Is Florida the new favorite in the Eastern Division? Does Alabama deserve the title of SEC front-runner after Saturday’s statement in Athens?

Three unbeatens remain after two of the SEC’s perceived elite were flipped on their heads against nationally-ranked competition in Week 5, highlighted by the Gators’ 28-point victory over Ole Miss. Georgia had the look of a possible College Football Playoff titan before the Crimson Tide dominated at the line of scrimmage during a rainstorm between the hedges.

What does this do to the postseason picture? Ole Miss falls out of our Playoff projection and is replaced by LSU. There’s a chance the Tigers could lose to Alabama later this season for their only loss and reach the final four as an at-large team — and the Tide earn a spot as the SEC champion. I don’t forsee any other way the SEC gets two teams in the Playoff unless Georgia can run the table and win a rematch in Atlanta.

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It’s a good thing Tennessee’s schedule is favorable during the final month of the season, because the Vols may need to win four straight to reach bowl eligibility. The next two games come against Georgia and Alabama and Tennessee won’t be favored against either. If the Vols are 2-5 heading to Kentucky on Halloween, that becomes a must-win game.

As is stands, there are several SEC teams who many thought would reach the nine or 10-win mark during the preseason that will be lucky to win six, including Auburn and Arkansas. Florida’s a team that continues to make a serious push. The Gators would be an attractive pick for any Florida-based bowl game (TaxSlayer, Citrus or Outback) if they win nine and slide out of the New Year’s Six.


  • College Football Playoff Semifinal (Cotton Bowl): LSU vs. TCU
  • New Year’s Six Peach: Texas A&M vs. Clemson
  • New Year’s Six Sugar: Alabama vs. Baylor
  • Citrus: Georgia vs. Michigan
  • Outback: Ole Miss vs. Wisconsin
  • Music City: Mississippi State vs. Louisville
  • Belk: Tennessee vs. Duke
  • Liberty: Kentucky vs. Kansas State
  • TaxSlayer: Florida vs. Miami
  • Texas: Mizzou vs. Oklahoma State
  • Birmingham: Auburn vs. Memphis

On the outside looking in: Arkansas, South Carolina, Vanderbilt