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SEC East champion could hinge on vote

The Southeastern Conference could crown the champion of its Eastern Division with a vote by eight athletic directors.

Forty-eight league games. A seven-step tiebreaker. Tens of millions of dollars spent by networks, fans and SEC sponsors, and despite it all, a tie among Tennessee, Florida and Georgia could be broken during an early morning conference call Nov. 30.

"I think the original goal was, "If we got through six other tiebreakers, let's have an opportunity to try to do it in an equitable way,' " said Mike Slive, who took over as SEC commissioner this year, replacing Roy Kramer, the creator of the BCS.

Slive, SEC spokesman Charles Bloom and a number of ADs talk as if it won't come down to a vote for the first time. They assume one of the three teams will bail them out by losing before then.

AUBURN: The school fired director of football operations Eldon Hawley for an unspecified violation of university policy. Officials declined to comment on the reasons for Hawley's dismissal, citing a policy of not discussing personnel matters.

DUKE: Ted Roof has shown enough promise in his two games as interim coach to earn an interview after the season for the full-time job, athletic director Joe Alleva said. Roof, who took over for the fired Carl Franks on Oct. 19, will be one of five candidates when interviews begin late this month or the first week of December, Alleva said.

E. MICHIGAN: Running backs coach Al Lavan will replace fired coach Jeff Woodruff on an interim basis.

MICHIGAN ST.: Defensive tackle Greg Yeaster will miss the rest of the season after injuring his knee in the loss to Michigan. Yeaster had surgery Sunday, coach John L. Smith said. He said the injury was caused by the grass field at Spartan Stadium.

WASHINGTON: Tailback Rich Alexis is expected to miss the rest of the regular season because of a torn quadriceps muscle in his left thigh. Alexis, the Huskies' leading rusher, has missed two games with what initially was reported as a bruised thigh. He was knocked out of an Oct. 18 win at Oregon State and was reinjured in practice last week.

WEST VIRGINIA: Quarterback Rasheed Marshall did not practice, two days after a concussion against Central Florida. Coach Rich Rodriguez lists the junior as day to day.