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Saturday SEC Impressions

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Day-after thoughts on the first “bye” weekend of the year for the conference.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn won yesterday, but if you look around the flaming inferno that is SEC Twitter, you’d understand that what actually happened was that the final score in Oxford should’ve been

Auburn 28

Ole Miss 28

Referees 7

Barn cheatin’ agin, I tell ya. I suppose the only thing that could make Bammerham give us the benefit of the doubt is the year 2020 and all of its weird voodoo. Either way, the Tigers are 3-2 after a 35-28 win over Ole Miss and the team looks to be improving. Gus Malzahn’s game plan was the best one yet, and while there are still some things to iron out, Auburn seemed smoother on offense than they have all year. Defensively there were some issues, but Ole Miss only threw for 161 yards on the day (we’ll ignore the 283 rushing yards they posted). Bend, don’t break, right?

While we were living through the rest of a college football Saturday after a win, our friends over at Red Cup Rebellion were drowning their sorrows in food and booze. Not a bad strategy, been there.

Ole Miss is an entertaining, if not especially sound, football team this season, and they’ll likely win a game or two against someone later this year (the carnage in the Egg Bowl could be unrivaled). I’m just glad that Auburn escaped a Kiffin plan with a win.

With a few of the teams in the league on byes, there were only three other games on the slate yesterday, so we move along to the next one on the list, which resulted in the biggest news of the day in the conference.

That’s rough news for the Alabama offense and Tide fans as well. I’ve said since Saban came to Tuscaloosa that the wide receivers were the true keys to that offense’s success. Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Henry Ruggs, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and now John Metchie. The rest of the offense is fantastic and highly-rated, but the receivers are the ones that make other teams blink. You can slow down a running game, but the one-on-one matchups on the outside are the X-factors with talent like they’ve had. We’ve seen Waddle tear Auburn up two years in a row, and in a true on-field analysis, I’m relieved we won’t have to play him again, but he is super exciting and it’ll be disappointing not seeing what he can do the rest of the year.

Thankfully for the Tide, receiver is an area where success doesn’t all depend on one player, and with Smith/Metchie still on the field, they’re better than just about anyone else at that position. It was different when Tua went down last year, but Alabama’s finally gotten the injury bug a bit over the last couple of years. They were extremely fortunate until last year when Tua and Dylan Moses went down, but they had a decade of luck in that regard while Auburn had to play Jeremy Johnson in two consecutive Iron Bowls because of injury.

As for Tennessee, man i don’t know. They looked really good up until halftime of the Georgia game a couple weeks ago, but since that time, they’ve been outscored by... a lot.

You read that right. This was right out of the half yesterday, when the Tide returned a fumble for a touchdown. Overall, the Vols have been outscored 109-24 since coming out of the locker room in Athens.

They’ve still got a solid group of talent, but Jarrett Guarantano probably won’t cut it (although his receivers will make ridiculous catches against Auburn in a few weeks, I’m sure). Up next they take on Arkansas in Fayetteville, then A&M at home, before heading to Auburn. If Jeremy Pruitt’s not careful, the Hogs could send him back to Knoxville wearing his mask the right way.

In the “I don’t know what to make of this team” category, Kentucky got shut down by Missouri pretty well yesterday in a 20-10 Tiger win. Let’s look at the Cats. Auburn beats them 29-13, then they fall to Ole Miss by a point in a thriller. Then they beat Mississippi State and Tennessee by a combined 58-9 score. Then they lose to Missouri and look lifeless doing it. But Missouri lost to Tennessee, then beat LSU, but Tennessee is bad? And now LSU started poorly and looked really bad but then exploded yesterday against South Carolina? More on that in a second.

There’s absolutely nothing that makes sense about this season, and really only Alabama is going to look good every single week.

If you want to try to make sense of what will happen to Auburn next weekend when LSU comes to town for an ultra-spooky Halloween full-moon combo matchup, you can look at last night in Death Valley. LSU met South Carolina, with Myles Brennan on the bench due to injury. In stepped TJ Finley, and he looked really good in leading the Tigers to a 52-17 victory. South Carolina, quite honestly, looked awful.

LSU seemingly didn’t need to do much. Rely on their skill position talent and count on Will Muschamp to make mistakes. It’s what Auburn should have done last week. Maybe the Gamecocks had the classic letdown game, and maybe LSU will have one next weekend. Their team still hasn’t done much outside of last night. LSU’s wins haven’t been over anyone with a pulse (ugh, what does that say about our loss last week, blahhhhh), but they’re still going to come into Jordan-Hare next weekend with talent. And a true freshman quarterback. Our buddies over at And the Valley Shook are trying to reverse that mojo already:

We’ll have more on that game coming up over the next few days, because it’s going to be weird.

Halloween.

Full moon.

In this rivalry.

Oh no.

War Eagle.