Overrated and Underrated after Week 4
We’ve played four weeks of football in the SEC and seen a few big-time non-conference matchups along with some early-season games in league play. The more we see, the more we’ve been able to figure out which players and teams are legit, and who may or may not be living up to expectations.
Here’s a look at a few teams, players and things around the SEC that are overrated and some that are underrated.
The SEC West’s Decline: Maybe 2015 isn’t the peak for the division, but it’s still a tough group of teams. Yes, Auburn and Arkansas aren’t as good as anyone thought, but the Tigers still have a non-conference win against the ACC. In fact, the division is loaded with solid non-conference victories against programs from the ACC, Pac-12 and Big Ten. We’ll get an idea how the West stacks up against the SEC East this weekend when Alabama travels to Georgia.
Tennessee’s return to power: Fans of the Volunteers have every reason to be upset with two late-game collapses already this season, but perhaps we were all too quick to point to 2015 as the year Tennessee rose to the top again. The Vols are still loaded with freshmen and sophomores playing key roles, and a month into the season they simply aren’t handling the pressure. Tennessee is still on the rise, it’s just not quite there yet.
Neutral site conference games: Playing a premier non-conference game in an NFL stadium is one thing. If that’s what it takes to get an Alabama-Wisconsin matchup, so be it. But a game like last week’s Texas A&M-Arkansas thriller should be on campus. Part of the fun of the conference season is visiting other schools. Imagine how pumped Razorbacks fans would be to get the Aggies into Fayetteville for some revenge next season.
Brandon Allen: Arkansas has been a huge disappointment and the schedule isn’t getting any easier, but the Razorbacks quarterback deserves some credit for solid play. The senior finished the first month of the season completing better than 70 percent of his passes, and he’s on pace to throw for more than 3,000 yards. He has seven touchdowns to three interceptions. The Hogs have a lot of problems, but the quarterback isn’t really one of them.
Georgia’s wide receivers: Running back Nick Chubb is a stud and quarterback Greyson Lambert is turning heads with his ridiculous completion percentage, but how about a little love for the guys catching those passes? You don’t hear a lot about the Bulldogs receivers even though they’ve been great. Malcolm Mitchell is having an outstanding season with 20 catches for 306 yards and three touchdowns. After that, there are a bunch of solid receivers putting up decent numbers as the Bulldogs have spread the wealth.
Texas A&M’s wins: The Aggies haven’t played the toughest schedule in the country, but they might not be getting enough credit for being 4-0 at this point. Pounding Arizona State was thought to be a huge win after Week 1, but the Sun Devils quickly dropped out of the Top 25. Still, that was a solid victory at a neutral site. Arkansas will likely finish the season with a poor record, but give A&M credit for grinding out an overtime victory. It’s not like the Razorbacks don’t have talent.