- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Now that November is here, teams around the country are scrambling to get into position to make a bowl game.
It's no different in the SEC, where a handful of teams are still on the cusp of making it to the postseason. With only a few games left for each, we're taking a look at five SEC teams that haven't qualified for a bowl yet, but still have a chance with strong Novembers:
Arkansas (3-5, 2-3 SEC)
Wins needed: Three
November schedule: Tulsa, at No. 8 South Carolina, at No. 15 Mississippi State, No. 5 LSU
Stock down: The Razorbacks needed a win against Ole Miss last week to really stay alive in the bowl race. After an awful September, Arkansas had to get to November with four wins, because the upcoming slate is pretty tough. Tulsa isn't a pushover, and three ranked teams remain, with two on the road. You just don't know if you can trust the defense in any of these games, and that's a major problem. It's been a very long season for the Hogs, and it'll be even longer if they don't make it to the postseason. Right now, it doesn't look like the Hogs will go bowling this season.
Missouri (4-4, 1-4)
Wins needed: Two
November schedule: at No. 7 Florida, at Tennessee, Syracuse, at No. 16 Texas A&M
Stock down: The Tigers might have finally secured their first SEC win last week, but November is going to be a very tough month for Mizzou, and things start off with the Tigers playing back-to-back road games against Florida and Tennessee. Mizzou should beat Syracuse, but Texas A&M will be quite the obstacle for this team. If the Tigers are going to snatch a road victory in November, Tennessee might be their best shot, but even that one will be tough in Neyland. Not getting a win in the next two weeks could end Mizzou's bowl chances.
Ole Miss (5-3, 2-2)
Wins needed: One
November schedule: at No. 6 Georgia, Vanderbilt, at No. 5 LSU, No. 15 Mississippi State
Stock up: No one really thought the Rebels would be in this position when Hugh Freeze took over last December, but this team has been a pleasant surprise for the league. Getting that win against Arkansas last week was crucial, because November brings a challenge each week -- three ranked teams and a Vandy team that has had Ole Miss' number recently. The offense has played well enough this season that Ole Miss can't be counted out of any of their next games, and it's looking more and more like the Rebels will get at least one more victory before the season ends.
Tennessee (3-5, 0-5)
Wins needed: Three
November schedule: Troy, Missouri, at Vanderbilt, Kentucky
Stock down: Of all of the teams still searching for that sixth win, Tennessee has the most manageable schedule. The Vols could get three or even four wins in November, but none of that is guaranteed. Not with the defense Tennessee has. There are plenty of distractions for this team to get around as well, especially when it comes to coach Derek Dooley's job. It's not a given that he'll be gone, and it isn't a given that he'll stay, but talk on both sides is out there, and the players hear it every day. With Tennessee's 0-for-October, a lot has to change for this team to get its three wins.
Vanderbilt (4-4, 2-3)
Wins needed: Two
November schedule: at Kentucky, at Ole Miss, Tennessee, at Wake Forest
Stock UP: Like Tennessee, November is very manageable for the Commodores. Certainly, there are two wins out there for Vanderbilt to have, right? However, three of their final four games are on the road, with Ole Miss probably being the toughest of those matchups. And the Rebels are looking to stop their two-game losing streak to the Commodores. Wake Forest could be fighting for a bowl spot as well, so Vandy will have a few fights on its hands. Still, this team should be able to get to six wins by season's end.
2hGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough