Alabama loss creates potential for wild end in SEC West
With one Small kick and a fairly sizable upset, Texas A&M induced fairly a shakeup within the Southeastern Convention Western Division.
The Aggies’ 41-38 upset of then-No. 1 Alabama on Seth Small’s area aim opened the door for the Crimson Tide’s division rivals. It is not only a parade of groups lining up neatly behind ‘Bama any extra.
Whereas Alabama (5-1, 2-1) appears to stay the group to beat and a playoff contender, it will not be a weekly cakewalk for the Tide.
Coach Nick Saban had already warned his group of the potential pitfalls.
“He mentioned it earlier than it even occurred that we have been gonna get hit within the mouth if we ready the way in which we have been getting ready,” Alabama defensive lineman DJ Dale mentioned.
4 SEC West groups are deadlocked with one league loss. Auburn, Mississippi State and No. 13 Mississippi are all 1-1 in SEC video games.
And the aura of invincibility round Alabama has been knocked off, a minimum of quickly.
This weekend will present one other shakeup, a method or one other. Mississippi State discovered itself in a greater spot within the league standings after an open date, however coach Mike Leach would not put a lot inventory in Alabama shedding to an unranked group.
The Bulldogs host the now fifth-ranked Tide on Saturday.
“The rankings are all out of whack,” Leach informed reporters. “Anyone that thinks there are 30 groups higher than Texas A&M is out of their minds. Sometime when I’m in your place I’ll go proper down the checklist and let you know which of them.
“You had two good groups play, and the house group gained. John Picket used to say, ‘By no means be shocked when the house group wins.’”
Two of the three two-loss West groups are ranked: No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 17 Arkansas, set to host Auburn on Saturday.
The league’s solely two unbeaten groups — No. 1 Georgia and No. 11 Kentucky — reside within the Jap Division and likewise meet on Saturday.
However the West has the potential for extra chaos with different groups gaining hope from the upset in School Station.
Ole Miss steps out of the division to face resurgent Tennessee after staying in that one-loss group with a 52-51 win over Arkansas. First issues first.
“We’ll concentrate on that when the time comes however proper now we’re simply specializing in going 1-Zero this week, and that’s it,” Rebels extensive receiver Braylon Sanders mentioned.
Auburn offensive lineman Keiondre Jones provided the same response for his group.
“It’s eye-opening to see that every part is wide-open,” Jones mentioned. “However yeah, 1-Zero for us this week, 1-Zero the week after that, the week after that.. Every single day, that’s what we have to concentrate on proper now.
“We’re trying on the larger image, however you need to go 1-Zero every single day to get to the massive image.”
Here is what the highway seems like for the SEC West hopefuls:
The Skinny: The Tide clearly is not the seemingly unbeatable group of final yr’s nationwide title run, and some accidents have not helped. However Saban’s groups have been adept at bouncing again prior to now and bettering from defeat. There is no questioning the expertise.
Highway forward: Alabama has 4 straight dwelling video games after Mississippi State, internet hosting Tennessee, LSU and Arkansas together with New Mexico State. Then comes a go to to in-state rival Auburn.
The Skinny: The Tigers’ solely two losses have come to new No. 1 Georgia and No. 7 Penn State, however in addition they needed to mount a late comeback to beat Georgia State in coach Bryan Harsin’s first season.
Highway forward: The Tigers go to Arkansas this weekend but additionally host Ole Miss on Oct. 30 after an open date and finish the common season towards the Tide.
The Skinny: Has already had 4 video games determined by 4 factors or much less, together with each losses. That 26-22 win at Texas A&M may wind up looming giant for each groups.
Highway forward: The Bulldogs nonetheless have 4 video games towards ranked groups, beginning with Alabama. Then come No. 11 Kentucky, highway journeys to Arkansas at Auburn and the Egg Bowl towards Ole Miss.
The Skinny: The offense is potent as ever nevertheless it’s arduous to miss how the protection struggled towards Arkansas, particularly giving up 37 second-half factors “We had felt a lot progress within the offseason, spring after which fall by way of quite a lot of video games, after which that second half type of had the identical feeling as a yr in the past,” Rebels coach Lane Kiffin mentioned.
Highway forward: The Rebels, who misplaced to Alabama, begin with a go to to Tennessee Saturday night time. Additionally they host Texas A&M on Nov. 13 and have highway journeys to Auburn and Mississippi State.