The lightning rod known as the BCS will announce its first standings of the season on Sunday night, and if all goes according to plan, the SEC will be featured prominently near the top of the standings.
A mini-uproar broke out this week when Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports revealed that the Alabama Crimson Tide would currently rank fifth in the BCS computers after throwing out the highest and lowest rankings coming into Week 7 action.
Alabama fans, calm down. It's not that big of a deal. Really.
The computer rankings only count for one-third of the BCS formula, and the projected BCS rankings from BCSKnowHow.com still have the Crimson Tide with a commanding lead over No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 South Carolina; and that won't change if Alabama holds serve this weekend.
A win at Missouri on Saturday will keep Alabama in the top spot of the BCS, even if it's a sloppy win.
The question is, what happens behind the Crimson Tide?
South Carolina sits at No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, Harris Interactive Poll and the computers. With Alabama and Oregon entrenched in the top two spots in the human polls, it's unlikely that the Gamecocks can jump those two teams. However, a win over No. 8 LSU in Baton Rouge will play well with the computers.
Would it be good enough to get the Gamecocks to No. 2 over the idle Ducks? Probably not, but it could perhaps get them closer.
Florida is sitting pretty as well, after its 14-6 win over LSU last weekend in the Swamp.
The computers love the Gators, ranking them No. 1, but the human polls haven't followed suit just yet. Notre Dame sits at No. 2 in the computers, and since the Fighting Irish host No. 17 Stanford and Florida visits Vanderbilt, don't be surprised to see the Irish jump the Gators in the computers.
Will that be enough to knock Florida from the No. 5 spot in the BCS? Probably not. The win over the Tigers, coupled with two big road wins at Texas A&M and Tennessee, will keep computers and voters in love with the Gators.
LSU would benefit tremendously with a win over No. 3 South Carolina. However, even if it vaults the Tigers up the BCS Standings, SEC fatigue would still be a major hurdle for the Tigers to overcome. Voters still make up two-thirds of the equation, and a one-loss SEC team will be heavily scrutinized if it does become an option for the BCS National Championship Game.
The same issue will be hanging over Georgia's head for the rest of the season, assuming the Bulldogs get back on the winning track.
Whatever happens, SEC fans, don't freak out when the standings are released on Sunday night. The SEC has earned the benefit of the doubt over the last six years, and if your team isn't where it's supposed to be on Sunday, there's still plenty of time left in the process.