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LSU coach Ed Orgeron sings the alma mater with his players after the second half of LSU's football game against Florida at Tiger Stadium Saturday Oct. 12, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La. LSU won 42-28.

A full slate of seven conference games, the only time that happens during the 2019 season in the SEC, makes this weekend a different one. At least one league team will enjoy an open date in each of the next five weeks before Florida and Georgia play traditional instate nonconference rivals on Thanksgiving weekend, the final playing date for the league. The unfortunate thing is none of the six SEC teams in the AP poll this week are squaring off. There's the annual border matchups of No. 1 Alabama and Tennessee and No. 2 LSU vs. Mississippi State, but that's about it. In other games involving ranked teams, No. 9 Florida and 10th-ranked Georgia will try to rebound from their first losses of the season, while No. 11 Auburn gets back into the fray after a week off. Also, No. 22 Missouri, which has won five games in a row since dropping its opener, makes its debut as a ranked team at cellar-dwelling Vanderbilt.

Sheldon Mickles

The Advocate's rankings

1. LSU

RECORD: 6-0, 2-0 West

THIS WEEK: at Mississippi State, 2:30 p.m. Saturday


LINE: LSU by 19

STORYLINE: LSU was going to jump Georgia for the second spot in the rankings by beating Florida, but a 14-point win over the then-No. 7 Gators gave the Tigers the edge to jump Alabama, too. Coupled with a road win vs. a top-10 Texas team makes LSU's resume better.


RECORD: 6-0, 3-0 West

THIS WEEK: vs. Tennessee, 8 p.m. Saturday


LINE: Alabama by 34½

STORYLINE: Alabama has rolled over its six opponents by an average of 34.0 points a game, which is obviously impressive. But the elephant in the room is the Crimson Tide's schedule: Their best wins have come over South Carolina and Texas A&M, a pair of .500 teams.


RECORD: 6-1, 3-1 East

THIS WEEK: at South Carolina, 11 a.m. Saturday


LINE: Florida by 5

STORYLINE: A loss to LSU in Tiger Stadium didn't hurt the Gators much. They dropped two spots in the AP poll and moved up a notch in The Advocate's rankings with a lot still in front of them in the second half of the season. South Carolina may not be a bargain on the road.


RECORD: 5-1, 2-1 West

THIS WEEK: at Arkansas, 11 a.m. Saturday

TV: SEC Network

LINE: Auburn by 18½

STORYLINE: Auburn had a chance to sit back after its undefeated season went down the drain against Florida. The schedule-maker did the Tigers a solid, having them return against Arkansas with a chance to get back on their feet before the LSU matchup a week from now.


RECORD: 5-1, 2-1 East

THIS WEEK: vs. Kentucky, 5 p.m. Saturday


LINE: Georgia by 24

STORYLINE: The Bulldogs took a mighty tumble in the AP rankings after that mistake-filled double-overtime loss at home to 24-point underdog South Carolina. But Kirby Smart's team still has a lot to play for, specifically the East title and a spot in the SEC championship game.


RECORD: 5-1, 2-0 East

THIS WEEK: at Vanderbilt, 3 p.m. Saturday

TV: SEC Network

LINE: Missouri by 21½

STORYLINE: Missouri is on a serious roll since being ambushed at Wyoming in the season opener. The Tigers have won five games in a row with a 2-0 league mark to sit atop the SEC East. They're not eligible for the title or a bowl, but they're making the best of a bad situation.


RECORD: 3-3, 2-2 East

THIS WEEK: vs. Florida, 11 a.m. Saturday


LINE: Florida by 5

STORYLINE: Just a couple of weeks ago, South Carolina was looking like it was on the path to a tough season with a 1-3 record and 0-2 league mark. But since then, there was a satisfying win over Kentucky and huge upset at Georgia. Can the Gamecocks di it to Florida, too?


RECORD: 3-3, 1-2 West

THIS WEEK: at Ole Miss, 6:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: SEC Network

LINE: Texas A&M by 6

STORYLINE: If they're not careful, the season is going to get away from A&M. The Aggies have been on a win-loss pattern for the first six games and league matchups with Mississippi State, South Carolina, Georgia and LSU remain. So they can't lose at Ole Miss, right?


RECORD: 3-4, 2-2 West

THIS WEEK: vs. Texas A&M, 6:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: SEC Network

LINE: Texas A&M by 6

STORYLINE: Ole Miss is the only SEC team that has played eight weeks in a row, which means the Rebels are desperately looking forward to open date. Defeating Texas A&M would go a long way to making the break a good one after an up-and-down start to the season.


RECORD: 3-3, 1-3 East

THIS WEEK: at Georgia, 5 p.m. Saturday


LINE: Georgia by 24

STORYLINE: Heavy personnel losses from last season's 10-win team and Injuries this season have derailed the Wildcats' hopes of another big year. A win over Arkansas last week was nice, but having a mad Georgia team in front of them between the hedges is daunting.


RECORD: 2-4, 1-2 East

THIS WEEK: at Alabama, 8 p.m. Saturday


LINE: Alabama by 34½

STORYLINE: At first glance, some UT fans may be thinking the Vols saved their season with a 20-10 win over Mississippi State. But they're not out of the woods just yet considering State hasn't torn up the league. Alabama should bring them back to earth in a hurry.


RECORD: 3-3, 1-2 West

THIS WEEK: vs. LSU, 2:30 p.m. Saturday


LINE: LSU by 19

STORYLINE: There was so much promise when Mississippi State lost Dan Mullen to Florida, but Joe Moorhead, who had the welcome mat rolled out for him then, has to be feeling the heat. He's 8-8 in his last 16 games with a devastating loss to Tennessee last week.


RECORD: 2-4, 0-3 West

THIS WEEK: vs. Auburn, 11 a.m. Saturday

TV: SEC Network

LINE: Auburn by 18½

STORYLINE: The Razorbacks have to be feeling a little better about themselves after coming oh-so-close in their past two outings vs. Texas A&M and Kentucky, dropping both by four points. Still, Arkansas has lost 14 SEC games in a row and has 19 losses in its last 20 league games.


RECORD: 1-5, 0-3 East

THIS WEEK: vs. Missouri, 3 p.m. Saturday

TV: SEC Network

LINE: Missouri by 21½

STORYLINE: It can't get much worse for Vandy following its 34-10 home loss as a two-touchdown favorite against UNLV. The Commodores' five setbacks have been by an average of 23.8 points and their only win came against FCS member Northern Illinois, squeaking by 24-18.

Sheldon Mickles

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