Published October 31, 2012 - 1:50pm
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We have some major changes in the Big 5 SEC Power Rankings this week when compared to last week. Not only a change in the rankings, but the emergence of a new top five team.
Currently, three teams control their own destiny in the SEC. They are Alabama, LSU and Georgia. With the Tide visiting Baton Rouge this Saturday night, that number will drop to two (assuming Georgia beats Ole Miss).
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0)
Alabama showed the world that they are the clear number 1 team in the country this past weekend with an easy dismantling of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. I think this game said more about the Tide than the Bulldogs. I believe the Bulldogs are a good team, but they were no match for Alabama.
What is scary is that AJ McCarron is showing he’s not just a game manager which is what we’ve typically expected from a Nick Saban quarterback. McCarron is becoming a major weapon on this team. His numbers are incredible, and he’s doing exactly what he needs to do in order to take this team to a national title. If he continues his trend this week at Baton Rouge, he should easily be at the top of many Heisman lists.
Ranked wins: #15 Mississippi State
Key games remaining: #5 LSU, #16 Texas A&M
Did you know: AJ McCaron leads the country in passing efficiency with 18 touchdowns and 0 INTs and a 182.4 rating.
2. Georgia Bulldogs (7-1, 5-1)
Georgia has had a few ups and downs this season, but the team pulled together and won the biggest game of the year last week against the Florida Gators. Other than a few sloppy INTs by quarterback Aaron Murray, the team played exceptionally well. They have talent all over the field, and when this team comes to play, they can beat almost any team in the country.
Georgia just needs to get past Ole Miss at home and then at Auburn, and they’ll play the West Champ in Atlanta. A BCS birth (either in the BCSCG or another BCS Bowl) is the Dawgs’ to lose.
Ranked wins: #7 Florida
Key games remaining: No ranked teams
Did you know: Jarvis Jones averages 1.42 sacks per game which is highest average in the SEC and 2nd highest nationally.
3. LSU Tigers (7-1, 3-1)
During last week’s shake up, the Tigers were the beneficiary of having a week off. No dice this week, as the Crimson Tide roll into town. This game will make or break the season. Alabama has surely “looked” better in their wins, but LSU has still won the games they needed to especially South Carolina and Texas A&M. Can LSU bring the swagger and a rowdy home crowd to knock off the Tide? We’ll find out Saturday night.
Ranked wins: #8 South Carolina, at #16 Texas A&M
Key games remaining: #1 Alabama, #15 Miss State
Did you know: Saban has won 39 of 48 league games since 2007. Four of the nine losses came in Saban’s first season at Bama and three have been to the same coach: Les Miles.
4. Florida Gators (7-1, 6-1)
Florida’s game is about securing the football, running the ball, field position, and a good kicking game. When turnovers occur, the game plan unravels. The offense isn’t explosive enough to compensate. Going into Georgia, Florida had 4 turnovers all year. Against Georgia, they had 6 turnovers. The game was a mess and truly should have been a blow out in favor of Georgia.
The Florida defense is still one of the best defenses in the country and will keep the Gators in any game. The running game and kicking game are also above average meaning Florida can beat a lot of teams. While the SEC East race is likely out of reach, Florida still can back into the BCS with a win over Florida State (potential ACC Champ) and if Georgia loses in the SECCG.
Ranked wins: #5 LSU, #8 South Carolina, #16 Texas A&M
Key games remaining: #9 Florida State
Did you know: Florida’s passing game is rated 118 out of 124 in the country.
5. Texas A&M Aggies (6-2, 3-2)
We’re putting the Aggies in over the Gamecocks. Both South Carolina and Texas A&M lost to Florida and LSU. The Gamecocks lost these on the road, while the Aggies lost both at home; however, the Aggies kept both games extremely close. They don’t have a blow out loss.
Moreover, with the loss of Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecocks definitely take a step back not only in talent, but in leadership. As Johnny Manziel gets mentioned in the Heisman race, we’re putting the Aggies in the five spot, but it’s a close one between the boys from College Station and the boys from Columbia.
Ranked wins: #25 Louisiana Tech
Key games remaining: #1 Alabama, #15 Mississippi State
Did you know: Johnny Manziel (29 TDs) has accounted for more TDs than 6 other SEC teams – Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Vandy, Kentucky & Auburn.