Posted: 2:02 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013
By Brandon Larrabee
How did Johnny Manziel look to you? Set aside the antics for a moment -- or don't, if you really think they're that important -- and focus on how he did as a quarterback. He was 6-of-8 for 94 yards and three touchdowns in a relatively brief outing during Saturday's game against Rice. Does that give us enough information to say whether he's still one of the front-runners for the Heisman Trophy? Can he lead Texas A&M; to an SEC West title?
What did you think of the perceived contenders? South Carolina and Florida looked uneven in their wins against North Carolina and Toledo, respectively, while Georgia lost to Clemson on the road. Alabama used special teams and defense to clock Virginia Tech, LSU tried valiantly to give TCU a chance to win at the end of their game, and Texas A&M; trailed Rice at points and was outgained by the Owls. Were you impressed by any of them? Is this a year where one of the "non-contenders" could make a stealth run at one of the two divisions?
Which of the rebuilding teams did we find out more about? Arkansas hammered its first opponent, Louisiana-Lafayette, 34-14; Auburn edged Washington State, 31-24; Tennessee slaughtered Austin Peay, 45-0; and Kentucky lost once again to Western Kentucky, 35-26. Did any of the three winners show us that they're ahead of schedule? And are the Wildcats facing a longer road than you thought after losing to the Hilltoppers?
Most unfairly maligned Heisman contender: Aaron Murray or Jadeveon Clowney? Aaron Murray had a decent game against Clemson, but he didn't win it, so settle in for a few more days of "Aaron Murray can't win the big one because he's also apparently the long snapper and plays all 11 defensive positions." Meanwhile, did you hear that Jadeveon Clowney had no sacks and three tackles because he had a "stomach bug" (archly uses scare quotes to suggest that there really was no stomach bug)? Are those criticisms fair? Or are we headed into a period where all Heisman contenders are under such an intense microscope that it's almost impossible for a watch-listed player to win the award?
Who gets your performance of the week? It can be a team, a player or even a coach, but who do you think did the best or most underappreciated job this week? And why?