No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

SEC OUTLOOK WITH 6 WEEKS LEFT

The big question moving forward when thinking about the remainder of the season & the playoff implications is whether or not the SEC is going to be able to get a couple of teams into the playoff picture. I think the only way this can happen is if the SEC has an undefeated 13-0 champion which means either Mississippi St. or Ole Miss has to continue in their journey and combine that undefeated team with a 1-loss SEC squad who lost to one of those teams. This means if Ole Miss & Mississippi St. are 11-0 at season’s end then the loser of the Egg Bowl still has an incredible case for being included into the playoff picture even if they didn’t win the conference championships. This is true if Ole Miss wins out & Alabama finishes 11-1 or if Mississippi St. wins out and Auburn finishes 11-1. Another scenario would be to complicate matters by having an 11-1 Georgia squad beat a 12-0 Ole Miss/Mississippi St. team forcing both teams to finish the season 12-1.

What makes the SEC so unique is that they have 5 teams right now that can make legitimate cases for playoff inclusion. The ACC has one team. The Big 10 has 1 team. The Big XII has 1-2 teams and the Pac 12 might have 1-2 teams. That’s it. The worse case scenario for non-SEC conferences is having 2-loss conference champions. It could easily happen in the Big XII & Pac 12. That will almost certain exclude those conferences from the playoffs with a glut of 1-loss SEC schools. As if you already didn’t know, this is the most exciting, most dynamic and best conference of any in college football & it’s not even close. Buckle up for the last 6 weeks!

 

SEC EAST

 

TEAM REC WHAT TO WATCH FOR OVER LAST 6 WEEKS OF 2014
6-1 The win over Arkansas is impressive but the Razorbacks have yet to win an SEC game so how great can it be? The loss at South Carolina looks worse by the week unless the Gamecocks can start reeling off victories. With all that said, Georgia is 6-1 & is very much alive in the playoff race. Beating Auburn in Athens on November 15th would be amazing & if the Georgia can get to 11-1 they’ll be in prime condition to win the SEC title game. That is their only way into the playoff. If they lose a 2nd game I don’t see a way in because there are likely going to be more than one 1-loss SEC West squad. At worst UGA should finish 10-2, but they should have their sights set high.
5-2 I don’t see anyway Mizzou can sneak into the playoff picture unless they win out, finish 12-2 as SEC Champions and hope that there are other 2-loss conference champion teams. What I do find interesting about Missouri is that the Tigers won a battle of attrition last season & it could very well happen again. Mizzou’s only loss right now is against UGA who has lost to South Carolina. Missouri draws Arkansas & Texas A&M from the West so winning out could be in the cards. If Georgia were to lose to Auburn, Missouri would win the SEC East & head back to the SEC Championship game! How awful does the loss to Indiana in Columbia look? If they win that game, the Tigers are on the periphery of playoff chatter.
5-2 The loss to Florida looks worse & worse as the Gators implode, but Kentucky is sitting at 5-2 which should have Big Blue Nation happy. Moving forward, the Wildcats need to worry about bowl eligibility. They’ve already beaten Vanderbilt & only have SEC games left on the ledger needing an elusive win to get bowl eligible. Their remaining schedule is: Mississippi St., at Mizzou, Georgia, at Tennessee, bye, at Louisville. It would have been much easier had Kentucky drawn Missouri or Tennessee in Lexington, but their “easiest” remaining opponents are road games which means the Cats could easily drop their final 6 games & finish the season 5-7. That would seem disappointing given their 5-2 record, but it’s 3 wins better than 2013.
4-3 With 3 losses in SEC play it’s going to be darn near impossible for South Carolina to be a factor in the SEC East race. They do have a win over Georgia, but for SC to climb the rankings they are going to have to win out. It’s not as far fetched as it seems outside of a road date with Auburn. Let’s say they get lucky & beat Auburn. If Missouri loses a couple of games & Georgia loses to Auburn & Kentucky then it’s possible for SC to finish the season 9-3 as SEC East champions! Those are EXTREMELY long odds, but it’s possible. With South Alabama & Florida on the schedule, the Gamecocks should be bowl eligible at worst at 6-6. A bowl is better than nothing but disappointing.
3-3 It’s amazing that at the end of the season we are likely looking at openings at both Florida & Michigan! Those are HUGE names in the college football world! As with Brady Hoke, I don’t think there is anything Will Muschamp can do to save his job, but Florida has games against Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Idaho, & Eastern Kentucky they could win. Beating Georgia & Florida St. is out of the question, but if Florida can go 4-2 the rest of the way & finish 7-5 & bowl eligible, isn’t that an improvement on the 4-8 record from a season ago? In Gainesville, they aren’t watching for bowl eligibility, the date with Georgia & certainly not playoff dreams. They wait is on for the firing of their HC.
3-4 Tennessee reminds me a little of Arkansas in that they are living a season of “what could have been”. Tennessee couldn’t find ways to win tight games over Florida & Georgia which would have made them 5-2 even with their losses to Oklahoma & Ole Miss. If the Vols would have won those games then they’d be 2-1 in the SEC & effectively 2 games up on Georgia which would have been ideal because UT hosts Alabama this upcoming week. As it stands now the Vols need 3 wins in their last 5 to get bowl eligible. They have home games against Kentucky & Missouri along with a road date to Vanderbilt. They should get to 6 wins & possibly 7 if they can beat the Ole Ball Coach in Columbia!
2-5 A lost season in HC Derek Mason’s first year. Vanderbilt’s 2 wins have come by a combined 4pts over Charleston Southern & UMass! I’m not really sure they can beat Old Dominion in 2 weeks & unless a miracle occurs, I don’t see how Vanderbilt escapes an 0-8 SEC mark. At best this team is 3-9 with the win over ODU, but at worst they are a very real 2-10 which the Commodores haven’t been since Robbie Caldwell directed the program for the 2010 season, the year before James Franklin took over. There really is no postseason aspirations for Vandy so the best the fanbase can look forward to is continued improvement from the players who will return next season.

