As I sat here in the sticks and thought I was really bored and felt like writing, a thought came to me.
“Coach Shack, why don’t you do a Top 10 list of the things you saw in the SEC this week?” And yes, I talk to myself in the third person like Rickey Henderson did. But I digress.
I had been doing five quick takes on Facebook after each Kentucky game, so I think I'm going to expand out and briefly touch upon the moments of the week and expand a touch on them.
So here goes, the inaugural Top Ten Takes from the week that was in SEC football.
1. A Powerful Moment in Lexington: Whether you are a Kentucky football fan or not, you had to be moved by UK lining up and leaving open on the offensive line the left guard spot occupied by late UK alum and offensive line coach John Schlarman and taking a moment of silence and delay of game call in his honor. Then All-SEC lineman Landon Young trots on the field wearing Schlarman’s number 65. Add that to running back Chris Rodriguez wearing Chris Oats’ number 22 and you have something special that goes way beyond football.
2. Respect for Derek Mason: When UK coach Mark Stoops told Mason of the opening gesture, Mason immediately said he would decline the penalty. Mason later spoke of his respect for UK football and Schlarman’s family. That is respect and a pure gentleman. We get so tied into records and who is on the hot seat (yours truly included), but the college football world needs more men like Derek Mason. He has my respect.
3. Did you know that in 2020 Vanderbilt only admitted nine percent of students looking to enroll there and tuition is over $26,000 a semester plus fees? I’ll say it again, Vandy is the toughest Power Five coaching gig in America.
4. Kyle Trask should be the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy over Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. There, I said it. What Trask is doing in the nation’s toughest conference is mind-boggling. Through six games, the Florida quarterback is 125 of 182 for 1,813 yards and 22 touchdowns. He’s thrown at least four scores in his last five games. He has my vote.
5. Speaking of offense, if you stayed up to watch the South Carolina / Ole Miss game, you were treated to a video game experience. Consider the following stats:
*58 combined first downs.
*111 combined points (Ole Miss won 59-42).
*1,356 combined yards of offense.
*Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral’s stat line: 28-32, 513 yards, 4 touchdowns.
· *South Carolina running back Kevin Harris’ stat line: 25 carries, 243 yards, 5 touchdowns.
*Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore’s stat line: 13 receptions, 225 yards, 2 touchdowns.6.
6. South Carolina and Ole Miss play zero defense. Refer to the stats above for evidence.
7. Florida outscored Arkansas 63-35 on Saturday, too.. Do you remember when the SEC was considered a defensive conference built primarily on running the football? Good times.
8. Combined points from the three SEC games: 272 for an average of 90.6 per game and 45.3 per team.
9. The SEC is now the Big 12 conference on steroids. Unbelievable. The enjoyable part though is each team is doing it in different ways. Teams like Kentucky and South Carolina are scoring with a run-based approach. Florida and Ole Miss are finding huge success through the air. Vanderbilt and Arkansas are taking a balanced approach.
10. Rest easy, Coach Schlarman. Thank you for your leadership and example for all of us.
Shane Shackleford is a regional sports columnist from Speedwell, Tenn. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter as well as local media outlets The Corbin Times-Tribune, London Sentinel-Echo, A Sea of Blue, KySportsStyle.com Magazine, HarlanCountySports.com, and Wildcat Sports Talk.