It makes sense that the SEC would stumble a bit in the Week 14 USA Today poll. After all, one team allowed a massive comeback, and another saw its magic run out.
There are still six SEC teams in the USA Today coaches poll for Week 14, which leads all Football Bowl Subdivision conferences, and five are in the top 19, which is only marginally worse than last week's five teams in the top 17.
But it's where the teams are ranked that makes it clear Week 13 was a downbeat for the conference.
Alabama, the defending national champion, is now 19th, thanks to a historic collapse against Auburn. That's a more embarrassing fall than the one LSU takes, from sixth to 12th following a loss to Arkansas, but it does have the benefit of moving the Crimson Tide behind South Carolina and rewarding the logician.
And Arkansas can't quite make up for the loss of two highly-rated, well-regarded teams with its re-entry into the top ten at eighth. The Razorbacks may earn a Sugar Bowl berth thanks to their win over LSU, but losses to Auburn and Alabama make them no better than the nation's best two-loss team, which slots them behind the Big Ten triumvirate of one-loss teams: Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Michigan State.
Fortunately for SEC triumphalists, Auburn is still in line to head to the BCS National Championship Game with a win over South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game, and the Tigers could well summit the BCS rankings thanks to the strength of schedule boost for playing Alabama.
Full SEC rankings are as follows:
- No. 2 Auburn
- No. 8 Arkansas
- No. 12 LSU
- No. 16 South Carolina
- No. 19 Alabama
- No. 22 Mississippi State