Mississippi State (No. 1 last week) – The Bulldogs didn’t blow away UT Martin, but handled the tune up for Alabama with ease. Remember, Mississippi State hasn’t defeated Alabama since 2007 and haven’t won in Tuscaloosa since 2006.
Alabama (No. 2) – The passing game was disastrous until it mattered, and that’s when Blake Sims moved Alabama quickly and with purpose to at the end of regulation. Now the Crimson Tide must focus on other tough test with Mississippi State coming to town.
Ole Miss (No. 5) – This was needed. Even though it was against Presbyterian. The Rebels had to have something to help them rinse out the taste of those two losses. They have a much needed off week before they move on to Arkansas and then the much-awaited Egg Bowl.
Auburn (No. 3) – Last week, I asked if Auburn was resilient or lucky. If the Tigers were lucky last season and most of this year, it ran dry against Texas A&M. Those fumbles were inexplicable for a team that’s been so poised. How will it affect Auburn this week at Georgia?
LSU (No. 4) – It looked all wrapped up. LSU’s defense had played remarkably well, but couldn’t stop Alabama when it mattered most. LSU relies on the run and couldn’t get anything going against a tough Alabama defense.
Florida (No. 7) – No chance of a letdown here. The Gators have turned their season around, much to the chagrin of those boosters and fans who want to wave bye-bye to Will Muschamp. They could very well be 7-3 heading into the season-finale at Tallahassee, even without Leon Orr.
Georgia (No. 8) – This week is the season for Georgia. A win over Auburn and some help from one of the three teams on Missouri’s schedule and the Bulldogs return to the SEC Championship game. Of course, Auburn blocks the path, so lose to the Tigers and it might not matter.
Texas A&M (No. 10) – And who saw that coming? Just when it looked like the Aggies would be road kill the rest of the season, they stole some Jordan-Hare charm. A strong finish will have the Aggies — and their studly freshman — poised for a excellent 2015.
Missouri (No. 6) – The Tigers didn’t play, which gave them time to watch Texas A&M pull off one of the biggest miracles in the SEC this season. Missouri knows what’s ahead. Win out against the Aggies, Tennessee and Arkansas and they’re in the title game.
Tennessee (No. 9) – Josh Dobbs has electrified the atmosphere in Knoxville. Vols fans are excited about the potential for success in the final three games – Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt — all of which are in the state.
Arkansas (No. 11) – Three chances remain for the Razorbacks to break that massive 17-game SEC losing streak. They’ve shown some spark at times – like in close losses to Alabama and Mississippi State – but just can’t break through. LSU provides another tough test.
Kentucky (No. 12) – At 5-1, the Wildcats appeared ready to take that next step. Well, guess what? They’re now 5-5. And that bowl berth that seemed a sure thing? That’s now in a perilous position with rejuvenated Tennessee and tough Louisville left on the schedule.
South Carolina (No. 13) – The best part about watching South Carolina this season is seeing what Steve Spurrier will say or do next. He’s so bumfuzzled – to borrow an old Bobby Bowden word – Spurrier might walk off the field in the middle of a game and retire.
Vanderbilt (No. 14) – This season can’t end soon enough for the Commodores. At least they get a week for R&R before they win the grand prize trip to Starkville on Nov. 22.