Week 12 SEC Power Rankings

Seth Pollock, 23 Sports

*NOTE: This power ranking isn’t necessarily just about ranking the best teams in the SEC 1-14. It’s about that, who has and who hasn’t been impressive, and who’s putting it together.

  1. Alabama 10-0, (7-0)

A win is a win. Even so, it doesn’t really matter. A loss to Mississippi State wouldn’t have stopped the Tide from making the playoff, assuming they would’ve gone on to beat Auburn and win the SEC championship. The game they need to win is two saturdays from now, the Iron Bowl. Lose that, and it’s 2013 all over again.

  1. Auburn 8-2, (6-1)

That was really impressive. A pure domination of the playoff committee’s #1 team puts Auburn back in control of their own destiny for the college football playoff. They’re going to have to beat Alabama to do it, but Saturday showed they have as good of a chance as maybe any team in the country.

  1. Georgia 9-1, (6-1)

Georgia is the third team in the SEC that still controls its own destiny to get to the playoff. If they win out and beat either Alabama or Auburn in the SEC Championship Game, they’re getting in. And Kirby Smart knows this too. “This team will be defined by how they respond, not by what they did tonight.” That statement has gotten some criticism, but it’s completely correct. This team has all its goals still in front of it, including the national championship.

  1. Mississippi State 7-3, (3-3)

Does that loss count as a win? It probably doesn’t feel like after being unable to complete what would have been a legendary upset after being up seven in the fourth quarter before falling 31-24. Still, the Bulldogs have to be proud of giving that kind of an effort against the nation’s best team. Given their three losses, this team probably won’t be making a New Year’s Six bowl, which is a shame. But with Arkansas and then the Egg Bowl left, this team has a great shot at making it to ten wins with a bowl victory.

  1. LSU 7-3, (4-2)

Another week, another impressive performance. Arkansas was another potential trap game for Ed Orgeron and the Tigers, but for the second straight year they dominated the Hogs for the Golden Boot.

  1. South Carolina 7-3, (5-3)

While a loss is still a loss, South Carolina proves once again that a win is in fact a win. After what Mizzou did to the Gators last week, beating Florida “only” 28-20 doesn’t seem all that impressive. But if you would have told South Carolina fans that two years in Will Muschamp would be beating his former employer, they gladly would’ve taken it. Granted, a lot of the change of the past two years has been in the prestige level of the football program at his former employer. Still, things seem to be going well in Columbia East.

  1. Kentucky 7-3, (4-3)

That was the most impressive performance of the year from the Wildcats. Even more impressive than their win over South Carolina. They dominated a Commodores team that still has a chance to get to a bowl game, 44-21. Kentucky running backs Benny Snell Jr. and Sihiam King were the stars of the show, going for a combined 185 yards and five (!) touchdowns. The Wildcat defense also intercepted Kyle Shurmur four times. Now this team has a chance to really impress. Let’s see them try to put up a fight in Athens, Georgia.

  1. Texas A&M 6-4, (3-3)

The Aggies did exactly what they had to do last Tuesday against New Mexico. It was a domination right from the kick, with the Aggies using seven touchdowns to build a 48-0 lead in the first 28:20 (with one missed extra point…) in route to a 55-14 rout. At this point, however it’s probably not enough to save their season.

  1. Missouri 5-5, (2-4)

Another week, another Tiger blowout in Columbia West. At this point it’s getting kind of crazy. Four weeks ago, Barry Odom didn’t have back to back wins as Mizzou’s football coach. Now he’s had four straight, by margins of 47, 40, 29, and 33. I still don’t know if Odom can win like Pinkel did in Columbia long term. And given a non-conference schedule that includes Memphis, and Wyoming, and at Purdue, along with a non-divisional matchup at Alabama, I don’t know whether Mizzou can win big next year. But right now is right now, and Tiger fans should be thrilled with two consecutive blowouts of teams with a higher pedigree than Missouri. The future will take care of itself, but right now it’s a great time to be a Tiger.

  1. Ole Miss 5-5, (2-4)

For the third time this year, Ole Miss looked about the way they should against a team that shouldn’t have a chance to shot an SEC team. Now, the final two games of the season for the Rebels will largely determine how this team will be remembered by Ole Miss fans. Texas A&M (a winnable game) and Mississippi State. Win the second one, and this season of frustration will be remembered as a triumph.

  1. Florida 3-6, (3-5)

For the first time in three weeks, Florida put up a fight. The Gators were down 14-0 fairly early, plus this play happened. The could’ve given up, like they did against Mizzou. But they stuck with it and they battled all the way to the end. They’re going to have to battle again next week in order to beat UAB.

  1. Arkansas 4-6, (1-5)

Back again to playing SEC competition after demolishing Coastal Carolina, Arkansas once again looked listless, unprepared, and overmatched. So much for being UNCOMMON.

  1. Vanderbilt 4-6, (0-6)

This might have been the worst loss of the season for Vandy. Yes, they lost 59-0 to Alabama. But they weren’t supposed to win that one. After five SEC losses this was the perfect opportunity to get a W. At home, against a mediocre Kentucky team. And the Commodores got plain pounded. They can still make it to a bowl game, but only with a win over Missouri and at Tennessee. Tennessee is very possible, but beating Mizzou has all of the sudden turned into a tough task.

  1. Tennessee 4-6, (0-6)

Speaking of Tennessee, Tennessee got pounded by Missouri Thursday night. And now they’re looking for a new coach. Personally, I hope they just give it to Brady Hoke.