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      Early part of SEC season reveals plenty of parity

      By STEVE MEGARGEEAP Sports Writer

      KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - One year after Vanderbilt and LSU ran away from the field, there's a much more wide-open race in the Southeastern Conference this season.

      Two weeks into conference play, five teams are tied for first place in the Eastern Division with 3-3 league records. Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are atop the Western Division at 4-2.

      That's a change from last year, when Vanderbilt went 26-3 in league competition to set an SEC record for conference victories while LSU was 23-7 and won the Western Division by 4 1/2 games. Coaches say they're not surprised. They believe last season represented the exception rather than the rule.

      The SEC is deeper than usual because Auburn and Tennessee - which have struggled in recent years - are having breakthrough seasons.

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