Published October 17, 2012 - 1:25pm
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
Power rankings are over-done. We get it. So, what we’re going to do is look at the top five in the SEC based on what has happened on the field. We’re going to stay objective, look at quality wins, road wins and a few key stats. Undoubtedly, some fan bases will disagree. Feel free to let us know where we’re off in these rankings by utilizing the comment section below.
Without further ado, here are your SEC Power Rankings.
1. Florida Gators
What? Over Alabama? Yes and here’s why. Alabama may very well be the better team, but we can only go based on what has happened on the field thus far this season. Florida has two wins over teams currently ranked in the top 25 BCS. Florida also has the top win in the country over LSU (currently the top rated one-loss team). Meanwhile, Florida has two quality road wins at Texas A&M and at Tennessee. Critics will point to the eye ball test and might say that Florida hasn’t looked stellar offensively. There’s no denying that there have been times when Florida’s offense hasn’t looked dominant. But, Florida has had a consistent run game, decent quarterback play and good defense. Based on schedule and quality wins, at this point in the year, Florida takes the top spot in the SEC power rankings. The Gators will either cement their standing in the top spot or fall based on if they can survive the visiting Gamecocks this Saturday.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tide are undefeated and have looked dominant in games against Michigan, Arkansas and Missouri. The problem is Michigan, Arkansas and Missouri are not very good. This doesn’t take anything away from Alabama because their schedule is mostly back-loaded, but there’s no denying that Florida had more impressive first half wins than Alabama. In reality, it doesn’t matter because if both teams win out, they’ll play each other in the SECCG, but right now the Tide sit at the #2 spot.
3. LSU Tigers
LSU had a good, not great start to the season. Lackluster offensive performances made some question whether LSU could duplicate 2011′s success. Then, they lost to Florida. In my opinion, the Florida loss may have been the wake up call that the Tigers needed. They followed it up with a physical and impressive win against a very good South Carolina team in Baton Rouge last week. I believe LSU will now have much needed momentum and swagger. The Aggies will get the brunt of it this week, and I believe LSU rolls in College Station setting up a huge game against Alabama on November 3rd.
4. South Carolina Gamecocks
The Gamecocks are a very good football team on both sides of the ball. Steve Spurrier is building a legitimate powerhouse. Unfortunately, the Gamecocks were dealt a very tough schedule and had to face the LSU Tigers coming off a loss in their home stadium. They played tough and physical but lost the game. The Gamecocks made a huge statement by blowing out Georgia and a lesser statement by blowing out Missouri. They will get the opportunity for the biggest statement yet by playing Florida on the road this week. If the Gamecocks win, they lock up the east most likely and set up either an LSU rematch or an Alabama game in Atlanta in early December. South Carolina could easily top the SEC at the end of the season, and in my opinion, might represent the best option for the east to knock off Alabama (should they win the west) in Atlanta.
5. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Sorry, Georgia fans, but you didn’t make the top 5. Why? Your only tough game thus far this season, you were blown out. I’ve been as high on Georgia as anyone (and even put my money where my mouth was), but undefeated Mississippi State gets the 5 spot over Georgia. Dan Mullen’s squad is playing good football, but they’re not getting top respect for a reason. They’ve yet to play anybody. SEC wins against Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee aren’t impressive. The good news is that we will get to see just how good this team is. Starting October 27th, they play at Alabama, Texas A&M, at LSU, Arkansas and at Ole Miss. I’m excited to see how well Miss State competes against quality competition. I think they have a quality and balanced team, and they are well coached.