Alabama vs Florida: Is the SEC in Decline or Still in Its Prime?
With Week 5 of college football already in motion, Florida and South Carolina are the only SEC East schools still unbeaten in 2011.
Those squads, ranked 10th and 12th in the nation respectively, square off in what could be Week 5's most heavily anticipated matchup.
In the SEC West, Louisiana is the top ranked college football team in the nation, with Alabama not being far behind at No. 3.
Needless to say, those perennial powerhouses are undefeated as well.
Will 2011 be another dominant year for the SEC? Let's see how likely that is as of Week 5.
Prime: SEC Has Three Teams Ranked in the Top Ten
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As alluded to in the opening slide, the best teams in the SEC are some of the best teams in college football.
Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina have all looked like teams that will be very tough to beat in 2011.
If South Carolina loses to Florida, it seems academic that the Gators would then jump into the Top 10. They are not far off right now at No. 12.
Louisiana Tigers Look Like World Beaters
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LSU has soundly defeated the three Top 25 teams they have faced in 2011: Oregon, Mississippi State and West Virginia.
The games against the Bulldogs and the Mountaineers were on the road, making those victories that much more impressive.
The Tigers may not have any Heisman candidates, but they have an offense that can consistently score over 40 points and a defense that always seems to come through in the clutch.
It's hard to say anything negative about a team with those qualities.
Strength of Schedules
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LSU and Auburn each have six Top 25 ranked teams on their schedules for 2011. South Carolina faces three Top 25 opponents this season, while Florida will encounter four Top 25 schools.
The list goes on, but the point is that SEC schools don't have a ton of cupcake opponents. When they do face subpar competition, they blow them out like they're supposed to.
Also, the SEC generally fairs well against top-tier out-of-conference opponents, even in a losing effort.