Still, two teams control their own future in the SEC West in Alabama and Auburn, while the most interesting storyline in the entire SEC is which team will emerge from the SEC East – Georgia, Missouri or South Carolina?
1. Alabama (9-0, 6-0)
Alabama virtually dominated LSU last weekend, and the Tide held the Tigers to -9 yards in the fourth quarter. Nick Saban’s team looked sporadic in the first half, with AJ McCarron missing on some key throws, but the second half was much different and completely dominant. That’s the Alabama team we’re used to seeing, and no one-dimensional team will beat the Tide.
Alabama travels to Starkville Saturday before hosting Chattanooga and traveling to November’s biggest game: the Iron Bowl. The LSU win gives the Tide two wins against currently ranked opponents.
Ranked wins: #11 Texas A&M, #21 LSU
Key games remaining: at #7 Auburn
2. Auburn (9-1, 5-1)
The Tigers’ running game flexed its muscles Saturday against Tennessee, throwing up a 55-spot and rushing for an astonishing 444 yards. The Tigers are what they are: a dominant running game and a bend-but-don’t-break defense. The Tigers are looking more like a one-loss challenger for the BCS National Championship every single week, and with #25 Georgia, #1 Alabama and a ranked SEC East opponent in Atlanta, it’s well within reach.
But first, Auburn has to take care of a top 25 Georgia Saturday before heading into the bye week before the Iron Bowl. Georgia’s offense won’t make anything easy.
Ranked wins: #11 Texas A&M
Key games remaining: #25 Georgia, #1 Alabama
3. South Carolina (7-2, 5-2)
South Carolina returns from a bye week against Florida this Saturday, and the Gators may not put up much of a fight. The Gamecocks are hoping Georgia loses to Auburn Saturday and Missouri gets beat one more time against Ole Miss or Texas A&M. Alabama joined the Gamecocks this week with two wins over currently ranked teams.
The UCF win looks better and better every week, along with the Mizzou comeback. Still, South Carolina is sitting pretty for a BCS bowl with a win over a top 10 ranked Clemson.
Ranked wins: #17 UCF, #9 Missouri
Key games remaining: #8 Clemson
4. Missouri (9-1, 5-1)
Missouri feels like they can’t get any love in the BCS. Auburn throttles Tennessee and Mizzou does the same against Kentucky, and yet, Auburn jumps Mizzou. Justifiable? Who knows, but the Tigers have upside on the schedule with what will be a ranked Ole Miss following the bye week and a ranked Texas A&M team coming into Columbia.
Thanks to Georgia, the Tigers picked up a ranked win in this week’s power rankings.
Ranked wins: #25 Georgia
Key games remaining: NR Ole Miss, #11 Texas A&M
5. Texas A&M (8-2, 4-2)
The Aggies are what they are: an electric offense but a bad defense. Thankfully they have the country’s best player in Johnny Manziel to score a boatload of points, and they’re going to need them against LSU and Missouri. Texas A&M heads into the bye week looking for answers on defense.
With two ranked opponents left, the Aggies could do some serious damage to LSU and Missouri, and a BCS bowl is still well within reach.
Ranked wins: None
Key games remaining: at #21 LSU, at #9 Missouri
Note: Rankings reflect BCS rankings
The rest of the pack:
7. Ole Miss
10. Mississippi State
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