With the season winding down, there's not a lot of movement this week. Based upon their performances on-the-field so far this season:
1. Alabama 10-0 (6-0)
Well that was rather underwhelming. I mean, this was supposed to be the game of the week, and I just wasn't that impressed. Yes, it was a huge crowd, and yes, it went into overtime. But did you ever really feel that Alabama would lose? SEC West champs: your Alabama Crimson Tide. Last week: no. 1 (same).
2. Florida 8-1 (5-1)
I said it could get ugly, and boy did it get ugly. Vanderbilt Stadium started out full, and I've never seen that many people leave that quickly. Why, again, was this game on TV? Florida is looking like national championship material. Who was that team that lost to Ole Miss again? Only Alabama's unbeaten record keeps them ahead of the Gators in my book. Your SEC East champs: the boys from ol' Flo-ri-da. Last week: no. 2 (same).
3. Georgia 8-2 (5-2)
They always say that the "championship teams" know how to win the bad games and the close games. The Bulldogs were surprised by Coach Brooks' pulling a freshman quarterback out who could play, but they managed to put the 'Cats away on the road in Commonwealth Stadium. They don't get to win the SEC like their fans wanted, but how in the world can they be disappointed with this year? Last week: no. 3 (same).
4. LSU 7-3 (3-3)
The Cajuns just barely manage to stay above the 'Cocks in my book, due primarily to the strength of the competition to which they've lost, i.e., the top three teams in the SEC this season. Watch out for the Rebels in two weeks; otherwise, 9-3 looks in the bag. Last week: no. 4 (same).
5. South Carolina 7-3 (4-3)
The Ol' Ball Coach has his boys nipping at the heels (paws?) of the Louisianian Tigers. It won't be pretty for Spurrier's homecoming in Gainesville, but then again, who expects them to win? Looks like a 8-4 season for the folks from the Palmetto State. Last week: no. 5 (same).
6. Ole Miss 5-4 (3-3)
Open date to prepare for Louisiana Monroe. Now before they get cocky, they should remember who La-Mo has beaten before (not to mention Yew Tee's debacle against Wyoming -- more on that, anon). The Rebs can win all three of their remaining games. They can also finish 1-2. Regardless, barring a Vanderbilt-style collapse, they're going bowling in Oxford for the first time in 5 years. Last week: no. 6 (same).
7. Kentucky 6-4 (2-4)
I'm not saying Vanderbilt will beat them, but this Kentucky team sure looks suspect. Their wins include Louisville, Norfolk State, MTSU, Western Kentucky, Arkansas, and Mississippi State. But when you compare that to VU's wins (Miami Ohio, So. Carolina, Rice, Ole Miss, and Auburn), methinks that the 'Cats aren't as good as their record may indicate. Of course, that could be wishful thinking. Last week: no. 7 (same).
8. Vanderbilt 5-4 (3-3)
There were pseduo-silver linings in the schellacking by Florida, including Chris Nickson's return with a decent game. The question is, will Chris Nickson (ca. 2006) show up in Lexington? Will he be able to play in the cold? Will our defense decide to show up this week? Can we handle a running quarterback? I don't have high hopes for attaining the unspeakable number this week. Maybe against a team whose collapse is shaping up to be worse than ours... like our neighbors/enemies to the East? Last week: no. 8 (same).
9. Auburn 5-5 (2-4)
Auburn halts its four-game losing streak, but they do so by barely sliding past.... Tennessee-Martin? The Skyhawks?! (Which raises the question: what other sort of 'hawks are there? Groundhawks?). The War Eagling-Tigers' last two games are rivalry games. Let's see if Tuberville can get his team up for one of them -- then they'll make bowl eligibility. Last week: no. 10 (+1).
10. Arkansas 4-6 (1-5)
I have to sympathize with the Hawgs. As a Vanderbilt fan, I've been through the sort of season they're experiencing right now. The only difference is that I've never tasted the success they've had there. So maybe I don't sympathize that much after all. Winnable game against Missisippi State after this week's open date; not a realistic chance for bowl eligibility, though. Last week: no. 9 (-1).
11. Mississippi State 3-6 (1-5)
The Magnolia State Bulldogs are now tied with Yew Tee for the bottom of the SEC. I know, I know: they should lose the tiebreaker 'cause the Vawls beat them. But Miss. State could still beat Arky, whilst Yew Tee could realistically lose both of its remaining games (at Vanderbilt and vs. Kentucky). Looks like a 3-9 season in Starkville, though. Last week: no. 11 (same).
12. Tennessee 3-6 (1-5)
Wyoming Cowboys. Homecoming. Yew Tee loses. Not three concepts generally associated with one another. Until this year. I have to admit, I sort of feel sorry for Phil Fulmer -- he's given most of his life to his alma mater, and she's not exactly sending him off on a bed of roses. The Vawls should have taken a lesson from Florida State (on how to deal with a formerly-beloved, aged coach who's not doing so hot). Open date to prepare for the Commodores: let's hope the Vawls come out flat (and that the Arnge "faithful" stay away from Dudley Field). We need this win a lot more than they do. Last week: no. 12 (same).