Just when it felt like we had all of the answers in the SEC, someone went and changed all the questions. We were a week away from a totally different power structure in the SEC, and that structure never quite came to be. Here's what happened everywhere except Mississippi State this week around the conference.
Missouri 24, South Carolina 10: at Missouri
The Ole' Ball Coach's days may be numbered in Columbia. The Gamecocks flat out stink this season. Speaking of days being numbered, could Maty Mauk be close to being replaced. Drew Lock came in and put up solid numbers for the Tigers. I'm not sure Gary Pinkel can switch back to Mauk right now.
No. 13 Alabama 38, No. 8 Georgia 10: at Georgia
In the game that was supposed to sound the funeral gong on the Alabama season, the Crimson Tide threw down touchdown after touchdown in a out of nowhere flurry against Georgia late in the first half and early in the third quarter. We all thought a new era had dawned in the SEC, an era in which Alabama was out of the championship race the first weekend in October. That didn't happen.
The Tide picked up what looked like an FU win. Watch out for them the rest of the way. As for Georgia, the song really has not changed.
San Jose State 21, Auburn 35: at Auburn
Shawn White is not appearing to be the answer either for Auburn, but at least he is not throwing interceptions. Five rushing touchdowns did the trick for the Tigers who should be happy to reach bowl eligibility this year.
Arkansas 24, Tennessee 20: at Tennessee
Volunteer fans had to feel really uneasy after this game. Can they really say that their program is in any better shape than it was after Lane Kiffin or Derek Dooley left? Butch Jones was supposed to be the architect that would send Tennessee back to its lofty heights. It has not come close to happening.
Instead Jones has seen his team blow two double digit leads in the fourth quarter this season. Is he really the answer in Knoxville.
On the other side of the ball, this was a huge win for Arkansas. The Razorbacks were in danger of seeing their season come completely unhinged with a loss. Congrats to them for winning the battle of the SEC's two most overhyped darlings of the preseason.
Vanderbilt 17, Middle Tennessee State 13: at MTSU
Vanderbilt picked up another out of conference win, and that is big for the Commodores. Derek Mason needs something positive to happen to build a new foundation for this football team. It is clear that the team as James Franklin built it is gone. Maybe that is why Franklin was so quick to leave. The question for Mason is can he do enough fast enough to get to stick around. Every win will help.
Eastern Michigan 22, No. 9 LSU 44: at LSU
In a game that stayed inexplicably close late, the Tigers pulled away with a big win on the scoreboard. Leonard Fournette continued to look like a monster. The Tigers need more out of Brandon Harris to seal the deal. They are undefeated, and they should be considered favorites, or at least co-favorites, to win the SEC. The concern around the quarterback spot is slowing it down.
Ponder this thought Tiger fans: Les Miles could have recruited Dak Prescott more and had him in Baton Rouge.
No. 3 Ole Miss 10, No. 25 Florida 38: at Florida
It is hard to say if this game says more about Ole Miss or about Florida. It is not the Florida win that is so shocking, it is how they dominated Ole Miss that was surprising.
This Florida team may have thrown the switch Saturday night into legit SEC and national championship contenders. They rallied to knock of Tennessee. They still have Georgia, LSU, and Florida State on their schedules. This win will help them for those games. We have plenty of time to learn how legit the Gators are.
For Ole Miss, this game reeks of blown opportunity. Alabama had just decimated Georgia, and the Ole Miss win over the Crimson Tide looked even more impressive than it did at first. Ohio State and Michigan State both struggled Saturday. A convincing win in The Swamp could have catapulted the Rebels to the top of the polls. instead, they put on a performance that looked like someone on a cough syrup hangover and got it handed to them.
Eastern Kentucky 27, Kentucky 34: at Kentucky
This one ended up much closer than it should have, but the Wildcats won. For a program trying to rebuild, that is impressive. Had Kentucky lost, the loss could have set them back, and it would have all but ruined a chance at a bowl game. Now that opportunity, a huge one for Kentucky, is still alive.
At the end of the weekend, what did we learn? Alabama still lives. The winner of their matchup with LSU has a great chance to win the SEC West. The road to Atlanta just got tougher for Ole Miss, but they still have a chance. With all the focus on those three teams, Texas A&M just keeps winning, picking up another solid win, this one over Mississippi State. The Aggies could be headed to Atlanta, and no one really has even noticed.
The East looks like a two dog race: Georgia and Florida. The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville will more than likely decide who will head to Atlanta.