The narrative during college football’s regular season was relatively straight forward. The SEC West was college football’s best and deepest division, while the ACC Coastal was one of the worst.
When the champions of the ACC Coastal met one of the top teams in the SEC West for the 80th edition of the Capital One Orange Bowl, the SEC West was left in the dust.
The No. 12 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets simply ran over the No. 7 Mississippi State Bulldogs. This is the same Bulldogs squad that was ranked No. 1 overall at the onset of the first College Football Playoff rankings.
Not only did Georgia Tech beat Mississippi State, Paul Johnson‘s squad embarrassed the Bulldogs as the Yellow Jackets ran for 452 yards on their way to a 49-34 victory.
With the impressive win, Georgia Tech, 11-3, will almost certainly finish the season ranked in the Top 10. At least Johnson emphatically believes so.
This will build momentum for the Yellow Jackets as they enter the offseason. It will also potentially grant the program a favorable rankings at the beginning of next season.
Johnson’s triple option and aggressive defense are very difficult to prepare for and play against. Mississippi State is merely the latest to find out just how hard it really is.
Meanwhile, the SEC is no longer the prettiest girl at the dance.
The new year couldn’t get here fast enough for the league after being bruised and bloodied during New Year’s Eve. Mississippi State and Ole Miss combined to lose their bowl games by a score of 91-37.
SEC West has lost 5 of its past 7 bowl games after winning 7 straight in a stretch during 2012-13.
— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) January 1, 2015
The rankings for SEC teams this season proved to be a mirage — at least among those teams that already played in bowl games.
This whole SEC West thing began the very first Thursday when a bad/average A&M team beat a bad/grossly over ranked South Carolina team.
— Brian Rosenthal (@HuskerExtraBR) January 1, 2015
The biggest change coming out of this year’s bowl games might not be the new College Football Playoff. Instead, the once pristine facade of the SEC appears to be cracking as other programs close the gap.