This weekend the SEC sits back and collectively exhales following a wild weekend that shook up more than just the Crimson Tide. With just three intra-conference games scheduled to be played, the league will have an opportunity to come to grips with the very likely scenario that it will not have a member team hoisting the crystal ball in January.
The Aggies’ upset of Alabama sent shockwaves throughout college football for sure. But that wasn’t the only game whose outcome is expected to have major ramifications on the conference. Georgia’s 38-0 drubbing of hapless Auburn was likely the last straw for embattled Auburn head coach Gene Chizik, whose Tigers remain winless in the SEC with just their rivalry game against Alabama standing between them and an 0-fer in the league standings. And Tennessee’s four-overtime loss in Knoxville against Missouri appears to have been the final nail in the coffin for Derek Dooley. Like Auburn, Tennessee also remains winless in conference play midway through November.
So with those storylines and more, the conference rests this week (for the most part), leaving us with marquee matchups that include LSU vs. Ole Miss, Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt, and Arkansas vs. Mississippi State. By default we will focus on the LSU-Ole Miss contest, simply because it is the only one of the three games that does not feature a coach who will be fired at the end of the season.
Here’s the short and sweet synopsis: Ole Miss stands at 5-5, a vast improvement over its recent campaigns under Houston Nutt, but still a win away from being bowl eligible with two games left to play. LSU needs wins in its last two games against Ole Miss and Arkansas, along with a Florida loss to Florida State and a Georgia loss in the SEC Championship Game in order to be in the mix for a BCS bowl. Other than that, it’s highly likely this contest will not live up to the previous two Saturdays’ CBS broadcasts (Alabama-LSU and Texas A&M-Alabama). Even the SEC needs a break every once in a while.
OLE MISS vs. #8 LSU
SAT. NOV. 17 – 2:30PM / CBS