Tracking BCS title chances for the SEC

September, 20, 2013
9/20/13
2:30
PM ET
We certainly have a couple of real BCS contenders in the SEC. There's a frontrunner and a cat lurking:

Alabama: What a game between the Crimson Tide and Texas A&M. It was back and forth in the second half, and who knows what happens if Johnny Manziel gets the football back with 15 seconds left? But Alabama proved its offense is capable of scoring at will in its 49-42 win over the Aggies. That could be important if the defense continues to struggle the way it did when it gave up a school-record 628 yards to A&M. The good news is Johnny Football is off the schedule. Alabama is still No. 1 in the polls and clearly is still the team to beat. Trending: Up

LSU: The Tigers are lurking, folks. They thumped an overmatched Kent State team by 32 points and might have the most complete team in the league right now. LSU is averaging more than 200 yards rushing and passing and has the league's No. 3 defense. The competition hasn't been great, but this offense is moving the ball much better than it did last year against weaker opponents. Zach Mettenberger is averaging 265 passing yards a game, has the league's highest efficiency rating (205.3) and has thrown nine touchdowns to zero interceptions. Trending: Up

Texas A&M: The Aggies lost a thriller, but that offense, especially Manziel, showed a ton of heart. The Aggies have to clean things up on defense, as it's giving up nearly 500 yards and 36 points a game. That can't cut it in this league. This isn't the Big 12, guys. The offense will certainly keep this team in any game, but if the defense continues to play this poorly, A&M will fall down the ranks of the SEC. Trending: Down

Georgia: The Bulldogs were off last week, so you have to think that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham used that extra time to iron out some issues on defense. Georgia won't be perfect on the defensive side going forward, but you're starting to see growth. That's a good thing, because LSU heads to Athens next Saturday. Trending: Same

South Carolina: Vanderbilt made things exciting in the second half of South Carolina's 35-25 win over the Commodores last weekend, but the defense showed improvement from its debacle the previous weekend. If only that defense had shown up against Georgia. Like the Bulldogs, South Carolina's defense has to grow up soon this season. The advantage this team has is that its toughest remaining opponents -- Florida and Clemson -- don't pop up on the schedule until later in the season. Trending: Same

Florida: The Gators were off last week. This offense has moved the ball fairly well this season, but it keeps falling apart in the red zone. This team is 6 of 12 in the red zone and has two turnovers. Those turnovers cost the Gators against Miami two weeks ago, and if these problems persist, Florida will be out of the SEC East race very quickly. The defense is elite, so if this offense gets it together, Florida could sneak back into the BCS picture. Trending: Same

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