Alabama loss creates potential for wild finish in SEC West
With one Small kick and a rather sizable upset, Texas A&M caused quite a shakeup in the Southeastern Conference Western Division.
The Aggies' 41-38 upset of then-No. 1 Alabama on Seth Small's field goal opened the door for the Crimson Tide's division rivals. It's not just a parade of teams lining up neatly behind 'Bama any more.
While Alabama (5-1, 2-1) seems to remain the team to beat and a playoff contender, it won't be a weekly cakewalk for the Tide.
Coach Nick Saban had already warned his team of the potential pitfalls.
“He said it before it even happened that we were gonna get hit in the mouth if we prepared the way we were preparing,” Alabama defensive lineman DJ Dale said.
Four SEC West teams are deadlocked with one league loss. Auburn, Mississippi State and No. 13 Mississippi are all 1-1 in SEC games.
And the aura of invincibility around Alabama has been knocked off, at least temporarily.
This weekend will provide another shakeup, one way or another. Mississippi State found itself in a better spot in the league standings after an open date, but coach Mike Leach doesn't put much stock in Alabama losing to an unranked team.
The Bulldogs host the now fifth-ranked Tide on Saturday.
“The rankings are all out of whack,” Leach told reporters. "Anybody that thinks there are 30 teams better than Texas A&M is out of their minds. Someday when I am in your position I’ll go right down the list and tell you which ones.
“You had two good teams play, and the home team won. John Wooden used to say, ‘Never be surprised when the home team wins.’”
Two of the three two-loss West teams are ranked: No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 17 Arkansas, set to host Auburn on Saturday.
The league's only two unbeaten teams — No. 1 Georgia...