Everyone expected Florida to win the East Division, and the way seems clear.
There was preseason disagreement about West, but no longer. It's hard to see anyone breaking through Alabama's defense.
Just as it's hard to see anyone breaking through Florida's defense.
So sorry, networks — especially CBS. Enjoy talking up the low-scoring, defensive slugfest to come in Atlanta on that first Saturday in December.
May the first team to score win.
And while on the subject of Alabama's and Florida's defenses, sorry to stadium-record crowds at Ole Miss and LSU on Saturday.
They spent their money and emotion but, in each game, got a mere field goal from the home team.
Moving on, sorry to fans of Ohio Valley Conference schools north of Jacksonville.
It's not their fault the NCAA banned JSU's most talented team in years from postseason play.
It's not their fault Ryan Perrilloux tumbled his way to JSU last year, and the clock shows it's the senior's make-or-break season.
His future and JSU's pride ride on how impressively he and the Gamecocks play this season, hence the weekly routes against FCS teams.
By virtue of mutual affiliation, most of JSU's victims are OVC teams. So it's not personal.
Now that we've cleared the air, it's time for midseason thoughts on our Big 3 teams following Alabama's 22-3 smothering of Ole Miss, Auburn's 44-23 crash at Arkansas and JSU's 41-7 mashing of Murray.
Perrilloux, JSU getting their due
A month ago, one wondered if we'd ever see results to bolster any sense that Perrilloux's ouster at LSU and landing at JSU made a difference.
JSU didn't make the FCS playoffs in 2008, his first season there. JSU can't make the playoffs this year, so how would JSU fans feel the Perrilloux effect?
They felt it when JSU came within 35 seconds of upsetting Florida State.
They've felt it since, as JSU blasted four FCS foes by a combined score of 198-37.
Conceivably, the Gamecocks could finish the regular season as a top-five team in the FCS polls.
SEC fans, meanwhile, feel Perrilloux's absence.
Talk of Saturday's Florida-LSU game surrounded whether No. 1 Florida beat then-No. 4 LSU on the road without quarterback Tim Tebow, who was cleared to play hours before kickoff and two weeks after suffering a concussion.
Considering how well LSU's defense played and how its offense sputtered in losing 13-3, one could see Perrilloux making a difference.
Especially playing at his current level.
Imagine the drama in college football, had a Perrilloux-led LSU team beaten Florida. We could be talking about top-ranked Alabama today.
So there's a strong argument to be made that Perrilloux is making difference on college football stages big and small.
Tide Jonesing for Julio
No. 2 Alabama (6-0) jumped unbeaten Texas in the Associated Press poll on Sunday because the Crimson Tide continues to win impressively.
Alabama wins impressively because of its defense, which gives the Tide offense all the time in the world to crank.
If there's concern, it's how long Alabama's offense has taken to crank lately.
Finishing drives has also become an issue, and the Tide scored one touchdown and five field goals in six red zone visits against Ole Miss.
Another issue is getting wide receiver Julio Jones the ball.
Ole Miss became the latest team to crowd Jones. Teams have covered him high and low, making it hard for quarterback Greg McElroy to get him the ball.
Jones had four catches for 46 yards against Virginia Tech, two for 65 against Arkansas, two for 13 against Kentucky and four for 42 at Ole Miss.
Big plays crank offenses, and playmakers have a way of just passing through the red zone. Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain needs to scheme more play-making chances for Jones.
Bizarro Auburn needs 'D'
Auburn (5-1) is back among the unranked this week for lots of reasons, the biggest being a ripe defense.
One could see a day like Auburn had at Arkansas coming. Depth is a major problem, especially at linebacker, and Auburn's secondary is worse than suspect.
Turnovers bailed out Auburn's defense against West Virginia.
At Tennessee, quarterback Jonathan Crompton's late awakening forestalled the inevitable.
Arkansas has Ryan Mallett, arguably the SEC's second-best quarterback. The Razorbacks also have coach Bobby Petrino, one of the SEC's top offensive minds.
Mallett kept hammering Auburn's secondary, and Arkansas committed just one turnover.
Auburn's offense didn't help with four fumbles. Arkansas recovered three, and the fourth on a fourth-down play was as good as a turnover.
But Auburn's defense is and will continue to be the Tigers' biggest worry. Going forward, the only questions will be how capable the opposition is of exploiting it and whether the other side coughs up the ball.