There are signs that the SEC’s dominance is hitting the brakes.
Three SEC teams – Tennessee, Ole Miss and Kentucky — are underdogs heading into tomorrow’s games.
The SEC is 2-2 in four games against the ACC.
The SEC has already lost four non-conference games. It lost just eight last year, six in 2011, seven in 2010 and six in 2009.
Georgia, Florida and South Carolina – the East’s top programs – are all 1-1, with Georgia and Florida losing to ACC teams.
And Alabama looked far from invincible in its opening win over Virginia Tech.
Look at tomorrow.
There’s a strong chance SEC teams will lose three of the conference’s five non-conference games (I’m fairly confident Arkansas will beat Southern Miss and LSU will handle Kent State.)
Kentucky (a two-TD underdog) is used to being in this spot and probably won’t offer much resistance to Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Tennessee (a four-TD dog) will be blinded by Oregon’s psychedelic unis and speed.
And then there’s Ole Miss, which is getting little respect.
The Rebels are supposedly the better team. They’re ranked 25th and have looked strong offensively in their two wins, but haven’t beaten a top-notch team.
And Ole Miss is playing Texas, which just gave up about 6 million yards to BYU (550 yards rushing, actually). That led to the rare in-season farewell to defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
The Longhorns are favored by up to three points, which has more to do with homefield advantage than anything else, but the Rebels should be able to showcase their offensive prowess.
The SEC remains dominant. Seven of its 14 teams are in the Top 25, including four in the top 10.
But will this be the year another team — perhaps Oregon or Ohio State or Stanford or even Louisville – breaks the SEC’s national championship stranglehold?
What do you think?
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