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SEC Southeastern Conference

Let's rank the SEC and review the questions facing each team (with record and Saturday's foe). And everyone expected the college football world to revolve around the state of Mississippi, right? Right?

1. Ole Miss (6-0, 3-0; vs. Tennessee, 7 p.m.): Is there a more complete team in college football? We say no, and yes, the national polls have the Rebels' Magnolia State rivals on top, but here's a vote that Hugh Freeze's bunch is more balanced with a defense that is excellent at every level, a senior quarterback and a fleet of wideouts who provide matchup problems for every team this side of the Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys.

2. Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0; off): Has there been a better timed bye week in the history of college football? Most likely not, considering the Bulldogs have faced three consecutive top-10 teams, including two physically draining foes in Auburn and LSU. It also give the program a chance to enjoy its spotlight in the sun and the first No. 1 football ranking in school history. More cowbell, indeed. Somewhere Will Ferrell smiles. Stay classy, Starkville.

3. Alabama (5-1, 2-1; vs. Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.): Which is the real Alabama offense, the bunch that was on a record pace through four games or the group that has scored 31 total points the last two weeks? It's hard to know, and yes, the increased level of competition certainly plays a factor. Also, those 31 points in a 23-17 loss to Ole Miss and a 14-13 escape act at Arkansas include a defensive TD. Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is getting some heat for the recent downturn. Somewhere Johnny Vols Fans everywhere smile and nod.

4. Auburn (5-1, 2-1; off): Do we know what these Tigers really are? In short, no. Theys have a ton of NFL-ready talent, but the blend and physicality of last year's record-setting offense seems off for whatever reason. That said, Duke Williams is an NFL-ready wideout right now.

5. Georgia (5-1, 3-1; at Arkansas, 4 p.m.): Is this the last best chance for the SEC East to get a win over the SEC West? You bet it is. The SEC West is 9-9 against the SEC West and 26-0 against everyone else, and if the likely favorites in the East -- these Bulldogs -- can't go to Little Rock and beat a team looking for its first SEC win of any kind since 2012, well, good luck next year.

6. Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2; at Alabama, 3:30 p.m.): Man, think we could get a deal on some of those "Kenny Hill for Heisman" T-shirts about now? The answer is yes -- a very big yes.

7. Kentucky (5-1, 2-1; at LSU, 7:30): Which is more impressive for a team on the rise, pulling the upset of Steve Spurrier or handling your business the following week against an overmatched foe? We'll say the former, but not by as much as you think. And the tests get much more complex moving forward for the Wildcats, but, hey, right now, as Dennis Green famously said, you are what your record says you are. And besides, UK is going to be on CBS in 10 days -- that means it has arrived. A win Saturday at night at LSU would make believers out of all of us.

8. LSU (5-2, 1-2; vs. Kentucky, 7:30): If you were going to have an SEC coach detonate a bomb as the clock was winding down, Les Miles is the only choice, right? Of course he is. No-brainer. (The question, not Miles.)

9. Missouri (4-2, 1-1; at Florida, 7 p.m.): What was that? Man, there are several players in the league who have gone from preseason building blocks to complete puzzles, and the list starts with Maty Mauk, the Missouri quarterback who was a trendy pick for All-SEC before the season and who could be on the hot seat halfway through the season.

10. Arkansas (3-3, 0-3; vs. Georgia, 4 p.m.): Is there a more snakebit team in the country right now? Maybe not. If the Razorbacks could have stopped a 70-yard Texas A&M touchdown throw in the final minute in an OT loss and not fumbled going into the end zone in a one-point loss against Alabama, they would be the talk of the nation. Now, they are just starving for their first SEC win under Bret Bielema, who was visibly shaken and almost crying after Saturday night's defeat.

11. Florida (3-2, 2-2; vs. Missouri, 7 p.m.): Was the loss to LSU the microcosm of the careers of Will Muschamp in general and Jeff Driskel in particular? We think yes and overwhelmingly yes.

12. South Carolina (3-3, 2-3; vs. Furman, 12:30 p.m.): If this is the end for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, who in the world would you hire to replace him? There are whispers that the Ol' Ball Coach may be growing weary, and if that's the case, it's hard to fathom who would take the visor after him.

13. Tennessee (3-3, 0-2; vs. Ole Miss, 7 p.m.): Halfway in, do we think these Volunteers are a bowl team? You could say that 3-3 is where we expected them to be, but that was before we knew how bad Florida is and how winnable that game was. Looking forward, we know South Carolina and Missouri are not as tough as we may have thought in August but Ole Miss and Kentucky are markedly bigger hurdles. So, the answer about the Vols' postseason possibilities are left on the same cusp as they were six weeks ago: Which two SEC games other than Vanderbilt can UT win?

14. Vanderbilt (2-5, 0-4; off): If you are Derek Mason, what do you tell your team after a nip-and-tuck 21-20 win over Charleston Southern? At at loss for words, huh? How about: "Guys, enjoy the win ... it's the last one we'll get this year. Hey, it's been real, it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun."

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com and follow him on Twitter at @jgreesontfp. Listen to Jay and David Paschall on Press Row every weekday from 3-6 on ESPN 105.1 FM and timesfreepress.com.

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