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 six.
1. The First Big Upset
Just when we all thought this college football season was becoming too boring and too predictable, South Carolina made us remember why this sport is so special.
Their double-overtime victory over No. 3 Georgia sent shockwaves throughout the entirety FBS football. Make no mistake here: this was a monumental loss for the Bulldogs. Remember Ohio State’s only loss last season to a not-so-great Purdue team which kept them out of the playoff? Well, that should be the exact same situation here.
Yes, its great for the Gamecocks that they won, but they still aren’t a good team. In fact, they may be worse than Purdue was last season. What I am saying here is that unless a decent amount of chaos happens in front of them, this loss will keep the Bulldogs out of the playoffs.
Man, Georgia players’ Twitter accounts are gonna be LIT during the Playoff this year. Again.
— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) October 12, 2019
However, Georgia's chances to reach the Playoff have dropped to 16 percent, according to the Allstate Playoff Predictor. https://t.co/DE7ML3DElf
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 12, 2019
All signs point to LSU and Alabama being the two teams from the conference who will get in, and there is no earthly way the committee lets three SEC teams in. I honestly think Georgia is already missing the playoffs. It will take a massive upset from the Tigers or the Crimson Tide to get Georgia back into the picture.
Meanwhile, this does throw the SEC East into a bit of an interesting situation now. Florida and Missouri have a legitimate chance to win the division if they just beat Georgia head-to-head. Time will tell how it all plays out, but I will hammer home my Missouri opinion: they will sneak up on people. This loss now leaves the door wide open for them.
2. LSU Proves Its Worth Again
Another almost-perfect performance from Joe Burrow gives the Tigers another victory over a top-10 team. This time, it came over a Florida squad that actually played one of its best games of the season. Losing by just two touchdowns in Death Valley isn’t all that bad.
But the real story here is the Tigers. They have the best two victories out of anyone in college football (Texas, Florida) and they should absolutely be the No. 1 ranked team in the country right now.
My @AP_Top25 ballot for @Stadium this week. My new No. 1: LSU. Three Big Ten teams in my Top 7. Four new teams ranked this week: Minnesota, Cincinnati, Appalachian State & Tulane https://t.co/iRnyDH9fTU
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) October 13, 2019
Of course, the good ole’ Alabama love affair that so many still have with Crimson Tide is strong as they are still ranked No. 1 this week. Don’t get me wrong, they are of course really good. But their wins don’t even begin to compare with LSU’s.
Anyways, LSU will be truly put to the test over the next three weeks as they play Auburn and Alabama back-to-back. I believe in Burrow and company this year, but that stretch will define how far the Tigers will go this season.
3. Bowden Saves Kentucky
All of Big Blue Nation owes a sincere “thank you” to Lynn Bowden.
He came in and played quarterback for the majority of the last night’s game with Arkansas, and basically won the contest for the Wildcats.
Kentucky's leading WR Lynn Bowden Jr. made his first start at QB. All he did was:
196 rush yards
1 conference win
— ESPN (@espn) October 13, 2019
If Kentucky had lost the game, there would’ve been a very good chance that the Wildcats were not going to make a bowl game. However, you can put those worries away for the moment.
Standing at 3-3 overall and 1-3 in SEC play, Kentucky has to get three wins out of Georgia/Missouri/Tennessee/Vanderbilt/UT-Martin/Louisville. UT-Martin and Vanderbilt should give UK five wins while Georgia and Missouri will probably put them at five losses.
How far the Wildcats go this season will depend on their performances against Tennessee and Louisville. Considering that both of those teams got big wins on Saturday, Kentucky still needs to further improve to get that sixth win.
4. Alabama Rolls On
The Crimson Tide won in typical fashion on Saturday over Texas A&M — Tua Tagovailoa threw four touchdowns in what was a great day for his offense.
Another big game from Tua as Alabama scores 45+ points for the 5th straight game ? pic.twitter.com/gfCaJ8oo52
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 12, 2019
However, I’m still concerned about Alabama’s defense. They look considerably worse than last year, and they had another questionable day against the Aggies.
While a team like Clemson can completely shutdown Kellen Mond, he can still get over 350 yards of offense and three total touchdowns on the Crimson Tide.
Look, Tua will keep Alabama in any game it will play. But if they go up against the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Joe Burrow, and yes, Jalen Hurts, I don’t see it going well for the Crimson Tide.
Time will tell how much the defense improves, but I still think they have a long way to go.
5. Tennessee Finally Finds Some Success
For this week’s most underrated takeaway, I’m going with Tennessee’s big win over Mississippi State. The Volunteers have finally learned how to win a football game, and yes, it is surprising.
All jokes aside, they controlled their game with the Bulldogs which is not great news for Kentucky. Tennessee still has talent on their team. I had them pegged for seven wins this season which admittedly doesn’t look like a great prediction now.
Let’s check in on the locker room … pic.twitter.com/XEcXoom0BG
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) October 12, 2019
However, I still think they can absolutely make a bowl game. Still left on their schedule is South Carolina, UAB, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt. Quite frankly, those are all winnable games for the Volunteers.
If Jarrett Guarantano can play like he did yesterday against Mississippi State (6/7, 106 yards), then I think those four wins could very likely happen for Tennessee. Despite how they started out, the length of the college football season may prove to be the Volunteers’ saving grace.