Let’s begin right here: I’m unsure anybody aside from Georgia is basically good in school soccer this yr.
I simply wrote my column on final night time’s epic Aggie win over Alabama. I’d encourage you to learn that proper now. But within the meantime the query most have is, what does this imply for Alabama going ahead?
The reply is fairly easy, if Alabama wins out the Tide will probably be within the playoff. But in the event that they don’t win out, they most likely received’t be within the playoff.
Alabama has performed six video games proper now they usually’ve performed two fairly dangerous halves — on the highway towards Florida within the second half and the primary half towards Texas A&M final night time. The query is are these outlier performances that may be corrected or will they proceed going ahead? If they proceed Alabama will lose at the least yet one more recreation, perhaps two extra video games. If they get corrected then the Tide will beat Mississippi State, Tennessee, LSU, New Mexico State, Arkansas and Auburn and enter the SEC title recreation at 11-1 doubtless needing a win over Georgia to ensure their spot within the playoff.
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Even after the loss oddsmakers have Alabama as +250 to win the nationwide title, behind Georgia’s +125, however above Ohio State’s 8-1, Oklahoma’s 20-1, Cincinnati’s 30-1, and Michigan and Iowa’s 40-1.
Put merely, I’ve seen Nick Saban win too many video games to imagine Alabama received’t be within the playoff or that this admittedly poor efficiency will outline them going ahead.
But Texas A&M certainly interjected some pleasure into the season and gave a ton of groups lots of hope.
Okay, let’s dive in to the opposite classes from Saturday with the Outkick Starting 11.
1. Iowa will probably be within the Big Ten title recreation.
The Hawkeyes bought a monster win over Penn State on Saturday afternoon and successfully punched their ticket for the Big Ten title recreation within the course of.
With Purdue, at Wisconsin, at Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois and at Nebraska left on the schedule, Iowa figures to be a favourite in all of those video games to lock up the Big Ten West. What’s extra, the Hawkeyes don’t even need to win all six of those video games to make the playoff. They simply need to go 5-1 in these six and in the event that they win the Big Ten title recreation they are going to be within the playoff. (Heck 4-2 and a Big Ten title recreation win would possibly get them in too.)
But, curiously, if Iowa enters the Big Ten title recreation at 12-0, may the Hawkeyes be playoff contenders even with a Big Ten title recreation loss?
I believe so.
So you possibly can’t underrate how huge this win was.
Having mentioned all this, does anybody doubt Penn State wins this recreation, probably comfortably, if Sean Clifford isn’t injured? After taking a 17-3 lead with Clifford, Penn State solely put up three factors and 94 complete yards of offense within the remaining 42 factors of the sport as soon as Clifford went out with an damage.
2. LSU’s in deep trouble after a loss at Kentucky.
The Bayou Bengals have been wrecked in Lexington on Saturday to fall to 3-3 on the yr. Now Ed Orgeron’s group has this slate upcoming: Florida, at Ole Miss, at Alabama, and Arkansas earlier than a remaining SEC recreation towards Texas A&M. It’s doable LSU may lose all 5 of those video games and 2-3 feels the very best case situation.
Right now Florida looks like an absolute should win recreation if Orgeron goes to maintain his job. Because I don’t see highway wins at both Ole Miss or Alabama as being very doubtless in any respect.
I do know it’s surprising to imagine that lower than two years after he went 15-0 and received a nationwide title that Ed Orgeron may very well be fired, however the identical factor occurred to Gene Chizik at Auburn.
And it more and more feels prefer it’s going to occur to Coach O at LSU.
So who would LSU rent? I’d put James Franklin, Lane Kiffin and, perhaps, Hugh Freeze on the checklist if each Franklin and Kiffin mentioned no. Toss in Joe Brady as nicely. And perhaps even Jimbo Fisher additionally.
And buckle up for some deep fried Louisiana teaching madness as a result of that’s the place we’re headed. (By the best way, props to LSU for rescinding its absurd covid vaccine or adverse check requirement to attend soccer video games.)
3. Kentucky is a superb story, however I believe they run into actuality on Saturday in Athens.
Yes, the Wildcats performed their greatest recreation of the season towards LSU, however I don’t assume even the perfect recreation of the season will reduce it towards Georgia.
The Bulldogs have solely allowed two offensive touchdowns all season. And we’re midway by means of the yr! This is likely one of the most outstanding stats I’ve seen in a very long time.
