Enjoy Premium Content!
Breaking News. No network. Only Alabama Football.
Subscribe Today
Alabama Football News

Acker Assessment – Week 8

Baylor’s loss may mean the Big 12 gets no playoff team in the final four and it even made Ned Flanders curse.

Acker Assessment – Week 8

By Jon Acker

Week eight turned out to be seismic in its playoff implications. Alabama, Georgia, Kansas State and Florida State (sort of for now) had statement games which should impress the selection committee.

With each week that goes by the SEC looks more and more deserving of two teams in the playoffs—heck, three teams may be worthy the way things are playing-out.

Ironically, it was two Big 12 schools that did wonders to further help make that case for the SEC. First, West Virginia’s “no-fluke” beat-down of Baylor in Morgantown was a welcome sight for Crimson Tide fans. The Mountaineers really dominated the game and if it hadn’t been for three turnovers leading to ten Baylor points this one would have been a wood shed game. The second was Kansas State’s huge win in Norman over Big Game Bob’s Sooners. This one took some divine intervention for Snyder’s boys with a missed chip-shot field goal and extra-point costing OU the game. OU dominated in every statistic except the score.

Alabama’s win over West Virginia and Auburn’s win over Kansas State are now magnified, not only benefiting those specific teams, but also the conference as a whole through shared schedule strength.

How’s this for an argument that the SEC deserves two, even three, even all four teams in the playoffs? The Sagarin Rating is one of the oldest and, arguably, the most respected of the computer power ratings. Through week eight here is the top 5: 1) Ole Miss, 2) Alabama, 3) Auburn, 4) Mississippi State, 5) Georgia. What more needs to be said? Florida State is 10th Mississippi State number 1 AND, both the AP and Coaches poll have Mississippi State number 1, Ole Miss number 3 and Alabama number 4.

There’s a reason I am not a football seer or Danny Sheridan wanna-be. In week 7 I would have bet the mortgage that Ole Miss would lay an egg in College Station and A&M would play inspired. It didn’t happen. In week 8 I felt almost equally as strong that Arkansas would finally end the conference losing streak and take down the UGurley Dawgs. Nope. But the Hogs did play well and except for being minus-four in turnovers in the game would have had a shot.

Anyway, I will happily keep my day job in academia, but perhaps I should try and channel Edgar Cayce for prophetic help.

Okay… where was this Alabama team in weeks 6 and 7? Thirty-five points in the second quarter alone against A&M— that’s more than the previous two games combined. I need to say I’m sorry to Coach Saban for doubting his methods of refocusing the team. Sometimes you need to blister some butts, preach the gospel of fire and brimstone to get player’s attention. Many of us in the ‘Bama Nation thought that was the necessary remedy.

But, Coach new better. He chose to stand by his team and instead of tearing them down, he had their back. We always say we trust in Coach Saban, and some of us forgot that he’s the number one coach for a very big reason. He knows best and he proved it yet again this week.

The last real chance for Crab Legs U to lose in the regular season slipped away as Notre Dame found a way to beat themselves despite outplaying Florida State, outgaining the ‘Noles by nearly 150 yards. I’ve come to the realization that FSU is destined to make the playoffs only to be embarrassed in the semi-final matchup game whoever it is. FSU is not an elite team and once Notre Dame loses another game or two that FSU schedule will perhaps warrant 5A high school difficulty.

If there ever was a game that highlights the importance of turnovers it was the Missouri-Florida game. I’ve never seen anything like that game. Missouri had seven, YES- SEVEN, first downs and all of 119 yards of offense and scored 42 points. But the Gators gave up six, YES- SIX, turnovers, which led to multiple defensive scores. That game sealed Will Muschamp’s fate, I am afraid. The Gator’s may not be bowl eligible, again, amazingly. Given the first game against Idaho was not rescheduled it is possible Florida will finish 5-6.

Here is a shocking statistical tidbit. Mississippi State leads the SEC in offense averaging 530 yards per game. However, State is dead last in defense giving up 429 yards. That does not bode well for Mullin’s marauders. Texas A&M is second in offense and second last in defense and we see how that is working for them. The Tide is third in offense averaging 511 yards per game and tops in defense giving up 262, of which a paltry 63 is in rushing. Who seems most rounded? I thought so too.

Week nine brings a game I have dreaded all year for the Tide— at Tennessee. Yes, the Volunteers look beaten and battered, but this will be one of those intangible games. Don’t forget, Tennessee gave Georgia all they could handle in Athens, and this game is in Neyland Stadium. I anticipate the Vols will line up the kitchen sink, the refrigerator, the stove, and every other appliance to throw at ‘Bama to welcome back their beloved former coach, Lane Kiffin.

Ole Miss travels to Baton Rouge which will definitely be more interesting than people think given the Rebels #3 ranking and LSU’s#23/24 ranking. LSU seemed to find itself against Kentucky, or was it more that Kentucky came back to earth? This matchup will answer that question.

Steve Superior travels to the ugliest village on the Plains, which fits right now with how ugly his team has played this year. If this game is ugly for the ole ball coach, it could seal the deal on his retirement from the game.

Looking further ahead, these top-25 matchups remain among SEC teams using the AP rankings: 1 at 4, 1 at 3, 24 at 3, 5 at 4, 5 at 9 and 4 at 24. AP top 10 teams outside the SEC have 23 at 6, 20 at 6, 7 at 14, 7 at 20, 13 at 8, 10 at 22 and 11 at 10. A lot of football is left to play. I’d say every team in the AP top 12 who wins-out has a shot at the playoffs.

Calling Edgar Cayce— which teams will make the playoffs?

Facebook Comments

To Top