 

SEC WEST

 

TEAM REC WHAT TO WATCH FOR OVER LAST 6 WEEKS OF 2014
7-0 It’s pretty simple. If Ole Miss can win out then there is no denying that they will not only make the playoffs, but they’ll also be the #1 team in the nation. I don’t think Ole Miss has been quite as tested as Mississippi St. yet & there are still a few landmines awaiting the Rebels. This week they play LSU at night in the Swamp which is never easy. Sure Mississippi St. won there a few weeks back but LSU is playing awfully well & will put up a difficult test for Ole Miss. The Rebels also host Auburn a week after. They get a road game against Arkansas & host the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State. If Ole Miss slips up, will an 11-1 record be enough to get into the playoffs? The million dollar question is if a 1-loss SEC team can put two SEC teams in.
6-0 Hail State has the most impressive 3-game streak of any team in the nation having won their last 3 against LSU, Texas A&M & Auburn. QB Dak Prescott is a Heisman candidate and the defense is playing as well if not better than that defense up the road in Oxford. Like Ole Miss, the Bulldogs have a couple of more tests to navigate as they have 2 road games against Alabama & Ole Miss left to finish the undefeated season. At worst MSU should finish the season 10-2 which will be the best mark of the Dan Mullen era but as with Ole Miss, if the Bulldogs finish with 1 loss, will that still be enough to get them into the playoff hunt should they not win the SEC West or SEC Championship? In the end it’s simple. Keep winning.
6-1 Losing to Ole Miss hurts, but it was a road game & the loss was just 23-17. The Tide are a little more fun to talk about than Ole Miss or Miss. St. because it isn’t as simple as it is for those two schools. With the one loss, Alabama has to win out but they still have a road date with LSU and a couple of home games against Mississippi St. & Auburn. They simply can’t afford to lose any more games because a 2-loss Alabama team is going nowhere unless the landscape really implodes. It would also do well for Ole Miss to lose a couple with MSU either losing 2 or losing to just Alabama. That would give the Tide the SEC West title. If Alabama finds a way to finish 12-1 & SEC Champions then they are in. Maybe it is as simple as keep winning!
5-1 As with Alabama, if Auburn keeps winning then they’ll end the season beating teams like Ole Miss, Georgia & Alabama, all on the road. If that happens & Auburn finishes 11-1 then I think they get into the playoffs because one of two things will have happened. Either Mississippi St. has won the SEC West outright and it would be hard to punch Auburn for losing a road game to the Bulldogs or Auburn will win the West themselves & put them in position to finish 12-1 & SEC Champions which punches their ticket. It’s amazing to think there are 4 teams here who have simple roads to the playoffs in that they just have to keep winning. These 4 teams also made history this week by being 4 of the top-5 teams in the nation!
6-2 It’s tough to be too mad at LSU when their losses have come against Mississippi St. (6-0) & Auburn (5-1)! With the Tigers having 2 conference losses, I think their playoff hopes are shattered unless all hell breaks loose, but is it still possible for LSU to win the West? They have home games against Ole Miss & Alabama. Beating Alabama would slide them ahead of the Tide. Auburn would have to lose 2 more conference games which is possible with 3 road games left against UGA, Ole Miss & Bama. The tough one is figuring a way for Mississippi St. to lose 3 conference games. LSU might be screwed but could they get to 10-2? If LSU holds serve at home they’ll create havoc not only in the SEC but in the playoff picture.
5-3 Texas A&M has to be reeling with their 3 straight losses punctuated by a humiliating 59-0 drumming at the hands of Alabama. There is no way in the world Texas A&M can make the playoffs and with a game coming up against UL-Monroe, the Aggies can be confident they are going to get bowl eligible but they probably lose at least 1 more game at Auburn meaning 8-4 is the best they can do although home games against LSU & Missouri are not a given. At this point A&M has to be feeling pretty lucky about their win over Arkansas because right now they are easily the worst team in the SEC West. The expectations were entirely too high & the win over South Carolina didn’t mean nearly as much as it did in Week 1.
3-4 Arkansas couldn’t find a way to close the door on Alabama or Texas A&M. They couldn’t maintain their ability in the 2nd half against Auburn & they completely shot themselves in the foot against Georgia. It’s not farfetched for Arkansas to be 5-2 or even 6-1 had things broke the right way, but the best Arkansas can do is bowl eligibility. They have home games against LSU & UAB along with a road date with Missouri to try & get to 6 wins. They play Ole Miss & Mississippi St. as well but I don’t think Arkansas’ offense is going to have much success against those defenses. I think Arkansas & Tennessee are sort of in the same boat this year. They are going to be fun to watch next season.
Advertisements

October 19, 2014 - Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Missouri, Playoffs, SEC, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas AM, Vanderbilt

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: