Will the Iron Bowl even matter in the grand scheme of things if Auburn HC Gus Malzahn can’t beat Ole Miss?
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Three SEC teams are projected to be in the college football playoffs, and four of them are in the top 6 if Alabama is counted too. But today those numbers could all be in jeopardy as #3 Auburn plays against #4 Ole Miss. The loser of the game will almost assuredly be removed from next week’s CFP poll (especially with Alabama having the week off but still trailing Oregon), so the question of SEC domination in the polls will most likely come down to the last week of the season when Ole Miss plays #1 Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl and Auburn plays Alabama in the Iron Bowl.
Here are the top five college football teams with the most to prove in Week 10:
West Virginia – The Mountaineers have held their own against great defenses with narrow losses to Alabama and Oklahoma but outscored the dominating offense of Baylor just a few weeks ago. TCU is a different animal though, coming off an 82-point throttling of Texas Tech. A win today would cement West Virginia as a frontrunner for the Big XII title – something the team has not come close to since joining the conference in 2012.
Texas A&M – As reported earlier, Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin is going in a different direction at QB. With rumors of the NFL calling, Sumlin’s ability to develop freshman QB Kyle Allen into a star with several tough SEC games remaining may be the determining factor in whether the team makes the playoffs, and whether he even stays at Texas A&M.
Ole Miss – Losing on the road to a very motivated LSU Tigers team playing for their coach will only be excusable if they can beat Auburn at home. If they can’t, the team will lose a lot of credibilty in the polls, but worst of all, may be all but eliminated from a shot at the SEC title.
UCLA – With multiple losses on the season and three Pac-12 South teams ahead of them in the standings, the only way for the Bruins to reclaim a spot in the Pac-12 title game is to beat the king of the mountain, Arizona. But the last time UCLA faced a team ranked #12, they got crushed 42-30 by Oregon.
Stanford – The team is 5-0 against the unranked teams and 0-3 against ranked teams this season. With a tough road game against the resurgent Oregon Ducks, this game will likely be the decider as to whether Stanford gets any further chances at the Pac-12 title.