida team for a noon kick in the bright Florida sun. The Knights have a big-time offensive player in power back Storm Johnson, who averages more than 100 yards per game, and an underrated quarterback in junior Blake Bortles, who has completed 50 of 70 throws for 816 yards with seven TDs and only one pick.

Saturday: at Central Florida, noon (ABC)

6. Ole Miss (3-0, 1-0)

Are the Rebels ready for prime time? They certainly have embraced every challenge so far, considering they have road wins at Vanderbit and Texas (and when did we enter the bizarro world where the win at Vandy is likely more impressive than the win at Texas -- Mack Brown, it's time to go). Bonus question: Which of the talented freshmen will make the biggest splash against the top-ranked Tide? We'll go with Laquan Treadwell, the tall wide receiver who faces an Alabama secondary that has had trouble against tall wide receivers. Well played, Hugh Freeze; you actually have us excited about Ole Miss-Alabama.

Saturday: at Alabama, 6:30 (ESPN)

7. Florida (2-1, 1-0)

Is Jeff Driskel this college football generation's Wally Pipp? Quick history lesson: Wally Pipp was the starting first baseman for the New York Yankees and was feeling under the weather. He sat out one afternoon and was replaced by some young go-getter named Lou Gehrig, who started and starred in the next 2,100-plus consecutive games. Flash forward to last Saturday when Driskel was hurt early against Tennessee. Enter Travis Murphy, who certainly looked the part and will have his chance to prove his merit since Driskel is done for the season with a broken leg.

Saturday: at Kentucky, 7 (ESPNU)

8. Missouri (3-0,0-0)

How good is the Tigers offense? Pretty stout so far as the Tigers conclude their preconference drills this weekend. Missouri is in the top 25 in passing yards per game and rushing yards per game and ranks No. 8 nationally in points per game at 47. Plus, former super recruit Dorial Green-Beckham is becoming a current super receiver with 17 catches for 239 yards.

Saturday: vs. Arkansas State, 7:30 (CSS)

9. Auburn (3-1, 0-1)

Is there a better time for a bye week? After the physical toll that a trip to LSU can present, Auburn gets an off week in advance of the Oct. 5 game against Ole Miss, which has to play Alabama on Saturday. This is the Jadeveon Clowney of off weeks.

Saturday: Open

10. Arkansas (3-1, 0-0)

What was that, Arkansas? The Hogs were up 24-7 late in the third quarter at Rutgers and left the Garden State with a 28-24 loss. Someone get Bret Bielema on the blower and let him know this is the SEC and SEC teams put games like that away. How many Wisconsin fans tweeted "karma" to Coach Bielema's wife after this one?

Saturday: vs. Texas A&M, 7 (ESPN2)

11. Tennessee (2-2, 0-1)

Did the UT coaching staff treat the video of the first-half debacle against Florida like the "Wolfpack" guys in "Hangover" viewed the photos from the Vegas trip? Here's hoping that they looked at it. Discussed it. Then burned it. Ouch-standing. The only thing worse than the Tennessee offense Saturday was Verne Lundquist, who was determined that Butch Davis coaches the Volunteers and apparently believed the teams' rosters were just suggestions about which player was wearing which uniform. Bonus question: How bad must freshmen Josh Dobbs and Riley Ferguson have been in practice last week for Nathan Peterman to be the choice? Wow.

Saturday: vs. South Alabama, 12:21 (WDSI)

12. Vanderbilt (2-2, 0-2)

Can the offense find its way? Amid turmoil and distractions, the Commodores needed a monster fourth quarter last week to put away UMass. Vandy led 10-7 and had less than 250 yards of total offense entering the final quarter before closing out the Minutemen. Maybe if they were the 60 Minutemen they would have fared better.

Saturday: vs. UAB, 7:30 (FSN)

13. Mississippi State (2-2, 0-1)

How does Mississippi State have two quarterbacks better than anyone on Tennessee's roster? After Tyler Russell was injured, Dak Prescott has stepped in and looked the part of a future star for the Bulldogs. Dude is a hoss in the run game. Russell was cleared for contact last week; Prescott, however, appears to have little intention to make this an easy decision.

Saturday: Open

14. Kentucky (1-2, 0-0)

How is Kentucky attracting a nationally ranked recruiting class? Great question, and Lexington Herald-Leader reporter Jennifer Smith looked into that very issue last weekend and reported that a big part of it is assistant coach Vince Marrow, who is a lifelong friend of head coach Mark Stoops and apparently is a world-class charmer on the recruiting trail.

Saturday: vs. Florida, 7 (ESPNU)

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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