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10. South Carolina
Despite the growing skepticism that Steve Spurrier would never be able to replicate what he did at Florida, South Carolina pulled off their biggest win in school history. That’s not say a national title is waiting in the wings for the Gamecocks, but they are rewarded as being one the biggest climbers this week. The Gamecocks may in fact be better than this, but the loss at Auburn is holding them down. One wonders though if they might’ve been able to hold on against the Tigers or gotten the Tigers at home if they could be in the Top Five right now.
Keeping their Cal Ripken-like streak alive of winning by the nose of the ball…and a hand of the clock, the Tigers beat Florida in the final seconds last weekend. Many think, the writer included, that the Tigers are prime-pickings for an upset, but as long as they keep winning it’s hard to put them down.
One of the most underrated teams in the country, the Utes beat up the Big 12’s Iowa State. The Utes still have dreams of playing in the national title and, well, they should. The problem is that only one opportunity, against TCU, exists to really impress voters. However, they get the Horned Frogs at home in one of the most anticipated games remaining this season.
Like LSU, the Tigers keep finding ways to win. That being said Cam Newton continues to get more impressive each game. Finding their stride and momentum early by winning, the Tigers have put themselves in the national title conversation. The problem is wins don’t come easy in the SEC and, as witnessed this past weekend against Kentucky, the Tigers still have a rough road ahead.
If Oklahoma played like they did against Florida State every week they may be ranked number one. An extremely talented group, the Sooners disposed of Texas this past weekend. But let’s face it; many people are looking forward to a Big 12 Championship between the OU and Nebraska. Still many potential pitfalls remain including at ranked opponents Missouri and Oklahoma State.