THE RATING GAME
1. LSU (7-0, 4-0; last week: 1)
Tigers facing a tougher end to the campaign than John Bel Edwards or David Vitter.
2. Alabama (7-1, 4-1; last week: 2)
CFP chairman Jeff Long dispels rumor that if Crimson Tide loses to LSU Saturday it will go up in the rankings.
3. Florida (7-1, 5-1; last week: 3)
Gators about to lock up SEC East, but what does it say that the last contender is Vandy?
4. Ole Miss (7-2, 4-1; last week: 4)
Three wins means a ticket to Atlanta for the Rebels, and not for a connecting flight.
5. Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2; last week: 7)
Kyler-Kyle AllenMurray pays big dividends for Aggies in win over South Carolina. We think.
6. Mississippi State (6-2, 2-2; last week: 6)
Bulldogs No. 20 in first CFP poll. Remember when they were No. 1 in first poll in 2014?
7. Tennessee (4-4, 2-3; last week: 8)
When the leaves fall, so do Vols’ opponents. UT should cruise through November.
8. Georgia (5-3, 3-3; last week: 5)
Coaching staff dissention, injuries, arrests and no TDs in two games. It’s enough to make Mark Richt say “dang it.”
9. Arkansas (4-4, 2-2; last week: 10)
CFP’s Long, the Arkansas AD, doesn’t have to leave the room when his Hogs are discussed.
10. Auburn (4-4, 1-4; last week: 11)
Auburn equipment manager proposed to girlfriend before game Saturday with picture cards. The result? Touchdown!
11. Kentucky (4-4, 2-4; last week: 9)
Kentucky is at that “Football? What’s that?” stage of the season. Basketball looms large.
12. South Carolina (3-5, 1-5; last week: 12)
News that Clemson is No. 1 in the first CFP rankings isn’t playing well in Columbia.
13. Vanderbilt (3-5, 1-3; last week: 13)
Vandy smarties have invented death ray to eliminate Florida from SEC East race.
14. Missouri (4-4, 1-4; last week: 14)
Maybe he wouldn’t have helped, but is suspended QB Maty Mauk’s absence the offense has disappeared.
GAME OF THE WEEK
LSU at Alabama, 7 p.m. Saturday (CBS)
It may not be the “Game of the Century” but it’s still huge, especially since the Tigers opened at No. 2 in the CFP standings and the Tide at No. 4. The winner will embed itself in the CFP top four while the loser fights to stay relevant in the national and SEC title chases. LSU’s hopes ride on Leonard Fournette’s ability to run, Brandon Harris’ ability to go deep and still protect the ball and the Tigers ability to avoid big busts on pass defense and special teams.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Six SEC teams are in the CFP rankings, most of any conference. ... Florida can clinch the SEC East with a win Saturday over Vanderbilt. The Commodores are the only other team still alive to win the division. ... Georgia hasn’t scored a touchdown in its last eight quarters, its worst drought since 1969.
No. 24 Miss. State at Missouri, 8 p.m., ESPN
No. 4 LSU at No. 7 Alabama, 7 p.m., CBS
Vanderbilt at No. 11 Florida, 11 a.m., ESPN
Kentucky at Georgia, 11 a.m., SEC
Arkansas at No. 19 Ole Miss, 2:30 p.m., CBS
South Carolina at Tennessee, 3 p.m., SEC
Auburn at No. 25 Texas A&M, 6:30 p.m., SEC