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SBNation Reacts: Examining all of the conference battles halfway through the season

Alabama v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

SBNation reacts is back this week, taking the pulse of each conference at the midway point of the season. After a massive week of college football, we had some serious changes in these conference races and the college football playoff picture.

We’ll start in the Pac-12, where Utah made things very interesting by beating USC last week. We’ll get another part of the picture this week as UCLA takes on Oregon. Are the Bruins for real? We’re about to find out.

On to the SEC. Tennessee sprung the upset on Alabama last week, putting themselves on a collision course with Georgia for a de facto East championship game. More than likely, the winner there will advance to Atlanta where they’ll meet (more than likely) Alabama.

Tennessee got some serious love here, but Alabama at just ten percent seems ridiculously low, even after the loss.

We’ll see if anyone has anything for Clemson, so far they haven’t. I’m honestly not even sure what to think about the Tigers at this point, but they do keep winning. There’s just not much else in the ACC this year.

And the Big Ten? Let’s be honest. It’s all going to boil down to Ohio State-Michigan. They might as well super-sim till then.

Finally, the Big 12. TCU completed their comeback against Oklahoma State last week to stay unbeaten. However, Texas now has Quinn Ewers back and seem capable of making a run. There’s a ton to be sorted out here, but TCU has been mighty impressive.

Now for the question of the week, which could have a big impact on Tennessee’s postseason. Can a non-division winner advance to the College Football Playoff? The answers were split nearly 50-50 — 46 percent of those polled said yes, a non-division winner should have access to the CFP.

This is setting up to play out live in the SEC East. The Tennessee-Georgia loser will be forced to sit on the sidelines during championship week, hoping others fall to open the door for them.

For reference, per DraftKings Sportsbook, Tennessee is now +640 to win the SEC. Georgia is still heavily favored, sitting with -115 odds. Alabama, still controlling their own destiny in the west, sits at +140.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

The next month is going to wild and stressful. Tennessee gets a breather this week with UT-Martin before things ramp up again. The Volunteers will host No. 19 Kentucky after that, then the trip to No. 1 Georgia looms next.