The SEC Power Rankings, Week 5
Last week, we caught a glimpse into the three tiers of power in the SEC: the West, the East, and Vanderbilt. This week, let’s see if teams have separated themselves (either as good or as Vandy) enough to make these rankings make sense.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: It’s really tedious typing out records and previous opponents and scores, so I’m adding screenshots of the standings and last week’s scores in order to allow the blurbs to be more football-related.
Tier 1: The Playoff Contenders
1) Texas A&M: That’s right, I have the Aggies #1 on the strength of 55 points per game and the fact that I don’t think Alabama’s back end can stop them. Having said that, the old SWC tilt with Arkansas in Dallas this week is going to indicate how well this defense is. I think A&M outscores the Hogs.
2) Alabama: Sloppy first half against Florida, but to steal words from Dennis Green, they were who we thought they were in the second half. Their defense is not up to Bama standards, but their offense is…yikes. #Cooper4Heisman, y’all. The Tide is off this week, so Blake Sims’ elbow will be fully healed for next week’s big one at Ole Miss.
3) Auburn: Unconvincing in their win at Kansas State, but Kansas State + Thursday night + Bill Snyder usually = L, not close road win. So let’s give Auburn their due. Just like Alabama, we’ll learn more about them next week (vs. LSU) than we will this one (vs. LTU).
4) Georgia: The best team in the East is, by definition, a playoff contender due to the fact that they need one win in December to get there. Georgia is that team, as a B effort almost got them a win in Columbia and the schedule opens up for the Dawgs. The big question mark remains: is Mike Bobo protecting Hutson Mason because he’s not good, or because we haven’t felt the need to open it up with him yet? We’ll know something soon, perhaps this week against Tennessee.
Tier 2: Could Play ECU in the Orange Bowl If Things Go Right
5) Mississippi State: I know it was a young, depleted LSU team. I know this is a kneejerk reaction in the worst way. But what Mississippi State did in Baton Rouge on Saturday was impressive and worthy of this spot. I was wrong about Dak Prescott, I was wrong about Dan Mullen, and I am excited to watch the other Bulldogs in the rare ranked-vs.-ranked nooner against A&M next week. This week? Taking the Alabama approach and figuring out how to replace C Dillon Day, who stomped the yard in Baton Rouge.
6) Ole Miss: Ranked higher than MSU? SURE! Better? Ehhh. I’m still not a Bo-liever, and will not be until he gives me reason to be (how’s that for analysis?) They get Memphis in the classic pre-Alabama trap game. Andrew begged our staff to take Memphis in the upset. Who has the guts?
7) South Carolina: Steve Spurrier says they’re not very good, and I am compelled to believe him. However, A&M/ECU/Georgia is a brutal 1-2-3 punch to kick off the schedule. If they don’t solve their tackling problems on D and their consistency problems on O (fingers crossed, yo), we could be looking at a Missouri win in Columbia (the crappy one) this weekend.
Tier 3: A Damn Fine Group of Spoilers, Or Most of the SEC East
8) LSU: Even the group with most of the SEC East is headlined by a West team. But I’m at a crossroads about this LSU team. Anthony Jennings does not look like the right fit at QB, the run defense is ATROCIOUS, and the pass D is equally bad. I may regret giving them the benefit of the doubt.
9) Florida: A great (and lucky) half in Tuscaloosa was impressive, and proves that on the right day they are more capable than the teams below of beating anyone (look out, LSU/Georgia/SC). I’m still not confident in Coach Boom to push them into the next tier, but they SHOULD be there.
10) Arkansas: Get em, Bret.
11) Tennessee: A team that is fully capable of exploiting Georgia’s weak secondary and hanging 35 points in Athens is (objectively) ranked 11th in the SEC as of 9/24/2014 at 10:29 AM. Good lord.
12) Kentucky: 2-1 with an overtime loss in the Swamp, and DID NOT LOSE TO A B1G CELLAR DWELLER LAST WEEK! That pushes you up the rankings. And they get Vandy this week.
13) Missouri: Shame. Fie and shame.
Tier 4: You Know.
53) Vanderbilt: Back in the top 100 after a decent showing against South Carolina. Still, though.