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Kicking Off Week 7 With Alabama in Second and Georgia Far Below // 10.12.09

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GATOR HYPE-O-METER
On a scale of 1 to 100

 Hypeometerweek6_medium
Defeat LSU in the wake of WILLHEWONTHEPLAY mania. But Alabama is beginning to pick up some more publicity as the other unbelievably good team in the SEC.

UPS AND DOWNS
A look at who's going which way in college football 

Takeup_medium LANE KIFFIN
Got his first SEC win. Suddenly, a bowl game seems a lot more likely. So does Kiffin saying something else that makes the entire league hate him.

Takeup_medium LEIGH TIFFIN
Five FGs in game against Ole Miss only good part of Alabama's red-zone woes. Keep that leg warmed up. With a game coming up against South Carolina, we could see the SEC record for attempts in a contest.

Takeup_medium ALSHON JEFFERY
Gamecocks freshman begins drawing comparisons to Sidney Rice. Maybe he should have a huge game against a team not named Kentucky first.

Takedown_medium GEORGIA
They allowed Jonathan Crompton to compile a 282.92 passer rating, but the most unsettling part of Satur-- Wait a minute. Jonathan Crompton had what passer rating? Forget it. That's the most unsettling part of the entire season.

Takedown_medium VANDERBILT
Commodores lose to Army. That's the bad military academy.

Takedown_medium BOBBY BOWDEN
When the governor of your state comes to your defense and still can't save you, you're probably in a good deal of trouble.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
A few things to think about for the week ahead

Poll positions
Florida is now down to 50 first-place votes in the AP poll and Texas is down to zero, with the 10 other first-place votes all going to Alabama. That was enough to put the Tide into second in the writers' survey, though they are still closer to the Longhorns (+35) than to the Gators (-60). Somehow, despite picking up four more first-place votes in the coaches poll to bring their total to five, the Alabama continues to find itself behind Texas by 24 points. Some bizarre voting has to be going on here. In other words, of those coaches who have neither Texas nor Alabama as the No. 1 team, some of the voters have to be ranking Alabama lower than Texas, and perhaps significantly lower, given that we can also presume that some of those putting Florida first are putting Alabama ahead of Texas.

Who are these odd voters? Which teams are they putting between Alabama and Texas? Do they have any ulterior motive for doing so? We don't know, because the coaches' ballots are all secret. One of the wonders of the great BCS.

LSU is 10th in both polls after the loss to the Gators.

Ole Miss' loss to Alabama paired with South Carolina's shaky win against Kentucky was enough to finally move the Rebels behind the Gamecocks. Mississippi fell completely out of both the AP and coaches' surveys, with South Carolina ranked No. 22.

Auburn was excised from the Top 25 following their loss to Arkansas and Georgia failed to draw a vote in either poll after getting dissected in Knoxville. Context: Idaho got a vote in the writers' poll and Georgia did not.

The Tigers did remain No. 24 in the Harris Poll [PDF], which has Bama moving up to No. 2 as well. LSU dropped only to No. 9.

So Florida, Alabama, LSU and South Carolina are the only consensus Top 25 teams this week. It wasn't that long ago that the SEC had four teams in the Top 10.

Non-SEC oddities: Houston is seven spots below Oklahoma State, a team they defeated waaaaay back last month, in the AP voting and a staggering nine places in the coaches' poll. BYU, alas, remains locked one spot below Oklahoma in the coaches' poll, though the sage writers have moved them up to No. 18, one spot above their place in the coaches' survey and two better than the Sooners in the writers' own rankings.

South Carolina looks to rebound against Alabama
Before 2001, there was perhaps no more lopsided losing streak in the SEC -- save maybe Kentucky against, well, everyone -- than South Carolina's series against Alabama. Despite the Gamecocks' late entry to the league, they had played Alabama in 10 games dating back to 1937. And lost every single one of them.

In fact, South Carolina could only be bothered to score in five of the first seven contests. Alabama won the first three games a combined 104-0.

