Auburn, Florida and Tennessee all had a chance to play their way into the Allstate Sugar Bowl with a win last weekend. All three lost. Even Texas A&M, which might have had an outside chance considering it had wins over both Auburn and Tennessee this season, was dominated at home by LSU.
The way LSU is playing, it might be the second-best team in the SEC right now. And who wouldn’t want to see Ed Orgeron in New Orleans? The Tigers aren't jumping seven spots, though. Not without a game left on their schedule.
Ultimately, the Sugar Bowl bid will come down to Auburn or Florida. At No. 14, Auburn is the second-highest-ranked team in the SEC. But Florida is sitting right behind at No. 15 and still has a date with No. 1 Alabama in the SEC championship game on Saturday.
Record: 8-4 (5-3 SEC)
Rank: No. 14
Remaining games: None
The skinny: The committee didn’t punish a banged-up Auburn team for going into Tuscaloosa and losing the Iron Bowl, dropping the Tigers only one spot from the week before. Maybe they still remember the Auburn team that ripped off six straight wins and looked as good as anybody in the conference during October. Maybe they read that Gus Malzahn said he expects quarterback Sean White to be "ready to go" by the time the bowl game comes around. Whatever the reason, the Tigers are in the driver’s seat now. And if they can get healthy before Jan. 2, they will be a dangerous opponent.
Record: 8-3 (6-2)
Rank: No. 15
Remaining games: vs. Alabama (SEC championship in Atlanta)
The skinny: Win and you’re in. Easy, right? Just go beat Alabama, the No. 1 team in the country that hasn’t allowed a touchdown in over a month. Oh, and do it minus a handful of your starters who will miss the game due to injury. Let’s assume Florida, a three-touchdown underdog, loses Saturday. Do the Gators still have a chance to finish ahead of Auburn? It’s unlikely. But that could happen if the Gators play Alabama close and their loss looks better than Auburn’s did the week before. Don’t count on it. LSU and Alabama were tied going into the fourth quarter earlier this month, but Alabama won and LSU fell 11 spots in the next week’s rankings. Florida needs a win Saturday.