Which team is the best in the SEC West?
0:54 | College Football
Which team is the best in the SEC West?
Tuesday October 21st, 2014

It sunk in about five minutes after the close of Week 8: a deserving team is going to get shut out of the playoff. We all discussed this leading up to the season. We assumed it would be the case. But just like you don’t really understand what it’s like to be an adult until you’re out of college and it hits you that this is the exact moment when the fun stops, the reality of the four-team playoff is finally sinking in now.

The way the season is shaking out, somebody with a case for being one of the four best teams in the country is going to be left at home (or more accurately, in the Cotton, Orange, Fiesta or Peach Bowl), clapping politely like Leonardo DiCaprio after being passed over for another Oscar. 

Everybody says it’s nice to be nominated, but nobody’s working this hard to get this close only to ultimately play in the consolation bracket that is one of the former BCS or prestige bowls. And if the season ended today, what would you say if it was your favorite team?

The selection committee’s first set of rankings comes out in a week, and it's already short a member, with Archie Manning stepping down to focus on his health following complications from knee replacement surgery. Heaven help the remaining 12 selectors. They’ve got their work cut out for them.

• STAPLES: Why the Big 12 is in bad shape for the College Football Playoff

College Football Power Rankings
  • 1
    1Ole Miss Rebels
    last week: 2
    record: 7-0
    In trying to decide between Ole Miss and Mississippi State for the top spot, I made a coin especially for the situation using one of those machines you’d see at the science museum that can flatten an already existing coin into saying a different message. I then flipped said coin 100 times and the egg with the Ole Miss logo in the middle came up 53 times while the egg with the Mississippi State logo only came up 47 times, so Ole Miss is number one.
    Last game: Beat Tennessee, 34-3
    Next game: Saturday at LSU

  • 2
    2Mississippi State Bulldogs
    last week: 1
    record: 6-0
    The Bulldogs didn’t play on Saturday. Here is how Dak Prescott spent his bye week.
    Last game: Beat Auburn, 38-23
    Next game: Saturday at Kentucky

  • 3
    3Florida State Seminoles
    last week: 3
    record: 7-0
    Jameis Winston puts his game into another gear when the Seminoles need it most. Per David Hale of ESPN, the Seminoles' quarterback has thrown for 1,860 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions with a 72 percent completion percentage when Florida State is losing or tied.
    Last game: Beat Notre Dame, 31-27
    Next game: Oct. 30 at Louisville

  • 4
    4Oregon Ducks
    last week: 6
    record: 6-1
    There might be something to the #JakeFisher4Heisman joke. Oregon has looked comfortable and confident with Fisher back on the offensive line, and Marcus Mariota still hasn’t thrown an interception through eight weeks of the season.
    Last game: Beat Washington, 45-20
    Next game: Friday at Cal

  • 5
    5Auburn Tigers
    last week: 8
    record: 6-1
    After a week off to drown their sorrows in Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix, the Tigers get back to business against the Gamecocks. No one-loss SEC West team is out of the playoff mix, so it’s good to catch up with Rory and Lorelai.
    Last game: Lost to Mississippi State, 38-23
    Next game: Saturday vs. South Carolina

  • 6
    6Michigan State Spartans
    last week: 7
    record: 5-1
    The Spartans named a fake punt after Disney’s Frozen. Here are some other play calls I’d like to see out of Mark Dantonio: Under The Sea; The Cave of Wonders; Poisoned Apple; Sleepy, Happy and Doc; The Flying V.
    Last game: Beat Indiana, 56-17
    Next game: Saturday vs. Michigan

  • 7
    7Alabama Crimson Tide
    last week: 11
    record: 6-1
    59 points is too many points. Is this what we want football to be?
    Last game: Beat Texas A&M, 59-0
    Next game: Saturday at Tennessee

  • 8
    8Notre Dame Fighting Irish
    last week: 9
    record: 6-1
    Brian Kelly sounded off on the ACC refs for the late offensive pass interference call that negated what would have been Notre Dame’s game-winning touchdown. It’s good to see that even though the Fighting Irish are only a partial ACC member in football, they have as much anger directed at ACC officials as the full members typically do.
    Last game: Lost to Florida State, 31-27
    Next game: Nov. 1 at Navy

  • 9
    9Georgia Bulldogs
    last week: 9
    record: 6-1
    Gurley Watch is still on, and pretty soon we’re going to have an Airheads situation on our hands where people are flocking to Athens as a sort of pilgrimage to see this thing finally resolve itself. In the meantime, Georgia won another game, and Nick Chubb rushed for 202 yards.
    Last game: Beat Arkansas, 45-32
    Next game: Nov. 1 vs. Florida

  • 10
    10Baylor Bears
    last week: 4
    record: 5-1
    It is hard to go into Morgantown and make it out in one piece, much like the fictional town from the horror game (and movie) "Silent Hill." Thankfully horror games and movies aren’t filled with penalty flags. That wouldn’t be all that spooky.
    Last game: Lost to West Virginia, 41-27
    Next game: Nov. 1 vs. Kansas

  • 11
    11TCU Horned Frogs
    last week: 10
    record: 5-1
    After getting blown out by TCU, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said, “We just got our butts kicked.” That about sums it up.
    Last game: Beat Oklahoma State, 42-9
    Next game: Saturday vs. Texas Tech

