The SEC West began to shake itself out last week, but the East only got more convoluted with Georgia's loss to Florida. This Saturday, the only marquee game on the docket is down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; however, nothing can be assumed in this conference. If teams get caught looking ahead to next weekend, we could be in for another wild weekend.
Let's take a quick glance at some of this week's top storylines in the SEC.
Game of the week: No. 6 Alabama at No. 19 LSU
A month ago, after LSU was dominated on the road by Auburn, this didn't look like it would be much of a game. Sure, it's Alabama-LSU, one of the better rivalries in the SEC over the past decade, but Alabama looked like it might have its way in Death Valley. Not so fast. The Tigers have since won three straight games; they're playing their best football right now; and it goes up another notch when the sun sets over Tiger Stadium. Les Miles is 46-4 in home games played at night. But if anybody knows how to win in Louisiana, it's Nick Saban. He's won two of the three games he's coached at LSU since taking over at Alabama in 2007. If Saturday is anything like those two games, then get comfy. It's going to come down to the wire.
Player under pressure: Kyle Allen, Texas A&M
Nobody expects the Aggies to go into Auburn and win Saturday, nor do they expect Allen to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns. But it'd be nice to see him improve on his performance this past weekend against Louisiana-Monroe. The freshman, making his first ever start, went 13 of 28 for 106 yards with one touchdown and one interception. That's a far cry from the numbers Kenny Hill put up in his first start against South Carolina to open the season, but we all know that debut would've been tough to beat. Hill will miss his second straight game Saturday, serving a two-game suspension. That opens the door for Allen, who has an opportunity to make his case not only for this season, but for next year, too.
Coach under the microscope: Mark Richt, Georgia
It's not fair to put Richt on the hot seat, but you can't just give him a pass either, not after how Georgia played against Florida on Saturday. The Bulldogs had control of the SEC East and arguably the easiest road to Atlanta for the conference championship game. Now they don't even control their own destiny anymore. The defense, which had played so well in the month of October, gave up 418 yards rushing and five rushing touchdowns to the Gators. That's not good, especially when the league's top rushing offense comes to town in two weeks. But Georgia can't look ahead to Auburn. It needs to focus on this Saturday's game at Kentucky. A loss to the Wildcats, and Richt's seat might start getting warm.
Storyline to watch: How does Ole Miss respond without Treadwell?
It was the worst possible scenario for Ole Miss on Saturday night. The cart was on the field for star wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who lay there writhing in pain. He had just fumbled at the goal line, inches from giving the Rebels the lead against Auburn with less than two minutes left. It's a game, and a play, that will stay with the program for years. How do you move past that, especially when Treadwell is out for the remainder of the season with a broken leg? Ole Miss should get back on track this weekend against Presbyterian, but the Rebels don't have another player like Treadwell on the roster. That means it's up to fellow wide receivers Vince Sanders, Quincy Adeboyejo and Cody Core to step up in his absence.
Intriguing matchup: Leonard Fournette against Alabama's defense
It seems like it's been a long time since Fournette struck the Heisman pose after scoring his first career touchdown against Sam Houston State. Lately, the LSU freshman has been going about his business and playing like the player everybody thought he was going to be. He rushed for 113 yards his last time out against one of the better defenses in the SEC in Ole Miss. On Saturday, he'll face the top rushing defense in the conference. Alabama is only giving up 78 yards per game on the ground this season, and they'll be geared to stop LSU's rushing attack. Fournette, who nearly ended up in Tuscaloosa, will have his hands full with the likes of Trey DePriest, Reggie Ragland and Landon Collins. It's strength vs. strength.