Arkansas was effectively eliminated last week, and this week it was Kentucky's turn. Auburn, fortunately, hung tough in overtime to stay alive in the race for the conference title. That's the Sun Belt Conference, mind you — those three teams stand about as much chance of competing for the SEC title as I do beating Vladimir Putin for the Russian presidency — but it's important to set reasonable goals.
Not much movement this week other than Tennessee getting knocked down several pegs for their eighth consecutive loss to Florida. Tune in to Team Speed Kills on Wednesday to see how the final tally shakes out.
1. Alabama — Only Nick Saban could make delivering a 52-point beatdown to a division archrival look as routine and businesslike as going down to the 7-Eleven for a gallon of milk.
2. LSU — I'm willing to bet most LSU fans have already forgotten Tyrann Mathieu's name. Granted, with most of them it's because they're blackout drunk, but still.
3. Georgia — The defense may have looked horrendous in the first half against FAU, but considering how shorthanded they still were, the overall results from that game weren't that much worse than what they should've been.
4. South Carolina — Steve Spurrier has a brewing quarterback controversy on his hands. So basically this season is turning out exactly like he wanted it.
5. Florida — So is Florida's offense really pretty good after all, or is Tennessee's defense just that bad? I think Georgia fans everywhere would be much happier if the latter were the case, but that may be selling the Gators way too short.
6. Mississippi State — Speaking of defenses that may not be all they were cracked up to be. Clamping down on Auburn now looks like much less of an achievement, and giving up 572 yards to Troy looks like much more of an omen.
7. Missouri — A nice bounce-back win over a BCS-conference team that's looked pretty good up to now — and with their backup QB, no less. I doubt they're gonna want to attempt an entire SEC season without James Franklin, though.
8. Texas A&M — Rolling up 600 net yards is a lot easier when you're not trying to do it against an SEC defense.
9. Tennessee — Either Tyler Bray needed to be perfect against Florida or the defense needed to step up in a major way, and neither ended up happening. Now that the gloss from the N.C. State win appears to have worn completely off, it's back to thinking that seven or eight wins is probably the ceiling for the Vols in Dooley's third season.
10. Vanderbilt — Scored more than twice as many points against Presbyterian as they did in two games against FBS competition.
11. Ole Miss — Their offense could make a few games interesting this season; their defense will ensure that any suspense is short-lived.
12. Auburn — What's sadder: The fact that Auburn got taken to overtime by UL-Monroe, or that when the Tigers' winning field-goal kick sailed through, it really did feel like an upset?
13. Arkansas — Avoids the very bottom spot by virtue of a more talented roster, but if they can't show any more effort than they exhibited against Bama, they'll swipe that bottom spot from Kentucky when the two teams square off on Oct. 13.
14. Kentucky — Now officially the third-best program in the Bluegrass State, and that's only because they haven't played EKU yet. (Who, in case you're curious, has a better record than the Wildcats right now.)