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Friday, October 22, 2021

Beginning 11: Alabama and Georgia vs. the world version

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Welp, I used to be incorrect.

I assumed Alabama and Georgia have been wildly overvalued for his or her video games Ole Miss and Arkansas, respectively. I assumed Ole Miss and Arkansas would each present up on the street in Tuscaloosa and Athens and reveal the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs have been good, however not nice, proficient groups, however not head and shoulders above the remainder of the convention.

On Saturday each groups have been nice.

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Georgia operating again Zamir White (3) will get previous Arkansas defensive again Jalen Catalon (1) to attain a landing in the course of the first half of an NCAA faculty soccer sport Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Athens, Ga..
(AP Picture/John Bazemore)

Let’s begin with Georgia, whose defensive stats are beginning to get freakish. The Bulldogs allowed solely 162 yards of offense to Arkansas, holding the Razorbacks to 75 yards speeding on 29 carries. As if that weren’t sufficient, Georgia held the Arkansas passing offense to 87 complete yards. How usually do you ever see a university protection maintain a group to underneath 100 yards passing or speeding? Particularly in a blowout like this when late yardage sometimes stacks up? It virtually by no means occurs.

Thus far this season Georgia has allowed one offensive landing.

One!

And we’re virtually midway via the season. That’s black and white spotlight reels stage dominant. I’m unsure we’ve ever seen a protection play practically half a season with out permitting two touchdowns from the opposing offense. Because of this, Georgia has began off the SEC with two straight wins, beating Vanderbilt and Arkansas by a mixed rating of 99-0.

The Bulldogs have this left on their schedule: at Auburn, Kentucky, Florida within the cocktail celebration, after which they shut with Missouri, at Tennessee, Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech. It’s more and more exhausting to see any of those groups having an actual shot to upset Georgia, particularly if, as I count on to occur, Georgia handles Auburn with relative ease on the Plains this coming weekend.

In the meantime Alabama got here out and destroyed Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin, scoring early within the third quarter to make it 35-0 Tide. In comparison with final 12 months the Tide protection fully stifled the Ole Miss offense, particularly on the road of scrimmage, the place Ole Miss discovered no room to run all day.

Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr. (4) runs by Mississippi linebacker Lakia Henry (0) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama operating again Brian Robinson Jr. (4) runs by Mississippi linebacker Lakia Henry (0) in the course of the first half of an NCAA faculty soccer sport, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
(AP Picture/Vasha Hunt)

The tip end result? Alabama doesn’t seem to have any actual challengers within the SEC West both. What as soon as appeared like a large sport towards Texas A&M subsequent weekend — a sport we’ll be attending with the Outkick bus crew — now appears comparatively unthreatening after the Aggies again to again losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State.

DANIELS LEADS ARIZONA STATE TO 42-23 WIN OVER NO. 20 UCLA

It feels more and more doubtless that the SEC title sport will likely be a match up of 12-0 groups and that Alabama and Georgia could find yourself enjoying once more within the faculty soccer title sport to determine the 2021 championship.

As a result of proper now nobody else comes near matching up with Alabama and Georgia in any respect.

By the way in which, we had an incredible time in Tuscaloosa for Ole Miss-Bama on Saturday. Listed below are just some of the images. Due to Eli Gold for letting my son strive on his headset at halftime.

And to everybody at Bama who made my 11 12 months {old}’s 12 months.

Plus, my radio present co-host Buck Sexton had a fairly superior time at his first ever faculty soccer sport too.

Okay, let’s roll with the Beginning 11.

1. So who’s the higher group? Alabama or Georgia? I requested all of you to vote and right here have been the outcomes.

Almost sixty p.c of you took Alabama, however I’m taking the Bulldogs proper now.

I believe the Bulldog protection is best than every other unit on Alabama or Georgia and I believe it is going to be the figuring out issue when these two groups meet up.

By the way in which, how electrical is the SEC title sport going to be? And the way costly are these seats going to be? It’s going to be wild.

So what does Fan Duel consider the nationwide title race? Alabama and Georgia remain co-favorites to win the title at +175 followed by Ohio State at 10-1, Oklahoma at 14-1, Michigan at 30-1 and Iowa, Texas, Penn State and Cincinnati at 40-1.

2. Oregon misplaced to Stanford in extra time after which UCLA misplaced to Arizona State after most of you have been in mattress.

The sensible significance is it means all Pac 12 groups now have not less than one loss and we’re simply barely into October.

What are the possibilities of Oregon, Arizona State or Oregon State, the one three groups with only one loss, operating the desk and ending 12-1? I believe very low. (And I doubt 12-1 Arizona State or 12-1 Oregon State would make the playoff anyway.)

Which might imply that the Pac 12’s playoff hopes are near being extinguished already.

Stanfords' Jaden Slocum (36) and Jacob Mangum-Farrar (14) celebrate after defeating Oregon in an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.

