True Evaluation of Contenders for the SEC Crown

Jonathan KelleyCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2009

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 05:  Antoine Hopkins #98 of the Virginia Tech Hokies against quarterback Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It is now officially four weeks into the college football season and we can now truly start to evaluate the contenders in the SEC.


I do not think anyone will dispute that from top to bottom the SEC is still the best conference in America, and that barring total disaster the SEC champion will be in Pasadena to start the year 2010.


With that acknowledgement and precedent of the past 3 national champions being SEC teams I think it can be safely said that the SEC champion is the best team in America. The only real question is who will be the SEC champ.


Fortunately for us in SEC Country, our Champion will be decided in Atlanta on a neutral field in December.


Until that day, it more fun to speculate and evaluate who will get there and who will win. So without any further anticipation we start our evaluation of the top contenders of the SEC.



1. Alabama


I don't care who you are or what team you root for, No one, I repeat, No one has been more impressive than the Alabama Crimson Tide. That win over Virginia Tech appears to be the best win in America.


Especially considering that when VT lost, it was No. 7 in the country and now has risen to No. 6. Can any other team boast that it beat a top ten team that has risen higher in rankings since its double digit loss?


VT is a legit top ten team and if you take away the stats from VT's dominating loss to Alabama it makes a case as the best overall team in America.


Then there are the two gimmie games against horrible teams that are a combined 1-6. However, Alabama whooped them in a deciding and dominating fashion both on the scoreboard and in the stat sheets.


By a combined score of 93 to 21 and 1046 total yards to 401 total yards. Neither of these teams will win the Sunbelt conference nor go to a bowl game, but they are still Division-1 opponents.


Now comes the absolute raping of Arkansas on national television. No one not even the members of the Arkansas team thought they would win this game (just ask Bobby Petrino), but no one thought Alabama would hold the Hogs to 7 points and 254 total yards.


This Hog offense is for real but this Alabama D may be the best on the Capstone since 2005. There is a feel and a swagger to this D that resembles a 92 defensive monster.


I’m not comparing talent or statistics, but the 92 D never held a high flying offense ranked No. 2 in the country to only 7 points and 254 yards just ask Miami.


In my lifetime, I don't think I have ever been this excited about an offense playing for the Crimson Tide. Greg McElroy is ranked #3 in America in passing efficiency. The receivers are awesome and it’s not because Julio Jones is on the field.


This stable of running backs may be the greatest in America and possibly the combo of Ingram and Richardson may turn into the best duo in the state of Alabama since Cadillac and Hummer on the Plains.


Everything is clicking at Alabama with the Tide in the top ten in offensive and Defensive categories and a ranking of no lower than 33rd in any category.



2. Florida


If Tim Tebow is out for any significant period of time Florida is going to the Capital One bowl. With Tim this is one of the best 5 teams in America without him it is one of the best 25 teams.


The defense is nasty but not nasty enough to carry an offense that is pitiful without Tebow. These receivers have done squat to impress anyone and they have played woefully pitiful competition. Tennessee is their prize victory and I’m not sure that Tennessee could win the Sunbelt conference this year.


Now their receivers are sad but there runners are mad and blazing trails all over the worst run defenses in America. Averaging 307 ypg trailing only Air Force in rushing ypg.


Their effectiveness and production still fall back on the health of Tim Tebow in the only game against a team that could spell Defense he had to carry the team in a woefully disappointing win (and apparently moral loss).


This Gator team has not been questioned at anytime this year by anybody and does not appear that any team on the regular season schedule will challenge them.


The only foreseeable stumbling blocks are a night game in Death Valley, a neutral game with Georgia, and perhaps the toughest test a game at S. Carolina. If Tim is healthy these games will merely be more hype to add to the Florida machine.


The Gators are a very good football team and should win the East by a long shot, but they are not the best team in the conference or in America and like Archie Griffin in his second Heisman trophy year are riding the hype from past accomplishments.



3. Georgia


I know: what about LSU? Well LSU is whatever the Hell it is, but Georgia is rocking and rolling on a wave of confidence that rivals tsunami waves.


Is this the same team that lost in Stillwater on week one? Is this the same team that lost 2 first round draft picks and a great receiver in Massaqoui? No, offensively this may be a better team with Joe Cox surprisingly leading more comebacks than Joe Montana. Defense is merely a formality in Athens these days but this Offense is for real.


Well they lost to an overrated Oklahoma State, so what they beat an underrated South Carolina. The Bulldogs have found a way to win when it looked down right impossible.


They survived the greatest arial battle since WWII in their win at Arkansas, and found a way to win a defensive trenches match with ASU. It does matter how they do it since they lost their first game they have been tenacious.


It doesn't matter anyhow because we will know exactly what kind of animal we are dealing with after the showdown in Athens against LSU this weekend.


Just remember a Bulldog will rip out your throat in fight, and most cats are afraid of dogs not the other way around. One last thing ,Willie: if your D could stop air Georgia would be undefeated and possible favorites to win the east.




4. Auburn/South Carolina


These are by far the 2 most underrated teams in the conference and quite possibly all of America. That statement is coming from an Alabama fan by the way, but I still try to remain objective.


