Why does it feel as if the SEC Western Division -- and likely the SEC -- is going to come down to Alabama and LSU?
1. LSU (6-0): God bless, Les Miles. Of course he called a fake field goal in the fourth quarter of a tied game with No. 8 Florida. And, of course it worked. And with that, LSU survived the Gators' furious second-half comeback with a 35-28 win. Florida's 12th-ranked rush defense probably did the best job of anyone trying to contain Leonard Fournette, and he still managed 180 yards and two touchdowns.
2. Alabama (6-1): Don't look now, but the Crimson Tide look like a title contender again. And we aren't talking about just the SEC. No, Alabama rolled over Texas A&M 41-23 thanks to 236 rushing yards from Derrick Henry and three interceptions returned for touchdowns -- two by freshman Minkah Fitzpatrick (a new school record) -- to show the nation that it's still very much a playoff contender.
3. Texas A&M (5-1): The good news is that Kyle Allen threw four touchdown passes Saturday. The bad news is that three of them were to Alabama. The Aggies' offense looked out of sorts for most of the afternoon against the Tide, registering a season-low 316 yards and turning it over four times. The defense held its own here and there but still took a beating from Henry.
4. Florida (6-1): Who knows how Florida's game with LSU would have ended if Will Grier had been behind center, but give Treon Harris credit for being as composed as he was during the first and third quarters. However, he still has a long way to go. His game management and decisions late crippled Florida's comeback chances, and he must learn to get rid of the ball faster. Florida has two weeks to prepare for a game against Georgia that will likely decide the SEC Eastern Division.
5. Ole Miss 5-2: Injuries have hurt this defense and a sandwich game at Memphis always spelled trouble, but the Rebels should be 6-1. Blowing an early 14-0 lead and two failed (controversial) fourth-down conversions gave Memphis all the room it needed to go on a 31-0 run during its upset win. Ole Miss has zero downhill running game and now has to deal with Robert Nkemdiche suffering a concussion before the A&M game.
6. Mississippi State (5-2): The Bulldogs got a nice tuneup win over Louisiana Tech and watched Dak Prescott climb the SEC record ladder by getting his 87th career touchdown. Mississippi State has a key game against Kentucky coming up, but the interesting thing about the Bulldogs is that they've yet to have a 100-yard rusher in any game this season.
7. Tennessee (3-3): The Vols were off this weekend after a huge comeback win over Georgia. It was probably the perfect time for Tennessee to step back and chill with a trip to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama looming. After winning in those smokey uniforms, the Vols are officially allowed to wear them again ... even if they have two-tone tops.
8. Georgia (5-2): The Bulldogs and Mizzou spent Saturday night trying to set offenses back with their field goal affair in Athens. Georgia came out on the winning side of that 9-6 clunker but registered just 298 yards, including only 120 rushing yards (the lowest for Georgia since the 2013 bowl game against Nebraska). The defense was fantastic, but consider the opponent. Still, that's good defensive momentum to take into the off week before what could equate to an Atlanta play-in game with Florida.
9. Auburn (4-2): Maybe the Tigers just needed two weeks to get a game plan together. Coming off of a crucial bye week, Auburn quarterback Sean White passed for a season-high 255 yards, while the reliable Peyton Barber led the Tigers with 92 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Auburn's thrilling 30-27 win at Kentucky. The defense had a lot of bend in it but also harassed quarterback Patrick Towles all night.
10. Kentucky (4-2): Despite racking up nearly 500 yards on Auburn, the Wildcats lost a close one at home to a desperate Tigers team. Credit Kentucky for how it came back in the second half, but the Wildcats missed more than a few opportunities to win this one. Now, the Cats must go into Starkville and try to stop a Mississippi State team finally getting back into SEC play.
11. Missouri (4-3): The Tigers' offensive ineptitude made its way to Athens in yet another ugly loss in league play. Quarterback Drew Lock, who continued to fill in for the suspended Maty Mauk, led a Mizzou offense that registered just six first downs and 164 total yards of offense. Mizzou hasn't scored a touchdown in seven consecutive quarters. After winning the SEC East in consecutive years, the Tigers are now 1-3 and firmly on the outside of the East race.
12. Arkansas (2-4): After suffering that 27-14 loss to Alabama, the Razorbacks got to take this weekend off. This team needed a week to regroup and re-plan as it heads into a crucial stretch that will determine its postseason status. After all the preseason hype Arkansas got, it isn't guaranteed that the Hogs will even make a bowl game. Auburn is next, but the Tigers are beaming after finally getting a win in SEC play.
13. South Carolina (3-4): Life after Steve Spurrier looked weird in Columbia, but the Gamecocks rallied together to get a 19-10 win over Vanderbilt for interim coach Shawn Elliott. The Gamecocks forced five turnovers but managed just one touchdown -- a 78-yard touchdown pass from Perry Orth to Pharoh Cooper. South Carolina would have taken any win as it passes the baton to Elliott.
14. Vanderbilt (2-4): It seemed as if the Commodores might have been in control with a 10-6 lead over the Gamecocks in the third quarter, but you can't win on the road in the SEC with five turnovers. Quarterback Johnny McCrary continued his up-and-down season, throwing three interceptions, as the Dores lost their 11th straight SEC game. There's no doubt coach Derek Mason will be looking back at this game as a perfect opportunity to have jumped on a reeling South Carolina team that turned it over on consecutive drives in the third quarter.