SEC Rating Game for Nov. 8, 2011

the RATING GAME

1. ALABAMA (9-0, 6-0 SEC)

Still champ, but LSU exposed a couple of cracks in the crown.

2. GEORGIA (8-1, 6-1)

Bulldogs pick up LSU torch of top one-loss team in BCS hunt.

3. Florida (8-1, 7-1)

UF’s SEC East hopes tied to Auburn upset of Georgia. U wish.

4. LSU (7-2, 3-2)

Tigers try to bounce back with their favorite chew toy (State).

5. texas a&m (7-2, 4-2)

Suddenly, Aggie upset hopes at Bama not as far-fetched.

6. S. CAROLINA (7-2, 5-2)

Gamecocks try to cope for first time without Marcus Lattimore.

7. Miss. state (7-2, 3-2)

First 7-0, then 0-2, State tries to prove there’s some ‘there’ there.

8. ole miss (5-4, 2-3)

Either the Commodores or the Rebels will be bowl eligible ...

9. vANDERBILT (5-4, 3-3)

... Saturday. Men in obnoxiously loud blazers will surely rejoice.

10. arkansas (4-5, 2-3)

Hogs won’t miss semi-annual cross-SEC trips to Columbia, S.C.

11. Missouri (4-5, 1-5)

To reach bowl, Tigers must beat Tennessee, then A&M.

12. tennessee (4-5, 0-5)

Any hope for Dooley to keep his job requires running the table.

13. Auburn (2-7, 0-6)

14-0 to likely 0-8 SEC in 2 years. Really, how does that happen?

14. KENTUCKY (1-9, 0-7)

First coach fired means UK demoted to Rating Game cellar.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE

SATURDAY

No. 22 Miss. State at No. 9 LSU, 6 p.m. (ESPN)

Arkansas at No. 12 South Carolina, 11 a.m. (CBS)

Missouri at Tennessee, 11:21 a.m. (SEC Network)

ULL at No. 7 Florida, 11:21 a.m. (SEC Network)

No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)

No. 5 Georgia at Auburn, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Vanderbilt at Ole Miss, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)

IDLE: Kentucky

All times Central

GAME OF THE WEEK

Texas A&M at Alabama

2:30 p.m. Saturday, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (CBS)

A more fascinating contrast in styles you won’t find than this surprisingly compelling matchup between Bear Bryant’s last two employers. Despite surrendering 435 total yards to LSU last week, the Crimson Tide still leads the SEC in total, scoring and rushing defense. The Aggies, after running up nearly 700 yards on Mississippi State, lead the SEC in total, scoring and rushing offense. After the breakout party Zach Mettenberger had last week, throwing for nearly 300 yards on Bama, you have to be eager to see how well “Johnny Football” can do against the vaunted Tide. Johnny Manziel leads the SEC in rushing (102.4 ypg) and is No. 2 nationally in total offense (383.2).

AROUND THE SEC

Georgia (6-1) wins the SEC East if it beats Auburn on Saturday because it holds the tiebreaker by beating Florida (7-1). If the Bulldogs are upset, Florida is automatically in.

Alabama (6-0) clinches the SEC West with a win over Texas A&M (4-2) or Auburn (0-6).

Though highly unlikely, LSU (3-2) would win a three-way tie with Alabama and A&M in the SEC West. If all three teams are 6-2, first tiebreaker is head-to-head. Having all beat each other, the next tiebreaker is best record in the SEC West. LSU and A&M would both be 5-1 while Alabama (4-2) would be out. The tiebreaker would then revert to head-to-head, with LSU getting the nod because it beat A&M.

Scott Rabalais