COLUMBIA -- Is there any greater mystery in the Southeastern Conference than Kentucky? The Wildcats have looked like world- beaters in the first three weeks, but that was against Louisville, Western Kentucky and Akron.
Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke are all-conference talents, sure, but that's not enough to make a team. The defense, which gave up 28 points to Western Kentucky, is still looking for an identity.
Let's see how Kentucky fares this week in its SEC opener at Florida. The Wildcats will exit from their shroud of mystery, one way or another.
Just our imagination, or did Mark Ingram have surgery? The reigning Heisman winner looked like the reigning Heisman winner last week, even if it is Duke. Nine carries, 151 yards? Quite the debut. With Ingram and Trent Richardson, the Tide is, well, good. But you knew that.
As much as you want to dog Ole Miss for losing at home to Vandy (see, below), you have to give Vanderbilt -- and interim-turned-coach Robbie Caldwell -- credit. Caldwell took over that program in late, and we do mean late, July. And yet he was able to steady it enough to stay together. Beyond the win in Mississippi, the Commodores were hanging around late with a pretty good Northwestern team. The talent level has sunk back down in the past couple of years, but Caldwell still has them playing tough.
The name has been officially changed. It's no longer Ole Miss; it's Ugh Miss. The home loss to Jacksonville State was disastrous enough, but to not even be in the game against Vanderbilt? At home? It's shocking, really. And there's no reason to believe it'll get better. The non-conference opponent coming to town this week, Fresno State, is a good one.
Georgia is a pick 'em this week on the road at Mississippi State. Even Vegas has no faith left in the Bulldogs. After failing to stop the run at South Carolina, they failed to stop the pass last week against Arkansas. Mississippi State isn't particularly good at either of those things, but it doesn't seem to matter the way this defense is going. Injuries are beginning to seep in for the group, as well. This isn't exactly what Todd Grantham signed up for.
Stat of the week
380: Ryan Mallett might have carved up a Georgia defense that's shown little interest in stopping anyone, but 380 yards deserves noting. Especially in an SEC game. Especially on the road.
--Alabama and Arkansas, a shock to no one, will be an absolute classic. Can either offense -- between Bama's run game and the Hogs' pass game -- be stopped?
--Look for USC to play well on the road at Auburn, honoring the memory of former teammate Kenny McKinley.
--Tennessee sure is happy to see UAB coming, following ugly days against Oregon and Florida. The Vols' depth is a major issue, and it's only September.