Southern Football rankings Week 6

Upset week in the ACC leaves the bowl scene in a mess. It also leaves the ACC out of the top seven spots in the South. <p> Alabama was supposed to be the best team in the SEC, but they lost. The best team in the SEC will be determined next Saturday.

23. Duke –worst team in the South. Last week: #22

22. North Carolina – 2nd worst team in the South. . Last week: #23

21. Vanderbilt – another lowly season for Vandy. Last week: #22

20. Mississippi State – beat Ole Miss and the Rebels stay at home. Will State fire Jackie Sherrill? Who would they get that is better than him?  Last week: #20

19. South Carolina – no need to lose sleep about going to Shreveport when you are 5-7. Now, Lou Holtz is grumbling that he might not come back next season, but I think that he will. Last week: #18

18. Ole Miss – another what if game for the Rebels. Now they need a win over archrival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl to get to a real bowl.  Last week: #17

17. Wake Forest – because of their win over Navy, the Demon Deacons are bowl eligible, but will the play in a bowl game? Last week: #16

16. Clemson –suddenly a 7-5 team, Clemson has played better under quarterback Charlie Whitehurst down the stretch. Clemson has not beaten any one worth anything this season, but will go to a bowl game for the fourth straight season. Last week: #19

15. Virginia Tech – the season's end looks more like the toilet bowl more than anything else Georgia and Oklahoma are huge Hokie fans in a few weeks. Last week: #10

14. Kentucky – if there ever was a season that Kentucky should beat Tennessee, this is it. The Vols are bloody and bruised and even though the game is in Knoxville, Kentucky has a better than average shot of beating the Vols. If Kentucky is truly on the rise in the SEC, they will win this game. Last week: #13

13. Georgia Tech – Tech has won five of its last six games over ranked teams on the road, including wins over Georgia in 1998 and 2000. Another road win over the Dawgs would make Tech's season and would ruin any shot that Georgia has of a national title. Last week: #12

12. North Carolina State – NC State's win over Florida State propelled them into the Gator Bowl. Now the Pack will face either Notre Dame or the winner of the Pitt-West Virginia game. So it looks like they will take on Pitt. While this season could have been a championship one for NC State, I am leaving them lower in the rankings because of their late season slump. Last week: #15

11. Tennessee –beating Vandy 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 the bowl scene for Tennessee gets real ugly. Last week: #11

10. Virginia - Virginia's win over Maryland might push them past the Turtles and into the Peach Bowl, but more than likely the Tangerine Bowl will be where the Cavs will play. This week's game against Virginia Tech will show just how good Virginia is. Last week: #14

9. Maryland – the disappointing loss to Virginia means that the Gator Bowl just slipped out of Maryland's hands. Now where? Likely the Peach. Last week: #6

8. Florida State – how in the world is FSU playing in the BCS? This system makes no sense. Even with a win over Florida, which might not happen, the Seminole will still have 4 losses, the most ever for a BCS participant. The ACC does not deserve a team in the BCS this season. Last week: #4

7. LSU – Slipping and slopping around the field will not win LSU the chance to play Georgia in Atlanta. The Tigers need a spark to win on the road at Arkansas with the title on the line. Last week: #7

6. Arkansas -. Neither SEC West contender is playing particularly well of late. Witness Arkansas' 26-19 win over State. The Hogs had to hold off one of the worst team's in the SEC. But the big test is LSU this Friday. The winner of that game is the SEC West champ. Last week: #8

5. Alabama – I though that Alabama was the beat team in the SEC? It did not look that way last Saturday. Auburn beat the Tide like a drum. Now Bama goes to the Pacific for their "bowl" game against Hawaii. Last week: #3

4. Auburn –after a disappointing loss to Georgia at home, Auburn kept themselves in the SEC West race momentarily. However, after Ole Miss lost to LSU, the Tigers were eliminated from the race. But Auburn did recover from the Georgia loss, helped their bowl chances, and beat Alabama. Considering the circumstances, you can't get much better than that. Last week: #9

3. Florida –Florida will be playing on New Year's Day 2003, but it won't be in a BCS game (likely in the Citrus; at worst the Outback). However, their rival, Florida State will; even with a minimum of FOUR losses. Florida will probably hand State their 5th loss, making the BCS structure even more of a joke than it currently is. Last week: #5

2. Georgia – a week off, and almost no talk has been about Georgia Tech, its been all about the SEC title game and the Sugar Bowl. If the Dawgs lose to the Jackets, it will be 3 of the last four seasons that that has happened. Georgia is a better team, and is not yet mathematically eliminated from the national title, so they should win. But everyone is saying beware of Tech, they have already won on the road against highly ranked team this season. Last week: #2

1. Miami – Miami had better not continue its lackadaisical effort or they will wind up in the Orange Bowl. Virginia Tech and Syracuse have done nothing this season, a win over Miami would be something though. Last week: # 1

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

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