This is a tie for me. Auburn has been amazing on offense this year; I don't care who they have played the numbers are still impressive. Ball State is pitiful, but West Virginia is at least a living, breathing decent team.


South Carolina has a defense that is just phenomenal it had a break with reality against Georgia but it gave Snead and the boys from Ole Miss all it wanted and more. These two teams have been surprisingly good so far on sides of the ball their head coaches aren't known to specialize in.


However on the sides of the ball they do specialize in they have been downright rotten. Auburn what in the name of 2004 happened to your defense? I thought that was why you hired Chizik was because he was this defensive genius. News flash: this is by far the most pitiful defense Auburn has put on The Plains in 2 decades.


Antonio Coleman if you came back to improve this unit then you should be ashamed of your teammates dedication to do the same. Steve come on man put your foot in Jr's A$$ or something Stephen Garcia is decent and your offense should be much better than its showing us right now.


If you could combine Auburns O with South Carolinas D you would have Alabama and Florida scared crapless. On the other hand if you combined South Carolinas O with Auburns D you might lose to a high school team.

Still both teams have a chance to win their division it may be the same chance Bill O'Reilly has of becoming best friends with Pres. Obama but it is still a better chance than others have.



6. LSU


This is by far the most overrated team in all of college football!!! There is no way in this world or any other that LSU is No. 4 based on its own field achievements and performance's in the year 2009. This team almost lost to MSU. MSU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It barely beat a team that lost all 12 games last year.

Couldn't do much of squat against La Tech and will lose in Athens if it brings the same team from Baton Rouge it has in its previous road trips.


WTF is going on at LSU? How in the He11 do you have that much talent and look like S#!t? I know he is the mad hatter but he should really be called the great DumbA$$.


Les Miles may have won a National Title in 07 which by the way it got to play in off the luckiest series of breaks ever known to man (Even OJ was not as lucky as Les Miles was that year).


The fans in Baton Rouge are right he is nothing like Nick Saban. Saban took a sleeping Giant and awakened it in to a top team of the decade, and Les Miles has taken that same giant and made it into talented Loser. It is Ironic that Ryan Perilloux was kicked off this team because he truly embodied what LSU is about so much talent and potential but not the focus, judgment, and most importantly leadership to accomplish anything with it.


I thought this D was supposed to be improved. Well the numbers may be different but the product is the same overrated and underperforming.


John Chavis what is going on come clean tell us is it misevaluation of talent, lack of commitment, no focus, or just plan lack of vision and leadership. I would honestly like to know.


I have a ticket to the LSU vs. Bama game this year thinking it was going to be a knock down drag out. Right now it appears that this will be a Knockout and flat out behind the woodshed whopping by the Crimson Tide.


Still with all the problems LSU is in a position to make a run at the SEC and National crown and as lucky as Les is you can't count them out. Hey Les I know I’ve said some bad things about you but for real dog let’s go to Vegas.


7. Nobody


That’s right there is nobody left who even stands a chance at winning either division. Seriously who is left?

Tennessee is God Awful! They almost lost to Ohio not Ohio St but the lowly Bobcats at home. There defense is overrated except for Eric Berry he is a man amongst hillbilly boy's up there on rocky top.


Kiffin keep talking because apparently no one but the folks on the West Coast can shut you up. I would however keep the Lance Thompson comments to minimum because I don't think Alabama will take it easy on you.


Oh, one more thing!  LK get a QB before you make your next road trip if not it will be very fugly.

Kentucky is now accepting challenges for 5 on 5 matchups. Rich Brooks is a good coach but yall its still Kentucky. Is it March yet?


Ole Miss well welcome back to reality. Did anybody outside of Oxford really think they could win the SEC. Really weren't we all just rooting for the little guy. Anyway at least your still in the top 25 for now enjoy it while it last.

Vandy has never ever lost a spelling contest. Hey these guy's may not win a lot of games but they sure do fight. I admire Vandy more than any other team. Imagine being this team and having to be in the SEC.

That in itself should defeat moral yet every week they put up the good fight and go down swinging. They remind me of Glass Joe off Mike Tyson's punch-out.


MSU what else can you say. I thought the game with Auburn was going to be their coming out party instead it was Auburn's. Really Dan why did you have to do that to me. Then if that wasn't bad enough you had LSU beat dead to rights and you gave them the game. No one can snatch defeat from the jaws of Victory like MSU can baby!!!


Arkansas may not be a contender but they are sure going to spoil somebody's party along the way. Hey Bobby this is the SEC we appreciate all that Offensive stuff but we want to see Defense.


If you don't know what I’m talking about check it out on Google or something. If Texas Tech (Bama05, Miss08) can’t beat an SEC team with its offense you aren’t neither buddy. I know you did great against Kentucky when you were out Louisville but once again that is Kentucky.

After rereading my Article I owe LSU fans an apology you and your coach are not the most overrated in all college football. That distinction belongs to Notre Dame and Charlie Weis.

I almost lost a $2,000 dollar TV when that moron at Purdue called a timeout. WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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