In stark contrast to their mood just three short weeks ago, the Dawgs head into the final third of the season thinking that they have a very real chance to end the season on a positive note -- and possibly even swipe a share of the SEC East title in the process.
The Gators looked better on Saturday than they have all month long, which is to say they had a bye week. About the only interesting things that happened in Gainesville were that Urban Meyer a) played needlessly coy about whether Chris Rainey will see the field and b) let his lovable Kim Jong-Il side show by declaring that he doesn't "allow" bad plays to be called. As much fun as it is for Dawg fans to point and snicker at Urb's more sociopathic tendencies, though, the smarter ones know much better than to take anything about this game for granted after 20 years of frustration.
Worry level: Steady, and still high.
Also had a bye. In case you were paying attention (you weren't), ISU is currently 1-6, with their lone win coming in the season opener against Montana-Western (an NAIA team that's currently 0-8). Mark Richt will be clearing the bench by halftime.
Worry level: So low it's invisible to the naked eye.
If you were conscious and upright at any point this past weekend, you probably saw the run that all but sewed up the Heisman Trophy for Tigers QB Cam Newton, as well as the final score (24-17 over LSU) that lifted AU to 8-0 and #1 in the BCS rankings. It's safe to say Auburn will be the toughest test the Dawgs face all season.
Worry level: Stratospheric.
The Yellow Jackets lost 27-13 to Clemson and didn't even look all that good doing it -- the Tigers ran out to a 17-0 lead and all but coasted from there, holding GT's triple-option rushing attack to only 242 yards (including a measly two yards on 15 carries for QB Josh Nesbitt). If Paul Johnson's offense hasn't been figured out by ACC defenses, it's doing an awfully good impression of one that has.
Worry level: Steadily dropping.