Welcome to Around the SEC! It’s the middle of the week, so don’t worry folks: it’s almost over. The Chicago Cubs clinched a Game 7 last night in non-SEC news, so you might want to check out the baseball game tonight. It’s pretty neat.
Let’s get on with the show, though.
Actually, the SEC East is bad (SB Nation)
The SEC East isn't just significantly worse than the SEC West. According to at least one ranking, the East has become the single worst in major-conference college football, behind the maligned Big Ten West and narrowly ahead of the mid-major Mountain West's top division. The SEC East is so bad that the league could add 3-5 Notre Dame and watch its average ranking in S&P+, an opponent-adjusted advanced stat, go up.
College football now takes centerstage (SB Nation)
We spend the first 10 months of the year talking about what might happen in the college football season. We spend November watching what happens. College football is at its best and worst in November. October was wild, cruel, and exhilarating. And now come four November Saturdays. Buckle up.
SEC has heavy presence in CFP Top 4 (SB Nation)
Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn, and Ole Miss were in the first-ever Playoff top four in 2014, and only FSU made the actual Playoff. Last year, the initial top four included 7-0 LSU, which would finish the regular season 8-3. The committee starts its whole board from scratch each week, reevaluating each team’s entire schedule.
LSU’s non-Orgeron head coach options (SB Nation)
The importance of beating Alabama on Saturday hasn’t lessened for LSU just because Ed Orgeron is 3-0 as interim head coach. But it might not be a one-game referendum on his long-term candidacy. Let’s be clear: beating Alabama would be monumental for Orgeron. If the Tigers win, athletic director Joe Alleva would be hard pressed to find a better candidate, even with three more SEC games to go. That’s the equity of beating Alabama.
Fire Auburn Takes (College and Magnolia)
I spent a lot of time this week thinking about TAKES. What can I tell you? What TAKE can I impart that hasn't been took? Auburn is good now! But we totally didn't think they would be! Isn't that wild? [Welllllllllll...I'm pretty sure I told you they'd be okay. Even when they were 1-2. But I digress.] Bubba Pettway is a good running back! And maybe that's a surprise. I don't think we knew that he was capable of this, anyway. Like, he's not an unreasonable candidate for SEC Player of the Year right now. That's sort of wild. I can accept that that's wild.
Kentucky offers top-flight prospect (A Sea of Blue)
The Kentucky Wildcats have offered Shai Alexander. The Class of 2017 guard finally got an offer from John Calipari while the head coach watched Alexander work out on Monday, according to Chris Fisher of the Cats Pause. Adding to that that, Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader reports that Alexander and his Hamilton Heights team will play at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Benton next month. This event annually features UK recruits and/or commitments facing off the hardwood, so seeing Alexander already part of it shows how quickly this recruitment had progressed.
Science says: Fournette is good (ATVS)
Check out this sweet video on Fournette’s explosive power and how he’s able to levy so much damage to defenders.
Ole Miss left points on the board (Red Cup Rebellion)
The offense’s shortcomings in critical situations ultimately came down to a combination of getting off schedule late in drives and questionable play-calling in the red zone.
Depth on the wing at Mizzou (Rock M Nation)
This week we’ll finish off the previews before Mizzou tips off its exhibition game against Kim Anderson’s former place of employment, Central Missouri. Today we’re taking a look at the guys that will populate the Wing, guys expected to put the ball in the basket while getting a few boards each game, and primarily working off the ball.
Reassessing Tennessee’s expectations (Rocky Top Talk)
What is there to say about the South Carolina game that hasn't already been said? The team was not ready to play. The team is likely just not as good as we thought. There was or is a problem behind the curtain.