Even Alabama Is Giving Up Points & Yards In A Big 12 Style Of Play
Once the standard in college football for playing defense, the SEC is now resembling the Big 12.
Traditional defensive football teams Alabama, Florida and LSU are surrendering yards and points in alarming numbers (alarming to the fans and coaches anyway), leading to shootouts with scores resembling Texas Tech games.
Get a load of these scores this year in the SEC: 63-48 (Alabama Ole-Miss), 45-41 (Missouri-LSU) 44-34 (Mississippi State-LSU), 41-38 (Texas A&M-Florida), 51-35 (Florida-Ole Miss).
Alabama, traditionally the gold standard not just in the SEC but in the entire country, could not stop Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss. The Rebels had 647 yards of total offense. They rushed for 268. Alabama used to often give up less than 50 yards rushing a game.
It’s so bad that after the game Nick Saban almost sounded as if has given up on defense when he said, ” I think the offense that we have in college football right now is very, very difficult to defend. It’s not any old-fashion offense. It’s spread, lots of very difficult plays to defend. So, we’ve gotta score a lot of points if we’re gonna win, but we have to play better on defense, too.”
The Tide’s linebackers are continually out of position, the line is being gashed on up-the-middle running plays and there are missed tackles. The latter is particularly unnerving for Saban because he has always had solid-tacking teams.
Florida’s defense gave up 35 to Ole Miss to start the season and by comparison, that almost seems like a shutout now. It was so bad in its 41-38 loss to Texas A&M that a defensive back, in perfect position to make an interception on a bomb, instead watched the Aggies receiver catch it and turn into the end zone for a momentum-changing touchdown.
And LSU, well, it’s beyond pathetic. The Tigers have given up 130 points already for an average of 43.3 a games.
Only one team, Georgia, is playing traditional SEC-caliber defense. And it hasn’t played an explosive offense yet (Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee have been its three opponents to date) but faces Alabama (51.3 ppg) on Saturday.
So is this a case of bad defense or great offense?
As always it’s case of both, but right the defenses are way behind the offenses. And it’s not typical of the SEC, which has long prided itself on being the best conference in the land because the defenses always separated it from all the other leagues.
• College Football Week 6 Winners & Losers