The SEC faithful have owned bragging rights for the past three years and it could be a bit longer after watching the first half of this college football season. Florida (1) is ranked first in every poll and its not beating up on cupcakes either. According to the latest Las Vegas Sports Consultants power rankings, the SEC boasts eight schools in the Top 30, plus they have one more (Auburn) right on the cusp.
Can anybody else come close to that number? The Big 12 has six but after watching Texas (2) play in its first five games, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Longhorns lose one of their next three against Oklahoma (5), Missouri or Oklahoma State (19). Keep in mind that all three contests are outside of Austin too.
Getting back to the best group, it makes you wonder if anybody can slow down the Gators. The only logical guess at this point would be Alabama (4), who is also unbeaten in the SEC and it has a big-time defensive attack. The pair isn’t scheduled to play during the regular season but an expected showdown in the SEC Championship is looming.
Florida doesn’t have a major test on its path, except for a trip to South Carolina on Nov. 14. Meanwhile, ‘Bama will be challenged in its next three at home versus the Gamecocks, Tennessee and LSU (12). Plus, the Iron Bowl finale is in Auburn this year.
Since it appears the Gators will control their own destiny, we asked senior oddsmaker Mike Seba of Las Vegas Sports Consultants to set some tentative future lines on possible matchups for UF on neutral fields.
SEC Championship Florida -5 Alabama
BCS Championship Florida -4.5 vs. Southern California Florida -6 vs. Texas Florida -14.5 vs. Ohio State Florida -14.5 vs. Virginia Tech Florida -17.5 vs. Boise State
Urban Meyer and his squad defeated Alabama 31-20 in last year’s SEC title game, and they covered the 10-point spread as well. Seba did note that the oddsmakers are high on the Trojans and Pete Carroll and if they do happen to meet, the college football finale is at the Rose Bowl from Pasadena.
People outside of Southern California (3) don’t care for Troy much but it’s hard to argue against the team under Carroll. During his nine-year tenure, he's only lost 16 games. And of those 16, the worst outcome was an 11-point (27-16) deficit in his opening year (2001) to Notre Dame (20). Since that loss to ND, he’s destroyed the Irish for seven straight victories and No. 8 could be on tap this weekend.
Carroll continues to come up short with weak regular season losses and misses out on national championship games but a Florida-USC matchup would be a classic, at least the oddsmakers think so.
Below is a complete breakdown of this week’s LVSC rankings.
Las Vegas Sports Consultants - Week 7 Rankings
Dropped out of Top 30: Stanford (26), Auburn (30)
Next 10: Stanford, Missouri, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Auburn, Utah, Tulsa, Michigan, Wake Forest