Another week has come and gone in the college football season. The SEC consistently gives the sport amazing games, moments, and players. Here are my five biggest takeaways in the conference from week five.
1. Just How Good Is Alabama?
It was a mostly quiet week around the SEC. Four teams were on a bye, and none of the top tier teams had a real challenge on Saturday.
However, no one told Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith that. He finished yesterday’s game with 11 receptions for 274 yards (!!) and five touchdowns (!!!!) against a SEC defense. I’ll go ahead and put my money on that being the absolute best performance you will see from a receiver this year in college football.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 28, 2019
Overall, it seemed like a dominant performance for Alabama. However, they did give up 31 points and 476 yards to one of the worst teams in the conference starting their backup quarterback.
Let’s pump the breaks just a little bit here. Look, we all know the Crimson Tide’s offense is dominant. But what happens when they play a team that is actually good in that area say like LSU?
The injury to their best defensive player Dylan Moses which occurred before the season even started is looming large. Nick Saban is having to rotate a lot of young guys in their linebacker core and it shows.
I for one do not agree with this Alabama team being ranked No. 1 this week. I don’t trust that defense at all, and I truly think LSU is the better team right now in the SEC. However Tua Tagovailoa and that offense will keep them as one of the best teams in the nation.
2. …..and Just How Good is Auburn?
On the flip side, let’s take a good look at the Auburn Tigers. After getting off to a red hot 4-0 starts they got a physical Mississippi State team at home on Saturday.
It was nowhere near the competition that many thought it would be. It was 42-9 at halftime for crying out loud. When true freshman Bo Nix goes for 400 combined yards and three total touchdowns, the Tigers probably aren’t going to be beaten.
BO NIX ACCURACY THREAD:
Here Bo finds the hole in the zone defense and makes a perfect throw to Williams 15+ yards down the field for a first down. Didn’t lead him into the safety and allowed him a chance to make a play after the catch.
He was making confident throws early. pic.twitter.com/c1iQR8G8l5
— Iron Bowl Hour (@IronBowlHour) September 29, 2019
I know that sounds crazy, but Auburn is actually playing THAT good at the moment. Does any team in the nation have two wins better than the Tigers’ victories over Oregon and Texas A&M? That’s probably a negative. Can they sustain this success?
Well, I would again say no just because I’m playing the odds here. This is a team that still has to play Florida, LSU, Georgia, and Alabama. I’m picking them to lose two of those games, and honestly they will probably lose three of those.
But at this moment in time, no one can deny what Auburn is doing right now.
3. Panic Time for Kentucky
Now its time for the part of the column that many of you won’t enjoy reading. I’m not gonna spend too much time on this because we have beaten a dead horse here.
Yes, Sawyer Smith played terrible with an injury. Yes, no one on the offense looked good. And yes, the Wildcats are in a very bad place right now.
It is unbelievable how much has changed since Kentucky didn’t convert the 4th and 1 to start the 4th Quarter vs Florida
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 29, 2019
The good news is that UK will be enjoying a bye week next weekend. They will need it to play an Arkansas team that is quite frankly not an easy win at all. Thankfully, the Wildcats should be prepared for them, and the contest is at home. A win would advance them to 3-3, and things will be looking up again.
I will say this: it’s time to reset expectations away from an eight or nine-win season. It’s time to be realistic and root for a bowl appearance and victory. Because this team is just not playing anything close to winning football right now.
4. Texas A&M Lives to Fight Another Day
In what was the best game of the day in the SEC (not that there was any competition), the Aggies overcame a fierce effort by Arkansas and won 31-27.
This was a peculiar result to say the least. Texas A&M was billed as a much better team coming into the year, and most people think the Razorbacks are always bad.
Gig 'Em ?
Texas A&M wins its 8th straight over Arkansas. pic.twitter.com/9sLTM5EBw2
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 28, 2019
Not so fast, folks. That’s why they play the game. In reality, I think both teams are better than they are given credit for. A&M just played a lot of though games early on, and Arkansas is still learning how to win.
The Razorbacks have the second youngest defense in the nation and they were *that* close to getting the huge victory. They will be fielding their backup quarterback against UK when they play each other, but it should be noted that he is SMU’s all-time leading passer….so yea.
A&M will get another incredibly hard test against Alabama in week seven so we will learn a lot more about them then.
5. Vanderbilt Gets on the Board
My fifth takeaway is always my most “underrated” take of the week. However, I’ll be honest here. I didn’t have a lot to pick from on Saturday, so I will go with Vanderbilt getting its first win of the season.
Sure, it was ugly against a team they should have beat by a lot more, but the Commodores just needed to get on the board at this point. They get Ole Miss next and UNLV on Oct. 12 so that could actually result in a three-game win streak.
— Vanderbilt Football (@VandyFootball) September 28, 2019
I’m not saying that will happen, but it is possible! My point is to not to count out this football team just yet. They are fighters with Derek Mason as head coach. If they can get to that 3-3 point, they would just have to get three more wins out of ETSU/Tennessee/Kentucky/South Carolina to be bowl eligible.
Again, I would probably bet against that happening, but Mason and company aren’t finished with this season just yet.