Just as a result of I don’t assume they will hold with Georgia doesn’t imply, I believe the Wildcats are dangerous, by the best way. Kentucky has at Georgia, at Mississippi State, and Tennessee within the subsequent three video games. Put Georgia on the board as a loss, but when the Wildcats can beat Mississippi State, Tennessee and Louisville, an 11 win season is a risk. (Vanderbilt and New Mexico State are assured wins.)
If Mark Stoops goes 11-1 at Kentucky, does one of many larger jobs come calling for him? I don’t see the way you don’t think about him.
Eleven wins at Kentucky — heck even ten — can be a really outstanding achievement for Mark Stoops.
4. The Big Ten East is a monster.
Even with Penn State’s loss — assuming Sean Clifford is ready to return — we’ve bought Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State all undefeated within the division.
I hold ready for Michigan to stumble, however it retains not occurring. The Wolverines must be 7-0 when Michigan State involves city and nonetheless have Indiana and Maryland on the schedule that means Harbaugh, at worst, goes 9-3 this yr, which ought to stave off any scorching seat discuss.
It positively feels just like the Big Ten East will come right down to Ohio State on the Big House on the ultimate week of the season.
Meanwhile my nationwide coach of the yr, Mel Tucker, has Penn State and Michigan each at residence earlier than occurring the highway at Ohio State.
October thirtieth will go a good distance in the direction of settling issues as Penn State goes to Ohio State and Michigan goes to Michigan State on this present day.
5. Oklahoma survived towards Texas, however nonetheless looks like a group that can lose within the common season.
And come on Texas, are you kidding me? You blew a late 41-23 lead? (And killed the duvet for these of us with +3.5 factors on you?)
The Longhorns are nonetheless not again.
As for the Big 12, it looks like it could nicely come right down to Bedlam to determine who’s within the title recreation.
6. Arkansas made the precise name to go for two towards Ole Miss.
The play didn’t work, however Arkansas hadn’t stopped Ole Miss’s offense all day. Heck, no one may cease anyone. Arkansas posted 676 yards of offense and Ole Miss posted 611.
That’s pure madness.
Going for two right here was the precise name on the highway.
After beginning 4-0 with two big wins over Texas and Texas A&M, the Razorbacks are now 4-2 on the halfway level. What comes subsequent? I don’t know. The SEC West feels extra broad open than in has in years. Anybody may find yourself in second place.
As for Ole Miss, how implausible is Lane Kiffin going again to Tennessee going to be this coming Saturday night time?
It’s going to be the largest, most enjoyable, recreation in Knoxville in a very long time.
7. Speaking of the Vols, Josh Heupel’s offense has been fairly implausible in yr one at Tennessee.
Count me as a Heupel skeptic on his rent at Tennessee, primarily as a result of I didn’t know, and nonetheless don’t know, if he can recruit at an elite degree, however the first quarters he’s put up up to now two weeks towards Missouri and South Carolina are positively Steve Spurrier-like. I do know, I do know, it’s Missouri and South Carolina, however neither of those groups have been overwhelmed like Tennessee beat them, particularly within the first quarter when the Vols scored 28 on each groups and nearly put the video games away.
It’s been a very long time since Tennessee has overwhelmed somebody by 25 and I nonetheless didn’t really feel just like the Vols performed that nicely. Which is what occurred towards South Carolina yesterday.
With these two SEC wins Heupel has assured himself a 6-6 season in yr one — the Vols aren’t shedding to South Alabama or Vanderbilt — and splitting with Ole Miss and Kentucky looks like a sensible objective. That places 7-5 or 8-4 in play in yr one which might give Heuepel the perfect first yr head teaching report at Tennessee since Phil Fulmer in 1993.
My solely recommendation on Ole Miss-Vols?
Take the over.
I don’t see how this one stays beneath 85.
8. BYU’s playoff run ended on Saturday towards Boise State.
If I needed to predict my playoff 4 proper now it could be Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and Iowa.
Yep, I believe there’s an honest probability the SEC and the Big Ten every get two faculties within the playoff.
That additionally means I believe Cincinnati will find yourself getting disregarded of the playoff.
9. Thanks for all of the hospitality in Aggieland.
10. Outkick’s National Top Ten:
3. Penn State
4. Michigan State
7. Ohio State
8. Ole Miss
11. SEC energy rankings:
4. Ole Miss
7. Texas A&M
9. Mississippi State
12. South Carolina