Week 8 brought, at least to some degree, clarity for the SEC West as Alabama and Auburn continued to show that they’re the leading contenders.

In addition, LSU and Mississippi State kept pressing in their attempt to take back some of the momentum that they lost after shaky stretches, and Arkansas and Ole Miss continued to show that they’re the bottom-of-the-barrel SEC opponents in 2017.

It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out as we hit arguably the most important stretch of the season, but for now, here’s what else happened this week in the West.


Well, you can make that 11 in a row for the team in crimson.

Alabama’s 45-7 victory over Tennessee might be the least surprising thing of the weekend, but the game did allow the Tide to put a few more notches on their belt.

Over the course of Alabama’s first five conference games this season, they’ve outscored opponents 238-38, giving them the biggest scoring differential in SEC history.

That wasn’t the only reason the number 200 was special on Saturday, however.

Alabama also saw star receiver Calvin Ridley become only the ninth player in SEC history to have 200 or more career receptions.


First, it was the state of Mississippi. Then, Arkansas became the latest state to fall victim to Alabama’s dominance.

A week after getting beat 41-9 by Alabama, the Razorbacks followed it up with a poor performance against Auburn, losing 52-20.

Yet again, the offensive line for Arkansas did a poor job keeping the quarterback protected — it gave up six sacks on Cole Kelly. That resulted in Kelly putting the ball on the ground three times, losing it on two of those occasions.

The Hogs will have a chance to get back on track in Week 9 against a mediocre Ole Miss team that just lost its starting quarterback for the season.


So, the Razorbacks were on the receiving end, but the Tigers were on the giving end of that 52-20 beatdown.

It wasn’t the best performance of the season from Auburn — especially in the first half — but it did prove that you can’t count them out just yet.

Last year’s leading rusher Kamryn Pettway finally saw an increase in his workload (11 carries), and he turned that into 90 yards and three touchdowns. Don’t forget about Kerryon Johnson, however. This duo is set to make some noise down the stretch for Auburn’s offense.

The Tigers also received some good news following the injury to starting right tackle Darius James. The X-ray on the senior’s lower leg came back negative, which means the bye week should allow him to get healed up.


Don’t look now, but Auburn isn’t the only Tigers squad in the West making some noise.

LSU managed to rack up its third consecutive SEC win, beating Ole Miss 40-24.

The LSU running backs went bonkers, with both backs gaining over 200 total yards — Derrius Guice (276 rushing, 9 receiving), Darrel Williams (103 rushing, 105 receiving).

Defensively, star edge rusher Arden Key gave his first multi-sack performance of the season with two.

The bye week comes at the perfect time for LSU, which will travel to Tuscaloosa to face off against the Tide on Nov. 4.

Ole Miss

As if suffering its fourth loss in the last five weeks wasn’t bad enough, the Rebels now find themselves without star quarterback Shea Patterson.

Patterson suffered a torn PCL in his right knee against LSU, ending the sophomore’s season.

It’s a big blow for the offense. Patterson was leading the conference in passing yards per game at 322.7.

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs seem to have stopped the bleeding after suffering their first two losses of the season in Week 5 and Week 6.

Over the course of the last two games, State has outscored its opponents 80-17, including a 45-7 win over Kentucky on Saturday.

Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald was back to his old self, finishing with 270 yards and three total touchdowns.

Defensively, the Bulldogs sacked Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson three times, forced him to throw two interceptions (one for a touchdown) and caused him to fumble once — though they did not recover it.

We’ll find out more about how far this team has come when it travels to College Station to play Texas A&M next Saturday.

Texas A&M

The Aggies were off this week, but they’ll be back at it Saturday when they welcome Mississippi State in a Week 9 SEC West showdown.

With every passing week, it seems like head coach Kevin Sumlin’s seat is getting cooler and cooler.

Can the Aggies keep it up?

Quote of the week

“I don’t know. I’m gonna use all my psychological disposition I can at halftime … I’m trying to be nice to you.” — Nick Saban to CBS sideline reporter Allie LaForce when asked how to get his team to show a sense of urgency following a lackadaisical start against Tennessee.

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