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 11-0 (7-0)
It seems that the Crimson Tide were able to exorcise whatever demon was plauging them when it comes to the Mississippi State Bulldogs. They were all set for another Crooming when they proceeded to run the Bulldogs out of the stadium. I'm excited for the Reddish Elephants, but this sort of thing is ridiculous. He's only been there for 1.92 seasons, people. Time for a week off to get ready for the Iron Bowl (in Tuscaloosa, no less). Last week: no. 1 (same).
2. Florida 9-1 (6-1)
I kept thinking back to my freshman year of college when I saw that Urban Meyer and his Gators hung 50 on the Ol' Ball Coach. Payback sure is a female canine, isn't it Steve? Anyway: Gators get the Citadel this week (really?), followed by the 'Noles in Tally for rivalry week. Last week: no. 2 (same).
3. Georgia 9-2 (6-2)
Beating Auburn is always fun for the "South's Oldest Rivalry" (a nickname with which I take strong issue, considering that Vanderbilt and Sewanee played their first game (at 22-0 VU win!) in 1891 -- and it doesn't get much more "southern" than the University of the South), but the folks in Athens still seem to be questioning their lot in life because they won't be going to play for the national championship. Open date, then the Rambling Wreck rolls into town for rivalry week. Last week: no. 3 (same).
4. LSU 7-3 (3-3)
It would have been very embarassing (on the level of VU losing to MTSU, except worse) if the Tigers hadn't pulled this one out against the Troy Trojans. Forunately, LSU was able to rise to the occasion and bust through in the fourth quarter. Okay, okay, enough puns. Better watch out for the Rebels this week: they're on their way up. Arky in Little Rock should be a breeze. Last week: no. 4 (same).
5. Vanderbilt 6-4 (4-3)
Call me a homer, but the Commodores looked back to their early-season form in their trip to the Bluegrass. If Chris Nickson can keep his act together, and if the 'Dores can beat their rival from the East, then Vanderbilt will be sitting pretty. Regardless, with a bowl invite secured and a non-losing season guaranteed, the Dores go ahead of the Cocks and Rebs thanks to the head-to-head tiebreaker. Last week: no. 8 (+3).
6. South Carolina 7-4 (4-4)
It sucks for people to be poor sports when they're winning, doesn't it Coach? I'm glad you lost by that much, but I wish your team hadn't had to deal with that. Take a break, lick your wounds, and come back to beat Clemson for rivalry week. You'll finish 8-4 and get a nice bowl for your trouble. Last week: no. 5 (-1).
7. Ole Miss 6-4 (3-3)
I don't think Ole Miss is as good as their demolishing of LaMo indicated, but they sure are looking good right now. Congratulations on bowl eligibility! Joining VU in ending a bowl drought is a great way to start Houston Nutt's tenure as Rebel-in-Chief. Great chance against LSU, but a win will still be an upset. And watch out for the Egg Bowl: you'll be favorites, but Miss. State has been fighting all season long. Not necessarily the seventh-best team, but below VU because of loss to them; below South Carolina because of loss to them. Last week: no. 6 (-1).
8. Kentucky 6-5 (2-5)
Apparently my suspicion about Kentucky from last week turned out to be prophetic. At the same time, the C-A-T-S-Cats-Cats-Cats are no pushover. Open date to prepare to fight (clandestinely, since it's not "official" any more) for the Beer Barrel means Big Blue can still end up with 7 wins. Last week: no. 7 (same).
9. Auburn 5-6 (2-5)
One rivalry (supposed the South's oldest, but see Vanderbilt-and-Sewanee) down, one rivalry to go. Does anyone on the Plains really think they'll beat 'Bama? I'm not saying that they can't (in fact, I think it would be quite a typical Tuberville maneuver to quiet critics by killing Bama's resurrection hopes), and I'm just asking whether they do. Last week: no. 9 (same).
10. Arkansas 4-6 (1-5)
Open date to prepare for Croom and company in Starkville. Watch out, Hawgs: that's exactly the scenario that started Vanderbilt's 0-4 slide back on October 11. Another SEC win and you've got two! Last week: no. 10 (same).
11. Mississippi State 3-7 (1-6)
Close, but no cigar. And for Pete's sake, somebody get Sylvester Croom a wool-knit cap so he doesn't have to wear a hoodie. The man is an SEC coach, for crying out loud. I've seen the Athletics Department building in Starkville: surely to goodness somebody could find him a nice hat, ear warmers, head band fleece, something. There's a great chance to pick up a win against the Hawgs this week. Last week: no. 11 (same).
12. Tennessee 3-6 (1-5)
The press sure was ugly this week. It was also sort of pitiful to watch the Knoxville News-Sentinel try to come up with something positive to say about the situation in the East. With the a loss to Vanderbilt this week, the VU-UT rivalry looks to be re-invigorating (in football -- it's already been boiling in basketball (men's and women's) and baseball). One thing, though: this rivalry needs a trophy. Last week: no. 12 (same).