The SEC was shook up on Shake Down Saturday.
The week that the conference set a record by placing eight teams in the AP poll, five of them were defeated in upsets of various shapes and sizes.
The results of the early games in the SEC East were a Totally Tricky Trifecta. It became a Freaky Fivesome.
Maybe the Mayans were a year off on their Armageddon prediction.
Even if you thought Missouri would beat Florida and Vandy would knock off Georgia, not even the most diehard orange-blooded Vols fan would’ve thought that Tennessee would defeat South Carolina. Especially after the Gamecocks were so impressive in their domination of Arkansas last week.
Last time Fla, UGA & South Carolina lost on same day: Oct. 9, 2004. LSU beat Gators 19-14; Vols beat UGA 19-14; Ole Miss beat SC 31-28
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) October 19, 2013
So here we are, seven weeks into the season and Missouri (7-0, 3-0) remains the only undefeated team in the East, totally changing the landscape of the division.
South Carolina is 5-2, followed by four 4-3 teams, including Georgia.
That puts even more importance on the Gamecocks’ visit to Columbia, Mo., next week. A Missouri victory, and the SEC East race could be done with a month left in the season.
What once looked like promising seasons from the SEC powerhouses of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina have vanished.
Then came the later games.
A banged up Johnny Manziel couldn’t rally Texas A&M against Auburn, which once again unleashed its lethal rushing attack. If you missed it, the Tigers rushed for 379 yards, including most of the game-winning 75-yard drive.
LSU’s maligned defense then couldn’t hold Ole Miss on the final drive on a night when Zach Mettenberger reverted to 2012 form.
Meanwhile, in the only sane game of the day, No. 1 Alabama trounced Arkansas 52-0. Now, the Iron Bowl looms as the game that could decide the SEC West title.
It was an amazingly strange day in the SEC. Good for us, there’s more than a month left in the regular season.