SEC Power Rankings Week Eight

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-

In a game Arkansas needed to be competitive, Alabama scored on the first play from scrimmage, went ahead 17-0 7:36 in, and ended up winning 41-9.

In other words, it was just another week for the Crimson Tide.

To follow this up, next week they get the opportunity to end the SEC career of Butch Jones.

2.Georgia-

Georgia is starting to look like the Alabama of the east, in that blowouts are starting to become commonplace. Their 25 point victory over Mizzou was actually the closest game the Dawgs have had in SEC play so far this year. And at this point, Auburn is the only team on their schedule that looks to be at all capable of beating them.

3.Auburn-

Yes, I’m keeping Auburn at #3. Why? Because the Tigers had three straight weeks of solid conference performances before laying an egg against LSU. Tiger Stadium is an extremely tough place to play, especially when the LSU Tigers know they’re playing a big game. That was clearly the case on Saturday. My main concern for Auburn is their remaining schedule. With Texas A&M, Georgia, and Alabama still on left to play, the Tigers could wind up being the best 7-5 team in the country.

4.Texas A&M-

The other reason I’m keeping Auburn at #3 is it’s hard to see who else could claim that spot. The Aggies got a victory on Saturday, and to their credit Florida is a talented team and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is a tough place to play, but it was ugly. The Gators outgained the Aggies by 108 yards and had seven more first downs. What concerns me for the rest of A&M’s season is the same thing that concerns me about Auburn: the schedule. The Aggies still have Mississippi State, Auburn, and LSU left to play.

5.Mississippi State-

After their expected thrashing of BYU last Saturday the Bulldogs get the chance to do what Eastern Michigan and Missouri came close to doing but weren’t quite able to pull off: Beat Kentucky. If they’re able to, it might actually be able to shut some Wildcat fans up.

6.LSU-

I’ll admit it, I didn’t see this one coming. LSU has done a great job the last two weeks of bouncing back from their homecoming loss to Troy. For that, Coach O deserves some credit. Still, I don’t think what’s happened the last two weeks is at all a vindication of firing Les Miles for Orgeron. You know what Les Miles did when his Tigers played Auburn at home? They won too. A lot. Miles was 6-0 against Auburn at Tiger Stadium. And the previous week’s win over Florida in the swamp? Miles beat Florida there too in 2014, his final time coaching against the Gators as LSU coach. Good for Coach O for righting the ship. But it’s gonna take a whole lot more like this last one but bigger to match the pedigree of the man he was fired for.

7.Kentucky-

The Wildcats used their bye week to take a break from needing every second to defeat inferior teams. They’re gonna need some improvement from their last couple of contests in order to beat Mississippi State.

8.South Carolina-

Will Muschamp is now 5-0 against Tennessee. And for South Carolina, another close win that get’s them right on the cusp of bowl eligibility. The Gamecocks have a chance to clinch that eligibility post-bye against Vanderbilt.

9.Florida-

This is shaping up to be an incredibly disappointing and frustrating season for the Gators. First the arrests, and now the losses. Two straight in heartbreaking fashion. At 3-3 and with Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida State still on the schedule for the Gators, who because of Hurricane Irma are only playing 11 games, it’s plausible this team won’t make a bowl.

10.Tennessee-

It really felt like that fourth down play was the end of the Butch Jones era at Tennessee. And it was the epitome of the entire Jones era: So close, yet so far away. If the Tennessee-Alabama game goes the way the season has gone so far for those respective teams Butch Jones might not be the coach of the Volunteers on October 28th at Kentucky.

(Note: Alabama is favored by 34. And that seems low.)

11.Ole Miss-

Finally, Rebel fans get something to feel good about. Nothing like scoring 57 points on 603 yards to work out the frustration of a rough start, an NCAA investigation, and a firing of a head coach after a lawsuit from the former head coach he replaced alleging defamation.

12.Vanderbilt-

This thing is going down quick. Vandy was at least supposed to have a good defense. When you give up 57 points on 603 yards to a team that had scored 26 in its first two conference games, you don’t have a very good defense. Luckily the ‘Dores have a bye week to figure it out before a home matchup with South Carolina.

13.Arkansas-

Speaking of going down fast, the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Arkansas faithful didn’t expect the Hogs to win this game, but they at least hoped for a fight. They didn’t get one. This thing is getting more and more ugly, and a bowl game might be too much of an ask.

14.Missouri –

What the Missouri Tigers showed on Saturday certainly looked like progress, at least on one side of the ball. And having the game tied against a far superior opponent midway through the second quarter can only be seen as a good sign. But the Tigers pass defense still isn’t there. It seems on every play there’s a receiver that somehow has gotten open by five yards. It’s a wonder that hasn’t been fixed by now. Next Saturday might be the most important game of the Barry Odom era so far, because there’s no coming back from losing to Idaho.