Topics for Discussion: Are There Speed Bumps Ahead, and Can Vanderbilt Win It All?

Kevin C. Cox

Also: What are Johnny Manziel's Heisman chances looking like now? Who will lose when Kentucky faces Tennessee? And who can make their postseason reservations early?

It's 11-1 Alabama facing 11-1 Georgia in Atlanta, right? Which is a roundabout way of saying -- does anybody see Auburn beating Alabama or Georgia Tech beating Georgia? The latter only matters in the national title picture, and likely only if the Dawgs then go on to be Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. The former, though, could throw the SEC West wide open. If LSU were to have won Friday at Arkansas, then the Tigers would head to the championship game; otherwise, Texas A&M would need a win against Missouri to get to its first early-December berth in the Georgia Dome. But there's no way any of that happens -- right?

How far can Vanderbilt take this thing? The Commodores only need to take care of Wake Forest next week to clinch their first eight-win season in 30 years. Depending on the bowl game they get, Vandy could be looking at nine wins and just maybe a season-ending appearance in the Top 25. Maybe. But let's go to the 5,000-foot level for a minute. Could James Franklin turn Vanderbilt into an SEC contender if he stays? Will he stay long enough to see if he can take the Commodores that far? Could we be looking at a season not too long from now when Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt are locked in a battle for the division?

Is Johnny Manziel the Heisman front-runner now? The other fallout from Kansas State's and Oregon's losses comes in the Heisman race: Collin Klein, Kenjon Barner and Marcus Mariota all saw their campaigns take massive hits. Klein's case has always been built on being "the best player on the best team" -- not any more. Barner and Mariota also benefited from Oregon being an 800-pound gorilla that no one else in the Pac-12 would beat -- until they did. So does that make Manziel the front-runner, or will other candidates emerge?

Kentucky vs. Tennessee: Who loses? I hate to be blunt about this, but the worst SEC game of the season might be on deck for next week. The Vols and the Wildcats meet in Knoxville with at least one lame-duck coach walking the sidelines. So do you have to outperform the other in the art of losing football games? And will Derek Dooley officially be fired before the game kicks off?

Bowl seeding. Let's seed the SEC Championship Game winner in the national championship game. Does the SEC get another spot in the BCS, and does it go to the runner-up or another team? Then, who gets into the Capital One (next pick), Cotton (next West), Outback (next East), Chick-fil-A (next overall), Gator (next), and Music City (next)? Do Ole Miss and / or Missouri get to a bowl, and if so, which one goes to Liberty and which to the BBVA Compass?

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