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Topics for Discussion: The SEC East, Hot Seats and Another Rematch

Is Dylan Thompson the answer for the Gamecocks against Missouri and in the SEC East race?
Is Dylan Thompson the answer for the Gamecocks against Missouri and in the SEC East race?

Who's the front-runner in the SEC East? A quarter of the way through the season, the two teams that were most likely to compete for it -- Georgia and South Carolina -- have exactly one impressive win between them. The two most popular dark horses -- Missouri and Tennessee -- stumbled in their first SEC games. And Florida is 2-0 and suddenly looking like a team that could make a run. So who's the favorite, and can any of the one-loss teams still make a run at it?

Is a quarterback controversy brewing in Columbia (SC)? In his return from injury against UAB, Connor Shaw wasn't that effective -- 8-of-14 for 107 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Dylan Thompson started out shaky, the reason for this 5-of-10 passing line, but averaged 10 more yards per attempt than Shaw and threw two touchdowns. (In fairness, he also threw two near-picks, one called back on a roughing-the-passer penalty and the other just dropped by UAB players. A stretch of seven SEC contests in as many games looms.

Whose seat is hotter -- Gene Chizik, Derek Dooley, Joker Phillips or JohnL Smith? That's a, um, distinguished list of names there. Auburn is 1-2 after nearly losing to Louisiana-Monroe, Dooley's make-or-break season is currently pointed toward "break," Phillips' Kentucky lost to Western Kentucky at home Saturday, and Arkansas did lose to Louisiana-Monroe before getting clobbered Saturday by Alabama. Is any one of them gone before the season (assuming the rumors that one of them might already be gone aren't true)? And, if so, who's first?

What are the chances of another rematch? It's way too early to talk about this, but some people are already talking about this, so let's address it here. Can the SEC put two teams in the national championship game with at least four of its teams looking -- subpar? Or if it comes down to the Alabama-LSU loser and a collection of other one-loss teams, should we still go on the theory that the Tide and Tigers have distinguished themselves from the field?

What are you watching next week? Missouri travels to the other Columbia for its first SEC road game; LSU visits Auburn; Vanderbilt's at Georgia and most of the other teams in action are playing assorted midmajors. (Florida's hosting Kentucky, which is basically the same thing right now, and Rutgers swings by Fayetteville.) So when you're team's game isn't on your television, what's going to be the SEC game you can't miss?