What we're not overreacting to: Week 9
What we’re not overreacting to in the SEC after Week 8:
Texas A&M has serious questions at quarterback. Kyle Allen is struggling — he completed 1 of 16 passing attempts in one stretch against Ole Miss — and highly touted freshman Kyler Murray was passed over for Jake Hubenak when Kevin Sumlin eventually benched Allen in the fourth quarter of the Aggies’ 23-3 loss.
Kyler Murray time yet? This is 2 really poor performances in back to back weeks for Kyle Allen.
— David Pollack (@davidpollack47) October 25, 2015
Allen looked flustered. After costing the Aggies any chance to knock off Alabama with a trio of pick-6s in front of a raucous home crowd, he followed with a 12-for-34, 88 yards and 1 interception bomb against Ole Miss. Meanwhile, Murray appears to be in Sumlin’s doghouse, the coach telling a reporter that Hubenak was chosen over Sumlin by performance in practice. If Allen has lost his poise and confidence on the field and Murray has fallen out of favor with his coach, what do the Aggies do? With four straight games his should win ahead on the schedule – the Aggies play South Carolina on Saturday — Sumlin faces a critical decision.
The SEC needs Alabama or LSU to win the West. If Ole Miss wins out – the Rebels would have to win at home against LSU and triumph at Mississippi State – it will earn the West’s spot in the SEC Championship Game. A two-loss Ole Miss team with one of the defeats at Memphis – yeah, the Tigers are unbeaten, but the SEC champs aren’t supposed to lose to a non-power 5 team – is unlikely to get one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff.
Ole Miss 23, Texas A&M 3. Kyle Allen has completed 1 of last 16 passes. SEC may have to keep sweating what if Ole Miss wins out.
— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) October 25, 2015
OK, Florida, if it beats Georgia, could save the day by beating the Rebels for the second time in a potential matchup in Atlanta. But the 11th-ranked Gators, playing without suspended Will Grier, might be hard-pressed to make the Final Four over the likes of Ohio State, Clemson, Stanford, Utah, Michigan State, Baylor or Texas Christian. There’s no reason to panic just yet, LSU is unbeaten and likely to beat Ole Miss. But what would the committee do if Ole Miss won the conference and LSU finished with one loss and victories over Alabama, Texas A&M and Florida?
Dak Prescott is having a great finish to a great career. The Mississippi State quarterback has completed 66.5 percent of his passes, averaging 256 yards per game passing with 14 touchdowns and only 1 interception. He’s also run for 371 yards and 7 TDs with a 5.15 average per carry. And, oh by the way, the Bulldogs are 6-2, including a 2-point loss to LSU when a 52-yard field-goal attempt on the final play sailed wide right.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 25, 2015
If the Bulldogs had beaten LSU, they would be near the top 10 in the rankings and Prescott would be a serious contender for the Heisman Trophy. As it is, Prescott is the SEC’s best quarterback. Some teams — Baylor and Texas Tech, for example — can plug new quarterbacks into an innovative system and continue to light up the scoreboard. Prescott is irreplaceable for the Bulldogs. He’s an excellent passer, the team’s leading runner and a great game manager. He’s been overshadowed to an extent by Leonard Fournette.