Posted: 5:00 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013
By Brandon Larrabee
Is it a two-team race in the SEC West? With Alabama having defeated Texas A&M;, the only perceived threat on their schedule is LSU. Is there someone else who can take on the Tide and give them their first loss? Does the winner of the contest between the Tide and the Tigers all but sew up the division title? Or is there still room for A&M; or some other team to make its way back into the race?
How hot is Dan Mullen's seat right now? Despite all their troubles so far this season, the Western Division Bulldogs could end October 4-3, needing just two wins to get their postseason berth wrapped up. But it's also not hard to see them going on a five-game losing streak, and relatively easy to see them doing no better than 1-4 down the stretch. So is Mullen in trouble if the Bulldogs don't make a bowl of some sort? And is he in trouble even if Mississippi State ekes out a 6-6 or 7-5 season and gets into a lower-tier bowl?
How good is Ole Miss? The Rebels just clocked Texas by 21 after beating Vanderbilt to start the year and Southeast Missouri State in between. How much does beating the Longhorns tell us about Ole Miss? Are the Rebels now a top-tier team, or is that game more about the complete and utter implosion of Texas' once-vaunted defense? What's the ceiling on this Ole Miss team for this year?
Which of these three undefeated teams are you buying into: Arkansas, Auburn, Missouri? Mizzou boasts wins against Murray State and Toledo on their resume. Arkansas has taken down Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss and Samford. And Auburn has knocked off Washington State, Mississippi State and Arkansas State. So which team do you think has looked most impressive so far? And which one do you think will look better going forward?
What are you watching next week? There's a reason GameDay is headed to Fargo, N.D., next month: The rest of the slate is absolutely pathetic. That's no different for the SEC, where the schedule includes such scintillating match-ups as Vanderbilt-UMass and North Texas-Georgia. Assuming that most of you are going to tune into Tennessee-Florida and / or Auburn-LSU, what's your undercard this weekend? And don't say you're going to use your Saturday to catch up on other leagues; there also ain't much there.