SEC Recap: What we learned about every SEC West team
Here’s what we learned about every SEC West team following an exciting weekend of college football in the SEC:
Alabama Crimson Tide
Week 11 result: Defeated Mississippi State 31-6
What we learned: Alabama continues to improve with each week. The Crimson Tide had no trouble going on the road and dominating the Bulldogs, cowbells notwithstanding. Alabama proved that the cream does indeed rise to the top. The Crimson Tide is head and shoulders above the rest in the SEC West, and probably the conference and nation, as well. Just when you think the Crimson Tide has reached its peak, it displays yet another level of ability. Many experts thought the Bulldogs could hang with Alabama in the trenches, but it never happened. Alabama takes a seven-game win streak into the final two remaining games of the regular season with a very high probability of collecting victories in both.
Week 11 result: Defeated LSU 31-14
What we learned: We are learning that for the second straight year the slow-starting Razorbacks play their best football late in the season. The Hogs dismantled LSU in Tiger Stadium to retain “The Boot” and become bowl eligible at the same time. Arkansas is certainly a team on the rise with solid play in the trenches, where games are won and lost. The Hogs, 4-2 in conference play, are tied for second place in the SEC West with both LSU and Ole Miss, teams they’ve defeated in the past two weeks to jump-start what is becoming an annual late-season surge.
Week 11 result: Lost to Georgia 20-13
What we learned: We learned that despite an impressive start, the Tigers still don’t have a viable passing game. Auburn started Saturday’s game with plenty of momentum and for one half looked like a team ready to make a statement. The Tigers led 10-3 at halftime and appeared to be in control, not looking like a last-place team. But they couldn’t finish the job largely because of the fact that neither quarterback could muster up an effective passing game. Even dialing back to short, high-percentage passes was a struggle. Jeremy Johnson averaged 4.4 yards per completion on a 14-for-22 afternoon. Sean White completed just one pass for 1 yard. To no surprise, the Tigers mustered just a fourth-quarter field goal while Georgia caught and passed them with a 10-point fourth-quarter run.
Week 11 results: Lost to Arkansas 31-14
What we learned: The Tigers’ season is headed in the wrong direction. After opening with seven consecutive victories, LSU has lost the past two games and any momentum it had built up. Two weeks ago the Tigers were on everyone’s radar as one of four potential playoff teams. What a difference two weeks can make. LSU has become one-dimensional on offense, largely of their own doing as they try to hoist RB Leonard Fournette into the Heisman forefront. But that plan appears to be backfiring. Arkansas, like Alabama, loaded the box and stuffed the Tigers’ sophomore sensation. LSU will need to construct Plan B if it has any hopes of finishing out the regular season schedule against Ole Miss and Texas A&M with any dignity left. Otherwise, the embarrassing defeats are likely to continue.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Week 11 results: Lost to Alabama 31-6
What we learned: We learned that as good as Dak Prescott is, he can’t do it alone, at least not against the top echelon of teams like Alabama. The Bulldogs were simply no match for the bulldozer of a run the Crimson Tide is currently on. There’s no disgrace in losing to them. Mississippi State is still in line for a nice bowl game and could conceivably win 10 games in Prescott’s senior season. It would make for a nice send-off. He will lead the Bulldogs into some meaningful games still left on the schedule. As a team, State will need to play good football to compete with Arkansas and Ole Miss to close out the regular season.
Ole Miss Rebels
Week 11 results: Bye week
What we learned: The Rebels watched the mayhem from the sidelines on Saturday and when the smoke cleared found themselves in a three-team tie for second place in the SEC West standings with Arkansas and next week’s foe, LSU.
Texas A&M Aggies
Week 11 results: Defeated Western Carolina 41-17
What we learned: As much as can be learned from handily defeating an FCS team, the game revealed that the Aggies have at least two viable quarterbacks in Kyler Murray and Kyle Allen. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, of course, but both were effective in helping the Aggies overcome a slow start to run past the Catamounts. The game provided an excellent tune-up for the Aggies’ final stretch run, which include road games at Vanderbilt and LSU. A 10-win season is certainly attainable with victories in those two SEC clashes plus the bowl game. That would make for a smooth ending to a roller-coaster ride of a season that started fast with five consecutive victories and followed with three losses in the next four games.