Stanfords’ Jaden Slocum (36) and Jacob Mangum-Farrar (14) have fun after defeating Oregon in an NCAA faculty soccer sport in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.
(AP Picture/Jed Jacobsohn)

This is the reason the Pac 12 must cease posturing towards playoff enlargement and join a 12 group playoff. The Pac 12 has one win within the faculty soccer playoff period, when Marcus Mariota’s Oregon Geese beat Jameis Winston’s Florida State Seminoles within the first 12 months of the playoff, again in 2014. That seems like ages in the past.

Worse than that, the Pac 12 solely has two complete playoff appearances. If the Pac 12 needs to matter on a nationwide stage, it has to get groups within the playoff on a constant foundation. With out the playoff increasing to 12 groups, I don’t suppose that can occur fairly often.

(By the way in which, I get a ton incorrect, however I did name Stanford’s upset of Oregon final week within the Beginning 11. You can completely see this coming.)

3. Cincinnati bought the largest win, probably, in program historical past at Notre Dame.

So do the Bearcats have a path to the playoff? Perhaps.

First, let’s take a look at the schedule. Cincinnati. Proper now the Bearcats solely play two groups with a successful file, Temple on Friday and SMU on November twentieth. So the Bearcats must be a serious favourite the remainder of the way in which.

However is a schedule the place they solely beat two energy 5 FBS opponents — Indiana and (I’m counting) Notre Dame, actually worthy of a playoff berth? I simply don’t see it.

Particularly not when BYU could effectively beat Arizona, Utah, Arizona State, Baylor, Washington State, Virginia, and USC this 12 months.

For me, BYU has the much better potential resume of the non-power 5 convention groups if the Cougars have been capable of run the desk. Now I don’t essentially suppose BYU will pull this off, however beating seven energy 5 convention opponents from three completely different conferences, together with 5 within the Pac 12, can be a resume we’ve by no means seen earlier than from a group outdoors an influence 5 convention.

So if I needed to decide BYU or Cincinnati proper now, I’d go along with BYU, which is why I’ve them ranked increased than I do Cincinnati.

4. Kentucky beat Florida, operating the Wildcats to 5-0 and making them Georgia’s solely “competitors” within the SEC East.

There at the moment are solely three undefeated groups within the SEC: Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky. Identical to all of us anticipated.

Having stated that, this Kentucky group’s offense isn’t adequate to play at a excessive stage. No less than not up to now.

The Wildcats play LSU this weekend — how about Ed Orgeron having to beat an undefeated Kentucky group to keep away from falling to 3-3 on the 12 months? — at Georgia, at Mississippi State, Tennessee — how about Josh Heupel hanging 62 on Mizzou and scoring on 9 straight possessions?! — at Vanderbilt, and at Louisville left on the schedule within the energy 5. The Wildcats haven’t any probability of successful at Georgia and are solely assured to win at Vanderbilt. I’d nonetheless make LSU, at Mississippi State, Tennessee and at Louisville toss up video games the place I see the Wildcats going 2-2 or 3-1.

That also means the Wildcats have a shot at 9-3 or 10-2, however they aren’t a legit contender within the SEC. (In case you disagree with me about Kentucky, the Wildcats are presently 200-1 to win the national title. Their odds didn’t even change after the Florida win. )

What does all this imply for Georgia?

Successfully the Gators loss to Kentucky handed the SEC East to Georgia it doesn’t matter what occurs within the Cocktail Occasion. (Which I believe Georgia will win comfortably as effectively, by the way in which).

This additionally means Dan Mullen’s Gators squad, in the meantime, will doubtless end 9-3 or 8-4 relying on what occurs at LSU in two weeks. That Florida-LSU sport will loom huge for Coach Ed Orgeron too. If LSU have been to lose to Auburn, Kentucky and Florida in three straight weeks, two of these at house, how sizzling would Coach O’s seat be with at Ole Miss, at Alabama, and Arkansas all nonetheless to return? If LSU loses to Kentucky, it’s doable the Tigers might lose six straight SEC video games. And even when all goes effectively 3-3 in these six seems like the very best case situation proper now. Yikes.)

By the way in which, I do know I’m getting {old} once I was watching Auburn-LSU final evening and considering, “Why on the earth did they kick this sport off at 9 jap? Don’t they know a few of us must sleep?!” Congrats to Auburn on the primary win on the bayou since 1999.

5. Who wins the Massive Ten East?

I’ve been arguing for years that faculty soccer divisions are insanely silly. That’s particularly the case within the Massive Ten the place the Massive Ten East and the Massive Ten West are absurdly lopsided. Within the Massive Ten East you’ve got Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State all nonetheless undefeated in convention. All of those groups will likely be enjoying one another and the percentages of 1 group rising undefeated in convention feels low to me.

Meaning the Massive Ten East, in some vogue, is prone to be determined by a tiebreak.

If Penn State goes into Iowa and wins on Saturday, this makes the truth that two Massive Ten East groups can’t play within the Massive Ten title sport much more ridiculous.

