It's only Week 9, but the worst case scenario for anyone outside of the SEC is staring fans and the College Football Playoff Committee in the face.
With a Baylor loss to West Virginia and Notre Dame falling short to Florida State, Alabama and Auburn both moved up into the top five in the AP rankings.
Four teams in the SEC, no wait! To be more specific, the SEC West, are in the top five, and the Georgia Bulldogs of the SEC East (the weaker division) are ranked ninth.
Still a lot of football left to be played, and Ole Miss or Mississippi State will have at least one loss after the Egg Bowl, but this is what people feared. A possible playoff with 3 or 4 teams from the SEC? Are other teams in the SEC West going to be left out even with one loss?
AP Top 25 POINTS
1 Mississippi State (43) 6-0 1480
2 Florida State (14) 7-0 1433
3 Ole Miss (3) 7-0 1404
4 Alabama 6-1 1235
5 Auburn 5-1 1231
6 Oregon 6-1 1142
7 Notre Dame 6-1 1133
8 Michigan State 6-1 1066
9 Georgia 6-1 1055
10 TCU 5-1 962
Here's a breakdown of the Top 10's remaining schedules:
A common trend with the SEC teams. There will be a 2-loss team (maybe two) at the end of the season. Best case scenario would be Mississippi State and Ole Miss both being undefeated in the Egg Bowl. You solve your one-loss problem with Alabama and Auburn. Chances are, it won't be that easy.
Florida State looks to have the easiest schedule to go undefeated. Louisville could put a scare into them. Boston College competed with Clemson late, so watch the Golden Eagles.
Michigan State is the Big Ten's best chance to get into the playoffs. Although, one-loss Ohio State, who has been blowing out teams since their loss at home to Virginia Tech, has a chance to take control of the conference's chance to make the playoff if they win at the Horseshoe.
Georgia looks like the team headed to Atlanta as the representative for the SEC East. They play Auburn at home, and could spoil the Tigers chance at not only a spot in the SEC title game, but a playoff spot as well.
Notre Dame controls its own destiny after falling short against Florida State. Road games against ranked Arizona State and USC provide the biggest challenge on the remaining schedule. They play a neutral site game at FedEx Field against Navy (Midshipmen are the home team) and they finish their home schedule with Northwestern and Louisville.
Oregon has a case. Their one loss (who it came against) and strength of schedule will hurt them again. Could be the fifth team left out because of it.
TCU, good luck. The Big XII's best chance to have a representative in the playoff.
The first poll from the committee comes out next week. In the end, we will have weekly debates about who should be in and who got screwed and left out in the cold.
Ah, nothing like Halloween, where even adults can dress up as fictional characters.
This photo that Kris Letang provided the Pittsburgh Penguins twitter account shows him and few other members of the team dressed in costumes for some Halloween event.
All your favorite fictional characters are there. Dracula, the Mad Hatter and Rocky Balboa.
Yes. Sidney Crosby, who next to Santa Claus and Eli Manning, is the most hated man in the Philadelphia sports scene, went as the city's greatest (fake) athlete.
Is he trolling the city of Brotherly Love? Let's just say yes. And we're talking original Rocky.
The Penguins break out their third jerseys (those beautiful 1992 throwbacks) this Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center against the Flyers. I expect Steve Downie to do most of the fighting.
Lorde's been getting a lot of attention lately.
The singer has been parodied in the current season of South Park (she's Randy Marsh apparently) and her single "Royals" has become popular in Kansas City with the Royals making the World Series for the first time since 1985. Lorde actually said that Royal great, George Brett, was an inspiration for the song, when she saw him in National Geographic.
Either way, it can lead to a lot of bad parodies on YouTube (Iggy Azella's "Fancy" is a great example). Simply put, very cringe-worthy.
This one is actually good, and it was done back in the winter.
The parody, done by John Leslie Long, is well-written, well-produced and doesn't have any cringe moments.
Nice work, Mr. Long.
