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- Okay, okay, Alabama got challenged. But did they really? The game was 24-3 near the end of the third quarter. And even though the Aggies had the same number of first downs as the Tide (16), only had 47 less yards (355-308), and came up short on the scoreboard only 27-19, there was never a time where the Tide didn’t seem to be in near complete control. On the road, at night, in front of 100,000 screaming Aggies. Against the third best team in the division. I think we can go ahead and pencil Bama in at 11-0 for the Iron Bowl.

 

  1. Georgia- The Dawgs are playing the role of a team that’s for real. That Vanderbilt game was one that could have tripped up a lesser team; maybe a Georgia team of the past. But not this year. It’s looking more and more like Georgia will be undefeated going into their November 11th match-up with…

 

  1. Auburn- Auburn. Another ho-hum week for the Tigers, who beat lowly Ole Miss 44-23 in a game AU led 41-10 after three quarters. Auburn has really put it together since the loss to Clemson. And next week, the Tigers get a chance to do something they haven’t since 1999: Beat LSU in Baton Rouge. The line is only Auburn -6.5 right now, but given the way Auburn has been playing recently I think their Tigers have a chance to really crush the LSU Tigers and get Ed Orgeron’s seat back to being warm.

 

  1. Texas A&M- Nationally, this tweet is a pretty good summary of how folks think Texas A&M played last week. The last three weeks were tests for the Aggies, and they passed them all, beating Arkansas and South Carolina, and competently losing to Alabama. People put way too much on the way the UCLA game happened. Yes, that second half was bad. Okay, it was awful. But a one point loss on the road in a geographically challenging game against a pretty good power five opponent in your first game of the season doesn’t define your season. Since then, Texas A&M has been pretty good. Keep playing the way they’ve played the last few weeks, and Sumlin should keep his job.

 

  1. South Carolina- This was a big win for Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks. One reason why was it was such a big game for Arkansas. The Razorbacks were facing an almost must win, and after one half of a close game the Gamecocks just poured it on in the second. This team is good, and a win next week at Tennessee could help solidify their case as a team near the top of the SEC East.

 

  1. Mississippi State- The Bulldogs of the West get to come off their bye week with a non-conference match-up against BYU. This should offer Dan Mullen’s team a chance to get some momentum back after back-to-back blowout losses. This team has high goals that are still achievable.

 

  1. Florida- This was a bad loss for Jim McElwain and the Gators. To come out and play like that against a team that just lost to Troy? It would be easy to see this thing falling apart with games against Texas A&M, Georgia, and Florida State still on the schedule.

 

  1. Kentucky- Yes, I have a 5-1 team below three 4-2 teams and one 3-2 team. Many Kentucky fans would argue they deserve more respect based on the standings. My one problem with this team is this: they’re not very good. They’ve beaten Southern Miss by seven, Eastern Kentucky by 11, South Carolina by ten, Eastern Michigan by four, and now Missouri by six. In that group, South Carolina is the only legitimately impressive win. The cardiac cats may be the best team of the Stoops era, but in back-to-back weeks they’ve needed every second to beat Eastern Michigan and Missouri. That isn’t encouraging.

 

  1. LSU- Whatever you want to say about the SEC, you can’t possibly claim it isn’t fun. This game was a fun win for LSU, and a fun win for Ed Orgeron. But before we go overboard, let me just say this: this game doesn’t change the trajectory. LSU beat a now mediocre Florida team on the road by one point. This is only a breather. Next week, LSU is probably gonna get pounded by Auburn in Tiger Stadium, and the heat will be right back where it was before Gainesville.

 

  1. Arkansas- Bret Bielema needed to win that game over South Carolina. Why? Because now it’s about to get ugly. The Razorbacks, who have  lost five straight games against power five competition, are away at Alabama (good luck) and home against Auburn (a team that beat Bielema and the Hogs 56-3 last year) the next two weeks. Bielama’s massive $15 million buyout and Jeff Long’s loyalty might keep him safe, but this program is in absolute freefall.

 

  1. Vanderbilt- Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason seemed pretty confident this would be an improved Commodore team. Three weeks into the season, we saw it. Three weeks into SEC play? Not so much. Saturday, Vanderbilt gets a legitimate chance to pull off an SEC win when they head to Oxford to play Ole Miss. Derek Mason wants to show that this team has improved? This would be a great chance.

 

  1. Tennessee- So, Tennessee plays South Carolina in Knoxville this Saturday.

 

And guess what?

 

They’re favored.

 

At first, this really surprised me. South Carolina is coming off a 48-22 dismantling of Arkansas. Tennessee is coming off a 41-0 loss to UGA. The week before, they beat 0-6 UMass 17-13 at Neyland Stadium.

 

But now, thinking about it a little more, it makes a little bit of sense. Tennessee knows this is a must win for the future of the program and the future of Butch Jones at the program. They’re coming off a bye week. If Tennessee has any fight, for its coach or for its program, they’ll give what they have saturday.

 

We should know by the end of the first quarter whether they have that fight or if they’ve simply given up. If it’s the latter, this one could get ugly fast.

 

  1. Ole Miss- Congrats, you put up more of a fight against Auburn than Missouri did! Vanderbilt having a winnable game this weekend is only half the coin: so does Ole Miss. If the Rebels want to make a bowl… um, a record that would ordinarily get you into a bowl, beating the ‘Dores would be a great start.

 

  1. Missouri- Mizzou did end up putting up a real fight at Kentucky. Not only that, they fought back from down 13-0 to give themselves a chance at the end. That in itself bodes well for Barry Odom. The question is whether he actually needs an SEC win this season to earn a third year in the eyes of Jim Sterk. Because Saturday might have been his best chance.