By Mike Corasaniti
At this point it's pretty much secured. Alabama and Florida have cleared their major hurdles and are on a crash course for a Dec. 1 meeting for the SEC crown and an all but guaranteed shot for the national title.
But when you look at the grand scheme of all the national title contenders (in other words, the grand scheme of the SEC), you still have a good amount of undefeated teams and one-loss teams that can make a case for being the best darn team in the country. LSU, Georgia, knocked down for sure but out for the count? Not even close.
And at the same time you have to wonder, when all of these talks of possible contenders arise, why is Mississipi State constantly being left out? They're undefeated, scoring at will, and in a dead heat with Alabama for first place in the SEC West.
The main issue with the Bulldogs credibility of course lies with one major factor at this point: competition. At this point, MSU has yet to play a ranked opponent and has showed a few signs of weakness against lesser SEC opponents like Tennessee and even smaller school such as Troy.
But hey, this is the SEC. Remember that time Auburn won a national championship? Well now they're competing with Kentucky for the "Worst Team in the Best Conference" award. Things can change in a heartbeat, and who's to say a change won't come this weekend when the Bulldogs roll into Tuscaloosa? It's a long shot, and truthfully unrealistic, but at the same time scarily possible as Alabama could seemingly be a little distracted by next week's match-up with LSU that MSU could fly under the radar.
So let's go with this: Mississippi St. comes into Alabama and steals one from the Tide with a field goal in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. A few weeks later they do the same to LSU. Then it's smooth sailing until an SEC title game with Florida. In this weird and unexpected match-up, who takes home the crown?