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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 to the fourth Saturday in October:

    1. Can Auburn find yet another way to win? When Auburn opened the season with a couple of dramatic wins against Utah State (42-38) and Mississippi State (41-34), not many people were predicting the Tigers would be 5-2 at this point. But Auburn’s only two losses are to No. 8 Clemson and No. 9 Arkansas. Saturday they travel to Baton Rouge to take on No. 1 LSU, which has just suspended defense backs Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon along with running back Spencer Ware. LSU also has next week off before going to No. 2 Alabama on Nov. 5 in what many are calling the latest “Game of the Century.” Auburn has shown a knack for winning close games this season. They beat South Carolina by a field goal (16-13) in Columbia. They used a couple of muffed punts by Florida to beat the Gators 17-6 last week. Can they catch LSU unfocused and looking ahead?

    2. Is Derek Dooley right about Alabama? Tennessee coach Derek Dooley worked for Nick Saban at LSU and the Miami Dolphins. Earlier this week Dooley said that this Alabama team was Saban’s best ever. That’s a significant statement because Saban won national championships at LSU in 2003 and Alabama in 2009. Then Dooley went a step further, saying that this Alabama defense “may be the best defense of the modern era.” Even some Alabama fans might disagree with Dooley on that one because the defense on the Crimson Tide’s 1992 championship team is the best SEC defense I have ever seen. But you know what? If I was facing Alabama’s defense as Dooley will Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, I would also say are the best ever. Just remember that Tennessee ran for over 100 yards last week against LSU’s defense, which ranks No. 6 against the run. Alabama’s defense is No. 1 against the run (38.14 ypg).

    3. Is Arkansas ready for the stretch drive of the season? The Hogs (5-1) had last week off and are rested and ready as they prepare to go to Ole Miss (2-4), which desperately needs something good to happen. But here is the deal for Arkansas. Despite a 38-14 loss at Alabama on Sept. 24, the Razorbacks are still in the SEC West race. If they win out, which includes a Nov. 25 game at LSU, and LSU beats Alabama on Nov. 5, Arkansas could finish in a three-way tie for the Western Division championship. And even if they don’t get to Atlanta, the Hogs could get a BCS at-large bid. In short, there is still a lot on the line as Arkansas moves forward. That is not good news for the Rebels of Houston Nutt, who were pounded by Alabama (52-7) last week.

    4. Can Vanderbilt hold Army under its average in rushing? The Commodores (3-3) started 3-0 and have now dropped three straight. They had a very tough loss (33-28) to Georgia last week, a game Vanderbilt had a chance to win in the closing seconds. Now the Commodores host an Army team that leads the nation in rushing with 361.33 yards per game. Vanderbilt is fourth in the SEC in run defense, giving up 109.67 yards per game. If Vandy can win this game and get to 4-3, it has a reasonable shot of getting to six wins because its last three games are against Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest.

    5. Should Kentucky be on upset alert against Jacksonville State? Absolutely. Jacksonville State (5-1), a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, is ranked No. 8 in the FCS. The Gamecocks are 30-10 in their last 40 games. A year ago they went on the road and beat Ole Miss in Oxford (49-48 in 2OT). They are not going to be intimidated by walking into Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium. Despite four straight losses after a 2-0 start, Kentucky coach Joker Phillips got a vote of confidence this week by athletics director Mitch Barnhart. But the Wildcats need to get it turned around in a hurry if they hope to go to their sixth straight bowl game.


    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