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SEC, PAC-12 or Notre Dame on collision course

Published 10:14am Thursday, October 11, 2012

Call it the “perfect storm” for Alabama and until they play someone other than the pretenders, my money is on the Crimson Tide to visit Miami in January.
Let’s face the facts folks, as I mentioned in a previous column, all the hype leading up to the Michigan game was nothing more than just preseason- hype. Then you have Arkansas, who for whatever reason (Petrino), decided to fold tent like a bad sideshow in a windstorm.
Michigan and Arkansas are no longer ranked.
Mississippi is a great place to tailgate, period.
I know just about everyone in the South drinks the SEC Kool-Aid, but if you are a purist of college football, you would painfully agree that nine of the 14 teams are average college football programs.
This season, the SEC is top-heavy with Alabama, South Carolina and Florida. Georgia and LSU were exposed last week. Still good teams and upper-tier, just not balanced enough to be called “great.”
I love this spin: “Western Kentucky was much better than the score: 35-0.”
Florida Atlantic … please.
Now Saban’s pachyderms visit the “show-me” state and Missouri, who last week lost to Vanderbilt, then they visit Tennessee who defeated North Carolina State-who last week beat Florida State.
By the time they play the next three games with the likes of Mississippi State, LSU and Texas A&M, only LSU may still be ranked.
Alabama finishes with Western Carolina and Auburn, who is still trying to find its identity with a new offense.
I have no doubt in my mind that LSU will get thumped by South Carolina, who in my opinion will be the opponent for Alabama in the SEC championship game.
South Carolina is a well-balanced football team. After LSU, they travel to Florida, who, so far, is still a one-dimensional team.
The Big-12 can play offense with anyone in the country. The problem is they can’t stop anyone else from scoring and that will be the ultimate demise of the conference trying to get to the championship game.
They also do not play a conference championship game.
West Virginia (No. 4) and Kansas State (No. 5) play too many cross-over games against other tough, high-scoring opponents such as Oklahoma and Texas.
The Ducks can score and score a lot. But other than the PAC-12 opponents, no one knows how improved they are on defense.
With a huge game with USC on Nov. 3, they also must still play Stanford (No. 17) and Oregon State (No. 10) with a possible rematch with USC for the Pac-12 championship.
Notre Dame (No. 7) plays the toughest schedule in the country this season. The last three games have been against Michigan State, Michigan and Miami. Giving up only 12 points total in the three games and the Irish are No. 2 in the country in points allowed.
This Saturday they host Stanford followed by BYU. Then they travel to Oklahoma (No. 13) and finish with Pitt, Boston College and Wake Forest before their annual showdown with USC in Los Angeles on Nov. 24.
The Notre Dame/USC contest could possibly be the game that decides who goes to the championship game to meet the SEC winner.
For the SEC, Big-12 and the PAC-12, attrition could take its toll on all three conferences.
If Alabama takes care of business, they will meet either the winner of the PAC-12, provided they only have one loss or Notre Dame.
Based upon their schedule, Alabama should ride the crest of a high- tide right into the national championship game.
Predictions:
Mississippi over Auburn
Alabama over Missouri
Notre Dame over Stanford
South Carolina over LSU
USC over Washington
Texas Tech upsets West Va.
Until next time.
Meyers is a college football columnist.

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