The discomfort of Week 1 in college football isn’t really an annoyance – if you ask SEC fans. Bill Napier, in his first game as Florida’s head coach, knocked out defending champion Pac-12/No.7 Utah in a fitness contest with six lead changes. head and a draw.
After Gator QB Anthony Richardson punched it in from the 1-yard line with 1:25 left, Cam Rising led Utes all the way to Florida 6 before Amari Burney picked him at the endzone to seal the game and send the residents of Gainesville into a frenzy Happy touches for the rest of the weekend.
But Florida supporters aren’t the only SEC fans celebrating this week because every school — save for LSU, which plays in Florida State today — has won. While there are plenty of early gimmes, number 11 Oregon, number 23 Cincinnati and Utah aren’t supposed to be them.
Number 3 Georgia has surpassed last year’s momentum so far this season with a 49-3 loss to the Ducks that left nothing but a pile of feathers. Auburn-transfer and new Oregon quarterback Bo Nix left the conference for exactly this reason. He threw 173 yards with two picks, and another 37 yards on the ground. If you want to know how bad things are for Oregon, Nix’s 37-foot rush led the team. Stetson Bennett didn’t even make it to fourth place and still finished with 368 in the air and three totals – two by air and one and a half by road. (If you’re going to use your foot like this, you’ll get a credit for half a point rushing.)
Like the Dawgs, No. 19 Arkansas also brought last year’s momentum and quarterback to the 2022 season as KJ Jefferson played nearly flawless football, leading the Razorbacks past the Bearcats with four total touchdowns. His only hiccup being a fumble in the third quarter.
I’m not going to say much about Alabama because they faced Utah State, winning 55-0. The only thing I’ll note is reigning Heisman trophy winner Bryce Young kicked off his follow-up season by tying Tua Tagovailoa’s school record for most touchdowns in a game (six).
As funny as Brian Kelly fucking up the SEC’s perfect opening week would be, the game is in the Super Dome, and the Seminoles are trying to dig out from a deeper hole than the Bayou Bengals. Take LSU -3.5 while the season is young and Vegas doesn’t know any better.
If you’re looking for other non-conference SEC games to wager on, Bama plays Texas next week, and the sharps can’t make that line high enough; No. 17 Pitt escaped the Backyard Brawl, and now has to sprint up and down the field against Hendon Hooker and Tennessee in Week 2; and No. 16-and-rising Miami tries to make it “back” for the 18th consecutive season against No. 6 Texas A&M in Week 3.
Well, that was quick
With Oregon and Utah losing, the highest ranked program in the Pac-12 could very well be No. 14 USC, who routed Rice 66-14 on Saturday. I don’t know if I’m prepared for this. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen it an elite USC team more recently that the other schools who are constantly trying to return their football programs to former glory, but they already look like a their old behemoth self.
It also doesn’t help when you give Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams 18 points off three pick-sixes.