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Southern Football rankings Week 4

This is elimination week in the South; lose and you are out. When Georgia and Auburn meet this week the game will eliminate the loser from the SEC title race. Florida must win against South Carolina in order to keep their title hopes alive. <p>In the ACC, Maryland must beat Clemson to keep their slim title hopes alive and Florida State can't look past North Carolina. Finally, Miami must win every week if they plan on playing in the Fiesta Bowl

23. North Carolina – after taking a 9-0 lead in the first half, North Carolina allowed Clemson to outscore them 42-3. No wonder that they are last on this list. Last week: #23

22. Vanderbilt – Vandy gave the Gators a run for their money, but as expected, collapsed under the pressure of trying to pull off the upset. Last week: #22

21. Mississippi State – losing to Alabama is nothing to be ashamed of, but this team's season is over. This week State plays the wounded Vols.  Last week: #21

20. Duke –Did not play last week. The Blue Devils will try to pull off the upset of Georgia Tech on the road but that's not likely. Last week: #21

19. Clemson –Clemson finally stepped up a won a game that they were supposed to without any drama involved. Bowden, feeling pressure from Clemson fans decided to pull Woody Dantzler and played Charlie Whitehurst instead, and it paid off. Whitehurst, for the second week in a row, lit up the opposition. The good news for the Tigers is that they got the win; the bad news: they still have to beat South Carolina and a very good Maryland. Last week: #19

18. Ole Miss – one has to wonder when or even if David Cutcliffe will be able to turn Ole Miss into a championship program. I for one don't think that he can. Ole Miss has won 9 games only a few times in the last 50 years. They lick their wounds this week, thinking about their very unimpressive 5-5 mark.  Last week: #18

17. Wake Forest – you would think that Wake's two weeks off would guarantee a win over Navy. You wouldn't think that Navy would almost beat Notre Dame. Last week: #17

16. South Carolina – Things are getting a lot worse in Columbia for Lou Holtz and his Gamecocks. Once against the offense was useless and the Cocks were held scoreless against Arkansas. I know that the Cock fans will never question the charismatic Holtz, but they should at least question why the coaching staff has not made any offensive adjustments all season. Against the Hogs, Holtz took the offensive controls from his son and experienced the failure that is the Gamecock offense first hand. He said after the game that he was humbled by the experience. It looks like another humbling session is scheduled for this Saturday in Gainesville, FL. Last week: #12

15. Virginia – with the remainder of its schedule looking mighty tough, Virginia's bowl stock has plummeted. The Cavs still have to beat NC State, Maryland, and Virginia Tech (which seems possible now). 6-7 will leave Virginia without a bowl game. Last week: #14

14. Kentucky – Kentucky was on the cusp of one of its biggest upsets ever. Then the play. Can Kentucky recover in time to knock off Vandy at home? Yes. Last week: #15

13. Georgia Tech – kinda like Georgia, Tech can't get past the powerful Florida team in their conference. Mistakes and big plays at critical times cost the Jackets a game that they could have won. Tech will end the ACC season at 4-4 after a win over Duke, but a win over Georgia is the only way to get to a respectable bowl. Last week: #11

12. North Carolina State – With the ACC title totally out of the question now, State needs to recover as fast as possible in order to get the best bowl game as possible. However, it seems to me that with the way that this season is going right now, a win over Florida State is mandatory in order to avoid a lackluster bowl game.  Last week: #10

11. Tennessee – time to throw in the towel on Tennessee's season. Now they have lost to both SEC East rivals, have been dominated by Miami, and beaten soundly by rival Alabama. The Vols should drill State this weekend, but that is no accomplishment. It looks right now like the Peach Bowl will be getting a visit from the Big Orange Nation, that is unless the Vols slip up against Kentucky. Last week: #13

10. Virginia Tech – the loss to Syracuse means that this season has come undone for the Hokies. Last week: #4

9. Arkansas –. beating South Carolina in Columbia has not been something that Arkansas traditionally has done. But to their credit, the Hogs were just too much for the Cocks. With critical games remaining at the end of the year, namely against LSU, Arkansas can still win the SEC West, but still need a little help from Georgia or Alabama in order to jump over Auburn. Last week: #12

8. Auburn –The Tigers were just way too much for Louisiana-Monroe. But now is Auburn's most difficult stretch of the season. Georgia and Alabama are in the way of Auburn's SEC West title. They also need LSU to lose again for that to happen and considering the final moments of the LSU-Kentucky game, I'm not certain if that's going to happen again.  Last week: #10

7. Maryland – With their game winning field goal in the last few minutes of the game, Maryland is still in contention for the ACC title. But they need some help from the team that they beat last weekend in order for that to happen and with the late season slump that NC State appears to be in, that's not likely. Last week: #9

6. Florida – a poor performance almost cost the Gators the chance to get to the SEC title game. But they should roll over the Cocks and do their part to win the East; but will Auburn help? Don't forget the Noles at the end of the season. Florida is desperate for a Georgia loss. Last week: #8

5. LSU –"Now Auburn is in the drivers' seat in the SEC West and LSU is the team that needs some help. The Tigers lost Saturday at Kentucky after the Cats stormed back and scored 10 points in under 3 minutes to beat LSU. Now, LSU must not only beat Alabama, but must also hope that Georgia or Bama can beat Auburn in the next two weeks." That is what I wrote after the Kentucky field goal. Then I went into the bath room to brush my teeth and the next thing that you know, I see a mass of purple and gold on the screen. The Kentucky students were running towards the goalposts, the Tigers were running towards a victory. Now, LSU has a huge game against Alabama. Last week: #7

4. Florida State –another win over Tech, ho hum. Sure the game was close, but the outcome was the same. FSU should roll past North Carolina and then two big games in a row against NC State and then the Mighty Gators. However, the win over North Carolina practically wraps up the ACC. Last week: #6

3. Alabama – Bama went through the motions to beat State last weekend. But in order to win this week, against LSU, the Tide can't do that. Alabama will need its "A" game to prove that they are the best team in the SEC West. Then they get a shot at Auburn to solidify their claim. Last week: #3

2. Georgia – Georgia slopped their way to another win over Ole Miss. While the Rebels may not have taken full advantage of Georgia's sleepwalk effort in the first half of last week's game, Auburn will. On top of that, Georgia is now without Terrence Edwards and will have to depend on the running game Musa Smith for offensive production. Georgia has a history of letting Auburn spoil their good time… Last week: #2

1. Miami – now there is no doubt who the number one team in the South or in the nation is for that matter. Miami fans should make their reservations for Tempe. The only hurdle that remains looks like Pitt. Last week: # 1

Disagree with my rankings: CORRECT ME! Send me your rankings here: dean@dawgpost.com


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