(Photo via Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire)
Every Wednesday right here you can read Across the South, where we’ll get into a different topic on the SEC, break down the biggest matchups of the previous week, preview the coming week’s slate, and talk about where things stand in the best conference in the land! In this week’s edition, let’s break down week one including LSU’s beatdown at the hands of FSU as well as a look ahead to week two this weekend:
All offseason, the hot pick in the SEC West has been the LSU Tigers. A narrative that Brian Kelly’s team has arrived as the squad to beat, Nick Saban has fallen off, and the Tigers should be the favorites in the West permeated through the college football media world for months. And make no mistake, this could still end up being the case. But boy oh boy, LSU did not look like the team it was billed up to be against the Seminoles on Sunday night.
Let’s give Florida State their due credit. The Noles looked like national championship contenders in Orlando this weekend. After a back and forth first half where afterwards LSU led by three, Jordan Travis led his team on scoring drives every time he touched the ball in the second half en route to a 45-24 beatdown.
Of course, LSU can still get things back on track. A non-conference loss does not derail your season. And to state the obvious, Alabama could very well find itself in the same spot after a matchup against Texas this week.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the other matchups to keep an eye on in week two:
#22 Ole Miss @ #24 Tulane:
If not for Alabama Texas, this is probably the best matchup of the week on paper. Ole Miss handled business against Mercer in week one and Jaxson Dart has been established as QB1 in Oxford. As for Tulane, they destroyed a very good South Alabama team 37-17 at home on Saturday in a game that was expected to be much closer. Quarterback Michael Pratt is a bonafide star and has a phenomenal opportunity in front of him against an SEC team at home. Ole Miss is favored by a touchdown.
#23 Texas A&M @ Miami:
The Aggies are another team that had questions at quarterback answered in week one with Connor Weigman tossing five touchdowns. This is a rematch from last season in College Station, where A&M was victorious 17-9. Tyler Van Dyke has had an overall disappointing career for Miami after he was expected to be a star, but a win at home over an SEC team would go a long way towards changing people’s minds. The Aggies are favored by 4.5 points.
Auburn @ California:
The late night game of the week in the SEC will kick off at 9:30 p.m. central time. Auburn looked good in week one, but California’s potent rushing attack will look to expose an Auburn rushing defense that his been a tremendous weakness over the years. California is a 6.5 point underdog on Saturday night in Berkeley.