'There's always next year?'
Want to know how the SEC will turn out week-by-week before it happens? Don't we all. So we hooked up the closest thing college football fans have to a time machine and will simulate each week of the season using EA's NCAA Football '13. Please keep in mind that it's all in good fun and we're not saying this is how it actually will happen. Though that would be pretty cool and a little bit eery.
We get the BCS standings for the first time this week, just in time for a few more upsets to send some teams tumbling down the rankings. At this point, everything pretty much looks like a mess except for Georgia. The Dawgs are golden as long as they just keep winning. But will they?
TEXAS A&M 35, LSU 10
How's the grass tasting? At this point, not very good for LSU fans. Dreams of another championship game run have instead turned into a fight to stay in a New Year's Day bowl. Texas A&M scores 28 points in the second and third quarter to take the lead in this one, while the Bayou Bengals fail to score in the final three quarters. Despite four turnovers, the Aggies pile up 473 yards to a meager 226 for the Tigers, who manage just 57 yards rushing on 31 carries.
FLORIDA 19, SOUTH CAROLINA 10
Speaking of dream seasons deferred, South Carolina now has three losses -- which would not be that big a deal if this were "Old Carolina," but is pretty disappointing for "New Carolina." There might not be any headsets left in the South Carolina equipment locker after 13 fourth-quarter points doom the Gamecocks. And they just gain 187 yards offense. Florida goes 11-of-21 in third-down conversions in the win.
ALABAMA 34, TENNESSEE 17
This is a close game until the Tide tacks on 13 fourth-quarter points. (Tennessee has heard this before in our fictitious season.) Five turnovers make the 31-yard advantage for Alabama enough to produce the lopsided victory. The Vols' running game disappears, with 33 attempts generating just 80 yards on the ground.
GEORGIA 26, KENTUCKY 14
The Dawgs would probably prefer a little more comfortable win against a team that is a punchline at this point, especially given that it's 17-14 at the end of the third quarter, but the goal at this point is just to keep the train on the tracks. The offense cranks out 502 yards while Kentucky is, well, Kentucky.
AUBURN 48, VANDERBILT 14
In case you were wondering whether the guys at EA are sold on James Franklin (VU) -- the answer appears to be no. The Commodores now need to go at least 4-1 just to get to a bowl. Meanwhile, Auburn demolishes the Vanderbilt defense to the tune of 624 yards of total offense, including 392 passsing and 232 rushing. Vandy passes for 96, but at least gets 132 on the ground.
Mississippi State 42, Middle Tennessee State 3
2 Notre Dame
19 Texas A&M
24 South Carolina