A wild weekend of SEC football brings a shake-up to our weekly bowl projections. For starters: What do we make of the SEC East?
Missouri went into Athens, Ga., and proved that it is for real by beating Georgia. But the Tigers lost their starting quarterback, James Franklin, to a shoulder injury in the process. If he is out the rest of the regular season, that means the Tigers would have to face three Top 25 teams (Florida, South Carolina and Texas A&M) with a freshman quarterback (Maty Mauk). The fortunate part of that is that all three of those games are at home. But figuring out where they're going to fall in at the end of this thing is tough. They have Florida and South Carolina the next two weeks, so that will be telling.
Georgia took its second loss of the season and its first SEC loss, so it no longer controls its own destiny. But with Missouri defeating the Bulldogs, we put Georgia below the Tigers in the pecking order ... for now. The toughest part of Georgia's schedule is behind it, and it has just one ranked team -- the showdown with Florida on Nov. 2 -- left on its schedule. If the Bulldogs can get healthy, they have the chance for a strong end-of-season run.
Florida struggled offensively in its loss at LSU on Saturday, and it still has a tough road ahead. After Missouri, Georgia is on deck, and there are still battles against South Carolina and a nonconference game against Florida State left. Meanwhile, South Carolina pounded Arkansas on the road and also has Missouri and a Clemson battle at the end of the season.
Alabama is still on top, and we gave LSU the other BCS nod from the SEC. But keep an eye on Texas A&M, which could move up in the rankings this week after its thrilling win and a couple of losses from other teams in the polls. The other questions remain at the bottom, where it might be a challenge for the SEC to fill its bowl tie-ins. Arkansas, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt all still need three more wins, and Ole Miss is the only one with a conference victory at this point.
VIZIO BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 6: Alabama
Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2: LSU
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: South Carolina
AT&T Cotton Bowl, Jan. 3: Texas A&M
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Missouri
Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31: Georgia
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: Florida
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 30: Auburn
AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31: Vanderbilt
BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 4: Ole Miss
AdvoCare V100 Bowl, Dec. 31: Arkansas