Southern Football rankings Week 5

Last week's Elimination weekend in the South turned out to only eliminate one team, Florida. Georgia and Alabama had huge wins last weekend.<p>This week is bowl week. The ACC will try to lock up thier bowl bids this weekend while South Carolina and Ole Miss fight for the SEC's final spot.

23. North Carolina – mercifully, this season is over; the loser of the Duke-UNC game gets last place for good. . Last week: #23

22. Duke –Duke played pretty hard against Georgia Tech, but will have to beat arch rival North Carolina to stay out of last place. Last week: #20

21. Vanderbilt – Vandy was no match for Kentucky and if they can't beat the Cats, they won't beat Tennessee. Last week: #22

20. Mississippi State – all that State can do from here on out is spoil the season of Arkansas and Ole Miss. I don't think that they will win either game, although if they do beat one of the two it will be the Rebels.  Last week: #21

19. Clemson –a pathetic season is coming to an end. No big wins, no real improvement, no good bowl game, some fans calling for Bowden's head. Clemson can do one thing that it did not do last season, and that is beat South Carolina. If the Tigers win, they will help their bowl chances. Last week: #19

18. South Carolina – South Carolina's sorry season is coming to an end, and its looks like the Cocks are on the outside looking in for a bowl game. They need to beat Clemson and then hope that Ole Miss loses a game, but I don't think that they will get past the Tigers. Gamecock fans often wonder why their team is not included with the Big 3 (Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee) from the SEC East in terms of greatness. Great programs don't finish 5th in the SEC East and right now, that where the Cocks are. Last week: #16

17. Ole Miss – I don't think that Ole Miss will beat LSU this weekend and I am not certain that the Rebels can get past hated Mississippi State in order to get into a bowl game.  Last week: #18

16. 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

15. North Carolina State – with Florida State in town and the Pack looking like a beaten dog, a win would do wonders for their moral. Last week, State lost a close game to Virginia that will cost them a good bowl game. Now all that the Pack can hope for is a lopsided win over the Noles, and that isn't going to happen.  Last week: #12

14. Virginia - Virginia's win over NC State was a critical one in terms of the bowls. Because Virginia has such a difficult remaining schedule, they needed the win. Now they have a huge game against Maryland which will go a long way in determining who will represent the ACC in the Gator and Peach Bowls. Last week: #15

13. Kentucky – if there ever was a season that Kentucky should beat Tennessee, is this one. The Vols are bloody and bruised and even though the game is in Lexington, Kentucky has a better than average shot of beating the Vols. Last week: #14

12. Georgia Tech – Tech's uninspiring win over Duke leaves the Jackets in position for a 3-way tie with Clemson and NC State for fourth place in the ACC. I am not sure what the win means for their bowl chances, but I know what a win over Georgia would do for them. A lot. Last week: #13

11. Tennessee –beating Mississippi State is nothing special, but nothing about this season has been special for Tennessee. The Vols had better watch out for the trap that is Kentucky. I hope that Jabari Davis is ready to come home for the holidays, because he will be playing in the Peach Bowl this season, unless the Vols lose to the Cats; then it gets real ugly. Last week: #11

10. Virginia Tech – a Wednesday game against West Virginia could knock The Hokies even further down the Bid East ladder. Right now, they are in 4th, behind West Virginia in the Big East. Needless to say, in order to have some sort of decent bowl game, Tech needs this game. Last week: #10

9. Auburn –a disappointing loss to Georgia at home left Auburn with several more questions than answers. When it appeared that the Tigers could nail down the game, they simply could not get a first down, or they could not prevent Georgia from scoring. Tubberville will likely take a lot of heat if Auburn loses to Alabama this week. And I think that they will.  Last week: #8

8. Arkansas -. A lackluster win over Lafayette is not the way that you want to be playing going into the two biggest games of your season. The Hogs will beat State but the big test is LSU in two weeks time. The winner of that game will likely be the SEC West champ. Last week: #9

7. LSU – The Tigers were soundly beaten in their own stadium by Alabama. The loss makes LSU's matchup at the end of the season with Arkansas huge. Lose and the Tigers are out of the SEC title game, win that game and against Ole Miss this week, and they will be playing for a shot at another Sugar Bowl bid. Last week: #5

6. Maryland – the Terps need a little help from NC State to win a share of the ACC title. Maryland's only losses this season are to Notre Dame and Florida State. The lost to the Noles is huge because FSU can win the ACC with a win this Saturday. Maryland plays a tough Virginia team, then must beat Wake Forest, and hope that the Noles lose to NC State to share the ACC with FSU. All of that won't happen, but Maryland will be rewarded with a very nice bowl game. Last week: #7

5. Florida – after all of the sleuth saying from one of Florida's players, it turns out that Florida was left out of the conference title game because of Georgia's two wins over Ole Miss and Auburn. The Gators' win over now lowly South Carolina was hardly consolation. Still, Florida will be playing on New Year's Day 2003. Now Florida must regroup for a big match up with Florida State. Last week: #6

4. Florida State – the final ACC game of the season will determine if the Noles will be co- or undisputed champions. NC State should be no challenge for Florida State, but then again, the Noles have slipped up before during this season. If they play steady, they will return to the BCS, no matter the outcome of the Florida game. Last week: #4

3. Alabama – the beating that Bama put on LSU was impressive. Many are saying that the Tide is the best team in the SEC, forgetting the fact that Georgia, the winners of the SEC East, has already bested the Tide (in Tuscaloosa). Still, Alabama's impressive late season run proves that they are, at the very least, the best team in the SEC West. If they can beat hated Auburn this weekend, the season will be considered a success. Last week: #3

2. Georgia – when the time came for Georgia to make a play they did it. Fred Gibson caught a long pass from David Greene, which set up Greene's game winning pass to Michael Johnson on forth and 15 from the Auburn 19. Auburn dominated the first half of the game, but was not able to put Georgia away. The game is the first that I can remember in a very, very long time where Georgia came in a won do or die game. Georgia will face Auburn, LSU, or Arkansas in the SEC title game. This week the Dawgs are off, but they have in-state archrival Georgia Tech to worry about in two weeks. Last week: #2

1. Miami - there is no doubt who the number one team in the South or in the nation is for that matter. The only thing in the way of Miami and Fiesta Bowl looks like Pitt. Last week: # 1

Dean Legge can be reached here: dean@dawgpost.com

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