Things are starting to get very interesting in the SEC race as the season nears its conclusion. In the East almost every team is still eligible after South Carolina’s remarkable comeback victory of Missouri this past weekend. Mathematically, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina all have a chance at still making the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.
Their opponent for that game is the interesting thing to speculate here. For most of college football’s top analysts it has been a forgone conclusion all season that The Crimson Tide of Alabama would represent the SEC West in the SEC Championship game.
The Tide is still in a great shot to do so; they are still undefeated and ranked number 1 in the country leading up to their big game against LSU next weekend. Since their victory against Texas A&M earlier in the season, the next big game for Alabama is their upcoming contest with LSU. Which, by the way, they have an off week the week before the LSU game just like they did before the Texas A&M game – that’s great scheduling.
But the situation has changed throughout the season. The SEC has been going crazy all year, mostly in the East, but also in the West. For example, Texas A&M was supposed to be neck and neck with Alabama all season long, but they have dropped a few games and not played up to par. LSU has also lost two games and that makes their upcoming contest with the Crimson Tide not as meaningful. But outside of Alabama there is another team in the SEC West who has been turning some heads this season, and this is a team that almost everyone had tossed to the side – that is the Auburn Tigers.
Auburn is 7-1 this season (with their one loss coming to LSU) and is in a prime position to take control of the SEC West. It won’t be easy, of course, but the Tigers have had a great season thus far and have seemed to play better each week.
They have four games remaining, the first two are road games against Arkansas and then Tennessee respectively, both of which should be wins for Auburn. But after that is when it gets interesting.
The Tigers finish their season with two home games. First they welcome in Georgia on Nov.16 and then they have a week off before their season finale against the bitter rivals Alabama on Nov. 30.
With the way Georgia’s season has been going Auburn should be able to beat the Bulldogs and come into the Iron Bowl with a 10-1 record. Should that take place and the Crimson Tide also win all their games up to that point (very likely) then the winner of this year’s Iron Bowl would represent the SEC West in the SEC Championship game.
I know that there are a lot of “ifs” in that scenario. But the fact that Auburn is even in the running at this point of the season is amazing. Not to mention the fact that Auburn is having such a good season it makes Alabama’s little league schedule look a lot more solid.
Auburn has a long way to go to make it to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game, but in a rivalry game (especially the Iron Bowl) you simply never know what can happen.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. He writes a weekly sports column for the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.