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The Day After: What we learned from Week 9 in the SEC

Auburn rolled again while Tennessee suffered a backbreaking loss.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

1. Auburn looks like the second-best team in the SEC

Texas A&M’s 52-10 drubbing of NMSU shouldn’t be overlooked of course, but the way that Auburn has been able to manhandle teams in recent weeks is mighty impressive. The Tigers have rushed for 850 (!!) yards in their last two games after their 307-yard performance on the ground on Saturday against Ole Miss. The returning Kerryon Johnson didn’t even need to be a factor and he still was able to get two touchdowns on the day while Kamryn Pettway rushed for 236 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. Auburn has certainly hit their stride, and hardly anybody except their in-state rival looks as good at this point.

2. Tennessee’s SEC East chances are dissolving

The Vols had an inexcusable loss on Saturday night to South Carolina which dropped them to a three-loss mark in conference. With Florida and Kentucky sitting above them now in the SEC East, it appears that Tennessee’s drought will be continuing in 2016. Unless they get a massive load of help going down the stretch and they turn it around in November, there will be questions remaining in Knoxville going into the offseason after what can only be described as a disappointing season to this point.

3. Meanwhile, Kentucky has a chance to win the SEC East

No, seriously. The Wildcats have two SEC games left against Georgia and Tennessee. Neither looks as daunting as they appeared about two months ago with both the Bulldogs and Volunteers having disappointing 2016 campaigns. Florida would have to slip up twice, but they have to go to Fayetteville and Baton Rouge still and host a South Carolina team that suddenly is 4-4. Can you imagine Kentucky turning Atlanta into #CATLANTA... for football?!

4. Mizzou’s chances of winning an SEC game don’t look promising

Missouri hasn’t won a conference game in over a year now, and optimism that they’d end that streak wasn’t really induced on Saturday when they fell at the hands of Kentucky, who came in and took them down 35-21 in a game where the final score wasn’t indicative of how it really played itself out. South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee — the Tigers’ next three opponents -- haven’t looked like juggernauts by any means. However, Missouri hasn’t looked like much of a heavyweight either, and things are far from promising in CoMO right now.

5. Mississippi State, too, could be headed for disaster

This wasn’t learned as much as it was possibly affirmed on Saturday with State’s win over Samford. That might sound silly coming off a win, but the Bulldogs gave up a tonnage of yards through the air and needed a miraculous offensive performance just to get the victory. With daunting tasks lying ahead, starting with A&M this coming wek, it’s tough to imagine Mississippi State’s bowl streak continuing into tis year.