Twice over the weekend, a ranked SEC team met a ranked team from another Power 5 conference. Both showdowns gave the non-SEC teams (Washington and Miami) a chance to show that perhaps other leagues had caught up to the SEC.

Guess which conference won both games?

Auburn and LSU are bitter rivals who will clash on Sept. 15 in the first big SEC West matchup of this season. But this past weekend they were on the same side, because they helped the SEC stay at the top of the college football mountain. Not that there was any danger of the league falling off, but wins by Washington and Miami would have at least changed perceptions a little.

But both sets of SEC West Tigers were impressive, and their results should help put to bed any debate about which division is the best in college football (especially because the Big Ten East did not exactly cover itself in glory over the weekend, even in winning efforts).

And yet Auburn and LSU didn’t even really move up the pecking order in these projections because nobody else in the SEC underperformed.

We scrambled some of the mid-bowl matchups for SEC bowls but saw no reason to move Alabama or Georgia out of their spots in the College Football Playoff, nor any reason to take Auburn out of the New Year’s Day 6 bowl mix. Perhaps LSU will give a reason to do so in a couple of weeks.

Even the lone SEC loss over the weekend didn’t really change anything because almost nobody expected Tennessee to beat West Virginia anyway.

Quite simply, the rest of the country squandered its only chance to change America’s mind about the SEC, especially the West. Only two SEC West teams face Power 5 nonconference foes from here on: Mississippi State at Kansas State on Saturday and Texas A&M against Clemson the same day. An Aggies loss won’t dent the SEC, really, because Clemson will be favored.

Now, on to the projections:

CFP Semifinal (Orange Bowl)
December 29, 2018
Miami, FL
vs.

CFP Semifinal (Cotton Bowl)
December 29, 2018
Arlington, TX
vs.

Sugar Bowl
January 1, 2019
New Orleans, LA
vs.

Citrus Bowl
January 1, 2019
Orlando, FL
vs.

Outback Bowl
January 1, 2019
Tampa, FL
vs.

TaxSlayer Bowl
December 31, 2018
Jacksonville, FL
vs.

Liberty Bowl
December 31, 2018
Memphis, TN
vs.

Music City Bowl
December 28, 2018
Nashville, TN
vs.

Belk Bowl
December 29, 2018
Charlotte, NC
vs.

Texas Bowl
December 27, 2018
Houston, TX
vs.

Birmingham Bowl
December 22, 2018
Birmingham, AL
vs.

2017-2018 POSTSEASON
CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
26
vs.
23

CFP SEMIFINAL (SUGAR BOWL)
24
vs.
6

CFP SEMIFINAL (ROSE BOWL)
54
vs.
48

PEACH BOWL
27
vs.
34

CITRUS BOWL
21
vs.
17

OUTBACK BOWL
26
vs.
19

TAXSLAYER BOWL
31
vs.
27

MUSIC CITY BOWL
23
vs.
24

BELK BOWL
52
vs.
55

TEXAS BOWL
33
vs.
16