Updating last week’s effort:
CURRENT SEC PECKING ORDER
1a. Florida. 9-0 (7-0), remaining schedule: @South Carolina, vs. FIU, vs. Florida St.
1b. Alabama. 9-0 (6-0): @Miss. St., vs. Chattanooga, @Auburn.
3. LSU. 7-2 (4-2): vs. La. Tech, @Ole Miss, vs. Arkansas.
4. Auburn. 7-3 (3-3): @Georgia, vs. Alabama.
5. Tennessee. 5-4 (2-3): @Ole Miss, vs. Vandy, @Kentucky.
6. Ole Miss. 6-3 (2-3): vs. Tennessee, vs. LSU, @Miss. St.
7. Georgia. 5-4 (3-3): vs. Auburn, vs. Kentucky, @Georgia Tech
8. Arkansas. 5-4 (2-4): vs. Troy, vs. Miss. St., @LSU.
9. South Carolina. 6-4 (3-4): vs. Florida, vs. Clemson.
10. Kentucky. 5-4 (1-4): @Vandy, @Georgia, vs. Tennessee.
11? Miss. St. 4-5 (2-3): vs. Alabama, @Arkansas, vs. Ole Miss.
9th may be harsh on the ‘Cocks, but they’re under .500 in the SEC and haven’t beaten a team that matters since Sept. 24. Note that teams Nos. 4-7 each play each other this Saturday.
AS A REMINDER, YOUR SEC TIE-INS
1. BCS Bowl 1 2. BCS Bowl 2*3. Capital One 4a. Cotton 4b. Outback 4c. Chik-Fil-A 7a. Music City 7b. Liberty 9. Independence 10. Papajohns.com
For more info, click here.
*With ‘Bama surviving LSU, I don’t see any reasonable way this doesn’t happen.
ONE MAN’S GUESS AT HOW THE NON-AUBURN PORTION OF THE SEC WILL SHAKE OUT
1. Florida (12-0) 2. Alabama (12-0) 3. LSU (9-3) 4. Tennessee (8-4/7-5) 5. Ole Miss (8-4/7-5) 6. Arkansas (8-4/7-5) 7. South Carolina (7-5/6-6) 8. Georgia (7-5/6-6) 9. Kentucky (7-5/6-6) 10? Miss. St. (not likely to make even 6-6)
(This is almost identical to last week’s–Georgia and SC are swapped for reasons you’ll discover later in the post. But that’s it: LSU-‘Bama and Arky-SC were the only games of importance Saturday and both worked out the way they were expected to.)
MEANING THAT IF AUBURN FINISHES 7-5
Well, there’s no way they end up in Shreveport or B’ham anymore. Unless Carolina upsets Florida this week, Auburn and the ‘Cocks both end up 7-5 and the Liberty looks like the worst the Tigers will do; as I said last week, Auburn will be both geographically closer to Memphis than Carolina and probably assumed to travel better since the Tigers didn’t go bowling in ’08.
The downside is that Arkansas’s now a step closer to reaching 8-4 and potentially locking a 7-5 Auburn team out of Dallas. Still: 7-5 could still hypothetically mean the Cotton if everything breaks right–i.e. both the Rebels and Hogs are 7-5 and they decide Auburn’s their best draw–with the Liberty the more likely destination if the Liberty/Music City pairing picking between the Tigers and ‘Cocks and Nashville more likely if Carolina slips to 6-6 and the Hogs can go to Memphis.
I projected Auburn to the Music City last week; that remains my best guess in the event of an 0-2 Amen Corner.
MEANING THAT IF AUBURN GOES 8-4
The question doesn’t look like “will they end up in the Cotton?” as much as it is “is there any way they don’t end up in the Cotton?”
I figure there’s two ways: 1. Arkansas sweeps to 8-4 and the Cotton chooses a team that’s already been to Dallas once this season over the less-geographically friendly Tigers, which I don’t think is especially likely 2. LSU loses to both Arkansas and Ole Miss while Tennessee beats the Rebels but gets stunned at Kentucky to finish 7-5, and the Cap One decides Auburn is the best of a bad bunch of options.(I suppose the SEC could break with tradition and send Auburn from the West to the Outback and Tennessee from the East to the Cotton on the basis of … um, Tennessee hasn’t played the Cotton? Like, maybe, ever? Not seeing it.)
That’s it. In every other scenario, 8-4 Auburn is off to have a first-hand look at the JerryDome. Think Durst could hit the scoreboard?
AND IN THE EXCEEDINGLY UNLIKELY EVENT AUBURN FINISHES 9-3
It’s the Cap One if LSU gets upset in Oxford or vs. the Hogs, which I certainly wouldn’t put past them. It’s the Cotton if they don’t. It’s pretty well that simple.
Jinx-ward: Auburn, of course, probably won’t have to worry about this.
AND FINALLY, THIS WEEK’S FINAL OFFICIAL WBE SEC BOWL PROJECTION
Last week I had Auburn going to the Music City after a loss to Georgia; in part because I’m feeling more confident and in part because running the same projections would be boooooorrrrrring, this week I’m expecting a win this Saturday. And the following SEC bowl assignments:
Florida (12-0) to BCS Championship, Alabama (12-0) to Sugar, LSU (9-3) to Capital One, Ole Miss (8-4) to Outback, Auburn (8-4) to Cotton, Tennessee (7-5) to Chik-Fil-A, Arkansas (7-5) to Liberty, South Carolina (7-5) to Music City, Georgia (6-6) to Independence, Kentucky (6-6) to Papajohns.com.
Given that the Dawgs would have to beat the Jackets in Bobby Ross to avoid .500 in the event of a loss Saturday–meaning that one game could be the difference between the Chik-Fil-A and Shreveport–yeah, I’d say this is a big game for them on Saturday.