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SEC Banter: Don’t overreact to SEC Week 1 performances
11302017 BANTER
Auburn’s Dontavius Russell, second from left, tackles Georgia's Nick Chubb (27), as Georgia's Kendall Baker (65) and Solomon Kindley (66), Auburn's Andrew Williams (79) and Georgia's Andrew Thomas (71) join in the play during the second half of the game Nov. 11 in Auburn, Ala. - photo by Associated Press
Ben Prevost writes SEC Banter weekly for The Times during the college football season.

They say life is all about learning. Never stop learning. Learn every day. Learn as if you were to live forever. You get the drift.      

I did my best to learn a few things over the summer.  

For example, avoid the $6.99 all-you-can-eat buffet at China Dragon in Dothan, Ala., while driving your family down to the beach.

Instead, hit Phil’s Barbecue in picturesque Eufaula, Ala. Live and learn.  

As a dedicated husband and as a father of three young daughters, I’ve learned the art of quietly slipping out of the house and somehow ending up on a golf course, all the while forgetting my cellular telephone, or “smartphone” as they call them these days.

Live and learn.

Having taken in a few SEC football games over the years, I’ve learned one thing: do not overreact to Week 1 performances.

It’s a long season with plenty of football left, and drawing hasty conclusions from your team’s first contest is ill-advised.  

Assuming the introductory game will dictate the season is fraught with danger.

Sure, SEC teams went a collective 13-1 in college football’s opening week, including impressive outings from Auburn, LSU, and Ole Miss, among others.  But the entire conference has overreacted to the league’s seemingly stellar season debut. 

I saw one College Football Playoff predictor that had six SEC teams in the four-team playoff.  

The only blemish on the SEC’s Week 1 record was Tennessee’s loss to West Virginia.

Frankly, the Vols may not win a single conference game and I’m pretty sure their entire season is ruined and in total shambles and they should just quit now.

Folks down in Baton Rouge should book their SEC Championship travel to Atlanta and the College Football Playoff, at that. The Tigers dismantled a Miami team that was ranked No. 8 but belonged in the top 3, and it’s clear that LSU Coach Ed Orgeron has morphed into a master tactician overnight.

I know you saw Missouri quarterback Drew Lock throw for 289 yards and four TDs in the Tigers’ dominating win over UT-Martin. Say what you want about the UT-Martin Skyhawks’ pass defense, but Mizzou will break every aerial attack record in the books this season.

Georgia, meanwhile, did nothing except shut out the vaunted Austin Peay Governors — that’s right, the Governors – a team accustomed to governing, not being governed.  

The Bulldogs’ opponent this Saturday, SEC East foe South Carolina, cruised to victory over the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. You heard it here first: I predict the winner of Georgia vs. South Carolina will have the inside track in the SEC East.  


Auburn notched an impressive win over a top-10 Washington team, and I’m calling it now: Auburn will win by at least a touchdown over Alabama State this Saturday. Boom.

Ole Miss sure looked crisp in their all-white uniforms, and their offense looked crisper in taking down Texas Tech. But mark my words: the Rebels won’t win the SEC this year.

I don’t care that Mississippi isn’t eligible for the conference title due to recruiting violations or that they haven’t won the SEC since JFK was president — it will be a great season in Oxford.

I’ll tell you who’s a pro at not overreacting: Nick Saban. When SEC Network reporter Maria Taylor asked Saban about Bama’s QB battle, he calmly and coolly requested that she not ask such questions.

It was as if Saban was asked to name which child he loved more.  

I could have researched who Kentucky or Vanderbilt or Arkansas played in Week 1 but I figured you don’t give a darn. I do know, however, that those teams won, along with Florida, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and Alabama, and that all are primed for historic seasons.

Avoid the China Dragon buffet in Dothan, Ala. Go to Phil’s Barbecue in Eufaula instead. Don’t overreact to SEC Week 1 performances.  

Live and learn.  

Oh, and remember to forget your smartphone when you sneak out to the golf course.  

Ben Prevost writes SEC Banter for The Times during college football season. He can be reached at

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