Courtesy of DCM Fan Zone
By Erik Stinnett
Guess the committee wasn't so crazy after all.
From Tuesday night through Saturday afternoon last week, the complaining, hand-wringing, chastising and head-shaking came out in force. All from the national media. The supposed experts on the game were incredulous as to why the College Football Playoffs selection committee placed Alabama at No. 4 in the rankings, ahead of a handful of unbeatens and a couple of one-loss teams -- Notre Dame and Florida -- that, despite those defeats, were highly esteemed by the national media.
Um, one week later, nobody is screaming at the committee anymore.
In a heavyweight SEC bout many observers thought Alabama would lose Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, the No. 4 Crimson Tide instead unleashed a convincing display of power, dominating No. 2 LSU to the tune of 30-16. And quieting all critics in the process.
Not only did the Alabama defense put the wraps on Heisman frontrunner Leonard Fournette, holding him to a paltry 31 yards rushing, but Alabama's own standout running back, Derrick Henry, carved through the LSU defense for 210 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and, in so doing, vaulted himself past Fournette and into the lead candidate position for the Heisman.
Alabama's statement-making win, coupled with Ole Miss' loss to Arkansas Saturday afternoon, made the Tide the new occupant of the SEC West driver's seat. After sitting behind both LSU and Ole Miss in the standings since mid-September -- behind Ole Miss by way of tiebreaker -- Alabama is now just two wins away from a return trip to Atlanta to play for the SEC title.
It won't be easy, though. Alabama's remaining two SEC games are at Mississippi State and at Auburn.
My, how things have changed in one week.
One Crazy Season For Hogs: Not sure if any team in the history of college football has escaped certain defeat as many times in one game as Arkansas did in its game against Ole Miss Saturday.
Everyone, no doubt, has seen the clips or read the story by now. That fourth-and-25 prayer-of-a-lateral that saved Arkansas in overtime and set up their winning score and two-point conversion is gonna be played and replayed for a long time.
Talk about the highest of highs and lowest of lows. That's been Arkansas and its fans this season. Who would have thought back in August Arkansas would lose to Toledo? And who would have thought back in August Arkansas would pull out not one but two classic overtime wins over Auburn and Ole Miss in the same season?
For Ole Miss, it was a scene that probably looked familiar. Only last time, Ole Miss was on the other side of the equation. In its still-being-talked-about win over Alabama in September a helpless, throw-up-a-prayer heave that turned into a TD pass provided the Rebels the point margin it needed in getting past the Tide that night.
Cinderella Season Continues For Gators: Well, it wasn't exactly easy, but first-year coach Jim McElwain did complete the one-season, amazing turnaround of transforming the Florida Gators from SEC East middling team to SEC East champs.
Florida squeaked by a pesky Vanderbilt team, 9-7, Saturday to wrap up the East crown and punch its ticket to Atlanta.
Some may have questioned McElwain's credentials when Florida hired him away from Colorado State in the offseason, but no one is questioning McElwain now. In fact, the guy is in line to win plenty of coach of the year honors at the close of this season.
Auburn Starting To Come Alive: Might not want to chunk those Auburn Tigers to the curb just yet.
Auburn seems to be rounding into form -- albeit several weeks late -- after disposing of Texas A&M, 26-10, Saturday. It was only the second SEC win of the season for Auburn, a national top 10 pick to start the season, but it was a big SEC win over a team it had lost to last season, and it served notice to future opponents Georgia and Alabama that they better take these Tigers seriously.
Other Results: Mississippi State 31, Missouri 13; Georgia 27, Kentucky 3; Tennessee 27, South Carolina 24.
Courtesy of DCM Fan Zone