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Auburn’s loss means Alabama yet again clinches the SEC West title

For the fourth time in five years, Nick Saban’s team will play in the SEC Championship.

CFP National Championship - Alabama v Clemson
Hey, these two just accomplished something together again
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

No. 1 Alabama smashed Mississippi State, 51-3, to reach 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the SEC. With only one league game left to go — the Iron Bowl against No. 9 Auburn — the Tide only needed one more win to clinch.

The Tigers were also the only team with a chance to keep the Tide out of the SEC Championship. At 5-1 in conference entering Saturday, Auburn could’ve won in Tuscaloosa and thus swiped the division title.

That was until Auburn lost at the home of its other major rival, Georgia, on Saturday, 13-7. The defending national champions now win the SEC West no matter what happens in the Iron Bowl. That’s a nice little gift to Nick Saban from his former defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart, who’s now the head coach at UGA.

And it gets even weirder:

Anyway, I’ve updated the SEC West standings accordingly:

In Saban’s decade at Alabama, the Tide have now won the SEC West outright six times, with four SEC titles so far.

Oh, and one of the years in which Bama didn’t win its division, it beat division champion LSU for the national title.

In Atlanta, the Tide will face a representative from one of the country’s worst Power 5 divisions. With a win there, Bama will become the only team to have made all three College Football Playoff fields. (It’s already the only team to make both.) I’m not even certain that Bama would have to win that game to make it in, but it’d be a good idea to do so.