Football season is in full swing and once again the SEC West is full of possible title contenders. Some teams’ paths may seem easier or more obvious than others, but the end goal is the same: The College Football Playoff.
The Alabama Crimson Tide
The defending national champion Crimson Tide is seemingly continuing right where they left off a year ago, demolishing defenses and dreams of opposing teams. After trailing by as much as 21 points against Ole Miss this weekend, Alabama came back with a vengeance, taking the win from the Rebels and keeping them ranked #1 for another week. Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts and sophomore receiver Calvin Ridely are shaping up to have big seasons for the Tide as they look to improve to 4-0, taking on Kent State on this Saturday.
The Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas kicked their season off in style, knocking off former Aggie quarterback Kenny Hill and TCU in a double overtime thriller after barely surviving against Louisiana Tech in week one. Last week, the Razorbacks cruised to victory against Texas State and will look to win their first SEC game of the season against Texas A&M in Dallas on Saturday, which will undoubtedly be another thriller. They clock in at #17 in the latest AP poll.
The Auburn Tigers
Auburn opened their season against then #2 ranked Clemson and took a close loss, closing the game at 19-13. Their defense showed up big as the Clemson offense is not weak, but the offense just couldn’t keep up. The Tigers easily took down Arkansas State, but couldn’t maintain the momentum with the Aggies when they came to town on Saturday, dropping their first SEC game of the season 29-16. The LSU Tigers will make a trip to Auburn this week in a game that could decide the fate of Auburn’s season.
Louisiana State University Tigers
LSU opened their season against Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin. The game did not go exactly the way they wanted, ending with a loss by a mere two points in an extremely low scoring game. Since then, the Tigers have picked up wins against Jacksonville State and Mississippi State, improving to 2-1 on the season and checking in at #18 in this week’s AP poll. While the Tigers have a very good running attack in the form of Heisman hopeful Leonard Fournette, their passing game could use some work and will definitely be put to the test against a pretty strong Auburn defense as a Tiger vs. Tiger showdown happens on Saturday.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Bulldogs are walking around with a huge question mark on the offensive side on the ball with the graduation of senior quarterback Dak Prescott (who pulled out a win with the Cowboys against Washington this weekend). They opened their season with a startling one point loss to South Alabama. After a slightly promising win over South Carolina the following week, the Bulldogs found themselves on the losing end of the stick once again when LSU made a late quarter comeback. After starting the season 1-2, the Bulldogs will look to try to right the ship against the University of Massachusetts.
The University of Mississippi “Ole Miss” Rebels
Despite starting the season 1-2, The Rebels check in at #23 in the AP poll. They have likely the most experienced quarterback in the SEC West, but that fact has yet to turn itself into wins. The Rebels opened their season on the road against Florida State, dropping that one in a 45-34 loss. After cruising to victory against Wofford, the Rebels were on the wrong side of the big comeback Alabama put up as their defense once again collapsed in the second half. The Bulldogs of Georgia will head to Oxford this week as Ole Miss looks to turn this season around.
The Texas A&M Aggies
They say you save the best for last, so here we go. The Maroon and White have started out 3-0 for the third straight season and are currently ranked #10 in the AP poll. The last time the Aggies accomplished that was 1939-1941. The Aggies opened their season with a thrilling OT victory over UCLA, displaying just how loud 100,000+ people can be. They followed that win up with the first shutout at Kyle Field since 2004 with a 67-0 thumping of Prairie View A&M. To open SEC play, the Aggies traveled to Auburn, grabbing a 29-16 win behind a strong performance by the Aggie defense. The Aggies will look to improve to 4-0 as they travel to Dallas to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks. With two come-from-behind wins against Arkansas the last two years, we hope to see another exciting but victorious Aggie game.
The 2016 SEC season is shaping up to be a quite interesting. Keep an eye on the television because you never know who is going to make a run for the title.