A look back at second week of SEC football


Shane Shackleford

By Shane Shackleford, Contributing Writer

Week Two in the Alliance Killer was pretty fun if you’re an SEC football fanatic.  Some things remained the same, some things changed, and a future conference member got a dose of reality.


Let’s discuss.


Alabama 48, Mercer 14


Why Should I Care – The usual from Tuscaloosa.  Alabama starts slow.  Nick Saban goes to Defcon 5 in Alabama.  The Tide wakes up and beats their opponent soundly.  Again, the circle of life.  Next up for the Tide is a date at Florida.  You can best believe Bama will show up ready to play in the Swamp.


Auburn 62, Alabama State 0


Why Should I Care –  Auburn has scored 122 points in its first two games.  That’s impressive.  However, it’s been against Akron and Alabama State.  Not so impressive.  Next week, War Eagle travels to Happy Valley to play Top 10 Penn State.  We will get a better picture of the Tigers then.


Ole Miss 54, Austin Peay 17


Why Should I Care –  The Lane Train finally had the Lane part on the sideline and thumped APU.  Next week, the Rebs face a sneaky good Tulane squad who gave Oklahoma all they wanted in Week One.  Upset Watch engaged.


Kentucky 35, Missouri 28


Why Should I Care – The Cats and the Tigers slugged it out for 60 minutes.  The Cats went back to the power run game and Chris Rodriguez Jr. went for 207 yards and four touchdowns (1 receiving.)  However, UK had to clean up pass coverage and turnovers if they want to continue to climb the rankings.  I’ll say it.  Kentucky is the 2nd best team in the SEC East right now and should be ranked.  Next up is FCS Chattanooga.  Kentucky should be able to continue its hot 2021 start.  Also, Mizzou is good.  Really good.  They’re going to beat a couple of teams up the road ranked ahead of them.


Georgia 56, UAB 7


Why Should I Care –  I thought this one would be closer, but the Dawgs behind Stetson Bennett IV drilled the Dragons.  If there is a legit threat to Alabama in the SEC, it’s not Texas A&M, it’s Georgia.  I think they’re National Champs good.


Texas A&M 10, Colorado 7


Why Should I Care –  Speaking of the Aggies, they had to be bailed out by Zack Calzada after starting quarterback Haynes King was injured and Gig Em survived.  Call it overlooking or call it great play by the Buffaloes defensively, either way the Aggies have to improve offensively if they expect to contend for the SEC West.  Up next for A&M is New Mexico, led by former UK signal caller Terry Wilson.  The last time Wilson was in College Station, he engineered a spirited upset attempt by UK.  Does he have another one in him?


Florida 42, South Florida 20


Why Should I Care –  The Gators had 666 yards of offense (Editor’s Note- I would have ran something to get another yard.)  After two Sunshine State tune-ups, the Gators get top-ranked Alabama in the Swamp.  Again, I’m not convinced the Gators are the second-best SEC East squad.  A good performance against the Tide would go a long way in convincing me.


Arkansas 40, Texas 21


Why Should I Care –  Texas is back…to reality.  After all the hoopla about their future in the SEC, the Longhorns got popped in Fayetteville by the Hogs.  Don’t get me wrong, the Horns will be fine in the league, but they learned a valuable lesson- every date in the SEC is a war and nothing is easy.  Next up for the Razorbacks is Georgia Southern.  Look for Woo Pig to go to 3-0.


South Carolina 20, East Carolina 17


Why Should I Care –  Don’t look now, but the Gamecocks are 2-0 for the first time since 2017.  Coach Shane Beamer has his team playing with heart and had to come from 14 down on the road to beat the Pirates at the horn.  Next up for SC is number two Georgia between the hedges.  USC will compete, but don’t have enough to play with the Dawgs yet.


Pitt 41, Tennessee 34


Why Should I Care –  It was a good ballgame in Knox Vegas between the two.  The Vol offense was sharp…behind backup quarterback Hendon Hooker, who took over for an injured Joe Milton.  Could there be a quarterback controversy brewing on Rocky Top?  It was kind of obvious the Vols are rebuilding their defense as well.  But I believe new UT head coach Josh Heupel has the Vols tracking in the right direction.  Next week, Big Orange plays FCS Tennessee Tech.  The Vols should improve to 2-1.


Mississippi State 24, NC State 10


Why Should I Care –  I’ll be honest, I thought this one would be closer.  But I realized one important fact.  There is a huge difference between a middle tier SEC team and a middle tier ACC team, especially when the SEC team is at home.  The Fighting Mike Leach’s improved to 2-0 with a date at Memphis on the horizon.  That game will be another interesting battle.


LSU 34, McNeese 7


Why Should I Care –  The Tigers needed something good to happen this season, so this win over FCS McNeese was well needed.  Just from the outside looking in, the Bayou bengals don’t pass the eye test or the smell test.  There seems to be something off with the team and the program under Ed Orgeron.  Next up for the Tigers is a decent Central Michigan team that fought Missouri to the wire.  CMU coach Jim McElwain knows how to win in the SEC.  The Chippewas can pull off the upset.


Vanderbilt 24, Colorado State 21


Why Should I Care –  The Commodores snapped a nearly two year losing streak by defeating the Rams in Fort Collins to pick up new Vandy coach Clark Lea’s first win.  When you are completely rebuilding a program, especially in the unforgiving SEC, you need every good thing you can get.  Next week, Vandy hosts Stanford in Nashville.


Week Three Predictions


Last week, the Backwoods Swami was hot again, going 13-1 for the week and 26-2 on the season.  I can’t figure Vanderbilt out.  But I felt the Arkansas-Texas upset in my bones (don’t believe me, look at last week’s article and read my stuff for goodness sake.)


Let’s make a few predictions.  The winner is in bold.


New Mexico at Texas A&M

Chattanooga at Kentucky

Southeast Missouri State at Missouri

Tennessee Tech at Tennessee

Alabama at Florida

Georgia Southern at Arkansas

Mississippi State at Memphis

South Carolina at Georgia

Auburn at Penn State

Central Michigan at LSU

Tulane at Ole Miss

Stanford at Vanderbilt

Shane Shackleford is a regional sportswriter from Speedwell, TN.  He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers of America.  Shane is also a football color analyst for WRIL-FM 106.3 Sports in Pineville, KY.  He has written and published his first book “Bounce: A Basketball Love Story” which can be found on Amazon currently.  You can find Shane on KySportsStyle.com, A Sea of Blue, The London Sentinel-Echo, The Corbin Times-Tribune, The Mountain Advocate, Harlan County Sports, and The Mountain Eagle.   Contact Shane by email at coachshack50@gmail.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.