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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

    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:

    1. Can Georgia make it eight in a row? When the Bulldogs lost to South Carolina 45-42 on Sept. 10, a lot of people expected Georgia’s season to spiral out of control. But now Georgia has won seven straight and controls its destiny in the SEC East. Beat Auburn (6-3, 4-2) at home on Saturday and handle struggling Kentucky (4-5, 1-4) next week and Georgia goes to the SEC Championship game for the first time since 2005. “A lot of people gave up on us but we didn’t,” said quarterback Aaron Murray, who leads the SEC with 23 touchdown passes. “This team will not quit.”

    2. Alabama will be flat against Mississippi State. But how flat? And will it matter? About a week before the Alabama-LSU game Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban told me that no matter the outcome, his job was to make sure that his team continued to play at a high level. “We have to play to a standard—our standard—regardless of what happens in the previous game,” Saban said. It will be hard for the Alabama coaching staff to get their troops ready to play again after last Saturday’s 9-6 overtime loss, which was one of the most intense football games I’ve ever seen. But Alabama still has an outside shot of winning the division if it finishes in a three-way tie with LSU and Arkansas. Also, an 11-1 record would give the Tide a spot in the Sugar Bowl if LSU goes to the big game.

    3. Can South Carolina win and then wait? It looks like quarterback Connor Shaw, who suffered a concussion last week against Arkansas, will be ready to go when the Gamecocks (7-2, 5-2) host Florida (5-4, 3-4) at Williams-Brice Stadium. And that’s a good thing because, despite the loss to Arkansas, South Carolina has a clearly defined path to Atlanta: Beat the Gators and then hope Georgia (5-1 SEC) loses one of its last two conference games with Auburn and Kentucky. If Georgia and South Carolina finish in a tie for the division championship, South Carolina goes to Atlanta by virtue of its 45-42 win in Athens on Sept. 10. South Carolina’s game starts at noon ET (on CBS). Then the Gamecocks will all go racing to their televisions to watch Georgia and Auburn play at 3:30 p.m. (also on CBS). But South Carolina must beat Florida.

    4. Is Max Smith the quarterback of the future for Kentucky? Kentucky’s struggling offense got a jolt of energy last week when freshman Max Smith lit up Ole Miss for 283 yards passing and two touchdowns in his first career start, a 30-13 victory. Smith now has a chance to get Kentucky (4-5) in position for a bowl game, something that seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago. But Vanderbilt (4-5) has to figure it is due for some luck after close losses to Georgia (33-28), Arkansas (31-28), and Florida (26-21). The Commodores have been very competitive since Jordan Rodgers took over as quarterback. He absolutely shredded Florida’s secondary for 297 yards passing and two touchdowns. Bottom line: One of these teams will probably get to a bowl but not both. This is the swing game.

    5. Does Arkansas keep on rolling against Tennessee? After a couple of sloppy games on the road against Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, Arkansas got back on track last week and took care of South Carolina at home, 44-28. Understand that at No. 8 in the BCS, the Hogs still have their eyes on the prize—which is the SEC championship game. It’s a long shot, but if Alabama (which beat Arkansas) loses again and then the Hogs run the table (which would include a win at LSU on Nov. 25), then Arkansas would win the division. Arkansas could finish in a three-way tie with Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas by winning at Baton Rouge. But that tie would be broken by the BCS Standings and to prevail there, Arkansas would have to be ranked more than five spots ahead of Alabama in the final standings. That won’t happen if Alabama, currently at No. 3, doesn’t lose again.


    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