THE SEC REPORT

LSU exploded and Tennessee disappointed this weekend; big games for A&M, Tigers this week

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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!

LSU debuts their new Run-Pass Option offense and for the first time in several years, they have an offense that could make them a top team this year.

Week 1 has come and gone and there weren't a ton of surprises although there were a few disappointments. Most notably among the let downs was Tennessee losing to Georgia State, who while not a total cupcake shouldn't be beating top level programs, which means Tennessee isn't a top-level program. Perhaps most impressive this week was LSU debuting their new offense and scoring an angry 55 points. The biggest oddity of the week was Alabama's woeful first half against Duke before turning on the football and finishing the game in the third quarter.


The Three Stars of last weekend were:

Tua Tagovailoa, the quarterback of Alabama, who in one third quarter reminded everyone why he's on the short list for the Heisman this year.

D'Andre Swift, the running back of Georgia, ran for almost 150 yards in under 20 carries. That's a monster of a game.

Bo Nix, quarterback of Auburn, the true freshman got to live out every freshman quarterback's dream and lead a comeback against a top 15 opponent in the closing minutes of a game to save the season, on week one.

Coming up

This weekend, every true college football fan is watching Texas A&M and Clemson on Saturday, this game helps shape the whole season with big time implications if Texas A&M can knock off the reigning National Champs. Saturday night LSU and University of Texas are playing, and this game will be one of the brightest feathers in the cap of the winner and the reason why the loser isn't in the four-team playoff at the end of the year probably.

The Three Players to Watch this week:

Joe Burrow, quarterback of LSU, this is his first real test of the season after coming off of five touchdowns last week. He can throw it, but now can he throw it against another big time ranked opponent in a hostile environment.

Kylin Hill, running back of Mississippi State, who posted almost 200 yards and is the proverbial work horse. The battle of Mississippi will be decided by Hill and his performance.

Jajuan Jennings, wide receiver of Tennessee, if Tennessee has any hope of righting their season it's going to have to start here against BYU where yet again they are the favorite and it's going to take a big game from their leaders like Jennings.


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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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