It is halftime in the 2021 college football season and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has an undefeated team and Alabama coach Nick Saban does not.
It is halftime in the 2021 college football season and Kentucky and Wake Forest have a combined record of 12-0, while Nebraska and Florida State have a combined record of 5-8.
It is halftime in the 2021 college football season and Alabama is not regarded as one of the four best teams in the country
If you are a college football fan--and especially one from the state of Alabama--how do you like those apples?
The saving grace, of course, is that it IS only halfway through a season which has shown us some spectacular moments as well as perplexing ones.
After the fiasco and turmoil of last season's COVID--dominated season, who would have projected that at the midpoint of this season, the embattled and beleaguered Big Ten would have one team in the Top 5 (Iowa but not Ohio State) and more more in the Top 10 (No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan and No. 10 Michigan State).
The stunning news, of course, came out of College Station, Texas, where the mighty defending national champion Crimson Tide of Alabama lost a 41-38 decision to unranked and twice beaten Texas A&M.
Panic in the streets of Tuscaloosa, of course, and chaos in the polls as the Tide dropped out of the Top 4 (which is supposed to signify the best four teams in college football at any given time) and were criticized for losing a game to an unranked twice beaten team.
First of all this was an A&M team which was ranked No. 6 in the country in the Associated Press pre-season poll, lost its starting QB to an injury in the first game of the season and then stumbled twice after that going into the Alabama game.
It wasn't a Jacksonville State which stunned Florida State earlier this season.
It was a legitimate Power 5 team playing at home on a Saturday night in front of a raucous cloud with everything at stake for their season.
And in the end, Alabama, had a bad defensive SERIES and lost by a game-ending field goal.
But the vultures came out quickly, dropping the Tide because it had lost to an unranked team with two losses.
Forget that the Tide this season had already beaten (when they played them) unbeaten and No. 14 ranked Miami, unbeaten and No. 11 ranked Florida and unbeaten and No. 12 ranked Ole Miss.
What's wrong with Alabama?
Not much really, certainly not enough to even suggest they still are not one of the four best teams in the country, status which was awarded this week to Georgia, Iowa, Cincinnati and Oklahoma.
Aside from Georgia, which may indeed be better than Alabama, I would venture to say that if the Tide faced either Iowa, Cincinnati or Oklahoma this week, it would be a solid--maybe even double-digit favorite---over all of those teams.
Let's look at some other aspects of what has been a fabulous season thus far.
Biggest surprises (positive)-Big Ten and Kentucky, Wake Forest, BC, Pitt, Michigan, Michigan State
Biggest surprises (negative)--North Carolina, USC, Miami,, Clemson, Oklahoma (margin of victory)
Projected conference champions
Big Ten--Ohio State