Early sched­ule shakes up con­fer­ence teams

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

It’s mid-Septem­ber. Still hot in these parts de­spite sum­mer’s ru­mored de­par­ture, as au­tumn’s crisp air has yet to ap­pear.

I al­ways thought Septem­ber was an odd month; fall- ish things hap­pen like foot­ball and school, but the weather is usu­ally blah.

But I’ll tell you who are big fans of Septem­ber: you guessed it, the leg­endary 1970s funk/ R&B/jazz band, Earth, Wind & Fire. Their hit sin­gle “Septem­ber” is one of my all-time fa­vorites.

I had the band play it three times at our wed­ding. the best player in col­lege foot­ball, Todd Gur­ley.

UGA chose dif­fer­ently and walked out of Wil­liams-Brice Sta­dium win­less in the SEC.

Mis­souri: Don’t look now, but the Tigers are qui­etly be­com­ing the SEC East fa­vorite. What a cute story if Miz­zou some­how makes it to At­lanta in just its third year in the league! Sept. 27 will show us more from the Show Me State team when they visit South Carolina.

South Carolina: Only a true mo­ron would’ve pre­dicted the Old Ball Coach would drop two

home con­fer­ence games in a row. M-O-R-O-N.

The Game­cocks’ win over Ge­or­gia put them right back in the cen­ter of the SEC East race.

Florida: The Ga­tors needed three over­times to beat Ken­tucky. In foot­ball. In the Swamp.

Will Muschamp’s seat grows hot­ter by the minute. (I don’t re­ally know if his seat is hot tem­per­a­ture-wise; it’s just an ex­pres­sion.)

LSU: I’ve got the Bayou Ben­gals on mild up­set alert Satur­day against Mis­sis­sippi State. LSU hasn’t played tackle foot­ball since Au­gust and the Starkve­gas pups, with their Cousin Ed­die-from-Va­ca­tion looka­like coach and stingy run de­fense, en­ter Death Val­ley with con­fi­dence.

Texas A&M: The Agri­cul­tur­als may drop 70 points on hap­less SMU in Dal­las this Satur­day.

While SEC money and ex­po­sure has el­e­vated A&M’s pro­gram, SMU sure was bet­ter when boost­ers lav­ished play­er­swith oil-soaked cash back in the early 1980s.

Alabama: The Tide hasn’t made waves this year. Just gone about its busi­ness of win­ning, Nick Sa­ban style.

But oh the drama set to un­fold in Tuscaloosa this Satur­day for the Bama-Florida game. Muschamp’s golden op­por­tu­nity for a stu­dent-schools-the-mas­ter mo­ment, as the em­bat­tled coach, once un­der Sa­ban’s tute­lage, tries to shock the col­lege foot­ball world and pull off a mon­u­men­tal up­set. Uh, no. Alabama con­tin­ues its pre­sea­son sched­ule with an easy win.

Ar­kan­sas: The Hogs ran the ball 30 times in a row (!!!) against Texas Tech. That’s all I have to say about that.

SEC West: Hands down the strong­est divi­sion in col­lege foot­ball. The SEC West is 19-1 this sea­son, with the lone loss an in­tra-divi­sion con­test as Auburn beat Ar­kan­sas.

The divi­sion is so strong that 12 SEC West teams ap­pear in the AP poll’s top 10 this week.

Kid­ding aside, and speak­ing to the depth of the SEC as a whole, seven SEC teams are in the AP poll’s top 15, the most from any con­fer­ence in the poll’s his­tory, which dates back to 1936.

Best of luck to your South­east­ern Con­fer­ence foot­ball team this week­end and I hope it’s been a Septem­ber to re­mem­ber.

In the mean­time, I just saw that Earth, Wind & Fire is play­ing at the Horse­shoe Casino in lovely Tu­nica, Miss. — on my an­niver­sary. My wife will be so thrilled!

Ben Prevost

Not mak­ing that up. The song, with its pow­er­ful horn sec­tion and whim­si­cal lyrics, asks if we re­mem­ber danc­ing in Septem­ber, when there never was a cloudy day.

Whether your SEC team is still danc­ing in Septem­ber or has en- coun­tered some clouds along the way, the sea­son’s first few weeks have pro­vided some shake­ups, and it’s time to tour the na­tion’s finest foot­ball con­fer­ence, SEC Ban­ter style:

Ge­or­gia: First and goal from the four and a touch­down se­cures vic­tory over Sak­er­lina. UGA had four op­tions in this sit­u­a­tion: (1) hand the ball to the best player in col­lege foot­ball, Todd Gur­ley; (2) hand the ball to the best player in col­lege foot­ball, Todd Gur­ley; (3) hand the ball to the best player in col­lege foot­ball, Todd Gur­ley; or, last but cer­tainly not least, ( 4) hand the ball to

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