For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 06 2016
by Zach Lang

How SEC Failure Could Still End In Playoffs

By Zach Lang - Sep 06 2016

With the College Football Playoff containing four spots at the end of the season for a shot at the championship, many wondered which conference could send 2 teams into those four slots.  After just one week, the answer seems obvious.

Alabama is without a doubt the best college football program of the past decade, winning 3 BCS championships starting in 2009 and a College Football Playoff bracket win last year.  Under Nick Saban, the team has flourished no matter what talent has walked onto the team.  Saturday, the team punished number 20 USC 52-6, even with a backup quarterback in.  Jalen Hurts threw 6-11 for 118 yards,  contributing 2 touchdowns and a pick.  The best part of the matchup, however, was the smile on Lane Kiffin's face as 'Bama's offensive coordinator orchestrated the slaughter of his former team.

18 Georgia was also able to take down ranked opponent USC, surging back in the game for a 33-24 win.  The Bulldogs season opener had a lot of meaning to it as Kirby Smart coached his first ever game for Georgia.  In fact, this was Smart's first ever game in the position of head coach.  The pressure was not just on him alone, but also on starting running back Nick Chubb.  Chubb, returning from a gruesome injury suffered last season, looked like he never put his college career on hold.  Taking an impressive load of the offense, Chubb took 32 handoffs for an absurd 222 yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging 6.9 yards per carry.  Heisman candidates better look out for this impressive back, he could run over the competition with ease.

Texas A&M pulled off a major surprise of the week, putting down 16 ranked UCLA 31-24.  Quarterback Trevor Knight threw for a touchdown and ran for 2 more as the Aggies upset the PAC-12 favorite.  Josh Rosen, UCLA's sophomore quarterback, threw 3 picks in the contest, contributing heavily to the loss.  Just like UCLA, other ranked teams were upset or seemed sluggish during week 1.

9 ranked Tennessee barely squeezed past Appalachian State 20-13 in overtime.  Appalachian State, a team in the Sun Belt Conference, should not have been even remotely a threat to the Volunteers.  Rather, they almost pulled off the upset of the week, but instead that honor goes to the unranked Wisconsin Badgers.  The Badgers had the honor of handing 5 ranked LSU their first loss of the season- in week 1.  LSU was highly projected to be one of America's top teams this season behind star running back Leonard Fournette, but the L in the week 1 column to an unranked team may come back to haunt them come playoff time.  Not every SEC team can be as good as 'Bama, but if LSU and Tennessee can pick up their game in upcoming weeks, the SEC will easily be the best conference in college football.

Lead Image Credit: RollTide1987 (via YouTube)

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Zach Lang - Syracuse University

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