There’s no dispute on the No. 1 team, regardless of ranking or resume, but computer rankings somewhat differ from traditional standings, and even head-to-head results. Yet the SEC West is still superior to the East, no matter how it’s sliced.

Here are the top five resumes from the SEC this season. Strength of schedule and records versus the top 10 were taken from the Sagarin Ratings.


Record: 8-4

Best win: Florida, 38-28

Worst loss: Vanderbilt, 45-34

Strength of schedule: 37th

Record vs. Top 30: 2-2

Case for Tennessee: Among these top five teams, only Alabama has more wins against the top 30, and anytime the Vols beat Florida and Georgia in back-to-back weeks, it is a good season. After a tough stretch in October, the Vols recovered to win three straight in November to put themselves in the hunt down the stretch.


Record: 8-4

Best win: LSU, 16-10

Worst loss: Tennessee, 38-28

Strength of schedule: 30th

Record vs. Top 30: 1-2

Case for Florida: The Gators have plenty of blemishes, but they won when it counted, most notably at LSU to clinch a spot in Atlanta. Wins over East foes that had momentum (South Carolina) or that came on the road (Vanderbilt) came in handy. In a sub-par East, the Gators won enough to be there when Tennessee faltered, especially against division opponents.


Record: 8-4

Best win: LSU, 18-13

Worst loss: Georgia, 13-7

Strength of schedule: 25

Record vs. Top 30: 1-3

Case for Auburn: Despite being third in the SEC, the Tigers were ranked 14th in the country. Not many teams could pull off a six-game winning stretch against a quality schedule. While the play-calling change was well-documented, Auburn thus far has followed every loss with a win, and put up at least 50 points four times.

2. LSU

Record: 7-4

Best win: Texas A&M, 54-39

Worst loss: Florida, 16-10

Strength of schedule: 13th

Record vs. Top 30: 1-4

Case for LSU: Gave No. 1 Alabama its toughest game of the season, and followed up the tough loss to the Crimson Tide with a convincing 38-10 win over Arkansas. Then bounced back from the last-second Florida loss to thump Texas A&M 54-39. All that came against the second-toughest schedule in the SEC, and in the midst of a coaching change.


Record: 13-0

Best win: At LSU, 10-0

Worst loss: N/A

Strength of schedule: 14th

Record vs. Top 30: 5-0

Case for Alabama: Had more wins than any other team in the top 30 against the top 30. Only Clemson, Washington and Penn State had as many as four wins against that group. The Crimson Tide won in low-scoring games (LSU) and high-scoring affairs (Arkansas, Ole Miss). Before the SEC Championship, it had the No. 7 schedule, and played five teams in the College Football Playoff rankings. It also did it against what Sagarin calls the toughest division in the country, as the SEC West edged the Pac-12 North entering the conference championship weekend.