SHANE SHACKLEFORD: Five Takeaways From Week 1 of College Football, Including SEC Predictions
Well, football season in finally upon us! And with that, all of the excitement that comes with it. So let’s get right to the five good takeaways this ol’ ball coach saw this past weekend.
1. The best college football team in America is, wait for it, Alabama! Not a real surprise, right? With their 52-6 demolition of No. 20 USC plus coupled with No. 2 Clemson’s scare at Auburn and No. 3 Oklahoma’s loss to Houston, there is little doubt that the Crimson Tide is the best team in the country. And, no, I don’t really like Lane Kiffin’s attitude personally, but you can’t argue the offensive production in Tuscaloosa since his arrival.
2. Here’s your FBS playoff dark horse folks. Houston. There’s not been that much excitement on campus since Phi Slamma Jamma (for the old basketball folks) and the run and shoot offense (for the old football folks). The Cougars have opened the door as the favorite from the Group of 5 to get to the playoffs with their convincing 33-23 win over No. 3 Oklahoma. Here’s hoping they make it there.
3. There is no way, no way, Texas should have leapfrogged from unranked to No. 11 in the latest CFB polls. They weren’t even in the Top 30 nationally before their 2OT win over then No. 10 Notre Dame. Yes, it is an impressive win. Yes, they should be in the Top 25. Maybe ranked around 18-22. Not No. 11.
4. The SEC went 5-7 in week 1. Not too good. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. There is still a lot of football to be played. But there are a few places in the SEC kingdom where there is cause for concern:
• Kentucky: Obviously. With their 44-35 loss to Southern Miss, the Cats face an uphill fight to make a bowl game this year. I really feel like if the Cats miss out again that the chances a new head coach will be on the sideline in Lexington will be pretty good. • Tennessee: The Vols literally lucked into and escaped with an OT victory over Appalachian State. And as much as coach Butch Jones spins to anyone that will listen how good App State is, the game was far below what was predicted and expected from the preseason SEC East favorite in Knoxville. Now a lot rides on the Virginia Tech game in Bristol this week. • LSU: The song is getting old in bayou country. Boring game offensively, John Chavis’ defense keeps them in the game long enough to lose a close one again. Alas Les Miles seat gets warm again. He barely survived to keep his job last year. Another year like the last one may well be his last in Baton Rouge.
5. Here’s a little something new; predictions! Since I’m retired now, I have time to write a few more columns, perhaps weekly. With that in mind, here are my SEC predictions for Week 2. My pick to win will be in bold. Go on Facebook and post your picks with me, because I know each of you follow me, right?? RIGHT??
LAST WEEK: 0-0
Nicholls @ 9 Georgia Prairie View A&M @ 20 Texas A&M Kentucky @ Florida Western KY @ 1 Alabama Wofford @ 19 Ole Miss Middle Tennessee @ Vandy South Carolina @ Miss. State Arkansas State @ Auburn Jacksonville St. @ 21 LSU Eastern Michigan @ Missouri Va. Tech @ 17 Tennessee
Shane Shackleford can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.