What we learned in the SEC: Week 10

November, 2, 2008
11/02/08
1:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

There were a ton of Texas Tech fans in the state of Florida on Saturday night. The more the Big 12 beats up on each other, the better it is for the Gators. Texas Tech's upset of Texas further cleared the way for a one-loss Florida team to play its way into the BCS National Championship Game if the Gators can win out, including winning the SEC championship. The Gators will now be rooting against Texas Tech the next two games against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Alabama doesn't need any help. The Crimson Tide just need to keep winning. They will almost certainly go to No. 1 in the new BCS standings on Sunday. Here's a look at what we learned in the SEC in Week 10:

A drama-less last month? It looks like the month of November may be pretty boring when it comes to the two divisional races. The SEC Championship Game is all but set, and we're barely into November. Florida can clinch the Eastern Division title by winning next weekend at Vanderbilt. Alabama can clinch the Western Division by winning next weekend at LSU. And even should the Crimson Tide lose that game, they could still earn a trip to Atlanta by winning their last two against Mississippi State and Auburn. So in other words, Florida and Alabama fans had better start looking for SEC Championship Game tickets now ... if they don't already have them.

Don't mess with Meyer: Whether you like Urban Mayer or not, there's no debating one thing: He has it going on right now at Florida. And if they truly measure coaches by how they fare against their rivals, then Meyer has very few peers. The Gators' 49-10 pummeling of Georgia improved Meyer to 10-1 against Florida's three biggest rivals: Tennessee (4-0), Georgia (3-1) and Florida State (3-0). He said in his new book that the Gators would "handle" the Bulldogs' end zone celebration from a year ago. Well, they handled it all right, and just for good measure, Meyer made sure the Bulldogs had a few extra minutes to wallow in the most lopsided loss of Mark Richt's coaching career by calling two timeouts in the final 44 seconds of the game.

Georgia exposed: The Bulldogs are still a talented team, and they may well go on to win 11 games (including the bowl) and finish in the top 10 for the sixth time in eight seasons under Mark Richt. But a season that started with so much talk about winning a national championship will be remembered for Georgia simply not measuring up (nor showing up) in its two biggest games of the year. The Bulldogs were down 31-0 at the half to Alabama at home before losing 41-30. They were trampled 49-10 Saturday by Florida. That's 90 points in two games. In the Big 12, that's good enough to still be playing for a championship. In the SEC, it's a one-way ticket to Orlando for the bowl season and the dubious "We're not ready for primetime" label that goes with it.

End of an era at Tennessee: Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton won't say it, and Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer doesn't want to talk about it. But the reality is that we're seeing the final chapter at Tennessee of a Hall of Fame coaching career by Fulmer. He's making it easy for Hamilton now. The Vols (3-6, 1-5 SEC) lost 27-6 to South Carolina on Saturday night in another dismal offensive showing. It's not a matter of "if" with Fulmer now. It's a matter of "when." Having spent more than 30 years of his life at Tennessee as a player, assistant coach and head coach, he deserves for this thing to end in a classy manner. He also deserves to go out on his terms, but that's not going to happen now. The Vols are looking at their second losing season in the last four years, and no coach at Tennessee -- not even one who's won 150 games in his career -- would be able to survive that kind of swoon.

Another blow for Tuberville: It's hard to imagine it getting much worse for Tommy Tuberville and Auburn. The Tigers lost their fourth straight Saturday, this one a 17-7 setback to Ole Miss that saw Auburn never cross midfield in the first half and then self-destruct in the second half with quarterback Kodi Burns throwing three interceptions. At this rate, it would be a miracle if the Tigers (4-5, 2-4 SEC) finish with a winning record with two tough SEC games remaining against Georgia and Alabama. And if they fall below .500, that's an ominous sign for Tuberville. Two of the last three Auburn coaches who finished with a losing record (excluding their debut season) didn't return the following year -- Terry Bowden in 1998 and Doug Barfield in 1980. The third, Pat Dye, lasted just one more season.

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SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12