Taking a look at all 4 of those undefeated Massive Ten East groups, Ohio State nonetheless seems like they must be the favourite. And given Oregon’s loss to Stanford, the Buckeyes are near dodging a bullet with the Oregon defeat and never even having that sport matter if they’ll run the desk and end 12-1 with a Massive Ten title.

6. Iowa has a default playoff play in sport towards Penn State on Saturday.

Critically, they do.

Iowa, who stomped Maryland on Friday, is sitting at 5-0 with 5-0 Penn State coming to city. If Iowa wins that sport, the Hawkeyes can be 6-0 with the next six video games remaining: Purdue, at Wisconsin, at Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois, and at Nebraska. And what’s wild about this, if Iowa can beat Penn State this weekend then they may lose a kind of six video games and nonetheless successfully be in a playoff play-in sport with the Massive Ten title sport.

That’s, Iowa, if the Hawkeyes can get to 6-0, might lose a kind of remaining six video games during which they are going to be huge favorites and it received’t matter in any respect. As a result of Iowa will likely be within the Massive Ten title sport and have to win that sport to punch their ticket to the 4 group playoff.

So successfully Iowa, with a win over Penn State, has a playoff sport within the Massive Ten.

(It’s additionally doable that if the Hawkeyes have been to complete 12-0 they could possibly be within the playoff even with a loss within the Massive Ten title sport, notably if it have been a loss to an undefeated Massive Ten sport. Sure, it’s early, but it surely’s doable with the ACC and the Pac 12 unlikely to get playoff groups that we might get two Massive Ten groups and two SEC groups within the playoff this 12 months. The Massive 12, clearly, is the wild card right here as they’ve a number of groups that might nonetheless discover themselves within the combine.)

7. So what occurs within the Massive 12?

Your guess is pretty much as good as mine.

Oklahoma continues to look pedestrian and we’ve bought 5 actual contenders, it appears to me: OU, Oklahoma State, Texas and, possibly, Baylor and TCU.

I really feel like Texas goes to beat Oklahoma this weekend and actually throw issues into an excellent greater uproar.

In the end, if I needed to predict proper now, I don’t suppose the Massive 12 will get a playoff group. I’d guess on two from the SEC and two from the Massive Ten.

8. Texas A&M has fallen from prime 5 within the nation to tenth within the Outkick SEC energy rankings in a single 12 months.

Sure, the Haynes King damage is critical, however the Aggies shouldn’t get dominated by Arkansas and lose at house to Mississippi State in again to again weeks even with out their beginning quarterback. Not in 12 months 4 of his tenure at A&M, anyway. Now you’ve bought Alabama coming to city, which seems like a 3rd straight SEC loss for Jimbo and Auburn, at Ole Miss, and (possibly) at LSU really feel like losses proper now too.

So that you’re speaking a couple of very actual probability of A&M ending 7-5 or 6-6 on the season. That’s staggering contemplating the preseason expectations. (And likewise presumes wins at Missouri and over South Carolina, which I believe the Aggies will get.)

This was speculated to be the 12 months that A&M challenged Alabama for SEC West superiority. Aggie followers have had October ninth circled on their calendars because the SEC launched this schedule.

And now they’ve gone from hoping to win the sport to only hoping to not get embarrassed underneath the lights.

9. What’s the wildest factor that might occur within the SEC now that we’re virtually midway via the season?

First, the explanation I really like SEC soccer is as a result of it’s fully insane.

So right here’s an thought for you: if LSU have been to fireside Ed Orgeron as a result of the Tigers lose 5 or 6 SEC video games in a row a 12 months after bumbling via 2020, who would they rent? I believe it could be certainly one of two guys: Lane Kiffin or Hugh Freeze. (The “secure” and manner too good rent for LSU can be to convey Joe Brady again, which might additional cement the Coach O as Gene Chizik analogy.)

Are you able to think about Lane leaving Ole Miss for LSU? Or Freeze again within the SEC? How concerning the rapidity of a man going 15-0 two years in the past and being fired lower than two years later? The SEC is a whirlwind, man.

And it’s additionally unimaginable how shortly fan notion can swing from week to week. Final week Auburn followers have been terrified concerning the Harsin rent, now they love him.

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In the meantime it appeared like Coach O. had righted the ship with three straight wins after the opening week loss to UCLA. Now right here we’re once more with LSU followers able to kick Coach O. into the bayou.

10. Outkick’s Nationwide High Ten

1. Georgia
2. Alabama
3. Penn State
4. Iowa
5. BYU
6. Michigan
7. Michigan State
8. Cincinnati
9. Kentucky
10. Ole Miss

11. SEC energy rankings 1-14

1. Georgia
2. Alabama
3. Kentucky
4. Ole Miss
5. Arkansas
6. Auburn
7. Florida
8. LSU
9. Mississippi State
10. Texas A&M
11. Tennessee
12. South Carolina
13. Missouri
14. Vanderbilt



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