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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Alabama loss creates potential for wild end in SEC West

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With one Small kick and a slightly sizable upset, Texas A&M brought on fairly a shakeup within the Southeastern Convention Western Division.

The Aggies’ 41-38 upset of then-No. 1 Alabama on Seth Small’s discipline objective 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.

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Whereas Alabama (5-1, 2-1) appears to stay the staff to beat and a playoff contender, it will not be a weekly cakewalk for the Tide.

Coach Nick Saban had already warned his staff of the potential pitfalls.

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“He mentioned it earlier than it even occurred that we have been gonna get hit within the mouth if we ready the best way 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, no less than briefly.

This weekend will present one other shakeup, a technique or one other. Mississippi State discovered itself in a greater spot within the league standings after an open date, however coach Mike Leach does not put a lot inventory in Alabama dropping to an unranked staff.

The Bulldogs host the now fifth-ranked Tide on Saturday.

“The rankings are all out of whack,” Leach instructed 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 record and inform you which of them.

“You had two good groups play, and the house staff gained. John Wood used to say, ‘By no means be shocked when the house staff 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 Faculty 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 1-0 this week, and that’s it,” Rebels broad receiver Braylon Sanders mentioned.

Auburn offensive lineman Keiondre Jones supplied the same response for his staff.

“It’s eye-opening to see that the whole lot is wide-open,” Jones mentioned. “However yeah, 1-0 for us this week, 1-0 the week after that, the week after that.. Every single day, that’s what we have to concentrate on proper now.

“We’re wanting on the greater image, however it’s a must to go 1-0 every single day to get to the massive image.”

Here is what the highway appears like for the SEC West hopefuls:

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ALABAMA

The Skinny: The Tide clearly is not the seemingly unbeatable staff of final yr’s nationwide title run, and some accidents have not helped. However Saban’s groups have been adept at bouncing again previously and bettering from defeat. There is no questioning the expertise.

Highway forward: Alabama has 4 straight house 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.

AUBURN

The Skinny: The Tigers’ solely two losses have come to new No. 1 Georgia and No. 7 Penn State, however additionally 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 in addition host Ole Miss on Oct. 30 after an open date and finish the common season towards the Tide.

MISSISSIPPI STATE

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 massive 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.

OLE MISS

The Skinny: The offense is potent as ever nevertheless it’s exhausting 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 via plenty of video games, after which that second half sort 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.



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