UPDATE: This is kind of disturbing, but it makes a good point. Most of can't name three Royals players. An honorable mention for "Box Score" host Brock Everett, the post-show that Dan Patrick's Dannettes do on Direct TV's Audience Network.
While Golson has put up impressive numbers and broken a few records this season, he has also had miscues that seem to be getting worse and could be costly to the Irish.
Opening Night for any NHL team is an eventful one.
The Penguins open up the season Thursday night against the Anaheim Ducks at Consol Energy Center. While a new head coach and General Manager dominate the headlines, there has been no change in the broadcast booth.
40 years of no change to be exact.
Mike Lange, the Hall of Fame broadcaster called his first Penguin game on October 9, 1974. Lange will celebrate the anniversary by calling the Penguins-Ducks from the radio booth with former Penguin and two-time Stanley Cup Champion, Phil Bourque.
When people think Penguins, they think Mike Lange. He is known for his famous goal calls and has done it on both the radio and television side for four decades.
I produce the "David Todd Show" on 970 ESPN in Pittsburgh. I've grown up watching Penguins hockey, I've had the pleasure of meeting Lange more recently in the Penguins radio studio while taping promos with Executive Producer Ray Walker, and David came up with the idea to do some of his greatest calls of some of the best moments in Penguin history during a segment.
With that, I put together a two minute montage of Lange's calls of some of the historic moments in Pittsburgh hockey history. Three different version of the Pens theme song "Boys of Winter" can be heard, too.
Here's that tribute:
The all and powerful SEC has always consisted of Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Auburn and Florida leading the pack over the last decade.
Other schools like South Carolina, Texas A&M and Missouri have displayed their talents as well over the past few seasons.
For the greatest football conference in all the land, there have been times when it was viewed as being too "top heavy."
The schools on the bottom half like Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Arkansas showed that there was a large gap between the dominate schools and the average ones in the Southeastern Conference.
Week 6 of the college football season had some viewed as basement dwellers knocking off the current big names in their conference.
Ole Miss defeated Alabama. Mississippi State beat Texas A&M, and for an honorable mention, Kentucky beat South Carolina at home.
When names like Alabama and LSU lose, everyone takes notice.
That's common, especially when you look at college football over the last decade. Those schools, along with Auburn and Florida, have been the four who have brought bragging rights to the conference by combining to win seven straight national championships from 2006-2013. The streak ended with Florida State beating Auburn at the Rose Bowl last season, but those were your top four schools in the SEC (Georgia gets an honorable mention despite having no championships to show for their effort).
Lately, Alabama has shown they are beatable, Auburn rebounded nicely after a bad 2012 season and are the best team in the conference right now, LSU is struggling, and Florida has fallen off since Urban Meyer left.
The addition of Texas A&M and Missouri from the Big 12 has provided more competition. The Tigers won the SEC East and played for the conference title in their second season. The Aggies had Johnny Manziel leading the offense and posing a threat in the SEC as they played in the Cotton Bowl in their inaugural year and upset Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
And then there's the story of the teams in Dixie: Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
The schools combined for one of the best college football days in Mississippi history. Whether you were in Starkville or at the Grove in Oxford, it didn't really matter. It was a great day to be a Mississippian: a state that some in the SEC might have forgotten about. After all, the Rebels haven't won a conference title since 1963.
Both teams are tied for #3 in the new AP rankings, and Mississippi State looks to have the more realistic chance of staying in the College Football Playoff picture. They got Auburn coming to Starkville this Saturday. Also, the Rebels go to College Station to play the Aggies. Stay tuned.
Bad weekend for the SEC? Not really. Think of it as a weekend when it was discovered that there are more talented programs in the conference than we originally thought. Despite the shakeup in the conference and all of college football this past Saturday, the SEC is still wipe open. There's just some new competition this season for the regulars to deal with.
Either way, the conference will be well-represented when the 13 member committee pick the four teams for the Playoff.