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    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      For the fourth consecutive year, the No. 1 team in the nation will play in the SEC championship game. And if LSU beats No. 14 Georgia, for the sixth consecutive year the SEC will have a team in the BCS championship game. And there could be more than one SEC team in the BCS championship game.
    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      What kind of odds could you have gotten this summer that at Thanksgiving the top three teams in the BCS Standings would be: 1) LSU, 2) Alabama, and 3) Arkansas? Here we are at the final Saturday of November and all three are capable of winning the SEC championship and all three could win the national championship. Wow!
    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      The Game of the Century is behind us but there is much, much more left to this season. Just to prove that point, here are our Five Burning Questions about SEC football for Saturday, Nov. 12.
    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      Yes, we have finally arrived at The Game of the Century between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama. But that’s not the only compelling story line in the SEC as play begins in November.
    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      Tony Barnhart examines our five burning questions about SEC football as we finish up the month of October and set the table for next week’s Game of the Century.

    "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

    Our five burning questions about SEC football as we head into third Saturday in October:

    1. Can South Carolina’s Connor Shaw successfuly take his act on the road? Shaw started in place of Stephen Garcia last week against Kentucky and the results were impressive. Coach Steve Spurrier opened up the offense and Shaw completed 26 of 39 passes for 311 yards in a 54-3 win in Columbia. What we don’t know is whether or not Shaw has made a significant step forward as an SEC quarterback or if his play was more a product of a very undermanned opponent. But one thing we do know: Barring injury, Shaw is going to be South Carolina’s quarterback the rest of the way because on Tuesday Garcia, the senior, was dismissed from the team. We should get the answers to our questions when South goes to Mississippi State (3-3, 0-3), which is looking for its first win in conference play.

    2. Does Keihl Frazier play an even bigger role for Auburn against Florida? Frazier, the true freshman from Springdale, Ark., got on the field for 28 plays in last week’s 38-14 loss to Arkansas. Coach Gene Chizik insisted this week that Barrett Trotter remains Auburn’s starting quarterback, but offensive coordinator Gus  Malzahn said that Frazier will be given a bigger role as he learns more about the offense. Frazier gives the Tigers a running dimension that Trotter does not have, so expect him to get significant snaps in Saturday’s home game with Florida, which is pretty beat up after back to back games with Alabama and LSU.

    3. Will Alabama be a little more focused at Ole Miss? Alabama beat Vanderbilt 34-0 last week and everybody wanted to talk about what the Crimson Tide did wrong and how it lacked focus. That’s a little bit scary. Alabama goes to struggling Ole Miss (2-3, 0-2), which has had a week off since a road win at Fresno State. Expect the Crimson Tide to have a little more edge than a week ago. Also expect Alabama to continue to work on its passing game with quarterback AJ McCarron, who completed 23 of 30 passes against a Vanderbilt secondary that was leading the nation in interceptions. Also expect running back Trent Richardson to post his sixth straight 100-yard game. Houston Nutt of Ole Miss needs his team to keep this game competitive into the second half because the natives are really getting restless in Oxford.

    4. Does Georgia keep it rolling at Vandy? After an 0-2 start, which included losses to No. 6 Boise State and No. 13 South Carolina, Georgia has bounced back with four straight wins. But Georgia’s little win streak needs to be put in perspective as the Bulldogs have beaten Coastal Carolina, an FCS team, plus wins over three SEC teams (Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee) that are  a combined 0-7 in conference play. Georgia wins Saturday because its defense (No. 6 nationally at 260.50 ypg) will control a Vanderbilt offense that is ranked 117 in total offense, 100 in rushing, and 114 in passing.  Georgia’s defense is also No. 4 nationally in third down percentage defense (26.19 percent). Georgia gets a week off after Vandy and gets ready for the annual class with Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 29.

    5. Does Tennessee have any kind of shot against LSU? If quarterback Tyler Bray was available I think the Vols could have made Saturday’s game with LSU in Knoxville kind of interesting. But Bray broke the thumb on his throwing hand last week against Georgia and is out for at least four weeks. The reins of the offense are now turned over to Matt Simms, who was 2-6 as a starter last season before giving way to Bray. Simms was on the field last season when Tennessee almost beat LSU in Tiger Stadium but here is the real problem:  Tennessee is without its best wide receiver, Justin Hunter (knee), and will probably be without its best running back, Tauren Poole (hamstring). This one could get ugly, folks.


    Barnhart Bio

    •  1988-Present: College Writer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    •  2004-Present: Contributing Reporter, "College Football Today on CBS"
    •  2009-Present: Host, "The Tony Barnhart Show," The CBS College Sports Network
    •  2006-Present: Co-host, "Talkin' Football," CSS (Nominated for Southern Regional Emmy Award, 2007)

    • The Southern Football Kickoff Show

    •  "Southern Fried Football"

    •  2008 Edwin Pope Vanguard Media Award
    •  2007 Fred Russell Contribution to Sports Writing Award