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SEC mailbag: Alabama, Saban overrated?

On the eve of the SEC championship game, let's empty out the SEC mailbag:

Reginald in Bessemer, Ala., writes: I think Alabama’s team and coach are highly overrated. Auburn exposed them this past weekend. Auburn isn't ranked in the Top 25, yet Alabama only won with less than a minute to go. I think the dust will be settled Saturday. Go Gators!

Chris Low: It may be, but Florida’s had some struggles as well this season in the fourth quarter. Remember Mississippi State? Remember Arkansas? Remember South Carolina? Comparing scores means nothing this time of year. It’s down to a one-game playoff, and whichever team plays best on Saturday in the Georgia Dome is going to get a shot at the national championship.


Grant in Franklin, Tenn., writes: Who's the home team this year? Last year, Alabama was ranked No. 1 and was dressed in road white. This year it’s reversed. Who's wearing white?

Chris Low: Alabama will be the home team and wear its crimson jerseys, but it has nothing to do with who’s No. 1 and who’s No. 2 in the BCS standings or the rankings. The Western Division champion is the home team in odd years and the Eastern Division champion the home team in even years.


Tim in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Why do you think Lane Kiffin spends so much time jabbing away at Urban Meyer? Is it as simple as Florida being top dog in the East? Seems like there is more to it, though I cannot think what. He has gone out of the way to make it personal. Maybe I am being biased but never felt that Spurrier made it personal when he took jabs at other schools. Does he ever consider that it may backfire in the long run? You are there in Knoxville. Would love more insight into this since a month cannot go by without Lane taking a shot.

Chris Low: I’d say it’s a combination of things. Florida’s the school Tennessee is chasing in the East, but the Vols also see the state of Florida as one of those areas they will need to successfully recruit if they’re going to have a chance to catch the Gators. Kiffin believes the more he’s in the headlines, the better chance he has to recruit most of today’s athletes. But, yes, I do believe that Kiffin has gone out of his way to get under Meyer’s skin. And, yes, I think there is a chance it could backfire unless the Vols start winning at a very high level. After all, the best way to get under somebody’s skin is to beat them.


Jamie in Charlotte, N.C., writes: Is Tim Tebow really the best college football player of all time, or is he one of the most hyped college football players of all time?

Chris Low: I don’t know if he’s best player of all time, but he’s certainly one of the best four or five college football players of my lifetime, ranking up there with Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders and Hugh Green. As for the hype, I can’t recall a more visible college athlete. He hasn’t been shy when it comes to speaking out about his Christian faith, which has probably garnered him even more attention. He wears his emotions on his sleeve on the field and is one of the fiercest competitors you’re ever going to see. In my book, there’s a lot more substance to Tebow than hype.


George of Knoxville, Tenn., writes: No one is mentioning Nick Saban for the Notre Dame job. I wouldn't be surprised to see him as coach next week after the SEC championship game. No loyalties to Alabama. From the north. Money will flow from Notre Dame. Surprised his name has not come up.

Chris Low: It hasn’t come up because there’s no chance he’s going. He’s already making in the $4 million range, has a great setup at Alabama with everything in place to win championships and has done all the heavy lifting to build the program back up to this level. Why would he leave now? Saban has pledged to be at Alabama for the rest of his coaching career, and I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen.


Rick in Birmingham, Ala., writes: You wrote that Anthony Dixon passed Mark Ingram for the SEC rushing title this season. Dixon has 1391 and Ingram has 1429. Were you basing the title on something else?

Chris Low: Dixon, who’s career is over at Mississippi State, is No. 1 among the SEC rushing leaders this week with an average of 126.5 yards per game. Ingram is averaging 119.1 yards per game after being held to 30 yards last week against Auburn. Ingram has played in one more game this season than Dixon, but the SEC bases its rushing leaders on yards per game provided a player has played in a certain number of games. Ingram could still regain the SEC rushing title with big performances in the SEC championship game and bowl game.