THE SEC REPORT

LSU gets a big win, A&M comes up short, Georgia proved themselves, Tennessee lost again

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Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Georgia proved themselves, Tennessee failed again and Clemson submitted Texas A&M.

LAST WEEK

The second week of college football is in the books and there was even more good, bad and surprising. The good was LSU going into Austin and knocking off the Longhorns in a battle of highly ranked teams. More good was Georgia's second quarter, 35 points and a game-destroying 15 minutes of football proved #3 Georgia is as good as advertised. The bad was yet again Tennessee, ending their season basically by losing to BYU in second overtime, while expectations weren't high there is now no need for them at all and essentially they are playing out this season now for an invite to a low level bowl game. The ugly was the Clemson game, where the game wasn't as close as the end score showed. The fourth quarter started 24-3 and it never really felt close from there. The Aggies could not muster enough offense against the defending champs.

THREE STARS OF LAST WEEKEND

Joe Burrow, quarterback, LSU: Threw for 471 yards and 4 touchdowns on 31 completions against a top ten opponent in their house. It was an amazing game.

Scottie Phillips, running back, Ole Miss: Had two touchdowns and almost 150 yards on 26 carries. He averaged over 5 yards a carry in the game against Arkansas.

Ty Chandler, running back of Tennessee: They may have lost but this guy also averaged over 5 yards a carry and put 154 yards up on the board, the big problem which is really the Vols problem is he didn't score.

GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEK

This weekend, there are a lot of interesting, potentially close games on the schedule. Kansas State will be at Mississippi State in a good competitive early game and in the afternoon Colorado State will be at Arkansas. In the evening Florida will be at Kentucky and that should be a great game to enjoy as well, with a whole Saturday of close competition lined up.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kellen Mond, quarterback, Texas A&M: This is a big week for him in a game they should expect to win pretty big and pretty fast but only if he bounces back.

D'Andre Smith, running back, Georgia: This week he had a quiet 60 plus yards on 6 carries, but I expect he'll see more playing time in a game that will be over early and need rushers to put it to bed.

Joe Burrow, quarterback, LSU: One thing every coach tries to prepare you for is coming back to an "easy" game after winning a close big game. This would be the "let down" game if you're underprepared, so it's up to Joe Burrow to go out there and keep up the pressure and the attacking that's worked for two weeks.

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Deshaun Watson had an up and down day. Tim Warner/Getty Images

So what does Bill O'Brien have in store for a Sunday encore in the clock management follies department? All's well that ends well for the Texans if another Billy Botch episode comes with another win. Get it and home games vs. the Panthers and Falcons make 4-1 a very legit possibility.

The Texans have a good shot to get the win in Los Angeles Sunday. They may have half the crowd rooting for them. The Chargers have the lamest homefield advantage in the NFL. L.A. has largely yawned at them since their move up the coast from San Diego. In their home opener the Chargers couldn't sell out the 27,000 seat soccer stadium serving as their temporary facility. Next season they move into the monument of wow and greed they'll share with the Rams. That place will hold about 70,000.

On the field it's a big game for the also 1-1 Chargers if they hope to hang with Kansas City in the AFC West race. The Chargers' three following games are at the joke Dolphins, then home vs. the not good Broncos and the Roethlisberger-less Steelers.

For the Texans, one major subplot is a constant. How porous will the offensive line be? Deshaun Watson has been sacked 10 times over the first two games. The Chargers have one of the NFL's better pass rushing duos in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. If the Texans can protect, opportunity knocks for big plays downfield with the Chargers down both of their starting safeties. Rookie All-Pro Derwin James is on injured reserve recovering from a broken foot, Adrian Phillips broke an arm last Sunday at Detroit.

Warm California sun

So if you were 300 strikeout man Gerrit Cole, what would you be thinking about re: 2020 and beyond? I mean after next month ideally helping the Astros win the World Series. And if you are the Astros what are you thinking?

In his two Astro seasons Cole has been tremendous. The ballclub is tremendous, and if Cole re-signs it that much more figures to stay tremendous for at least another couple of seasons. But Gerrit Cole is to become the most highly coveted free agent on the market. The low end of what he should be able to command is probably in the six years 150 million range. Heck, he could get seven years 250 million.

Next year the Astros payroll is set to soar into competitive balance tax territory. Meaning, in addition to the payroll itself, the Astros are looking at paying millions in penalties if they pay up to keep Cole. To counter that the Astros certainly could pivot and trade Zack Greinke. They basically will be open to giving away Josh Reddick and the 13 million he'll make in the final year of his contract.

Maybe Jim Crane and his partners say this is such a special era, we'll forego huge chunks of profits to keep this core together. That would be fantastic, but drawing a line on how far they'll go to keep Cole would not be miserly. Long term megadollar pitching contracts carry large risks. Cole turns 30 next season.

Cole grew up in Southern California. His wife too. It's where they live in the offseason. He went to high school under five miles from Angels Stadium and grew up an Angels fan. The Angels have a desperate need for starting pitching. Even with Cole though, the Angels can't essentially promise perennial contender status. But the Dodgers can, every bit as much as the Astros, and the Dodgers have much deeper pockets. If the Coles want to spend the rest of Gerrit's prime pitching years living year-round back home in SoCal, no one should take offense. Still, if the Astros’ bid is competitive when factoring in income tax rates, proven comfort level with the team, air conditioned comfort for home games…

Big weekend for Aggies

Better college football schedule this week after the garbage card of a week ago. The biggest game nationally is seventh ranked Notre Dame at number three Georgia. Big game for Texas A&M vs. Auburn at Kyle Field Saturday. The 17th ranked Aggies are three and a half point favorites over the eighth ranked team in the nation. A hard fought loss wouldn't be shameful, but would mean that with games yet to come vs. Alabama, at Georgia, and at LSU, the Ags would have to pull off at least one upset to finish better than 7-5. 75 million dollars to lure Jimbo Fisher were not spent to yield any 7-5 seasons.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Major Applewhite would have coached the Cougars to a 1-3 start much more economically for UH than Dana Holgorsen has. 2. The Tulane Green Wave wearing powder blue uniforms is just as dopey as the St. John's Red Storm and Duke Blue Devils wearing black. 3. Names that Houstonians should rule out for daughters: Bronze-Imelda Silver-Allison Gold-Alicia

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