All right, we knew coming into this year that the SEC-West was the best division in America, but this is just getting ridiculous. Six of the seven teams in that division are ranked – five in the top 15, four in the top 10 and two in the top five. The worst ranked team in the division? That would be No. 17 LSU (3-1).
“You don’t know what’s going to happen in the SEC-West,” CBS Sports college football analyst Houston Nutt said on The Morning Show. “Its probably one of the best conferences in America, and Mississippi State kind of (shakes) things up now.”
Indeed, No. 14 Mississippi State is 4-0 – one of five unbeaten teams in the SEC-West. The division’s overall record is 24-2 (5-2).
Another one of those 4-0 teams is No. 5 Texas A&M, which hasn’t missed a beat after losing Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans. Nutt believes the Aggies have a legitimate chance of qualifying for the College Football Playoff, especially after dominating then-No. 9 South Carolina, 52-28, in their season-opener.
“Without Johnny Football – and with Texas A&M going to South Carolina – I think everybody just assumed that was going to be a loss in Columbia,” Nutt said. “But oh my goodness, Kevin Sumlin just reloads, just puts the next guy in there. Kenny Hill has just taken off. The defense seems to be much, much better. You lose a Mike Evans at wide receiver, (but) here comes Ricky Seals-Jones. He’s a 6-5 guy. They just reload and they’ve done an outstanding job recruiting. Their offense is just awesome. Very fast. Kenny Hill is executing very well.
“It’s going to be interesting this week: will the defense hold up against that big old running game against Arkansas?”
A&M plays Arkansas (3-1, 0-1) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Switching gears for a bit, Dana Jacobson asked Nutt a question that he unfortunately knows something about: What’s it like to be a coach on the hot seat? What is Brady Hoke feeling right now? His Michigan Wolverines (2-2) have beaten Appalachian State and Miami of Ohio by a combined 86-24, but they’ve lost to Notre Dame and Utah by a combined 57-10.
Michigan opens conference play against Minnesota (3-1) this Saturday at home.
“That’s a great question,” Nutt said. “You know what’s hard? It’s so hard because you’re so focused. It’s your wife that goes to the grocery store. It’s your children that go to school. And what do they want to bring up? ‘Well, daddy’s not going to be here very long is he?’ And so that makes it tough.
“But what’s so important for Coach Hoke right now is when he goes into that room – and you know what’s on social media, you know what the kids are facing when they walk to class – it’s so important that he (gets them) to focus on this next game and just keep giving these men hope to somehow find that dose of medicine that they need so desperately. And the only dose of medicine there is, is winning.
“It’s so hard, especially when you hear the outside noise. But this is where you call on your captains. This is where you call on your seniors to say, ‘We got to tune this thing out, as hard as it may be. Don’t worry about me. Here’s the plan we have for Saturday. We’re going to win this ball game.’ That’s the only thing you can do. Nose to the grindstone.”