SEC Football: How Did Conference Fare in First BCS Standings?
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With four teams in the top seven of the newly released standings, the SEC is once again in position to play for the national title. While there is still a long way to go, things look good for the conference.
Outside of four in the top seven, the SEC also had members ranked 11th, 12th and 18th. While none are expected to compete for a conference title, the respect is still there, according to the polls.
Here's a look at how the SEC fared in the first BCS standings:
No. 1 Alabama (.9761)
The Crimson Tide is where everyone expected them to be—at the top. Alabama has dominated each of its six opponents by an average margin of 33 points. It's safe to say nobody's been close to the Crimson Tide.
Alabama ranked first in the USA Today and Harris polls, but only first in two of the seven computer polls.
For Alabama to remain at the top of the standings, it's going to have to survive the next four weeks. Included in the slate are games at Tennessee and LSU, and home games against Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
While the home games aren't expected to test the Crimson Tide, road games in Knoxville and Death Valley will. Tennessee has a dangerous passing attack, and we all saw what LSU did to South Carolina.
If Alabama does come out on top in all four games, then it will have earned its spot in the SEC Championship.
Who wins the SEC East?
No. 2 Florida (.9092)
The Gators got a lot of love from the computer polls, placing first or second in six of the seven polls. The Harris Poll ranked them third, while the USA Today Poll had them fourth.
Florida hasn't been impressive this season on offense, while the defense has been the star. The defense ranks sixth with 12.3 points allowed per game.
However, the next two weeks will determine if Florida remains there. On the docket this week is a game at home against South Carolina, while Georgia is waiting next week. By picking up wins in both games, Florida virtually guarantees itself a spot in the conference title game.
Florida State also awaits Florida in the regular season finale, so even with wins the next two weeks, the Gators can't rest easy.
No. 6 LSU (.7522)
The Tigers pulled off a shocker Saturday, upsetting South Carolina a week after losing to Florida. The Gamecocks were coming off a win the previous week against Georgia and seemed to be rolling.
However, LSU wasn't having any of it as it showed why Death Valley is one of the toughest places to play in college football.
Even with the win, LSU got no love from the computer polls, ranking as low as 17th in one. While nobody understands the computer formula, it's hard to dispute LSU having to face the two toughest teams from the other division.
The good thing is the Tigers can still insert themselves into the national title picture with a game against Alabama in two weeks. A win there gives the Tigers hope for the national title picture.
No. 7 South Carolina (.6930)
The Gamecocks were set to run the table, and looked like they would beat LSU. However, it wasn't in the cards, and now they must beat Florida if they want to get to Atlanta.
Even with the loss, South Carolina hovered around seventh in all polls, including the computer polls.
One loss doesn't take South Carolina out of the running for a national title, but it certainly doesn't help that its one loss was to another one-loss team.
Still, South Carolina can set itself up for success with a win against Florida this week. If the Gamecocks win, there's little hope for Florida or Georgia to win the division. A loss leaves the division up for grabs next week between Florida and Georgia.
The Gamecocks always find themselves in one game where a win gives them the division crown. Each year, they seem to falter in that game.
Will this year be any different?
No. 11 Georgia (.4980)
The expectations were so high in Athens this year as the Bulldogs seemed to have an offense that matched their defense. It seemed that way for the first five games until the Bulldogs were blown out by South Carolina.
Now, Georgia has some work to do to save itself from what some are already considering a disappointing season.
The Bulldogs still have a shot at making the conference title game. With Florida on the horizon on Oct. 27, a win by Georgia in that game could mean a second straight trip to Atlanta.
For that to happen, Florida must beat South Carolina this week and the Bulldogs must beat Florida the following week. After that, games against Mississippi and Auburn would be the only things keeping the Bulldogs from Atlanta.
These are all what-ifs, but just like last year, a loss to the Gamecocks doesn't put the Bulldogs out of the division title hunt.
Does Mississippi State have a shot at beating Alabama or LSU?
No. 12 Mississippi State (.4846)
Most don't put much stock in the Bulldogs' No. 12 ranking simply because they haven't played Alabama or LSU.
The Bulldogs are off to their first 6-0 start since 1999 and are making things exciting in Starkville.
No poll is a believer in Mississippi State as Harris ranks them 14th and USA Today ranks them 16th. In the computer polls, the Bulldogs do have favorable rankings of sixth and seventh, but also have a 16th and 21st in two others.
For Mississippi State, it simply comes down to games with Alabama and LSU. If the Bulldogs beat Alabama on Oct. 27, then people will start talking about their chances. If they lose, it will be as expected.
No. 18 Texas A&M
The newcomer to the SEC, the Aggies experienced a tough loss to Florida in the season's second week. Had they won, we might be seeing them in the top five.
The Aggies got a little love in four of the computer polls, ranking 11th or 12th. However, the other polls were a different story as they were ranked 19th in the Harris and USA Today polls, and 23rd in one computer poll.
Texas A&M can still make its mark this year with games still against LSU, Alabama and Mississippi State. A win against one of the first two would be huge for a program that wants to be an SEC powerhouse.
If all doesn't go well in those games for the Aggies, then they'll likely drop out of the BCS standings by season's end.
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