- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
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From Chaz Pike (@a_drpike): Aaron Murray for Heisman!!! When will the nation show him the love and respect he deserves for his body of work?
He’s currently fifth on ESPN’s Heisman Watch, which is too low in my estimation. If Georgia wins the season opener against Clemson, he’s close to the top, if not at the top, but it wasn’t Murray who lost that first game. He threw for 323 yards and ran for a touchdown. Since that loss, he’s helped the Bulldogs knock off two top-10 opponents, throwing for four touchdowns in each game. You can make a strong case for Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, but Murray deserves to be in the conversation with those two. If Georgia keeps winning and makes it to Atlanta for the SEC championship game, expect him to move up on the experts’ poll.
From Ryan Buschmeyer (@rbuschmeyer): Georgia shut down LSU’s running game and put up 196 with Todd Gurley for a half. Concern for Les Miles?
I think there’s more concern with the defense. The talk of Jeremy Hill for Heisman might have been a little premature, but the LSU running back will be fine this season. He still averaged more than four yards per carry against the Bulldogs. However, the defensive woes were troubling. The Tigers lost a lot of talented players off last year’s team. Everybody expected the newcomers to come in and not miss a beat, but it takes time. The unit will improve as the season progresses, but Miles needs to get it fixed before they travel to Ole Miss in two weeks.
That will be an interesting storyline heading into next season. I would expect the Florida coaches to give Driskel every opportunity to win back the starting quarterback job, but he was less than impressive before he got hurt. As for Murphy, it’s still too early to get a read on him. He’s been solid in his first two appearances, but he has yet to face an upper-echelon team. We’ll know more after the Gators travel to Death Valley next weekend. If Murphy can continue to improve and play well within Florida’s offense, it will be difficult to take the job away. Also, I doubt it has an affect on recruits. It’s still a popular destination for quarterbacks, because the Gators offer the chance to play early.
From Hunter York (@hunteryork1128): Assuming they beat Auburn, if Ole Miss beats Texas A&M, do the Rebels have a realistic chance of going 11-1?
Those are two big ifs. Auburn presents a difficult challenge on the road this weekend, and that Manziel kid at Texas A&M is pretty good. However, if they win both games, I still don’t see the Rebels going 11-1. Right after they play the Aggies, they host LSU, their third top-10 opponent in four weeks. Under the right circumstances, Ole Miss could pull an upset over the Tigers, but not coming off three SEC West games in a row. After that brutal stretch, the schedule does set up nicely for the Rebels the rest of the way. It wouldn’t surprise me if they win out after LSU, but 11-1 is a little too optimistic for this team.
From Joey Smith (@JoeySmithMIZ): Is a road win at Vandy enough for Mizzou to start earning some respect and to be seen as a real threat in the East?
From Jordan Walker (@JabberWalker01): Where do you see Mizzou finishing this year?
Missouri is one of two undefeated teams left in the SEC, but it’s hard to get too excited when the Tigers, who finished 2-6 in the SEC a year ago, have yet to play a conference game. A win at Vanderbilt would definitely be a good start, but the real tests come later in the month when they host Florida and South Carolina in back-to-back weeks. Still, Saturday’s game will be a good measuring stick for this team. If Missouri wins, I think they can finish as high as third in the East, but with a loss, I see them finishing towards the bottom again and possibly looking for a new coach after the season.
3dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough