It's hard to believe that there are only three weeks left in regular-season football, and that sports fans are about to go careening off into bowl season and college basketball. But it is true.
Last week was at the same time a week of catharsis and confusion in the SEC. LSU proved that it was not a cut below Alabama and Auburn. Auburn managed to stay undefeated, but allegations against Heisman favorite Cam Newton have arisen that have captivated the college football world.
We are seeing some familiar themes emerge which have Alabama, LSU and Auburn are all fighting for BCS berths with only Auburn in the conversation for the Mythical National Championship and unable to withstand even one loss. This is not the SEC of the past three or four years where one team seemed on an unstoppable path to the BCS championship game. Auburn looks good right now, but they still have to host an improving Georgia team and visit Tuscaloosa in the Iron Bowl, which should really be a barn-burner, and survive the SEC championship game against either Florida or South Carolina.
In the East, it looks to me like Spurrier and the Gamecocks have an actual chance to get to Atlanta, but to do so they have to win the showdown game with Florida in the Swamp this weekend. No matter who the winner is, they will be the underdogs against the West champion in the SEC title game.
Here is my ballot:
|1||Auburn||6-0||10-0||54.9||422-243||17.9||2,[2!]||Auburn didn't exactly thrash UT-Chattanooga. Will the Cam Newton controversy get the Tigers by the tail?|
|2||LSU||5-1||8-1||54.96||228-146||9.1||5,6,5||Huge victory over the Tide in Baton Rouge. Apparently Les Miles' contract with Satan has not quite reached expiration.|
|3||Alabama||4-2||7-2||55.24||295-124||19||11,12,12||There will be no repeat for the Tide, but we knew that back on October 9th.|
|4||Arkansas||4-2||7-2||54.79||321-198||13.7||14,15||Beating the Gamecocks in Columbia sets up a showdown with LSU on Nov 27th if they can get past the cowbells.|
|5||Mississippi State||3-2||7-2||52.74||253-153||11.1||17,18,19||Open date last week, but a date with the angry Elephants Saturday.|
|6||South Carolina||4-3||6-3||50.75||265-197||7.6||22,23||Late season swoon sound familiar to anyone?|
|7||Florida||4-3||6-3||51.47||282-176||11.8||24,23,22||Are the Gators finally starting to figure it out, or was that just another game against Vanderbilt?|
|8||Georgia||3-4||5-5||45.61||338-194||14.4||Georgia proved beyond any doubt that they are better than 1-7 Idaho State. Mark Richt must be bubbling with pride, and as a bonus, nobody got arrested this week.|
|9||Kentucky||1-5||5-5||37.71||344-298||4.6||Got by an FCS team, but allowed the game to look hard. Can they make their fourth straight bowl, or will they plunge to the cellar?|
|10||Mississippi||1-4||4-5||50.76||294-296||-0.2||Not looking bowl-worthy at this point.|
|11||Tennessee||0-5||3-6||43.5||224-258||-3.8||Hung 50 on lowly Memphis, but it's back to the SEC this week, where they have failed to scratch.|
|12||Vanderbilt||1-5||2-7||43.19||160-278||-13.1||Vandy versus Florida. Who do you think would win that? Three guesses, and two don't count.|