You may think that during the season, even a chaotic season such as this one, that the stories aren't written until the games are played. In fact, from week to week it's pretty easy to guess what the postgame wrapups are going to say (barring unexpected concussions, of course). Not to be a spoiler or anything, but here's what everyone will probably be saying on Sunday about the four in-conference games.
If Alabama Wins Big
Wow, the Crimson Tide just put up another big victory. Is it time to start calling them the best team in the SEC? Probably not yet, since Florida had its way with Kentucky too, but you'd be hard pressed to find a team that has looked better through the first five weeks than Alabama has.
If Alabama Wins Close
Wow, we almost had another top five shocker there, didn't we? I wouldn't go so far as to say this is a sign of trouble for Alabama though, because it was on the road, they might have been looking ahead to the showdown with Ole Miss, and they only beat Kentucky by three last year at home no less. In this season, everyone's entitled to a down week or two, and at least the Tide won during theirs.
If Kentucky Wins
Can this season get any crazier? Sure we've been seeing tons of top ten and even top five upsets, but Alabama was one of three teams that looked to be above the fray. So much for that. You have to give Rich Brooks a ton of credit though for circling the wagons a week after the debacle against Florida and getting his team ready to take down a giant. Still, you wonder if it's just another case of this season mercilessly taking down a highly ranked team.
Well, the Tigers haven't won pretty too much this year, and everyone was doubting whether they should even be a top ten team. However, to go on the road and win between the hedges was just a fantastic win for this program. It just goes to show that during the first four weeks, LSU was doing what it needed to: survive and advance. Now with this big win out of the way, they get to go home and play the defending champs at night. How big does that one look now that LSU has validated itself?
If Georgia Wins
Wow, what can you say about the job Mark Richt is doing this year? Everyone knows about the losses they incurred from last year, and then they go and lose Trinton Sturdivant for the second straight year. He could have lost the team after that tough first week loss, but instead the Bulldogs have bounced back and won in every fashion imaginable. Now, they've taken down a top five team. Maybe no one should have doubted this team at all.
If Ole Miss Wins
Boy, did this team need to bounce back after last week's tough loss to South Carolina. They didn't look good at all in that game. Sure this was just Vanderbilt, but any time you can get a road win in the conference you take it. The Rebels just needed to breathe a bit and realize that they can still accomplish their goals of winning the SEC West for the first time. They can make a huge step towards that goal by beating Alabama next week, but it would be a pretty long shot if they didn't avenge last year's loss to Vanderbilt this week.
If Vanderbilt Wins
Yikes. It just keeps getting worse for this year's off season darlings. The loss to South Carolina was ugly, but the Gamecocks pushed Georgia too and aren't looking like a bad team. Vandy has looked like a bad team, and here they are coming away with a second straight win over Houston Nutt and Ole Miss. Credit Bobby Johnson for getting things worked out after a bad loss to the other Magnolia State team though. He's always one of the most underrated coaches in the country.
Auburn has looked good so far, but let's be real: they hadn't faced much of anyone of note yet (because despite beating a terrible Colorado team, we still don't know how good West Virginia is). Tennessee has a defense that is very real, so I think we can throw some real weight behind the Auburn optimism now. Gene Chizik has now won as many games at Auburn as he did in two years at Iowa State, so it's probably time to toss out his "Mr. 5-19" title as well. I don't think anyone expected him to do this well this soon. Maybe the administration there knew what it was doing all along. Tennessee, by the way, is now 2-3 and hasn't been able to beat a major conference team. It's not looking all that different from last year.
If Tennessee Wins
This is a game that Tennessee really needed. So far, Gene Chizik had been doing the best of the conference's three new coaches, winning his first four games in style. Now, Tennessee has a good real victory, not just a good moral victory, early in Lane Kiffin's tenure. This is the sort of win that the program can build on going into its tough upcoming stretch with Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. Without this win, a 2-6 start could easily have been possible. As for Auburn, it was a nice start, but maybe the Tigers aren't as far along as we thought.