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SEC Weekly Report: All Eyes on Alabama Vs. LSU

The SEC landed six teams throughout the first batch of College Football Playoff rankings cooked up this week. The rankings set up the SEC in a good spot to send one team to the playoff too with No. 2 LSU and No. 4 Alabama each starting off in playoff positioning with a head-to-head game coming up this weekend. The question is what happens if two-loss Ole Miss (No. 18) ends up being the team that represents the SEC West in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. It's possible and would be a fascinating scenario to see play out.

Alabama could win this weekend to drop LSU to 7-1 while moving Alabama up within the top four, perhaps even as high as No. 1. The only loss of the season was a home loss to Ole Miss, who has since lost games to Memphis and Florida. Ole Miss still has games to play against LSU and Mississippi State after this weekend's game against Arkansas; but if they manage to win all three remaining games they will go on to play for the SEC title, locking a potentially one-loss Alabama out of a conference championship. If the committee values conference championships, Alabama could be set up to lose despite winning. Or would they?

SEC Game of the Week: No. 4 Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC) vs. No. 2 LSU (7-0, 4-0 SEC)

Putting aside disaster and doomsday scenarios for the SEC for now, there is business to attend to in Tuscaloosa. Alabama and LSU have played a good handful of important games in the SEC West over the past decade, and this one is no different. It will also be quite a Heisman Trophy showcase for LSU running back Leonard Fournette and Alabama running back Derrick Henry.

Alabama has not played particularly well at home this season, with close wins against Tennessee and Arkansas and a home loss to Ole Miss. LSU will need to grind out a road win, which they have done twice already this season against Mississippi State and Syracuse. Doing so against Alabama will be tougher. It will be up to LSU's defense to prevent Alabama's offense from getting going. Alabama's offense has been up and down all season long, and will not be able to afford a slow start and sluggish play in this game.

SEC Upset of the Week: No. 18 Ole Miss (7-2, 4-1 SEC) vs. Arkansas (4-4, 2-2 SEC)

Ole Miss has been dubbed a double-digit favorite by the experts in Las Vegas, but there is something about Arkansas that suggests the Razorbacks could manage to keep things a bit closer on the scoreboard. Arkansas is 2-0 against the spread the last two times these two division foes have squared off. Ole Miss has a defense that should make some plays happen, but the Razorbacks running game can help set the tempo to their liking.

Quick SEC Picks

Florida 27, Vanderbilt 10
Georgia 24, Kentucky 14
Ole Miss 30, Arkansas 24
Tennessee 31, South Carolina 17
Texas A&M 36, Auburn 26
Alabama 17, LSU 16

Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on

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