The Good: Where to begin? Practically everything was good Saturday. The fans created an amazing atmosphere on campus. The stadium felt electric from before kickoff until after the game. It seems like everyone who participated in the game stepped up and made big plays. Mississippi State completely dominated Texas A&M from start to finish in the contest
Ben Beckwith played so well that it was easy to forget that the backup center was in the game. The offensive line allowed Dak Prescott and Josh Robinson to run hard. Brandon Holloway got to show off his speed. No Jameon Lewis? That's ok. The rest of the receiving corps showed up and took care of business.
Bear Wilson just keeps improving, and the other guys are stepping up big as well.
Defensively, the Bulldogs just slowed down and pretty much stopped the Texas A&M offense. The defensive backs made the Aggies receivers pay for every catch they made with hard hits. They also did a great job attacking the ball during the catch to break up passes.
Richie Brown showed out with three interceptions. Benardrick McKinney had what might have been his best game of the year, and the defensive line mauled the Aggies in the trenches.
The coaching staff looked to have had a great game plan coming into the contest, and they stuck to that plan. It may have been simple, but it looked like with Lewis out, the staff really relied on Gabe Myles to take his spot. He ran similar routes and even had the throwback pass called. He also delivered.
The Bad: The kicking woes slowly started to creep back into the game Saturday. A blocked PAT on a blown assignment and a missed kick from 41 yards are a bit worrisome. Let's hope that gets corrected this week.
The Ugly: Too many folks are downplaying the last two wins for Mississippi State. There has been a lot of talk that A&M and LSU were overrated, and for some, that has cheapened what Mississippi State accomplished. If A&M and LSU were overrated, that is only because Mississippi State was underrated.
Bulldog fans have no need to take a backseat with the way the team has played the last couple of weeks. They have earned their No. 3 ranking.
Also, the guy behind me cussing for Mullen to go to the locker room when the Aggies scored their first late touchdown....
Florida 10, Tennessee 9: The Gators made the move to replace Jeff Driskel and picked up an ugly win. Also, what a tough loss for Tennessee.
No. 11 Ole Miss 23, No. 3 Alabama 17: Give credit where it is due. The Rebels picked up a big win and never collapsed when Alabama jumped ahead early. We might be heading to a HUGE Battle for the Golden Egg.
No. 13 Georgia 44, Vanderbilt 17: The Bulldogs did what they were supposed to do to the Commodores. Halfback pass for a touchdown for Todd Gurley? Sounds like Georgia wants to get him in the Heisman talk.
No. 5 Auburn 41, No. 15 LSU 7: Auburn looked the part of a top-five team, and LSU looked like they should not be ranked. That happened after this game.
Kentucky 45, South Carolina 38: It looks like it is rebuilding time in South Carolina, and don't sleep on the Wildcats. UL-Monroe comes to Lexington next week, so Kentucky should move to 5-1. Perhaps a win over Tennessee will shockingly put this team in a bowl game.
Offensive Player of the Week: Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State: Prescott had the best game on the biggest stage this week, accounting for 5 touchdowns while throwing for over 250 yards and rushing for over 75. He also caught a ball and nearly scored. Yes, Gurley had another one of his games with over 150 yards and a couple of scores, but against Vandy.
Defensive Player of the Week: Richie Brown, LB, Mississippi State: The Long Beach, Miss. product picked up three interceptions in the contest and really shut down the Aggies for a portion of the game. Granted, this was the only SEC game I saw from start to finish, but I don't imagine too many players had a better weekend.
SEC Power Rankings:
1. Auburn (2): The Tigers have looked dominant in every win except for a tough trip to Manhattan on a Thursday night. It will be interesting to see how that struggle prepared them for Starkville on Saturday.
2. Mississippi State (3): The Bulldogs are only a small step behind Auburn as this is more of a 1A situation. Whoever walks out of Starkville as the winner will be the clear favorite to win the SEC.
3. Ole Miss (5): Yes, Ole Miss seems to wait until the fourth quarter to handle business, but they are handling it.
4. Alabama (1): Don't write off the Crimson Tide. This team has a way to go to be like some of the Alabama teams of recent past, but they could still get right into the SEC West mix.
5. Texas A&M (7): The Aggies are a dangerous team, but Mississippi State just dominated them. Put this team in the east, and they are in the top-ten hunting for a trip to Atlanta.
6. Georgia (4):The Bulldogs did nothing wrong in their win Saturday, but do they really look like they could beat anyone from the top five of the SEC West? I didn't think so either.
7. Arkansas (8): The Razorbacks impressed two weeks ago, and now they will get a chance to show just how real they are with a matchup against Alabama.
8. LSU (6): The last few weeks have been rough on LSU, but they would still be the second best team in the SEC East.
9. Missouri: (9): The Tigers stay put at No. 9 in the SEC off of the bye week.
10. Kentucky (13): The Wildcats are a team that is putting it all together. They should reach bowl eligibility which was unthinkable earlier this year.
11. Florida (12): The Gators finally pulled the trigger on the quarterback change, but they still have a long road to become the SEC contender they were just a few years ago.
12. Tennessee (10): What a tough loss to explain for the Volunteers.
13. South Carolina (11): No one will finish with a more disappointing season than the Gamecocks this year.
14. Vanderbilt (14): Yes, they have fallen back. Who didn't expect it?
Thoughts from the Weekend:
1. Is this all really happening? Mississippi State and Ole Miss both tied at No. 3 in the AP Poll. ESPN College GameDay making two visits to the Magnolia State and being in the hunt for the SEC and the National Championship playoff is just amazing. Who knows how this ride ends, but it is gonna be a fun one.
2. Who remembers when so many were calling for Dan Mullen's head last year?
3. Dak Prescott has proven to be a legitimate Heisman contender. Two big games on a big stage will do that. If he puts together a big game in a Bulldog victory Saturday, he may move to front runner status.
4. Let this digest for a minute: If Mississippi State wins Saturday, there is a good chance they will move up to No. 1 in the country.