Welp, I used to be mistaken.
I believed Alabama and Georgia had been wildly overvalued for his or her video games Ole Miss and Arkansas, respectively. I believed Ole Miss and Arkansas would each present up on the highway in Tuscaloosa and Athens and display the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs had been good, however not nice, gifted groups, however not head and shoulders above the remainder of the convention.
On Saturday each groups had been nice.
Let’s begin with Georgia, whose defensive stats are beginning to get freakish. The Bulldogs allowed solely 162 yards of offense to Arkansas, holding the Razorbacks to 75 yards speeding on 29 carries. As if that weren’t sufficient, Georgia held the Arkansas passing offense to 87 complete yards. How typically do you ever see a school protection maintain a workforce to underneath 100 yards passing or speeding? Especially in a blowout like this when late yardage usually stacks up? It virtually by no means occurs.
So far this season Georgia has allowed one offensive landing.
And we’re virtually midway by means of the season. That’s black and white spotlight reels degree dominant. I’m unsure we’ve ever seen a protection play almost half a season with out permitting two touchdowns from the opposing offense. As a consequence, Georgia has began off the SEC with two straight wins, beating Vanderbilt and Arkansas by a mixed rating of 99-0.
The Bulldogs have this left on their schedule: at Auburn, Kentucky, Florida within the cocktail get together, after which they shut with Missouri, at Tennessee, Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech. It’s more and more laborious to see any of those groups having an actual shot to upset Georgia, particularly if, as I count on to occur, Georgia handles Auburn with relative ease on the Plains this coming weekend.
Meanwhile Alabama got here out and destroyed Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin, scoring early within the third quarter to make it 35-0 Tide. Compared to final yr the Tide protection utterly stifled the Ole Miss offense, particularly on the road of scrimmage, the place Ole Miss discovered no room to run all day.
The finish consequence? Alabama doesn’t seem to have any actual challengers within the SEC West both. What as soon as appeared like an enormous recreation in opposition to Texas A&M subsequent weekend — a recreation we’ll be attending with the Outkick bus crew — now appears comparatively unthreatening after the Aggies again to again losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State.
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It feels more and more probably that the SEC title recreation might be a match up of 12-0 groups and that Alabama and Georgia might find yourself taking part in once more within the faculty soccer title recreation to determine the 2021 championship.
Because proper now nobody else comes near matching up with Alabama and Georgia in any respect.
By the way in which, we had an amazing time in Tuscaloosa for Ole Miss-Bama on Saturday. Here are only a few of the images. Thanks to Eli Gold for letting my son attempt on his headset at halftime.
And to everybody at Bama who made my 11 yr outdated’s yr.
Plus, my radio present co-host Buck Sexton had a fairly superior time at his first ever faculty soccer recreation too.
Okay, let’s roll with the Starting 11.
1. So who’s the higher workforce? Alabama or Georgia? I requested all of you to vote and right here had been the outcomes.
Nearly sixty % of you took Alabama, however I’m taking the Bulldogs proper now.
I feel the Bulldog protection is best than another unit on Alabama or Georgia and I feel it will likely be the figuring out issue when these two groups meet up.
By the way in which, how electrical is the SEC title recreation going to be? And how costly are these seats going to be? It’s going to be wild.
So what does Fan Duel consider the nationwide title race? Alabama and Georgia remain co-favorites to win the title at +175 followed by Ohio State at 10-1, Oklahoma at 14-1, Michigan at 30-1 and Iowa, Texas, Penn State and Cincinnati at 40-1.
2. Oregon misplaced to Stanford in extra time after which UCLA misplaced to Arizona State after most of you had been in mattress.
The sensible significance is it means all Pac 12 groups now have at the least one loss and we’re simply barely into October.
What are the probabilities of Oregon, Arizona State or Oregon State, the one three groups with only one loss, operating the desk and ending 12-1? I feel very low. (And I doubt 12-1 Arizona State or 12-1 Oregon State would make the playoff anyway.)
Which would imply that the Pac 12’s playoff hopes are near being extinguished already.
This is why the Pac 12 must cease posturing in opposition to playoff enlargement and join a 12 workforce playoff. The Pac 12 has one win within the faculty soccer playoff period, when Marcus Mariota’s Oregon Ducks beat Jameis Winston’s Florida State Seminoles within the first yr of the playoff, again in 2014. That seems like ages in the past.
