SEC West Championship hopes last week

So here we are, the last week of the regular season for the SEC and things seem pretty stable. Alabama is in the lead with just 1 SEC loss, Ole Miss is trailing with 2 then almost everyone else is sitting at 4-3 except Auburn who is way back at 2-5. Alabama wins then they are in the SEC championship game, PERIOD. If Alabama loses AND Ole Miss wins THEN, and only then can Ole Miss make it to the SEC Championship game. I don’t see that happening, but it’s college football. You play the game because you just don’t know.

If MSU beats Ole Miss that’ll leave both teams squarely in the scrum in the middle of the SEC West at 5-3. If UM wins that’ll put them squarely at #2 or #3 in the SEC depending on how the championship game plays out. Depending on the final weeks outcome we should be getting a REALLY good idea about the bowl games this time next week.

Last games:

Alabama (10-1, 6-1)
Auburn

Arkansas (6-5, 4-3)
Missouri

Auburn (6-5, 2-5)
Alabama

LSU (7-3, 4-3)
Texas A&M

MSU (8-3, 4-3)
Ole Miss

Ole Miss (8-3,5-2)
MSU

Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3)
LSU

SEC West Championship hopes

What a difference a couple of weeks make. Who saw Arkansas upsetting both Ole Miss and LSU? State better be ready! (Bit worried about that one actually. I don’t remember State EVER winning a game versus Arkansas in the state of Arkansas.)

Alabama with one SEC loss is in the lead now, with Arkansas (YES ARKANSAS!), LSU and Ole Miss behind with 2 SEC losses each. MSU and A&M each have 3 SEC losses so they are out as is Auburn with 5 SEC losses on the year. What happened to Auburn this year, their only hope is to spoil Alabama’s chance at the national championship games by giving them another loss! Gotta add that, I will laugh my ass off if Auburn does somehow beat Alabama but I don’t see that happening.

With the SEC West beating the hell out of each other, I don’t know if Alabama will make it to the championship games even if they win out. The SEC West is VERY muddled in the middle; hell, change around 6 plays and almost every game this year could have gone the other way. Because of the  multiple losses, the rest of the country will declare the SEC ‘weak’, where most of us SEC fans will see ‘parity’. Whether that ‘parity’ means that your average SEC West school can beat your average other big 5 conference team I don’t honestly know, but I think for the most part the West won their OOC games. The Memphis loss isn’t nearly as bad as Ole Miss fans thought at the time, but I can’t explain away the Arkansas early OOC losses.

We should be getting some pretty accurate bowl predictions this time next week. Remaining games (teams in alphabetical order):

Alabama (9-1, 6-1)
Charleston Southern
Auburn

Arkansas (6-4, 4-2)
MSU
Missouri

Auburn (5-5, 2-5)
Idaho
Alabama

LSU (7-2, 4-2)
Ole Miss
Texas A&M

MSU (7-3, 3-3)
Arkansas
Ole Miss

Ole Miss (7-3,4-2)
LSU
MSU

Texas A&M (7-3, 3-3)
Vanderbilt
LSU

 

SEC West Championship hopes

Still lots of games left but right now Ole Miss or LSU goes to the SEC Championship if they win out.
Alabama goes to the SEC Championship if they win out and Ole Miss loses another game. I think this is correct because Alabama would have a head up victory versus LSU and because of the UM loss to Florida.

After that a lot of wacky stuff would have to happen for any other team to make it and I doubt that’ll happen. I think even if State wins out LSU would have to drop 3 of it’s last four for them to get in. A&M would need to win out and have Alabama AND Ole Miss lose 2-3 more games each. I don’t see either of those situations happening. But any team can upset those top three by beating them.

Right now I think Ole Miss, Bama and LSU simply have to play their best and see how it turns out. It’s going to start getting crazy between those three going down the home stretch. I think there is a very good chance that the SEC will NOT be a part of the playoffs this year, and I’m okay with that. It doesn’t mean the SEC is ‘down’ (at lest not the West) or that the best football isn’t being played here. It just means we’ve got some serious parity compared to the other conferences.

Pretty good ballgames left in the SEC West!

