In the SEC, the sun smiles on South Carolina and Florida

Florida turns teetering LSU into Gator bait, but South Carolina's impressive win over Georgia makes the Gamecocks No. 2 in Alabama's SEC.

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Top-ranked Alabama rested at home as four other undefeated top-10 teams from the Southeastern Conference jumped straight to 2014 and staged their own four-team playoff.

It's always pre-Copernicus down South, where the sun revolves around the SEC.

Highlights from other games — West Virginia at Texas, Miami at Notre Dame, Nebraska at Ohio State — could be revisited on TV wrap-up shows.

Geno who?

Notre what?

Florida State was where?

The question we wanted answered Saturday was "Who is No. 2?"

Not in the country — how important could that be? We wanted to know: "What's the second-best team in the SEC?"

The answer is, for now, South Carolina.

Florida, ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press media poll, made a nice introductory statement with its 14-6 win over No. 4 Louisiana State in Gainesville, but it wasn't that much of a surprise.

LSU has been teetering for weeks, artificially propped up by voters who refused to let go of the myth.

Coach Les Miles' team nearly lost two weeks ago against Auburn's Tigers, who still have only an overtime victory against a Sun Belt team to show for the season.

LSU also struggled last week at home against Towson, a lower-division program. Yet, USA Today voting coaches dropped LSU only one spot in their poll, to No. 3, the last two weeks.

The idea LSU was suddenly going to snap out of it got quickly snapped off by the purveyors of "Chomp Chomp."

Florida trailed 6-0 in the first half but wore LSU down in the second, scoring two touchdowns while ending the game with 25 consecutive running plays.

"When you're running the ball like that, why do anything else?" said Mike Gillislee, who led the Gators with 146 yards and both touchdowns.

LSU's offense is what we knew it was: a mess. The Tigers amassed 200 total yards as quarterback Zach Mettenberger struggled to complete 11 of 25 passes for 158 yards with an interception. LSU was one for 13 on third-down conversions.

"There's no excuses," Mettenberger said. "We've got to execute better offensively."

LSU, to be perfectly cruel, has now been held without a touchdown three times dating to last November's 9-6 win at Alabama.

"We will make corrections and understand where we are at," Miles said. "I think our football team is sick, sick with knowledge that they could have played better."

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