Southern Football rankings

The final week of the season brings us Georgia vs Georgia Tech; Florida State vs Florida; LSU vs Arkansas; and The Egg Bowl.

23. Mississippi State – All that the Dogs can do now is ruin all of the fun for the Rebels.

Straight up: Ole Miss

Points: Mississippi State (+19.5)

Move: Same as last week

22. South Carolina – If Mississippi State beats Ole Miss then the Cocks will get the last place spot for the season. At 2-6 in the SEC with wins over only Vandy and Kentucky, South Carolina has, for the second season in a row, failed to qualify for a bowl game after getting 5 wins at some point during the season. Why isn't Lou Holtz's job in question? Did I mention the BEATING that Carolina took from Clemson.

63-17 in Columbia.

Gamecock fans are known for being the best in college football; if putting up with losing makes you a great fan then have at it.

Season over

Move: -1

21. Wake Forest – a loss to Maryland will complete a season that has to be considered a disappointment.

Straight up: Maryland

Points: Maryland (-8)

Move: +1

20. North Carolina – Mercifully this season is over for the Tar Heels.

Season over

Move: -1

19. Kentucky – JLoad and the rest of the Cats will have one last chance to leave their mark on the SEC.

Straight up: Tennessee

Points: Tennessee (-10)

Move: -1

18. Vanderbilt – losing to Tennessee is not unusual for Vandy; another disappointing season. But at least they took care of Kentucky.

Season over

Move: +2

17. Duke – a season ending win over North Carolina shows that this Duke program came to play in November. A quality win over Georgia Tech also looks good.

Season over

Move: Same as last week.

16. Alabama – This season should be thrown away for the Tide. Way too much happened to think that this group could recover from having 3 coaches in less than 6 months. It just was not possible.

Straight up: Alabama

Points: Alabama (-3)

15. Georgia Tech – Chan Gailey and his bunch can make their trip to Boise a whole lot better by knocking off hated Georgia. ABC will show this game at 1 pm and Tech seems to play Georgia better in the afternoon (save last season). But Tech is over matched and there is way too much at stake for a Georgia team that seems to play big in big games (unless against Florida).

Straight up: Georgia

Points: Georgia (-8)

Move: -1

14. Virginia – the team that took all of the momentum away from the Jackets, or at least the latest team to do that (Clemson, Duke, and Virginia in that order), has given themselves the chance to finish with a nice end to the season. If the Cavs can knock out limping Virginia Tech then they could finish the season with a pretty good record and a lot of steam heading into recruiting season.

Straight up: Virginia

Points: Virginia (Pick)

13. NC State – The ultimate meltdown. One week you are playing for the ACC title and lose; the next you have a comfortable lead and lose to an ACC rival. The Wolfpack deserves no better than the Tangerine and that's what they got.

Season over

Move: -1

12. Auburn – Tuberville fired? He's only won at least a share of the West 3 times since he arrived in Auburn.

Season over

Move +1

11. Virginia Tech – The old school ACC teams have a lot less to worry about with Virginia Tech. They have been one of the most over-hyped teams since the turn of the century. Virginia will welcome them this Saturday.

Straight up: Virginia

Points: Virginia (Pick)

Move: -4 (Mover of the week)

10. Clemson – I would love to move Clemson higher but they lost to Maryland and they are not better than Arkansas. This program should be winning at least 9 games a year; which is what they are on track to do right now. A Peach Bowl win and this end of the season run will likely be one of the Tigers' best in school history. Think of the what-could-have-beens for these Tigers: They were only beaten solidly twice. Winnable games against Maryland and NC State prevented them from a top 15 national finish.

Season over

Move: +1

9. Maryland – If the Terps can somehow figure out a way to beat Florida State they might be able to grab some national title talk in the future. But for now a Gator Bowl bid and the chance at another nice season ending record will have to do.

Straight up: Maryland

Points: Maryland (-8)

Move: +1

8. Arkansas – This week's game at LSU is a spotlight game for the Hogs to show that they are the ones that are the long-term power in the SEC West. No one ever seems to think about Arkansas when picking the SEC West at the start of the season but in the end they always have a say in determining the winner. This week they get the same chance.

Straight up: LSU

Points: LSU (-9.5)

Move: +1

7. Florida State – with a BCS bid wrapped up and the Gators on the way, Florida State could finish the season with two straight losses and find themselves as far back as number 20 in the final AP poll.

Straight up: Florida

Points: Florida (+1)

Move: +1

6. Miami – this week's game against Pitt is for the final Big East title, a trip to the BCS, and for Miami's national reputation. The Canes are not to be feared right now; they are a shadow of their championship teams of the past.

Straight up: Miami

Points: Pitt (-3)

Move: Same

5. Ole Miss – a difficult loss at home to LSU all but knocks the Rebels from their march to Atlanta. Still, this has been a great year for Ole Miss. I wish that I was there to see the Grove before and after this monumental game. But that is behind Ole Miss now and they will have no chance to get to Atlanta if they don't take care of business again rival Mississippi State in Starkville.

Straight up: Ole Miss

Points: Mississippi State (+19.5)

Move: -2

4. Tennessee – all that the Vols can do is win and hope that Georgia loses to Georgia Tech. Fulmer deserves credit for turning the season around after the beating that they took from the Bulldogs in October.

Straight up: Tennessee

Points: Tennessee (-10)

Move: +1

3. Florida – Surviving the scare against South Carolina means that the Gators still have a shot to get into the SEC title game. Beating the Seminoles is the only way that they can sneak in if everything goes the way that it should; but what if Tennessee loses and Florida does too? Can the SEC really be happy with 11-1 LSU playing 8-4 Florida in the biggest game of the conference season?

Straight up: Florida

Points: Florida (+1)

Move: +1

2. Georgia – The Dawgs polished off another undefeated home schedule with their win over Kentucky. Georgia must beat Tech this weekend to get a shot to play LSU (or Ole Miss) in the SEC title game. Needless to say, Georgia is better than Tech. That should show this weekend in Atlanta.

Straight up: Georgia

Points: Georgia (-8)

Move: same

1. LSU – The Tigers survived a trip to Oxford and are in perfect position to take back the SEC title from Georgia. They will get their chance to do that if they beat Arkansas this Friday. The joke of the season is that LSU is not the number two ranked team in the BCS.

Straight up: LSU

Points: LSU (-9.5)

Move: same

Dean's lock of the week: Maryland covers (+8) at Wake Forest.

Last week: 7 of 11 (64%)

Season: 36 of 60 (60%)

Lock of the week: 4 for 6 (67%)


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