I feel for the SEC what Danny Kanell feels for the ACC or Dan Dakich to the Big 10. To steal a thought from the great Kenny Powers: “I’m just under the impression that America (the SEC) is the best country (conference) in the world, and all the other countries (conferences) just aren’t as good. That used to be called patriotism.”
That said, it’s nice to see the SEC West getting the respect it deserves (EAST PICK IT UP, DAMNIT) in the top five polls. Do I think that four teams in the top five is a stretch? Eh, maybe so. But, it isn’t too far off, even with ESPN’s affinity for the college football teams of the southeast.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State are obvious calls. They beat everyone on the schedule. Granted, the Bulldogs didn’t test themselves out of conference, but they still have some impressive wins over the likes of Auburn and LSU on the road.
Auburn has earned it as well it would seem. A pretty impressive win at Kansas State early in the year and thumping LSU before losing to Mississippi State.
So, what has Alabama done?
A 10 point neutral-site win over West Virginia? Sure, the Mountaineers are playing better, but really? They played Ole Miss on the road and took a loss that wasn’t even as close as the scoreboard indicated, and followed that by beating Arkansas by one on the road. The national media was almost ready to move on, and then boom: they HAMMER Texas A&M – and apparently that’s impressive? You know, the same Aggies that were down 35-7 at half to Ole Miss, or let Mississippi State have a field day? Texas A&M isn’t a good team. Their most impressive win could be an overtime bout against Arkansas.
I know the offense has put up gaudy numbers, but are we really ready to say that Blake Sims is capable of leading them to a title?
After beating the Aggies, Alabama has again become a popular pick to make the playoffs – and don’t get me wrong: it could happen. I just can’t see where the hype is coming from. Is it the win over then unranked West Virginia or then ranked, mid free-fall, Texas A&M? Is it the points? Is it the defense giving up 13 points per game, despite giving up 20+ in every “close” game the Tide have played, (West Virgina, Florida, Ole Miss)?
I think Alabama is really, really, good. The proof will be in the pudding. They will have their chances with Mississippi State, Auburn and LSU, who they play a week from saturday. I just don’t see, to this point, what Alabama has done to warrant the national, for lack of a better term, love.
Again, these are just all things to tinker around with now. As previously hinted. the SEC West is going to work itself out, even if it takes a knock-down-drag-out fight. We still have the Egg Bowl, the Iron Bowl, the SEC Championship; we got it all.
Just take it easy on Alabama. For now.
*Section Photo credit to Matthew Stockman, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Marvin Gentry, USA Today Sports