SEC Power Rankings: The Big 5

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Not much changed from last week’s Big 5 power rankings.  You can still make an argument for Bama or Georgia for the top spot in this week’s power rankings, too.  Alabama squashed cupcake Western Carolina and Georgia beat up on Georgia Southern.  Obviously, both were expected.  Barring a massive upset of Auburn over Alabama (not going to happen!), these two teams square off in a little over a week to a date in the BCS National Championship game, assuming Georgia takes care of business against Georgia Tech. 

Let’s get down to business:

1a. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1)

After pounding Western Carolina, we learned little about the Tide this week.  But with the Iron Bowl coming up and it being a rivalry game, anything can happen, right?  I don’t see an Auburn upset happening in Bryant Denny Stadium, do you?  However, the big test will come against a hungry and peaking Georgia team in the SEC Championship in two weeks.  Bama’s defense was exposed against LSU and Texas A&M, and Georgia has just the offensive firepower and balance to dial up a win.  But one thing we have learned from teams that beat Alabama is that the quarterback play has to be dynamic.  Furthermore, Aaron Murray will have to be great.  Let’s allow ourselves to look ahead to Georgia-Alabama, shall we?

Ranked wins: #7 LSU, #19 Michigan

Key games remaining: #3 Georgia (assuming Alabama beats Auburn)

1b. Georgia Bulldogs (10-1, 7-1)

After a somewhat slower start against Georgia Southern last Saturday, Georgia poured it on in the second half to notch the blowout victory.  Aaron Murray is playing as well as any quarterback in the country, and the defense has been coming together since the Florida game.  Don’t look now, but the Bulldogs have been playing to their potential when the most important point of their season is on the line.  It will be a dogfight in Atlanta.  However, in order to beat Alabama and clinch a berth in the national championship, the Bulldogs will have to take care of business against Georgia Tech.  That shouldn’t be tough to do at all.

Ranked wins: #4 Florida

Key games remaining: #2 Alabama (assuming Alabama wins the West) 

3. LSU Tigers (9-2, 5-2)

If we were ranking Les Miles’ post-game press conference, LSU would be #1 in the country.  The Tigers pulled one out literally in the closing seconds against a much-improved and gritty Ole Miss team at home last weekend to keep their BCS dreams still alive.  Now, a trip to Arkansas looms ahead, a game in which the Tigers have lost their last two against the Hogs on the road.  However, the Tigers look to be improving week after week on offense, and the light switch definitely went on for Zach Mettenberger…and oh that freshman Jeremy Hill is a man-child out there.  He’s been the lifeblood of the offense in the second half of the season.

Ranked wins: #12 South Carolina, at #9 Texas A&M

Key games remaining:  None

4. Texas A&M Aggies (9-2, 5-2)

Assuming the Aggies finish 10-2 and the Gators lose, TAMU is a sexy pick for the other BCS at-large team in the SEC.  Johnny Manziel is the favorite for the Heisman Trophy heading into the final week of the season, and he has better numbers than anyone around the country.  The biggest obstacle, however, is his freshman class status.  If he plays well against Missouri, he’ll likely wrap it up and spit shine his trophy case for yet another trophy he’ll be receiving at the end of this magical year. This is an explosive team on both sides of the ball.

Ranked wins: #2 Alabama

Key games remaining: None

5. Florida Gators (10-1, 7-1)

The Gators yet again squeaked by another baby seal last weekend against Jacksonville State by way of one offensive touchdown and another shutout by the studly defense.  I know Jeff Driskel was out, but he only gives the Gators a better running game when he plays.  His legs are way more valuable than his arm at this point in the season.  Yet, Florida is sitting 10-1 with a possible shot at a national championship if Notre Dame loses to USC.  I’m still trying to figure out how Florida has won 10 of 11 games, but they undoubtedly have the best resume in college football in their 10-win record.  It’s not pretty, but pretty doesn’t win in this league.  I still think all four teams above would beat Florida at this point in the season.

Ranked wins: #7 LSU, #12 South Carolina, #9 Texas A&M

Key games remaining: #10 Florida State

Photo Credit: John Reed-US PRESSWIRE

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