UM(4-1):
ARK
LSU
MSU

Alabama(4-1):
LSU
MSU
Aub

LSU(4-0):
Alabama
Ark
UM
A&M

A&M(3-2):
Aub
Vandy
LSU

MSU(2-2):
Mizzou
Alabama
Ark
UM

Ark(2-2):
UM
LSU
MSU
Mizzou

Aub(1-4):
A&M
Geo
Alabama

UM needs some time to catch up to State in Bryant-Denny Stadium wins over Alabama.

These pages always crack me up.

Ole-Miss vs Alabama football history.

Miss. State vs Alabama football history.

Ole Miss basically ducked Alabama and didn’t play them if they could help it, for much of the beginning years of the SEC. Hell they didn’t play them AT ALL from 1945-1963. Alabama, Ole Miss, and MS State are all ‘founding members of the SEC’, yet Ole Miss found a way to NOT play Alabama for 18 years in a row. UM’s penchant to avoid games versus Alabama might explain why MSU has around 37 more games played against Alabama than UM.

Have to add that BOTH teams have dismal records vs Alabama, so I’ll give Ole Miss some breathing room. Perhaps in 37 more years of games they’ll have managed to win 8 times in Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, like State has, which is tied with LSU for the most of any program.

Geez. I’m actually not sure I’ll be around for 37 more football seasons. Here’s hoping!

 

 

First World Bitching: Bowl Game Style

Look, I agree there may be too many bowl games now, but for crying out loud stop bitching about it so much. If it bothers you so much, just stop watching the bowls you aren’t interested in. If the bowls didn’t make money they wouldn’t have so many. The fact that they ARE making money means they’ll continue to play them.

As as far as I’m concerned it’s a nice consolation gift to the players, even if I don’t watch their particular bowl game.

SEC is down this year or so they say.

I’ve been hearing, since about the middle of the season, that the SEC is having a down year. I even bought into that. Believed it. Then I went and checked the Strength of Schedule over at Team Rankings. Now maybe there’s a better SOS listing and I just missed it, but looking over the list over there, I noticed something.

Here is a list of ALL TEAMS with 3 or fewer losses ranked in the top 30 by SOS(Strength Of Schedule).

2 Alabama 11-1
5 Ole Miss 9-3
6 Miss. State 10-2
8 UCLA 9-3
9 TCU 10-1
10 Oklahoma 8-3
12 Georgia 9-3
13 Oregon 11-1
16 Baylor 10-1
18 Kansas St. 9-2
21 Arizona 10-2
23 Arizona St. 9-3
24 Missouri 10-2
26 Mich St 10-2
29 Clemson 9-3 

There is one more week of games to play before the final SOS comes out, but I don’t think FIVE teams with fewer than 3 losses with the 30 hardest SOS is a “weak” conference.

Florida State’s SOS? 36.

Ohio State? 33

Maybe THAT is one of the reasons FSU keeps dropping in the commission’s picks and OSU is on the outside looking in right now?

By the way if you just want SEC schools within the top 30 hardest SOS regardless of win/loss:

1 Auburn 8-4
2 Alabama 11-1
3 Arkansas 6-6
4 LSU 8-4
5 Ole Miss 9-3
6 Miss. State 10-2
7 Texas A&M 7-5
12 Georgia 9-3
15 Florida 6-5
19 Tennessee 6-6
24 Missouri 10-2
25 South Car. 6-6

 

Kentucky (5-7) has a SOS of 38 and Vanderbilt (3-9) is at 67.

That doesn’t seem to be a list of a SEC Conference having a ‘down’ year. That looks like a SEC not having one dominant team WITHIN the SEC.

If you want the Football Power Index from ESPN you get this from the top 25:

1 Alabama
3 Ole Miss
4 Georgia
6 Auburn
10 MS. State
14 LSU
18 Arkansas
22 Florida
23 Texas A&M

 

Basically SEC Haters gotta Hate, but I think the rankings have worked out pretty well for everyone this season. I’m looking forward to seeing the playoff and if Alabama loses to Missou this weekend and the SEC isn’t represented I’ll be okay with that. I’ll still think the SEC is the premier college football conference and the best players play here.

Oh, and one last thing about the possibility of no SEC teams in the top 4. Parity within the conference is a bitch!