Well, South Carolina could claim the 1993 game if it wanted to, because the Tide was forced to forfeit that win by the NCAA. (Play Alabama often enough and you'll win at least one game by NCAA fiat.) The Gamecocks are 2-1 against Alabama over the last three games, though the record for the Tide might soon be 0-3 because of vacated wins due to Textbookgate. The Gamecocks won their last game in Tuscaloosa -- site of this year's contest -- 20-3. They lost the last meeting between the two teams, that 2005 contest in Columbia, 37-14.

Do we have to play them every year?
With Saturday's 45-19 loss, Mark Richt is now 1-3 in his last four games against the Vols. All told, Tennessee has scored 145 points in that span, an average of 36.3 points per game. That's worse than the 114 given up to Florida (Richt is also 1-3 over the last four years) and the 79 points scored by the Dawgs' other major SEC rival, Auburn (Richt over the past four years: 3-1).

After starting his career with three straight wins against the Vols from 2001-03, Richt hasn't defeated Tennessee in consecutive seasons. Since that victory in 2003, Richt has as many wins against Florida as against Tennessee.

Site notes
Look for our midseason report series to start up this week. We'll take a look at each of the teams that have already played six games, giving priority to those who don't have a bye this week and continue working through until we have them all done shortly after the sixth game for each team.

SEC NEWS

More tests for Tebow needed?
Urban Meyer isn't sure if Tim Tebow will need to continue undergoing tests for his concussion.

Looks like he was where he should have been
Was the Houston-Mississippi State game decided by a blown call?

Georgia on pace to have worst scoring defense
Ever. At least for their program.

Spurrier hopes South Carolina will follow S.C. State formula against Alabama
This isn't Holtzian so much as brutally honest.

"We're a team that hopes we can get it in a close game. It seems like every one of our games have been very close at halftime, anyway. Then we've played pretty decently in the second half in most of them. We'll hope this game follows that script right there."

That tends to work better against Florida Atlantic than the No. 1 team in the country, but whatever you think might work is probably the way to go.

It was worse
Save the Shield on how Vanderbilt's loss to Army this year stacks up against last season's defeat against Duke.

Moreno fumbles but otherwise plays well in first NFL start
Proving he's still a Bulldog at heart, Knowshon Moreno fumbled in Sunday's game with the Broncos. Proving he's no longer actually playing for Georgia, his team won.

Memphis appeals vacated wins after Rose investigation
I'm kind of tired of this story, seeing as how it's actually football season now, but we'll keep you updated just to be fair to Kentucky and Calipari.

Injury Report

WR Joe Adams (Arkansas)
Mild stroke, unclear (HT: Arkansas Expats)

QB Mike Hartline (Kentucky)
Knee, unclear

CB Marshay Green; RB Enrique Davis (Ole Miss)
Cracked rib and lacerated kidney; Sprained ankle, both unclear

ELSEWHERE

Peter Wilkes dies
Incredibly sad news. You might recall Southern Miss mistakenly putting out a press release last week reporting that Wilkes had been fatally shot. They had to retract it when it turned out the walk-on punter was still alive, but the original reports proved unfortunately prophetic. Thoughts and prayers.

Mitch Mustain -- punter?
I was unaware the former Hog was practicing his kicks. But now he might move into the backup quarterback position, according to Pete Carroll.

Deion Sanders' ringing endorsement of Bobby Bowden
When this is the best your supporters can come up with, it might indeed be time to go.

Florida State’s demise is not because of Bowden, Sanders said. He noted that he has not seen Bowden wear a headset during a game in some time.

"I don’t feel like he’s making decisions throughout the game," Sanders said. "You would have to focus that blame on whoever who is doing that as well as whoever is head of recruiting."

Don't hold it against him. It's not like he's actually running things.

In any case, Bowden might want to be wary of Sanders' help. It hasn't turned out so well for the last guy in college football he supported.

One Hawkins loses his job
Not Dan, the beleaguered Colorado head coach -- at least not yet. No, that would Cody, the beleaguered Colorado starting QB. Unless things turn around, though ...

The legend of Dennis Erickson grows
He gets knocked "colder than a cucumber" and out in the game against Washington State.