This deep into a football season, it's easy for fans to wonder what might have been. And I'm not referring only to injuries.
Sure, UT's season might have been different if it hadn't lost star wide receiver Justin Hunter to injury in the third game or if it hadn't lost quarterback Tyler Bray for half the season. But the season also might have taken a turn for the better if the Vols could have swapped non-divisional conference schedules with Georgia.
The Bulldogs are atop the East and apt to stay there. The Vols are last in the East.
The distance between them isn't measured solely by the Bulldogs' 20-12 victory at Neyland Stadium.
Two of UT's five conference losses are to No. 1 LSU and No. 4 Alabama. Two of Georgia's six conference victories came against Ole Miss and Mississippi State, who are a combined 1-10 in the SEC.
The scheduling disparity will increase today. UT plays No. 8 Arkansas, and Georgia takes on No. 24 Auburn.
Arkansas 31, Tennessee 16: At least, the Vols won't have to worry about the wild-hog package, which hastened their demise on their last Fayetteville visit. But they will have to worry about slowing down the best passing attack they have encountered this season.
Florida 24, South Carolina 20: Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier probably broke out the champagne after his alma mater hired Will Muschamp as coach. But he won't be celebrating today.
He's an offensive guru without an offense. And Florida should manage just enough points to give Muschamp a rare victory over Spurrier.
Muschamp is 1-7 against Spurrier all-time as a player at Georgia and as an assistant coach at Auburn and LSU. Spurrier's teams averaged 41.8 points in those seven victories.
Alabama 31, Mississippi State 7: Tide coach Nick Saban might want to change his offensive strategy for the rest of the season. And I'm not just talking about avoiding field goals.
Once a game is hand, Saban seldom seems interested in pouring on the points. When your team is third in the BCS standings, it's time to get interested.
My advice: Channel your inner Chip Kelly.
Louisiana Tech 26, Ole Miss 24: The Rebels had so much trouble finding a mascot last year, I don't expect them to name coach Houston Nutt's successor until next spring.
In a best-case scenario, the same folks who decided on Rebel Black Bear won't have any say-so in the search for Nutt's replacement.
Georgia 27, Auburn 24: If the Bulldogs end up playing LSU in the SEC championship game, Tigers coach Les Miles won't be known as the lucky one.
Georgia has benefitted from more than an accommodating schedule. Consider the injuries to valuable players in its own division — Hunter and Bray, South Carolina All-SEC running back Marcus Lattimore, and Florida quarterback John Brantley.
Vanderbilt 27, Kentucky 20: The Wildcats appeared headed for a special season until last week when they soundly defeated Ole Miss. Having lost their shot at an 0-8 SEC season, they're now just another bad team — though capable of pulling off a rare upset of Vanderbilt.
The Commodores are rarely upset because they are rarely favored.
LSU 45, Western Kentucky 6: Credit the Tigers with scheduling safeguards against possible letdowns.
They scheduled Northwestern State the week after Oregon, and the Hilltoppers the week after Alabama.
Top 25: Oklahoma State 52, Texas Tech 27; Oregon 41, Stanford 38; Boise State 44, TCU 27; Nebraska 27, Penn State 17; Clemson 45, Wake Forest 23; Michigan State 27, Iowa 18; Michigan 28, Illinois 20; Wisconsin 56, Minnesota 20; Southern California 41, Washington 30; Texas 34, Missouri 24; West Virginia 42, Cincinnati 35; Southern Mississippi 40, UCF 27.
Record: 135-30 (.818) overall, 88-63 (.583) against the spread.