Is this the year Georgia finally beats Alabama?
That question was asked ad nauseum during the offseason. It was the talk at SEC Media Days. And the No. 1 topic on a web browser full of offseason columns.
Funny thing is, Georgia and Alabama aren't even scheduled to play this year. Everyone just assumes they'll meet again in Atlanta for the SEC title.
LSU has different plans.
The Tigers came into a sizzling Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday and loudly pronounced themselves as serious SEC title and College Football Playoff contenders while also thrusting their quarterback right into the Heisman conversation in a 45-38 win.
Maybe the offseason conversation should have been: Is this the year LSU beats Alabama?
Is it too early to call LSU's Nov. 9 game at Alabama the Game of the Century II? Probably. LSU still has to travel to Starkville and host No. 11 Florida and No. 10 Auburn before then.
So what has changed for an LSU team that has lost eight straight to the Tide? LSU has finally unveiled a modern offense that can challenge the Tide's defense by spreading it out and throwing it.
Joe Burrow was poised and accurate on Saturday, throwing for 471 passing yards and four touchdowns against a worthy opponent. His maturation, and perhaps an early season Heisman moment, came when he stepped up in the pocket on 3rd and 17 and hit Justin Jefferson for a 61-yard touchdown with 2:27 left to put the game away.
Burrow became the first LSU quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards against an AP-ranked opponent since Rohan Davey against Illinois in the 2002 Sugar Bowl.
"Man, he was fired up," coach Ed Orgeron said. "The kid is a baller. He lives for that moment, and I'll tell you what, those were some tough plays.
TERRY WILSON'S INJURY CHANGES SEC EAST COMPLEXION: What is happening to SEC quarterbacks? Mississippi State's Tommy Stevens left Saturday's game with an upper body injury after completing nine passes in a row - the most for the Bulldogs since Dak Prescott in 2015. South Carolina's Jake Bentley is out for up to six weeks -- and possibly longer -- with a foot sprain.
Then came a horrible scene Saturday night in Lexington when Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson was carted off the field after he injured his knee on a horse-collar tackle. Kentucky announced on Sunday that Wilson will undergo season-ending surgery for a torn patellar tendon.
Wilson's injury has a major impact on the East. Kentucky is set to host Florida on Saturday in a rematch of the two teams that finished second in the East last season. The Wildcats' historic upset of the Gators in Gainesville was a coming out party for Wilson.
Without Wilson, Troy grad transfer Sawyer Smith will be under center. That thought must excite Todd Grantham and Florida's furious pass rush. Additionally, Kentucky backup quarterback Gunnar Hoak transferred to Ohio State in the offseason, leaving the Wildcats thin at quarterback.
GET WELL GAMES FOR MIZZOU, SOUTH CAROLINA: Nobody had a more satisfying day on Saturday than Missouri and South Carolina. Both teams rebounded from shocking Week 1 upset losses with blowout wins in their home openers. Can you feel that sigh of relief?
Missouri rolled out to a 31-0 halftime lead in its 38-7 win over West Virginia. South Carolina, meanwhile, set school records for most yards (775) and rushing yards (493) in Saturday's 72-10 win over Charleston Southern. Freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski was sensational in his debut in place of the injured Bentley.
Now comes the fun part for Hilinski when No. 2 Alabama visits Columbia this week. Missouri? The Tigers have another tune up with SE Missouri State before hosting the Gamecocks on Sept. 21.
ARKANSAS MAY HAVE FOUND ITS QUARTERBACK: Speaking of quarterbacks, is it time for Arkansas to give the ball to Nick Starkel full time? Starter Ben Hicks struggled for the second straight game, completing less than 50% of his passes at Ole Miss on Saturday. Starkel, the former Texas A&M quarterback who transferred after losing the job to Kellen Mond, came on and completed 17-of-24 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown.
Coach Chad Morris wasn't ready to name a starter for this week's game against Colorado State after Saturday's loss, but given the results, it wouldn't be a shock if the Razorbacks turn it over to Starkel.
EXTRA POINTS: Former South Carolina running back Ty'Son Williams rushed for 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns in BYU's 29-26 upset win at Tennessee. ... Georgia freshman running back Zamir White and freshman receiver George Pickens each scored their first career touchdowns on Saturday. White is recovering from two ACL tears. ... Auburn receiver Will Hastings caught his first touchdown on Saturday since tearing his ACL twice last year. Hastings had five catches for 75 yards. ... Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks completed his first 15 passes against UL-Monroe. His only incompletion of the first half was a Hail Mary before halftime.