It was all a bit too easy really. Georgia looked locked in as the East's eventual champion and recipient of one of the two bids to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. Then, Will Muschamp's dead carcass came alive and the Gators pounded Georgia into submission, causing a pretty chaotic shake-up in the East. As we are now in the month of November, the stretch run is officially here and both division chases should be all kinds of fun. In the West, five elite level teams will battle it out to claim the coveted spot in Atlanta. In the East, three mediocre-to-solid teams will play hot potato with their invitation. Enjoy the last month of the regular season, everybody.
1. Mississippi State. The Bulldogs struggled with Arkansas. I mean, who does that?
2. Auburn. The Tigers are a very good football team, there is no question about that. However, the way this team has won games the last two years is absolutely baffling. If you lost a game on NCAA the way Ole Miss did the other night, you would immediately yank the cord out of the wall. Again, give Auburn credit, they are always in a position to win these games. But man, it's really unbelievable.
3. Alabama. Bye weeks are not fun at all, but the Tide needed a week of rest. The next month is going to be brutally fun.
4. LSU. I'm giving LSU the head-to-head tiebreaker here over Ole Miss, but that's not the only reason I have Les Miles' bunch in this spot. LSU is peaking at the right time, and they aren't totally out of contention in the SEC, and thus, the playoff. Big time game in Baton Rouge this weekend.
5. Ole Miss. Easily one of the worst losses in program history Saturday night. The Rebels are a team that had a very talented group of about 15 guys on both sides of the ball, but they aren't exactly super deep. Unfortunately for them, the injury bug is really starting to rear it's ugly head, and the injury to Laquon Treadwell may just push them over the cliff. Ole Miss really needs that guy on the field. Hugh Freeze has a really tough job in front of him. All of their dreams of competing for a SEC and/or National Championship have seemingly fallen to shambles after the last two games. The team is deflated and beat up. This is a classic "go through the motions the rest of the season" spot.
6. Georgia. I'd like to chalk that loss up as your typical, out-of-nowhere "WHAT JUST HAPPENED" loss, but that's the second one of the year for Georgia. They have real issues throwing the ball, and the defense is so inconsistent right now. When Georgia's on, they are a top ten team. When they are off, they can give zombie coaches signature wins.
7. Missouri. Hey Mizzou, can you not do this whole "lose embarrassingly to Indiana and then round into form" thing anymore in the future? You are really putting a strain on this relationship we've got going here. Shane Ray is a monster (side note: where are these defensive lineman coming from, Missouri?), and the defense has been very impressive in SEC play.
8. Arkansas. If you think Arkansas is tough to beat now, just wait until they learn how to win a game.
9. Florida. I really don't know where this team has been all year, but what Florida did to Georgia on Saturday is what I was expecting to see this season from the Gators. After seeing some of the reactions from the players after the game, you can tell they are behind Muschamp. Maybe a strong end to the season saves his job. I mean, heck, there is a decent chance they make it to Atlanta. I'm serious, stop laughing.
10. Texas A&M. Man, there are some systemic issues in College Station right now. The Aggies looked totally uninterested against ULM. This isn't the fun, exciting Warhawk team led by Heisman snub Kolton Browning either. A&M is young, but the sheer talent discrepancy alone should have produced a better result against a team that LSU and Kentucky both destroyed earlier this year.
11. Tennessee. Big win for the Vols. Not in the traditional, "HOW ABOUT THAT?" kind of way, but two solid performances in a row for them is something that hasn't been seen in a long time. Josh Dobbs is a stud.
12. Kentucky. The Wildcats are the definition of a young, rebuilding team with a solid amount of talent. Erratic performances on the road are a strong indication of this. The offense was pretty lifeless against Missouri.
13. South Carolina. The Gamecocks really aren't this terrible. The defense is, but the offense has played at a pretty high level most of the year. However, three losses in SEC play in which they led by two touchdowns in the 4th quarter of all three games? That's epic collapsing right there. Steve Spurrier's team doesn't know how to win games late in the ballgame anymore. That's a strange thing to type.
14. Vanderbilt. The 'Dores played their best football game of the year this past Saturday, so they got that working for them.