Worse than that, the Pac 12 solely has two complete playoff appearances. If the Pac 12 desires to matter on a nationwide degree, it has to get groups within the playoff on a constant foundation. Without the playoff increasing to 12 groups, I don’t assume that can occur fairly often.
(By the way in which, I get a ton mistaken, however I did name Stanford’s upset of Oregon final week within the Starting 11. You may completely see this coming.)
3. Cincinnati bought the largest win, doubtlessly, in program historical past at Notre Dame.
So do the Bearcats have a path to the playoff? Maybe.
First, let’s have a look at the schedule. Cincinnati. Right now the Bearcats solely play two groups with a profitable document, Temple on Friday and SMU on November twentieth. So the Bearcats needs to be a serious favourite the remainder of the way in which.
But is a schedule the place they solely beat two energy 5 FBS opponents — Indiana and (I’m counting) Notre Dame, actually worthy of a playoff berth? I simply don’t see it.
Especially not when BYU might properly beat Arizona, Utah, Arizona State, Baylor, Washington State, Virginia, and USC this yr.
For me, BYU has the much better potential resume of the non-power 5 convention groups if the Cougars had been capable of run the desk. Now I don’t essentially assume BYU will pull this off, however beating seven energy 5 convention opponents from three completely different conferences, together with 5 within the Pac 12, could be a resume we’ve by no means seen earlier than from a workforce outdoors an influence 5 convention.
So if I needed to choose BYU or Cincinnati proper now, I’d go along with BYU, which is why I’ve them ranked greater than I do Cincinnati.
4. Kentucky beat Florida, operating the Wildcats to 5-0 and making them Georgia’s solely “competition” within the SEC East.
There at the moment are solely three undefeated groups within the SEC: Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky. Just like all of us anticipated.
Having mentioned that, this Kentucky workforce’s offense isn’t adequate to play at a excessive degree. At least not thus far.
The Wildcats play LSU this weekend — how about Ed Orgeron having to beat an undefeated Kentucky workforce to keep away from falling to 3-3 on the yr? — at Georgia, at Mississippi State, Tennessee — how about Josh Heupel hanging 62 on Mizzou and scoring on 9 straight possessions?! — at Vanderbilt, and at Louisville left on the schedule within the energy 5. The Wildcats haven’t any likelihood of profitable at Georgia and are solely assured to win at Vanderbilt. I’d nonetheless make LSU, at Mississippi State, Tennessee and at Louisville toss up video games the place I see the Wildcats going 2-2 or 3-1.
That nonetheless means the Wildcats have a shot at 9-3 or 10-2, however they aren’t a legit contender within the SEC. (If you disagree with me about Kentucky, the Wildcats are presently 200-1 to win the national title. Their odds didn’t even change after the Florida win. )
What does all this imply for Georgia?
Effectively the Gators loss to Kentucky handed the SEC East to Georgia it doesn’t matter what occurs within the Cocktail Party. (Which I feel Georgia will win comfortably as properly, by the way in which).
This additionally means Dan Mullen’s Gators squad, in the meantime, will probably end 9-3 or 8-4 relying on what occurs at LSU in two weeks. That Florida-LSU recreation will loom large for Coach Ed Orgeron too. If LSU had been to lose to Auburn, Kentucky and Florida in three straight weeks, two of these at dwelling, how sizzling would Coach O’s seat be with at Ole Miss, at Alabama, and Arkansas all nonetheless to come back? If LSU loses to Kentucky, it’s doable the Tigers may lose six straight SEC video games. And even when all goes properly 3-3 in these six seems like one of the best case state of affairs proper now. Yikes.)
By the way in which, I do know I’m getting outdated after I was watching Auburn-LSU final night time and considering, “Why in the world did they kick this game off at 9 eastern? Don’t they know some of us have to sleep?!” Congrats to Auburn on the primary win on the bayou since 1999.
5. Who wins the Big Ten East?
I’ve been arguing for years that faculty soccer divisions are insanely silly. That’s particularly the case within the Big Ten the place the Big Ten East and the Big Ten West are absurdly lopsided. In the Big Ten East you may have Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State all nonetheless undefeated in convention. All of those groups might be taking part in one another and the chances of 1 workforce rising undefeated in convention feels low to me.
That means the Big Ten East, in some vogue, is more likely to be determined by a tiebreak.
If Penn State goes into Iowa and wins on Saturday, this makes the truth that two Big Ten East groups can’t play within the Big Ten title recreation much more ridiculous.
