Last week: 1 (IDLE). This week: at #2 Alabama
2. Alabama (8-0, 5-0): It's been hard to find any real signature games on the Crimson Tide's schedule, although the Penn State win is looking better and better. That changes abruptly this week.
Last week: 2 (IDLE). This week: vs. #1 LSU
3. Arkansas (7-1, 3-1): Could've been a season-changing disaster last week had the Razorbacks tumbled to Vanderbilt. They survived, though, and now have an even tougher test against the Gamecocks.
Last week: 3 (beat Vanderbilt 31-28). This week: vs. #10 South Carolina
|Aaron Murray: Bulldogs leapfrog South Carolina in the Power Poll. Can they do so in the SEC East race for Atlanta, too?|
4. Georgia (6-2, 5-1): Hard to imagine this Bulldogs team being this good after an 0-2 start, but they've shown a lot of moxie to recover from that. Will that be good enough to get them back to Atlanta, though?
Last week: 5 (beat Florida 24-20). This week: vs. New Mexico State
5. South Carolina (7-1, 5-1): Somewhere along the way, the Gamecocks offense became pedestrian and predictable. Good thing the USC defense is headed the opposite direction.
Last week: 4 (beat Tennessee 14-3). This week: at #8 Arkansas
6. Auburn (6-3, 4-2): Somehow, some way, Auburn is hanging around in the West with only two losses. Now Clint Moseley might be getting comfortable and that's nothing but good news for the teams left on the Tigers' slate.
Last week: 6 (beat Ole Miss 41-23). This week: IDLE
7. Florida (4-4, 2-4): Strange as it sounds, the Gators' current four-game losing streak is acceptable considering who they lost to. But if you're Florida, you don't lose to Vanderbilt. Do you?
Last week: 7 (lost to #22 Georgia 24-20). This week: vs. Vanderbilt
8. Mississippi State (4-4, 1-4): Bulldogs finally got in the SEC win column by outlasting Kentucky. Now you have to wonder if they have a late-season surge in them.
Last week: 8 (beat Kentucky 28-16). This week: vs. Tennessee-Martin
9. Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-4): Commodores could be in a much different place if not for a couple of late-game mistakes. How James Franklin's first season might be gauged by what Vandy does in November – and a bowl game is still within reach.
Last week: 9 (lost to #8 Arkansas 31-28) This week: at Florida
|Houston Nutt: His Rebels have a chance to nab an SEC win this week.|
10. Tennessee (3-5, 0-6): With every SEC loss that piles up you have to start wondering where the Volunteers are going to find any wins. There's one this week for them, but after that…
Last week: 10 (lost to #14 South Carolina 14-3). This week: vs. Middle Tennessee
11. Ole Miss (2-6, 0-5): Gene Chizik called the Rebels the best 2-5 teams in the country last week. At this rate, it sure looks like Ole Miss headed to being honored as the best 2-10 team of 2011.
Last week: 11 (lost to Auburn 41-23). This week: at Kentucky
12. Kentucky (3-5, 0-4): Surprisingly the Wildcats had a shot against State. With Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Tennessee left on the schedule, it's conceivable UK could actually finish strong.
Last week: 12 (lost to Mississippi State 28-16). This week: vs. Ole Miss
This week's schedule
LSU at Alabama, 7 p.m. (CBS)
Vanderbilt at Florida, 11:21 a.m. (SEC Network)
New Mexico State at Georgia, 11:30 a.m.
Ole Miss at Kentucky, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Middle Tennessee at Tennessee, 6 p.m.
South Carolina at Arkansas, 6:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennessee-Martin at Mississippi State, 6:30 p.m.
Game of the week
LSU at Alabama: Not a lot of thought making this one the game of the week, considering many are dubbing it the ‘Game of the Century.' Most angles have been covered or will be before this one kicks off. The nits and bolts: Two great defenses, two methodical offenses, two teams that are and will remain the favorites to play for the national championship, regardless of how this one turns out. It's conceivable this could be the first chapter between these two teams this season. Hard to imagine there will be any more anticipation than this one has generated for two weeks. Look for something weird to happen late in the game and for field position to be a premium for 60 minutes and maybe more.
Around the SEC
Arkansas is hosting South Carolina in only the second matchup of top-10 teams in the last 33 years. The Razorbacks played host to No. 1 Alabama last season when they were 10th in the polls. This is South Carolina's first involvement in a battle of top-10 teams since 1987 when it lost to LSU 30-13 in the 1987 Gator Bowl. Arkansas is 20-5 in its last 20 games, joining Alabama, Auburn and LSU as the only SEC schools that have won at least 20 games in that span. The Gamecocks are seeking a sixth SEC win for the first time since joining the league prior to the 1992 season. The Hogs have scored at least 29 points in all seven victories this season. USC and Arkansas have been each other's cross-division foe since both were added to the SEC. The Razorbacks lead the series 12-7. … Vanderbilt's offense has found a groove since a loss to Alabama, averaging 437 yards and 33.3 points a game since then. Vandy has scored 202 points this season, two fewer than all of 2010. The 'Dores are seeking their first win over Florida since 1988. This is the first non-ranked foe the Gators have played since Sept. 24. They were 0-4 in October, falling to No. 2 Alabama, No. 1 LSU, No. 24 Auburn and No. 22 Georgia. … Kentucky is looking for a second win a row against Ole Miss in Lexington. The Rebels are trying to avoid their worst SEC start since 2007 when they were 0-8.
NOTE: Here's how 12 writers from around the SEC, including me, voted in a league-wide power poll.
1. Alabama (7) 139, 2. LSU (5) 137, 3. Arkansas 119, 4. South Carolina 106, 5. Georgia 97, 6. Auburn 86, 7. Florida 71, 8. Vanderbilt 53, 9. Mississippi State 52, 10. Tennessee 37, 11. Ole Miss 27, 12. Kentucky 12