Three games: It's time to ruin championship hopes - Tucson News Now

Three games: It's time to ruin championship hopes

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Georgia's Abry Jones (93), John Jenkins (6) and Kwame Geathers (99) celebrate a win over Tennessee. (Source: Georgia Athletics) Georgia's Abry Jones (93), John Jenkins (6) and Kwame Geathers (99) celebrate a win over Tennessee. (Source: Georgia Athletics)
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(RNN) – A crazy week saw Tennessee and Georgia make their case for joining the Big 12, Kentucky looked primed for an upset and LSU trailed Towson at one point. Next week will only be better.

Below is a look at three games from Week 5 and what they mean going forward followed by a look at three big games from next week and the impact they will have.

Week 5 recap:

South Carolina, 38, Kentucky 17

Kentucky fans had visions of storming the field, tearing down goalposts and running rampant through the streets of Lexington on Saturday night after the Wildcats jumped out to a 17-7 lead. Then it all fell apart as a South Carolina outscored them 31-0 in the second half.

At halftime, Steve Spurrier said South Carolina (5-0, 3-0) needed to play smarter football, and that's exactly what happened. The game was turned over to Marcus Lattimore and he ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns to spur the rout.

Kentucky (1-4, 0-2) has reason to be excited. It was a sign that the Wildcats can compete against other SEC teams, but they need to find some more consistency and stop committing turnovers to have a chance to win. Kentucky can still be bowl eligible, and its schedule gets a lot easier to close the season, but the Wildcats can't afford to squander any opportunities.

Georgia 51, Tennessee 44

If you believe what goes around comes around then you loved watching the second quarter of this game. Georgia won over Missouri in Week 2 by forcing two consecutive turnovers and flipping the momentum.

The Bulldogs (5-0, 3-0) were on the other side of it Saturday when Tennessee ran an interception back for a touchdown and forced two fumbles in the second quarter and turned them into points, erasing a 17-point deficit and taking the lead before a Georgia field goal tied it at halftime.

Tyler Bray's three interceptions and Georgia's pair of freshman running backs – both of whom had more than 100 yards and multiple touchdowns – made the difference.

For Georgia, it turned into a matter of survival. For Tennessee, it was a missed opportunity. Both teams have a difficult schedule the next few weeks, but Tennessee (3-2, 0-2) is in danger of not qualifying for a bowl. Squandering opportunities is not helping the cause.

Alabama 33, Ole Miss 14

Alabama played by far its worst game of the year and still won fairly easily. That says a lot about the Crimson Tide.

Ole Miss was the first team to take a lead on Alabama since LSU downed the Tide 9-6 last season. But LSU only lead the game in overtime. The last time Alabama trailed in regulation was a 3-0 deficit in the first quarter against Tennessee on Oct. 22 last year. Ole Miss (3-2, 0-1) also held the Tide scoreless in the third quarter – the first quarter this season Alabama hasn't scored.

Nevertheless, Alabama was in control most of the game because of its defense. The Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0) grabbed three interceptions and only trailed for a single play. After falling behind 7-6, Christion Jones returned the kickoff 99 yards.

Alabama fans were still a little disappointed because it wasn't up to the standard Alabama has set for itself. Nick Saban will get two weeks to correct that before facing Missouri.

Games to watch in Week 6 (all times Eastern):

Arkansas at Auburn, noon, ESPN2

This could be the game that determines who finishes last in the SEC West. Both teams can still entertain thoughts of bowl eligibility, but for Arkansas this game is a must-win if that is to happen. Both teams have what look like winnable games coming up for the next month, but even with a win Saturday, Arkansas (1-4, 0-2) would have to win all of them and pull off an upset over either South Carolina, Mississippi State or LSU late in the year.

Auburn (1-3, 0-2) is coming off a bye week and with a win would only need to win two of its upcoming games against Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M then take care of its two remaining nonconference games – New Mexico State and Alabama A&M – to be bowl eligible.

LSU at Florida, 3:30 p.m., CBS

National championship aspirations will be dashed for the loser, but in terms of a trip to the conference championship game, there isn't as much at stake here as you might think.

Because of LSU's backloaded schedule, the Tigers have games against South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi State still on the schedule. Neither of those will be an easy win, especially for a team that hasn't been tested and looked borderline inept against Auburn two weeks ago. The Tigers (5-0, 1-0) also fell behind to Towson in what should have been a cakewalk.

Florida (4-0, 3-0) still has to face South Carolina and Georgia. Whoever loses will still control its own destiny for the SEC championship game, and it's still early enough in the year that a national title shot is not impossible, but a lot of other things would have to happen first.

Georgia at South Carolina, 7 p.m., ESPN

If you're looking for conference championship implications, here they are. The loser of this game will no longer control its own destiny in the race for the SEC East crown and will have to win the rest of its conference games – including Florida – to have a chance.

This favors Georgia, because Florida is the only ranked team left on the Bulldogs' slate. South Carolina, however, will face LSU and Florida in consecutive weeks following this game.

All three of those teams are capable to taking advantage of a 10-point lead like the one the Gamecocks let Kentucky get this week. For that matter, so is Tennessee, which South Carolina plays right after Florida.

It's a brutal stretch that South Carolina doesn't look capable of surviving. Georgia gets an off week after this game and then Kentucky before facing Florida. After that, the Bulldogs have games with Ole Miss and Auburn that should be easy wins.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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