Looking in any respect 4 of those undefeated Big Ten East groups, Ohio State nonetheless seems like they should be the favourite. And given Oregon’s loss to Stanford, the Buckeyes are near dodging a bullet with the Oregon defeat and never even having that recreation matter if they’ll run the desk and end 12-1 with a Big Ten title.
6. Iowa has a default playoff play in recreation in opposition to Penn State on Saturday.
Seriously, they do.
Iowa, who stomped Maryland on Friday, is sitting at 5-0 with 5-0 Penn State coming to city. If Iowa wins that recreation, the Hawkeyes could be 6-0 with the next six video games remaining: Purdue, at Wisconsin, at Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois, and at Nebraska. And what’s wild about this, if Iowa can beat Penn State this weekend then they may lose a kind of six video games and nonetheless successfully be in a playoff play-in recreation with the Big Ten title recreation.
That is, Iowa, if the Hawkeyes can get to 6-0, may lose a kind of remaining six video games wherein they are going to be large favorites and it received’t matter in any respect. Because Iowa might be within the Big Ten title recreation and must win that recreation to punch their ticket to the 4 workforce playoff.
So successfully Iowa, with a win over Penn State, has a playoff recreation within the Big Ten.
(It’s additionally doable that if the Hawkeyes had been to complete 12-0 they might be within the playoff even with a loss within the Big Ten title recreation, notably if it had been a loss to an undefeated Big Ten recreation. Yes, it’s early, but it surely’s doable with the ACC and the Pac 12 unlikely to get playoff groups that we may get two Big Ten groups and two SEC groups within the playoff this yr. The Big 12, clearly, is the wild card right here as they’ve a number of groups that might nonetheless discover themselves within the combine.)
7. So what occurs within the Big 12?
Your guess is pretty much as good as mine.
Oklahoma continues to look pedestrian and we’ve bought 5 actual contenders, it appears to me: OU, Oklahoma State, Texas and, perhaps, Baylor and TCU.
I really feel like Texas goes to beat Oklahoma this weekend and actually throw issues into an excellent larger uproar.
Ultimately, if I needed to predict proper now, I don’t assume the Big 12 will get a playoff workforce. I’d wager on two from the SEC and two from the Big Ten.
8. Texas A&M has fallen from prime 5 within the nation to tenth within the Outkick SEC energy rankings in a single yr.
Yes, the Haynes King harm is important, however the Aggies shouldn’t get dominated by Arkansas and lose at dwelling to Mississippi State in again to again weeks even with out their beginning quarterback. Not in yr 4 of his tenure at A&M, anyway. Now you’ve bought Alabama coming to city, which seems like a 3rd straight SEC loss for Jimbo and Auburn, at Ole Miss, and (perhaps) at LSU really feel like losses proper now too.
So you’re speaking a couple of very actual likelihood of A&M ending 7-5 or 6-6 on the season. That’s staggering contemplating the preseason expectations. (And additionally presumes wins at Missouri and over South Carolina, which I feel the Aggies will get.)
This was speculated to be the yr that A&M challenged Alabama for SEC West superiority. Aggie followers have had October ninth circled on their calendars because the SEC launched this schedule.
And now they’ve gone from hoping to win the sport to simply hoping to not get embarrassed underneath the lights.
9. What’s the wildest factor that might occur within the SEC now that we’re virtually midway by means of the season?
First, the explanation I really like SEC soccer is as a result of it’s utterly insane.
So right here’s an thought for you: if LSU had been to fireplace Ed Orgeron as a result of the Tigers lose 5 or 6 SEC video games in a row a yr after bumbling by means of 2020, who would they rent? I feel it will be one in every of two guys: Lane Kiffin or Hugh Freeze. (The “safe” and manner too good rent for LSU could be to deliver Joe Brady again, which might additional cement the Coach O as Gene Chizik analogy.)
Can you think about Lane leaving Ole Miss for LSU? Or Freeze again within the SEC? How concerning the rapidity of a man going 15-0 two years in the past and being fired lower than two years later? The SEC is a whirlwind, man.
And it’s additionally unbelievable how rapidly fan notion can swing from week to week. Last week Auburn followers had been terrified concerning the Harsin rent, now they love him.
Meanwhile it appeared like Coach O. had righted the ship with three straight wins after the opening week loss to UCLA. Now right here we’re once more with LSU followers able to kick Coach O. into the bayou.
10. Outkick’s National Top Ten
3. Penn State
7. Michigan State
10. Ole Miss
11. SEC energy rankings 1-14
4. Ole Miss
9. Mississippi State
10. Texas A&M
12. South Carolina
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