It’s official, the SEC West is stacked. We’ve talked about it before, even hinting at the unprecedented dominance, but on Tuesday all of those notions were validated. The College Football Playoff committee released their first ever Top 25 rankings and announced 3 SEC West teams in the top 4. Essentially, if the season ended today, Magnolia State rivals would face off and Auburn would get a revenge matchup against Florida State. And talk about regional dominance – the top 4 teams span 3 states and less than 500 miles.
This leaves the SEC in a very good position to place 2 teams in this year’s playoff. Committee Chairman Jeff Long emphasized that the committee will not consider conference affiliation when making their picks. But rather, they will focus on each team’s individual resume. And given that the SEC West is 32-1 against teams outside of the SEC West, the committee showed that they are impressed. Their rankings on Tuesday had the following SEC West teams:
1. Mississippi State
4. Ole Miss
Both Texas A&M and Arkansas were unranked with 3 losses within the SEC West. Arkansas also has the division’s lone loss in their near perfect 32-1 record. They dropped a close one to SEC East front runner Georgia.
With such intense competition, nearly every SEC West matchup is a virtual playoff game the rest of the season. This week #3 Auburn visits #4 Ole Miss in a game of 1-loss top 5 teams. The loser of this game is effectively out of the playoffs. Meanwhile, a very dangerous and physical Arkansas team travels to Mississippi State in hopes of knocking off the #1 team in the nation.
Just another week in the SEC West.
- Georgia – This team is on a mission and playing as good as the SEC West elite. In the past 3 games, they have crushed Vanderbilt and Missouri for a combined 79-17. Then they went on the road and beat Arkansas by 13, a margin greater than both Alabama and Texas A&M did. Meanwhile Florida is reeling with 3 losses in 4 games (should be 4 consecutive). Historically, these teams play each other very close, but Saturday won’t be one of those days. Bulldogs win big in Jacksonville.
- Arkansas – The Razorbacks are bound to win an SEC matchup sooner or later. Not saying Saturday will be that day, but 10.5 points is way too many to give up against a physically imposing grind-it-out offense. Arkansas will control the time of possession and do what they do best – wear down their opponent. Plus, Dak Prescott looked to be playing through an injury in that Kentucky matchup last week. An injured QB against a big aggressive defense will pose problems for the Bulldogs. Arkansas will keep it close the entire game, count on it.
- Auburn – Finally, we have Auburn at Ole Miss. Both are very good football teams, but can we count on good Bo to show up this week? After a 4th quarter meltdown against LSU last week, one has to wonder about this team’s mental makeup. Will they be able to put that devastating loss behind them? Also, at this point in the season, Auburn and Ole Miss only share one common opponent; LSU. Auburn crushed the Tigers 41-7 while the Rebels just lost 10-7. Simply put, Auburn looks to be the better team here.
Jonathan – 20/38 correct for 52.6%
Daniel – 15/38 correct for 39.5%