SEC storylines, Week 5: Mettenberger, doubting Alabama and Clowney to the Steelers?

South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward

The top 5 SEC storylines for Week 5:

- Doubting Alabama: The Tide’s lackluster overall performance against Virginia Tech looks worse in the rear view, and Nick Saban’s guys didn’t look very interested against Colorado State until pulling away late from a 41-point underdog (31-6). A problem fixed with a thwacking of Ole Miss, or lingering issues?

- Mettenberger vs. Murray Mania: Ejected from Georgia, Zach Mettenberger returns a more mature person and a much better quarterback, leading LSU into a game that has South Carolina and Florida pulling hard for The Hatter. The result will go a long way in defining the season for Mettenberger and his former Bulldogs teammate, Aaron Murray.

- Buy or sell Arkansas?: The Hogs are 3-1 and averaging 246 yards rushing per game, and Texas A&M is giving up 5.9 yards per carry. But first-year Arkansas head coach Brett Bielema and Co. are coming off a loss at Rutgers and might have a hard time winning any SEC game except at home vs. Mississippi State.

- Defending the Gamecocks’ defense: 11th in the SEC in scoring defense isn’t where defensive coordinator Whammy Ward wanted to be three games in, but a younger back seven and growing pains go together. Saturday at smart and spunky Central Florida is a real test.

- “The Book of Manning”: Excellent SEC Storied documentary on ESPN, with spot-on focus on the tie to the suicide of Archie Manning’s father during his college years at Ole Miss.

The Clowney Meter

The NFL’s 5 worst teams, and the most likely NFL draft destination for the South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

2. Oakland Raiders

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4. Buffalo Bills

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

Bottom line: The Jaguars, Raiders and Buccaneers apparently need quarterbacks. That leaves the Bills – and, surprisingly – the Steelers as top Clowney possibilities.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff