09/15 03:37 CDT SEC West dominant through early weeks of season
SEC West dominant through early weeks of season
AP Sports Writer
Outside of the Southeastern Conference's footprint, it's become commonplace to
hope for stumbles by college football's most dominant league.
There's only one problem with that.
The conference --- at least its West division --- just doesn't lose all that
Led by Arkansas' dismantling of Big 12 Conference member Texas Tech in a 49-28
win on Saturday, the SEC West turned in its second straight undefeated weekend
in the season's third week. Five of the division's seven teams are ranked in
this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll, and all seven teams received votes.
More impressively, the teams are a combined 19-1 overall --- with the only loss
coming by the Razorbacks in an intra-divisional matchup with No. 5 Auburn.
The West's nearly flawless record will be tested this week by several difficult
out-of-division matchups, including the Tigers at No. 20 Kansas State, Florida
at No. 3 Alabama and Northern Illinois at Arkansas.
Also, divisional matchup Mississippi State at No. 8 LSU will add at least one
Regardless, the SEC West is alive and well --- with no weak link having shown
Here's a look at some of the other notable performances from the third week of
the college football season:
RESURGENT RAZORBACKS: Sticking with the SEC West, the division's worst team
from a season ago appears to have turned the corner under second-year coach
Bret Bielema. Arkansas was 3-9 last year in Bielema's first season, but it was
tied with Auburn at halftime before falling and has reeled off two dominating
wins since. After a 438-yard rushing performance against the Red Raiders, the
Razorbacks --- led by the running back duo of Jonathan Williams and Alex
Collins --- are third nationally with an average of 362 yards per game on the
ground. Williams is averaging 9.8 yards per carry, and he and Collins have
combined for 11 touchdowns --- exactly the style Bielema hoped to bring when he
AIR RAID WEST: Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday topped the 500-yard
passing mark for the second time in three games this season with his 544-yard,
six-touchdown performance in a 59-21 win over Portland State on Saturday. The
senior leads the nation with 1,465 yards passing through three games, and he's
improved his quarterback rating from 126.5 last year to 155.2.
BEAR MARKET: Baylor freshman wide receiver KD Cannon leads the nation in
receiving yards after his second straight dominating performance, a six-catch,
189-yard effort in a 63-21 win over Buffalo. The 6-foot, 170-pound Cannon now
has 471 yards receiving through his first three collegiate games, and he's
averaging 33.6 yards per catch for the Bears --- who lead the country with an
average of 59.3 points per game.
RUNNING MINER: A week after nearly leading Texas-El Paso to a win over Texas
Tech, Miners running back Aaron Jones continued his torrid start to the season
with a 25-carry, 168-yard rushing effort in a 42-24 win over New Mexico State
on Saturday. The sophomore leads the country with 552 yards rushing after three
games, and he's already closing in on last year's total of 811 yards rushing.
EFFICIENT EFFORT: Duke running back Shaun Wilson led the nation in rushing last
week, rushing for 245 yards on just 12 carries --- an average of 20.4 yards per
rush. The freshman had three touchdown runs of 45 yards or longer, including
69- and 68-yard scoring bursts as the Blue Devils improved to 3-0 with a 41-3
win over Kansas.