Week Ten 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 8-0, (5-0)

This means Alabama is going to absolutely destroy LSU.

  1. Georgia 8-0, (5-0)

Another test faced, another test passed. The most impressive part of the Bulldogs 42-7 blowout win over Florida? They did it on only seven passing attempts. The Dawgs ran it down the Gators’ throats 35 times for 292 yards, an average of 8.3 yards per attempt.

  1. Auburn 6-2, (4-1)

The Tigers better make sure they’re not looking past Texas A&M in anticipation of Georgia.

  1. Mississippi State 6-2, (3-1)

That was one impressive beatdown. The Bulldogs won 35-14 at a place Alabama won at by only eight. After what should be an easy win over UMass, the Tide comes to Starkville. Whether or not the Bulldogs have any chance in that one, the game will be hyped.

  1. LSU 6-2, (3-1)

This team has looked good the last few weeks. That won’t continue against Alabama. There’s nothing worse than playing a fully motivated Nick Saban team; just ask Vanderbilt. And that’s exactly what LSU is gonna face Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s had to hear about how LSU is a real threat, maybe the biggest one in their division. The Tide are a 21.5 point favorite. They might cover in the first quarter.

  1. South Carolina 6-2, (3-1)

Last week, I put the Gamecocks on upset alert. And Vanderbilt almost did it. They were in it the entire game and actually outgained South Carolina 440-386, continuing the Gamecocks’ weird trend of winning while being outgained and losing while outgaining their opponent.

But a win is a win, and South Carolina now has six. Beating Georgia in Athens might be more of a challenge, but Will Muschamp has experience with upsetting the Dawgs.

  1. Kentucky 6-2, (3-1)

I’ve criticized the Wildcats plenty, but this team does have a knack for winning close games. I don’t know quite how much credit they deserve for a three point home win in which they got outgained by 74 by what is now clearly a bad Tennessee team. But, as I said with South Carolina, a win is a win. Ole Miss will provide another reasonable chance at a win. Given the Wildcats late game luck (or poise), I wouldn’t bet against the Wildcats if it’s is close in the fourth.

  1. Texas A&M 5-2, (3-2)

Losing is one thing, but losing 21 to Mississippi State at home isn’t where this program should be. And this is after putting up five solid performances in a row. That’s the thing about being in the SEC West. You can look good for a while, and then one lackluster week and you’re behind Kentucky.

  1. Florida 3-4, (3-3)

This has been a weird descent to watch. Jim McElwain was SEC Coach of the year in 2015, and the Gators won the east. They won the east again in second year. And then came the shark photo, which was definitely him (it wasn’t him). And then the arrests. The lackluster loss to a Michigan team that’s not as good as was thought heading into the season. The temporary respite of a Hail Mary win over Tennessee, followed soon after by close losses to LSU and Texas A&M. And finally, apparently exaggerated claims of death threats followed by a 42-7 loss to Georgia.

This season is now largely unsalvageable. The important thing for this program at this point is to win the SEC Coaching Carousel.

  1. Arkansas 3-5, (1-4)

Now that was a comeback. Credit to the Hogs. On a five game conference losing streak going back to last year and down 31-7 at Ole Miss, it seemed quite plausible the Razorbacks were ready to give up on the season. Four touchdowns and one game winning field goal later, Arkansas is tenth in the SEC power rankings and still has a shot to go bowling. Assuming a win over Coastal Carolina,  Arkansas has to win two out of three against Mississippi State, LSU, and Missouri. If the team that showed up in the late in the first half for the comeback shows up to end the season they have a chance.

  1. Vanderbilt 3-5, (0-5)

Another loss, yes, but also some reasons for optimism. After four straight fairly non-competitive losses, the Commodores stood right with the second place team in the SEC East for 60 minutes. They outgained the Gamecocks 440-386, and Kyle Shurmur threw four touchdowns. More performances like that and all four of Vandy’s games (WKU, Kentucky, Missouri, and at Tennessee) are winnable.

  1. Ole Miss 3-5, (1-4)

That loss has to hurt. To have a chance to win two out of three and to beat a program that’s been pretty solid the last few years and then blow a 31-7 lead? That’s real tough. Luckily, they have a solid chance for a bounce back win at Kentucky.

  1. Missouri 3-5, (0-4)

With their 52-12 win at Uconn and Tennessee’s last second loss at Kentucky, Mizzou climbs into the top 13 for the first time! For the second straight week, the Tigers made an inferior opponent look like an inferior opponent. Now they have four winnable conference games to end the regular season. Win three, and they’re going bowling for the first time in three years.

  1. Tennessee 3-5, (0-5)

That had to be awfully frustrating. After the season the Volunteers have had, to go to Kentucky, fall behind early, get the lead back, give up a touchdown with :33 seconds left, and then to get 48 yards of 51 needed on a Hail Mary as time expired? That just sucks. But that sums up the season for Tennessee pretty well. In fact, that sums up the entire Butch Jones era. And that’s why Tennessee will almost certainly be looking for a new coach a month from now.