SDS Mailbag: Texas A&M’s CFP chances, Derrick Henry vs. DK Metcalf and Auburn’s next officiating adventure
Tomorrow is Halloween, and it’s going to be interesting to have a full slate of college football action on the spooky holiday. It’s also Nick Saban’s 69th birthday, for those SEC fans in the mood to celebrate that, as well.
Enjoy your candy (unless you’re eating candy corn, which is gross). I’ll be loading up on Nerds, Skittles, Starburst, gummy bears and all sorts of other non-chocolate candies, because chocolate is even more disgusting than candy corn. Can’t wait to have an upset stomach on Sunday!
As a pre-Halloween treat, here are your questions for this week’s SDS Mailbag:
Could Texas A&M run the table and make the Playoff? Alabama going undefeated would allow the Aggies to skip the SEC Championship Game too.
I want to get through this weekend before I make any bold declarations about the Aggies, as Arkansas looms large on the schedule. The Razorbacks gave the Aggies all they could handle even when they were SEC doormats under Chad Morris, so now that they have a competent defense under Barry Odom, head coach Sam Pittman’s crew is dangerous this year.
But, if they get past the Hogs, we can start discussing a special season in College Station. At No. 8 in the AP Poll, the Aggies are certainly within striking distance of the Playoff. But there are potential trap games remaining on the schedule. After being off last Saturday, the Aggies are scheduled to play the next 6 weeks. Here’s the schedule:
- vs. Arkansas
- at South Carolina
- at Tennessee
- vs. Ole Miss
- vs. LSU
- at Auburn
ESPN’s Football Power Index only gives the Aggies a 3.3% chance to win out. FPI has them as underdogs in those final 2 games.
If they do go undefeated, though, they’ll have a great chance at the Playoff! Either Clemson or Notre Dame will lose when those teams meet up. I’m not sold on Oklahoma State running the table in the Big 12. Heck, the Cowboys might lose this weekend against Texas. I also think A&M would jump No. 7 Cincinnati based on strength of schedule.
Interestingly, this would make A&M fans huge supporters of Alabama. The Tide have already taken down No. 5 Georgia once this year. A&M needs the Tide to do it again. That would put, theoretically, Clemson at No. 1, Alabama at No. 2, Ohio State at No. 3 (unless the Buckeyes stumble) and A&M at No. 4.
It’s 2020. Crazier things have happened!
What will the SEC do to keep Auburn from losing THIS week?
A game on Halloween afternoon against LSU at Jordan-Hare Stadium? Whether it’s the referees or just a crazy play, something that has never been done before in the game of football will certainly happen on Saturday.
Auburn has some home-field mojo dating back a few years, and playing LSU always seems to bring out the unexpected. Add in Auburn’s fortuitous breaks from the referees, and we could literally see anything.
A fan running on the field to tackle a player? Wouldn’t surprise me. A last-second LSU field goal attempt hitting a bird and falling short? Why not? The refs awarding Auburn 5 or 6 (or even 7) downs on a fourth-quarter drive? It’s possible!
Let’s just say @SECOfficiating is probably going to be getting a lot of tweets heading their way on Saturday afternoon. Especially if Auburn gets any sort of beneficial call.
Which team has the best chance of rising up out of the “middle of the pack” in the SEC?
It depends on what you mean by “rising up,” I suppose. Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia and Florida are the top-tier teams in the SEC, and the conference champion is almost guaranteed to come from those ranks.
So, if by “middle of the pack,” you mean the rest of the teams outside of those 4 and Vanderbilt, I’m going to pull out a homer card and say Mizzou. I’ll also do the opposite of pulling out a homer card and say Arkansas has a good chance, too.
Wow, who would have thought we’d be mentioning the Tigers and Hogs as SEC sleepers after last season? That goes to show the incredible jobs Eli Drinkwitz and Sam Pittman have done at their respective schools. Drinkwitz is showing he’s a masterful play-caller who is willing to adjust his game plan to whatever it needs to be to win.
Pittman has shown a keen eye for identifying players and coaches who can help Arkansas win. He has brought an energy to the program that hasn’t been seen in years.
The Tigers and Hogs are 2 teams no one wants to see on their schedule moving forward. For the first time in a while, the “Battle Line Rivalry” could have some serious implications.
I saw a Twitter poll the other day asking if you’d be more scared of Derrick Henry running at you or of DK Metcalf chasing you down. What’s your pick?
#poll Scarier: Derrick Henry running at you or DK Metcalf running after you?
— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) October 26, 2020
I’m honestly a bit surprised that so many people picked Henry on that one. Yes, Henry is a big, bad man and I would not be eager to try to tackle him. I’d probably fare even worse than Josh Norman:
Some days you're Derrick Henry, some days you're Josh Norman. 😅 pic.twitter.com/X1ceTue9Zg
— Michael (@HartnessofYork) October 25, 2020
Meanwhile, even though I consider myself fast, DK Metcalf wouldn’t have had to try nearly as hard to catch up to me:
— Overtime (@overtime) October 26, 2020
Honestly, though, I think I’d be more scared of Metcalf chasing me down. Hear me out here. With Henry, his goal is to get away from me and get to the end zone. Thus, I can make a business decision and dive at his legs. Then, he can shove me into the ground and be on his way.
With Metcalf, I’m the one who has the ball. His only goal is specifically to take me down. That’s scary. I want no part of that. I might just turn around and toss the ball back to him when I felt him getting close.
So yeah, that’s my pick. Let me make a business decision against Henry. Just keep Metcalf away from me and let me celebrate my interception in peace. Either way, what a spooky question to ask the day before Halloween!
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.