The obituaries for the mighty SEC flowed fast and free following Week 1, with The Big Football Conference That Suddenly Couldn’t watching as half of its team went down in defeat. The last time seven of the current SEC teams lost the same opening weekend, the conference had just added Arkansas and South Carolina as members in 1992 and Missouri and Texas A&M weren’t even in the league.
As noted Southern football historian Mark Twain once opined, though, the SEC’s death may have been greatly exaggerated. Possibly.
In Week 2, the 14-team SEC went a collective 12-2. The two losses? Mississippi State of the SEC West dropping South Carolina of the SEC East and Florida, yet again, embarrassing divisional “rival” Kentucky. In other words, the league went unbeaten in non-conference play.
If you’d like — why do I get the feeling many will take advantage of this generosity? — you can attach a giant asterisk or caveat or whatever big-sounding word you want to the undefeated bounce-back.
Of the 10 non-conference wins, four came against FCS teams — a two-point escape for Georgia in one of those — while another four came against Group of Five programs. Tennessee handling Virginia Tech and Arkansas stunning TCU in double overtime marked the lone “signature” wins for the conference.
Still, after the pabulum that was Week 1, the SEC needed something like this in Week 2 to right a national perception ship that had been listing mightily.