Around the SEC
Who snuck off with the Snickers?
Who confiscated the Candy Corn?
Who jacked the Jack-o-Lantern?
Who made the college football weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving as invisible as the Great Pumpkin Linus waits on every year?
Alabama and Florida that's who.
Nick Saban and Urban Meyer that's who.
Mark Ingram and Tim Tebow, Terrence Cody and Carlos Dunlap, Javier Arenas and Joe Haden ... that's who.
Those guys might as well be ghosts, goblins, and sorcerers because they've cast a spell over the SEC that makes the next month nearly meaningless.
Everybody seems to be simply waiting on the inevitable SEC Championship Game showdown between the nation's top-ranked teams. Shoot ... with the way Southeastern Conference fans show conference loyalty and regional pride, many may actually be pulling for the two super teams to win out and assure another SEC team plays for the national title (a trait that seems to really grate on people from outside the South).
There's only one figure who might botch the witch's brew that has ended the SEC season before Halloween ... the Mad Hatter.
Yes, Les Miles and LSU are about the only scary characters on the league horizon. Should the Bengal Tigers upset Alabama next weekend, the boys from Baton Rouge would leap into the conversation. If - as most expect - the Tide rolls over the Tigers, the SEC West race will be over.
The SEC East is already done.
Oh, not officially ... but Florida holds a two-game lead and does anyone really believe Florida will lose twice in three games?
Georgia might spook the Gators (or even beat them) this weekend, and the Florida trip to South Carolina on November 14th could raise the pulse ... but even with a Halloween upset in Jacksonville the Dogs would still trail the Gators and have games remaining against Kentucky and Auburn. South Carolina plays at Tennessee and Arkansas the next two weeks, so the Gamecocks showdown with the Gators may mean little from a division-race perspective by mid-November.
Start munching that Halloween candy and let's wait on Thanksgiving.
Alabama and Florida have made a turkey out of this conference race.
The Campus Game SEC Ratings (Week 9)
12. Vanderbilt ... Commodores mediocre on defense and awful on offense.
11. Mississippi State ... Bullies are not really good enough for Dan Mullen to be complaining about officials so strongly. Win a few first.
10. Auburn ... with Ole Miss, Georgia, and Alabama still on schedule, the Tigers are reeling a bit.
9. Arkansas ... Razorbacks probably better than this ranking, but have lost two in a row.
8. Kentucky ... Wildcats have solid shot for 8 or 9 wins.
7. Georgia ... Bulldogs could upset the SEC applecart with a win over Gators.
6. Tennessee ... Volunteers could win four or five more games as they move into what has traditionally been the easy month of schedule.
5. Ole Miss ... Rebels failed to live up to preseason hype but are rebounding for a solid season.
4. South Carolina ... Gamecocks better enjoy this ranking because the final four games are scary (at Tennessee, at Arkansas, Florida, Clemson).
3. LSU ... this lofty ranking is fragile as a child's teeth after eating too much candy ... not sure the Tigers are this good.
2. Alabama ... The shoddy quarterback play has cost Tide only style points ... so far.
1. Florida ... Gators toughness moves them back to head of TCG class.
Enjoy the games and check back for Professor's Picks!