Alabama Football: What team is second-best in SEC and why it matters

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football: With an off-week, we’re wondering who is the SEC’s second-best team and why that matters to the Crimson Tide.

For the Alabama football team, an off-week was much needed. A relatively light week so far and some additional time off on the weekend will provide rest and healing. Game prep for LSU begins on Thursday. For the first time in years, the game does not loom as one of the most important of the season.

Speaking of the Bengal Tigers, some college football observers question if LSU gave up against Auburn. It has been a difficult season in Baton Rouge, and to be out of championship consideration in October may have taken a toll.

The Bengal Tigers defense will not suddenly blossom between Auburn and the Crimson Tide. But, Ed Orgeron’s team can be expected to have plenty of fight against the Tide. LSU teams do not tank on Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium. The Crimson Tide’s historical success in Baton Rouge (29-9-3) will mean nothing to this season’s Tigers.

Miles Brennan returning to lead the LSU offense should provide a boost. However, LSU’s talented athletes, a rivalry game and Brennan’s return should not be enough for an upset.

This season, an Alabama football win over LSU will do little to enhance Tide Playoff chances. The Alabama Crimson Tide has an impressive win over the now, No. 7 ranked Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies have a good chance to be 8-1 when they travel to Auburn at the end of the SEC regular season. If they can beat Gus’ bunch on the road, A&M could be viewed as the second-best team in the SEC.

The big SEC game for week 10 is in Jacksonville, FL. The winner of the annual slugfest between the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators should win the SEC East. It is hard to know which SEC East Champion would most benefit the Crimson Tide. A win in Atlanta over a 9-1 Florida team might get more credit than beating Georgia for a second time.

A Crimson Tide win in Atlanta will make a Playoff slot a lock. An Alabama football loss in Atlanta might have less damage to Playoff chances if the SEC Champion is Georgia. A 10-1 Alabama Crimson Tide, having split with the Bulldogs would be a strong contender for the Playoff field.

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Thinking through possible Playoff ramifications, Alabama football fans might want to pull hard for the Aggies and the Bulldogs for the rest of the SEC regular season.