The Good: Well, there is a lot of it this week. The crowd in the junction for ESPN's College GameDay was phenomenal. From all accounts, the atmosphere at Davis Wade Stadium was one that had never existed before. However, could there have been any better imaginable start for Mississippi State than forcing turnover on back to back Auburn plays to open the game and snagging a 21-point lead.
The defense played an outstanding game for the entire contest, especially when the Mississippi State offense stalled a bit giving Auburn a chance to come back and get into or get ahead in the game. Literally everyone who stepped on the field on that side of the ball deserves a helmet sticker.
Offensively, the Bulldogs had a great game except for a couple of drives. hopeful quarterback Dak Prescott picked up three touchdowns to become the all-time touchdown leader at Mississippi State. Josh Robinson gained tough yards all game and picked up two scores. De'Runnya Wilson gave another glimpse as to how good he could become. The offensive line played tough for most of the game.
From a preparedness standpoint, this team looked well-prepared for the challenge. That has been a major difference this season as at times in the past, the Bulldogs looked not quite ready for the big moment.
The Bad: I hated that Prescott "struggled" in this game compared to some of his others. He still had a great performance, but if he could have back the end zone interception, this game looks a whole lot better. Either way, he is your new Heisman front-runner.
The Ugly: The execution on the fake punt was horrible. It looked like some folks were not prepared. Logan Cooke looked very uncomfortable with the play. One can debate the merits of calling that play. I am fine with the call, but I can see not being happy with it. However, it has to be much better executed.
Kentucky 48, UL-Monroe 14: The Wildcats and WarHawks had a close game early, but in the end, Kentucky proved to be too much to handle. Big Blue has a huge matchup next week with LSU, and they only need one more win for bowl eligibility. Odds are they will get it somewhere.
No. 13 Georgia 34, No. 23 Missouri 0: No Gurley, no problem for Georgia. I'm not sure if Missouri could have played a bigger clunker than they did Saturday. Somehow Georgia always seems to stay dangerous no matter the injuries, and that is a credit to their coaching.
Tennessee 45, UT-Chattanooga 10: This is what you expect when an SEC team plays an FCS school.
No. 7 Alabama 14, Arkansas 13: While everyone talks about all of the players LSU has lost to the NFL, the fact is Alabama has lost a lot as well. It is showing this year. For the Tide right now, the game is survive and advance. They did that Saturday.
LSU 30, Florida 27: The Florida Gators are a mess. LSU looked like they may have grown up a bit in this contest. At the end of the day, a game like this shows how good the SEC West is as the division still has not lost a game to anyone outside of their division.
Vanderbilt 21, Charleston Southern 20: Yes, this will go down in the win column for Vanderbilt, but this was far from a win for the program. The Commodores survived a game against a team they should have completely dominated.
No. 3 Ole Miss 35, No. 14 Texas A&M 20: Ole Miss completely dominated the Aggies in this contest save for a few late touchdowns (sound familiar?). No, the Rebels did not move up in the polls, but they should be the No. 2 team in the country.
Offensive Player of the Week: Dak Prescott, Mississippi State: The Auburn defense had been touted as one of the best in the SEC and in the nation, and Prescott led his team on five touchdown drives. Additionally, he went for over 200 yards in the air and over 100 on the ground, scoring three touchdowns in the process.
Defensive Player of the Week: Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss/Preston Smith, Mississippi State: Prewitt all but put the game firmly in Ole Miss hands with a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown against Texas A&M. Smith managed to pick up four tackles, one for a loss, and four quarterback hurries against Auburn. That pressure on Nick Marshall threw the Auburn offense out of rhythm.
SEC Power Poll:
1. Mississippi State (2): Mississippi State all but dominated Auburn in the contest. Yes, Auburn made it tight a couple of times, but Mississippi State responded every time Auburn threatened.
2. Ole Miss (3): The Rebels are the second best team in the SEC West, and it is by a razor-thin margin. Without a doubt, the two best teams in college football are in Mississippi.
3: Auburn (1): Yes, the Tigers lost, but they are the best one-loss team in the SEC. I believe they are one of the top four teams in college football, but their odds of finishing with less than two losses took a major hit this weekend.
4. Georgia (6): The Bulldogs put on an amazing display of grit knocking off Missouri without their all-world running back. That earns major bonus points in the poll.
5. Alabama (4): The Tide struggled against Arkansas, which did not surprise some. Alabama is finding ways to survive most of their contests, and should this team improve, they still have an opportunity to make some noise.
6: Arkansas (7): After two tough losses, this year, the Razorback have proven they are a solid team. They just have to figure out how to win those games. Circle Nov. 1. That could be the game where they put a scare into someone. Yes, Bulldog fans, that is a game against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs will win, but it could be tight.
7. LSU (8): The Tigers picked up a much needed win if they wanted to get to a bowl game. This team is young and developing and will crush people in two years.
8. Texas A&M (5): The Aggies do not have a defense to help them in a tight contest against teams that play defense. However, they will pick up plenty of wins when they do not play defensive powers. Look for losses to Alabama and Auburn and an interesting match up with LSU still this season.
9. Kentucky (10): Could it be that the Wildcats are the second best team in the SEC East. If not for a somewhat lucky Gator victory, they would be 6-0 and leading the division.
10. Tennessee (12): The Volunteers won this weekend, which is more than can be said for the teams listed below them. There really is no difference in spots 10-13.
11. South Carolina (13): The bye week meant that the Gamecocks could move up by not doing something bad.
12. Florida (11): The Gators are nothing more than a mess this year. They allowed LSU to score 30 when the Tigers have struggled all year. Tough times in The Swamp.
13. Missouri (9): No team in the SEC had a worse loss than the Tigers. There was no way they should have been beaten like they were by Georgia.
14: Vanderbilt (14): Congrats on the victory...oh, you barely beat Charleston Southern? Ouch
Thoughts from the Weekend:
1. It's Monday, and I still cannot believe the Bulldogs have snagged the No. 1 ranking in college football. When you think about how many awful years of football Bulldogs fans have endured, there may not be a fan base more happy to reach this mark. The long-suffering fans of Mississippi State have every reason to enjoy the spotlight.
2. Sadly, the spotlight might not last long. I am not sure how many teams have earned the No.1 ranking and then never played a game as the No. 1 ranked team. Mississippi State just edged out Florida State in the coaches poll, and if the Seminoles lay waste to Notre Dame, they could move back to No. 1 in that poll. I find that a bit more unlikely in the AP Poll, but time will tell.
3. The #DakAttack is in full force, and right now, he has to be considered the Heisman front-runner. If he can put up good numbers against Alabama and Ole Miss in games that should be heavily covered by the national media, he has an outstanding chance of walking away with the hardware.
4. Being in the position to get to the national championship playoff brings about a lot of new feelings. You get nervous, excited, butterflies in the stomach feeling...sorta like kissing someone for the first time. This must be the fan equivalent of going through puberty.
5. Need a list of teams to root against the rest of the year to help the SEC's playoff chances: Let's see Oregon get another loss, Oklahoma beat Baylor, but lose, and Notre Dame beat Florida State. It wouldn't hurt to see Michigan State eat another loss as well.
6. Dan Mullen's reaction to the win was just amazing. It is great to see someone take on this type of challenge and find the success he has. There is still a way to go this season, but this is one of the better team stories in quite some time.