Auburn was supposed to be great.

USC exposed the Tigers as frauds, dropkicking them in the season opener Aug. 30 at Auburn and, by extension, showing the Southeastern Conference for what it is this season: nothing special.

Tennessee had a nice victory last week over Miami, but that spoke more to the Hurricanes' lack of focus than to the Volunteers' resolve before a hostile crowd.

Florida has made a nice comeback after a poor start.

Arkansas upset Texas, but that turned out to be a single bolt of lightning.

Georgia doesn't exactly have anyone quaking in their cleats despite a 9-2 record and a No. 7 ranking.

Which brings us to No. 3 Louisiana State, which continued to fly under the radar despite a 9-1 record that includes a comprehensive victory Saturday over Alabama. Other teams in the SEC have hogged the attention for so long that it would seem the Tigers have grown accustomed to their status as the nation's most faceless championship contender.

The Tigers' big test is next week, when they play Eli Manning and No. 17 Ole Miss at Oxford, Miss.

A loss would eliminate the Tigers from BCS championship contention. A victory keeps alive their hopes for a date in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4 at New Orleans.

-- Elliott Teaford

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