Ranking the 14 SEC teams going into Week 8:
1. MISSISSIPPI STATE (6-0, 3-0; LW: 2)
Bronze or marble for Dak Prescott statue? No. 1 Dogs have week off to ponder.
2. OLE MISS (6-0, 3-0; 3)
Rebels are now the authority, should brush off Tennessee and go to LSU 7-0 next week.
3. AUBURN (5-1, 2-1; 1)
Gus Malzahn says remaining slate (S.C., Ole Miss, A&M, Georgia, Bama) is the nation’s toughest. Hard to argue.
4. ALABAMA (5-1, 2-1; 4)
Nick Saban is unhappy with fans who are unhappy with one-point win at Arkansas. Is there trouble in paradise?
5. GEORGIA (5-1, 3-1; 6)
Dawgs came up with Todd Gurley-less win at Mizzou, but can they sustain it?
6. TEXAS A&M (5-2, 2-2; 5)
The good will A&M built in its win at S. Carolina all but evaporated heading to Bama.
7. LSU (5-2, 1-2; 10)
The Tigers try to build momentum of Florida win by completing SEC East sweep.
8. KENTUCKY (5-1, 2-1; 9)
Four out of five Stoopses agree: The best coaching job in the family this year is being done by UK’s Mark Stoops.
9. FLORIDA (3-2, 2-2; 8)
Will Muschamp may have to pin career hopes on QB duo of Jeff Driskel, Treon Harris.
10. MISSOURI (4-2, 1-1; 7)
Hard to describe what a great chance Mizzou blew against Georgia without charts.
11. ARKANSAS (3-3, 0-3; 11)
The Razorbacks coming within razor’s edge of a breakthrough SEC win — but still losing.
12. SOUTH CAROLINA (3-3, 2-3; 12)
The Gamecocks need a win, any win. What’s this? Hello, Furman! Come in, come in.
13. TENNESSEE (3-3, 0-2; 13)
Vols are the SEC East version of Arkansas: getting lots of love for few, very few, wins.
14. VANDERBILT (2-5, 0-4; 14)
’Dores wins eked out by combined four points over UMass, Charleston Southern. Eek!
Game of the Week
No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 7 Alabama 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
Two years ago, this was the game in which the Johnny Manziel Show swept the nation as the Aggies’ upset the Crimson Tide. Alabama won last year in College Station, 49-42, but offense was still the star. This year, Manziel and Bama QB AJ McCarron are gone, as is some of the heat for this contest that produced two stellar matchups. The Aggies looked so good with an opening win at South Carolina, then come to find out S.C. isn’t that good. A&M has since been exposed with back-to-back lopsided losses to Miss. State and Ole Miss, and tries to avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2011. Similarly, the Crimson Tide’s offense ebbed in October after an impressive September, barely escaping Fayetteville with a 14-13 win over Arkansas. This is likely an early elimination game for both teams’ CFP hopes.
Around the SEC
The SEC West still is the nation’s highest-rated conference or division, according to Jeff Sagarin. The SEC East ranks fourth behind the Pac-12 South and the entire Big 12. ... Last year, LSU led the nation in third-down conversions. This season, the Tigers are 11th in the SEC at 36.3 percent. ... If he doesn’t play again, suspended Georgia running back Todd Gurley will end his career with 43 touchdowns, one shy of 10th place Darren McFadden of Arkansas with 44. ... With Gurley benched, the top-three active players in SEC career rushing touchdowns are Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon (28), LSU’s Kenny Hilliard (27) and State’s Dak Prescott (25). ... The SEC is a combined 37-3 (.925) in non-conference games this season. The SEC’s best non-conference season since 1992 was a 32-4 mark (.889) in 1997.