  • 12
    12Kansas State Wildcats
    last week: 13
    record: 5-1
    Jake Waters running the pop pass is a thing of beauty, which is remarkable for a guy who says he knew nothing about the play before he got to Manhattan, Kan. Oklahoma had no answer for it. In a conference known for quarterback play in recent years, Waters is quietly staking his claim as one of the best.
    Last game: Beat Oklahoma, 31-30
    Next game: Saturday vs. Texas

  • 13
    13Ohio State Buckeyes
    last week: 14
    record: 5-1
    Since the loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6, Ohio State has averaged 56 points per game and J.T. Barrett has looked unstoppable. Watch out for that Urban Meyer; he might have a future in this coaching thing.
    Last game: Beat Rutgers, 56-17
    Next game: Saturday at Penn State

  • 14
    14Arizona State Sun Devils
    last week: 17
    record: 5-1
    The Sun Devils keep rolling with Mike Bercovici in the lineup, but we have to talk about Todd Graham’s headset for a second. He looks like he’s about to go on stage for a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards or perform a seminar at the Hyatt by the airport on taking back your financial independence.
    Last game: Beat Stanford, 26-10
    Next game: Saturday at Washington

  • 15
    15East Carolina Pirates
    last week: 15
    record: 5-1
    Quick: Name the most famous person you can think of from Greenville, N.C. Yes, the correct answer is Petey Pablo, whose real name is Moses Mortimer Barrett III. Raise Up.
    Last game: Beat South Florida, 28-17
    Next game: Thursday at Connecticut

  • 16
    16Nebraska Cornhuskers
    last week: 16
    record: 5-1
    Here is a video of all the Big Ten mascots dancing to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” where Lil’ Red is as frightening as usual.
    Last game: Beat Northwestern, 38-17
    Next game: Saturday vs. Rutgers

  • 17
    17Oklahoma Sooners
    last week: 12
    record: 5-2
    A handful of plays might have just cost the Sooners a shot at the Big 12 title. You can take your pick from Oklahoma's loss to Kansas State, whether it was the blocked extra point attempt, the missed field goal(s) by Michael Hunnicutt, the pick-six by Trevor Knight or the botched trick play thrown for an interception by Durron Neal.
    Last game: Lost to Kansas State, 31-30
    Next game: Nov. 1 at Iowa State

  • 18
    18USC Trojans
    last week: 19
    record: 5-2
    For all the great quarterbacks the Trojans have had over the years, it’s pretty remarkable that Cody Kessler was able to do something none of them have been able to do: throw for seven touchdowns in a game. The junior now has 18 touchdowns to go with just one interception.
    Last game: Beat Colorado, 56-28
    Next game: Saturday at Utah

  • 19
    19Arizona Wildcats
    last week: 20
    record: 5-1
    Oh my goodness, there is the potential for so many points to be scored when Arizona plays Washington State. Points are great.
    Last game: Lost to USC, 28-26
    Next game: Saturday at Washington State

  • 20
    20Utah Utes
    last week: 22
    record: 5-1
    Utah’s double-overtime win against Oregon State on Thursday may not have been your cup of tea if you like things like “big plays” or “offense” or “points” or “touchdowns” in regulation, but there’s no denying that the Utes’ front seven is for real.
    Last game: Beat Oregon State, 29-23
    Next game: Saturday at USC

  • 21
    21Clemson Tigers
    last week: 21
    record: 5-2
    In the past three games, Clemson has only allowed 30 total points. That Tigers defense that was so highly touted coming into the season seems to be coming into its own. It couldn’t happen at a better time, with quarterback Deshaun Watson already sidelined and leading rusher Adam Choice now out for the year with a torn ACL.
    Last game: Beat Boston College, 17-13
    Next game: Saturday vs. Syracuse

  • 22
    22West Virginia Mountaineers
    last week: NR
    record: 5-2
    Let’s take a second to acknowledge the season West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White is having. After racking up eight catches for 132 yards and two scores in the win over Baylor, the senior now has 69 receptions for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns. White has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in every game this season.
    Last game: Beat Baylor, 41-27
    Next game: Saturday at Oklahoma State

  • 23
    23Minnesota Golden Gophers
    last week: 24
    record: 6-1
    Minnesota’s leading receiver, Maxx Williams, has 15 catches for 247 yards through eight weeks. Oklahoma’s Sterling Shepard had 15 catches for 197 yards against Kansas State on Saturday. Stats are fun!
    Last game: Beat Purdue, 39-38
    Next game: Saturday at Illinois

  • 24
    24Marshall Thundering herd
    last week: 25
    record: 7-0
    Right now Marshall looks like a teenager playing his six-year-old brother in pickup basketball. The Thundering Herd seem to be toying with their opponents before going all Dikembe Mutombo on them and blocking every shot into the street.
    Last game: Beat FIU, 45-13
    Next game: Saturday vs. Florida Atlantic

  • 25
    25Duke Blue Devils
    last week: NR
    record: 6-1
    Duke is bowl eligible for the third straight season. Duke is bowl eligible for the third straight season. Duke is bowl eligible for the third straight season. No many how many times I type this, it still looks like it was written in Sanskrit.
    Last game: Beat Virginia, 20-13
    Next game: Nov. 1 at Pittsburgh

Next five: LSU, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Colorado State, Hot Apple Cider

2:41 | College Football
College football roundup: Week 8

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