Mississippi St. Beats Auburn, Makes Case for No. 1
The Bulldogs offense looked impressive when it wasn't shooting itself in the foot -- the defense less so -- and Mississippi State is winning attention as perhaps the best team in the country
Magnolia State Madness. We all seem to agree that the best college football in the country is being played in Mississippi right now, which is kind of weird. What there seems to be less agreement on is whether Ole Miss or Mississippi State should be the No. 1 team in the polls. It really makes very little difference; even if they go into the Egg Bowl undefeated, it's going to be settled on the field, and regardless of how much weight the selection committee gives to polls, an undefeated SEC champ (and probably a one-loss titleholder) will get its place in the bracket. That said: Who deserves to be No. 1 in the country right now? And do you think that both of these teams can keep rolling along until what would be the biggest Egg Bowl ever?
Georgia's got the SEC East -- right? By blanking Missouri and seeing Florida lose to LSU, the Bulldogs are now in a position where their most viable competitor for the SEC East might be Kentucky. And while Mark Stoops has done great work at Kentucky, the possibility that the Wildcats can maneuver a schedule that includes Mississippi State and Georgia (among other teams) without taking on at least one more loss seems rather unlikely. So do we finally have a lock-down favorite in college football's most dysfunctional division? Or is there still a chance for more turmoil that could be put someone else in Atlanta, and who would that be?
Will you lend your humble correspondent a helping hand? My latest musings on having to submit an SEC Power Poll ballot this week:
So here’s what it looks like right now: 1. Mississippi State 2. Ole Miss 3-13. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 14. Vanderbilt— BRANDISHING SCARILY (@TeamSpeedKills) October 12, 2014
Again, there should be pretty much unanimous agreement that the top two are the top two (in some order), and there's no reason to believe that anyone differs with No. 14. But what would your order be for the other 11 teams in the conference?
Will Arkansas get its first SEC win under Bret Bielema this year? The remaining SEC games are against Georgia, at Mississippi State, against LSU, against Ole Miss and at Missouri. The Razorback fans appear to have been patient (for them) with Bielema, but we're now closing in on two straight years without a conference victory. Is one of those games going to finally do the trick for the Hogs? Or does Bielema start the 2015 season with an 0-16 mark against the conference?
What do you make of Alabama? The Tide got the one-point win against Arkansas this week, but it wasn't pretty and it relied at least in part on several errors by the Hogs. Are the Tide in even more trouble in the SEC West than the loss to Ole Miss would indicate? Or is Nick Saban going to rebound and reassert himself in the fight for the division title?