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The Morning After: What we learned from Week 7 in the SEC

We’ll try to make this a weekly thing from here on out. Bear with us.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

1. Alabama is still the team to beat

Not that we really needed the Crimson Tide’s 49-10 victory to certify this statement, but Nick Saban’s bunch looked exceptional in their curbstomping of their rivals to the north. The offense and defense both were running on all cylinders and, once again, were able to continue their absurd streak of non-offensive touchdowns going (They’re up to 11, if you’re keeping score at home). Texas A&M will have their chance to knock off the mighty Tide next week in Tuscaloosa, but like always, that is easier said than done.

2. The SEC Freshman of the Year race could be decided next week

That aforementioned meeting between the Aggies and Crimson Tide features two of the best freshmen in the conference. In one corner is Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has been brilliant throwing and running with the football. In the other corner is Texas A&M running back Trayveon Williams, who in the words of the late ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, has been too hot to handle and too cold to hold this season. They’re likely the two frontrunners for the SEC Freshman of the Year award especially with Jacob Eason’s play depreciating of late. So, a big performance from either youngster could give them an edge in the race for the hardware.

3. Ole Miss’ season is now on the brink

The slimmest chance of the Rebels making a run for the College Football Playoff or even a New Year’s Six bowl is likely out of the question now after they once again fell in Fayetteville to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Although Ole Miss possesses a top-flight offense, things just haven’t been able to go their way and now they currently stand at 3-3. With a matchup against the reenergized LSU Tigers looming, Ole Miss is staring at an under-.500 record. Not what they expected in Oxford this season for sure. If they’re not careful, things could continue to fall apart very quickly.

4. Georgia is in deep trouble

All due praise should be given to the Vanderbilt Commodores for their efforts against the Georgia Bulldogs. The ‘Dores spoiled homecoming for the ‘Dawgs and Zach Cunningham played his tail off in an impressive performance that’s worthy of praise. With that said, this was a very bad loss for the Bulldogs to take. While it might be hasty to say that they made a mistake in letting Mark Richt go, it’s probably tough for Bulldogs fans to watch Richt and the Miami Hurricanes succeed this year while Georgia is floundering with a 4-3 record and a 2-3 mark in conference play. The good news is that their schedule will lighten up going forward and they have a bye week to get this all out of their system. The bad news is that any chance of getting an SEC East division title is up in smoke, and Georgia certainly wasn’t expecting a rebuild this year even with a change at coach.

5. Mizzou’s struggles are persisting

The trademark of Missouri football lately has been the play of their defense. With the Tigers allowing 40+ points in back-to-back games, that seems like a thing of the past. Of course, it’s not that simple, as the Tigers offense was woeful in the 40-14 loss to the Florida Gators. Drew Lock was especially poor, throwing two inexcusable pick sixes and nothing could get going against the vaunted Gator defense. At 2-4, the Tigers should feel lucky that they have Middle Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vanderbilt in their next four to give them some opportunities at getting back on track. If things go south though, it might get even more bleak in Columbia. If that were even possible.