Associated Press photo by JIM LYTLE -- Hannah Owens, right, 7, from Maben, Miss., gets her face painted by Mary Holliman Lanphere, a Mississippi State elementry education major from Tupelo, Miss., before last week's game between UT-Martin and Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss.

The rating game

Ranking the 14 SEC teams going into Week 12:

1. MISSISSIPPI STATE (9-0, 5-0; LW: 1)

Dogs may be only SEC team that could lose and still get in CFP. That may be tested Saturday.

2. ALABAMA (8-1, 5-1; 3)

After emotional win in 2012 over LSU, Bama went home and lost to Texas A&M.

3. AUBURN (7-2, 4-2; 2)

Tigers may not be out of CFP but tried to erase themselves with turnovers vs. A&M.

4. OLE MISS (8-2, 4-2; 6)

Rebels to spend week off charting historical inaccuracies in “The Blind Side.”

5. GEORGIA (7-2, 5-2; 5)

Bulldogs proved they’re best team in SEC East with rout of Mizzou, just can’t sustain it.

6. LSU (7-3, 3-3; 4)

Will Tigers have enough anti-freeze in the tank to win in frigid Fayetteville?

7. TEXAS A&M (7-3, 3-3; 8)

Aggies like a fickle stock. We’re buying. We’re selling. This week we’re buying.

8. MISSOURI (7-2, 4-1; 7)

These Tigers control their own destiny, but no one outside of Mizzou believes in them.

9. FLORIDA (5-3, 4-3; 9)

Believe it or not but the Gators still have a mathmatical shot to win the SEC (L)east.

10. KENTUCKY (5-5, 2-5; 10)

UK had it’s one shining football moment. The next one is slated for basketball season.

11. TENNESSEE (4-5, 1-4; 11)

Kentucky, Mizzou and Vandy left make a second-year bowl run quite doable for the Vols.

12. ARKANSAS (4-5, 0-5; 12)

Razorbacks stocked up on tiger nets at Wal-Mart during open date week, hoping to set a trap.

13. SOUTH CAROLINA (4-5, 2-5; 13)

Spurrier’s smirk has been replaced by a frown, but a win in The Swamp would change that.

14. VANDERBILT (3-7, 0-6; 14)

‘Dores petition SEC to use cardboard cutouts for last two games. Couldn’t do worse.

Game of the Week

No. 1 Mississippi State at No. 4 Alabama, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)

The College Football Playoff really doesn’t start until the Sugar and Rose bowls on New Year’s Day, but there’s no denying the unofficial knockout round is in full swing. Like TCU-Kansas State and Ohio State-Michigan State last week, the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide are putting their CFP fortunes on the table Saturday in yet another immense SEC West showdown. No. 1 for the third straight week in the CFP standings, State could probably survive a loss and still be in the top four. If any team has nine lives and could survive a November defeat it’s Alabama, but the Tide would be in trouble with a loss since it’s already starting the week at No. 5 in the CFP standings. A win for State clinches a share of the SEC West title, but the Bulldogs would still have to beat Ole Miss if the Rebels defeat Arkansas next week. A loss eliminates Bama from SEC West contention, but not the national title chase.

Around the SEC

SEC West scenarios: State can clinch the division if it beats Alabama and Vandy. Alabama can clinch the West if it wins out. Ole Miss can win the West if it wins out while State and Auburn each lose one other game. Auburn needs to win out while State loses to Alabama and Ole Miss, winning via a four-way tiebreaker. These scenarios assume State beats Vandy and Ole Miss beats Arkansas. ... SEC East scenarios: Missouri can clinch the division by winning out. Georgia needs to win out and have Missouri lose once. Florida can win the East if it wins out while Missouri loses its last three and Georgia loses to Auburn. ... LSU is 25-1 under Les Miles the week after a loss. The one loss: at Arkansas, 31-30, in 2008. ... An Arkansas loss ties South Carolina (1997-99) for the longest SEC losing streak since divisional play began in 1992 (18 games).