Is the two-team dream now dead? Before Georgia's loss to Florida last week and Auburn's loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, the notion of getting two SEC teams into the college football playoff didn't seem so far-fetched -- and even with Georgia eliminated, it was possible to see a scenario in which, for example, Mississippi State and Auburn both beat Alabama and both got tickets to the tournament. That's out now. The only teams that can finish with one loss are Mississippi State and Alabama, who play this weekend -- a game that one of them is likely to lose so late in the season that it could knock them out of the Top 4 for good. So is there still an opportunity for both the Bulldogs and the Tide to make it? And is there any other SEC team that has a shot at getting into the playoff?
How do you like us now? Texas A&M and LSU are both sitting at 7-3, 3-3 SEC, after strong performances over the weekend, and both of them have taken an interesting route. There was the early-season swing that made A&M look so good, until South Carolina's ranking turned out to be a mirage and the three-game losing streak began. Then, the Aggies went and upset Auburn. LSU looked decent until they lost to Mississippi State and got thrashed by Auburn -- before going on to beat Ole Miss and come close to upsetting Alabama. So what are we to make of either of these teams? Are they good, merely decent or a little bit of both?
Which team is the favorite to win the SEC East this week? Kentucky's loss to Georgia officially eliminated the Wildcats from what was always the longest of long shots to begin with. (It would have taken a truly bizarre series of events to get UK into the SEC title game.) It also officially knocked Tennessee out of the race. Now, it's down to Missouri (7-2, 4-1), Georgia (7-2, 5-2) -- oh, yeah, and one other team.
Florida has a better chance to win the SEC East (19 pct) than Auburn and Ole Miss combined to win West (15 pct). (ESPN FPI)— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) November 9, 2014
At 5-3, Florida can hardly be considered the favorite, but if Missouri loses a couple or three games, it could happen. The operative questions seem to be: Can Georgia beat Auburn this week? And can Missouri sweep a slate that includes trips to College Station and Knoxville along with a home game against Arkansas? Or is it dumb at this point to even try to figure out what's going to happen in the most dysfunctional division in college football?
Who's your underrated player of the year in the SEC? We all know the Heisman contender and top-line names like Amari Cooper at Alabama and Dak Prescott for Mississippi State -- but who do you think is not getting the kind of attention they deserve? My nominee would probably be Cameron Artis-Payne, who added 221 yards to his season total on 30 carries Saturday, putting him at 1,190 yards and nine touchdowns on 208 carries for the year. He was already leading the conference in rushing before this weekend, in case you hadn't heard. But who else should we be talking about but are instead overlooking?
Who makes the postseason? Vanderbilt officially became the first team eliminated from bowl contention Saturday, and every SEC West team except Arkansas has already reached the six-win threshold, as have Georgia and Missouri. The teams with fates still undecided: Florida (5-3, South Carolina, East Kentucky and at Florida State left); Kentucky (5-5, at Tennessee and at Louisville left); South Carolina (4-5, at Florida, South Alabama and at Clemson left); Tennessee (4-5, Kentucky, Missouri and at Vanderbilt left) and Arkansas (4-5, LSU, Ole Miss, at Missouri). Florida looks like a shoo-in, but which of the other teams will make it? It looks like Kentucky-Tennessee might be a must-win for both teams -- so who you got in that one?