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SEC Power Rankings: The Big 5

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How many elite teams are in the SEC? Based on last week’s results and the full body of work during the regular season, I’d say four are elite.

There’s a shakeup in this week’s Big 5 after last week’s results:

Related: 4 SEC QBs surpass 3,000 yards

1. Auburn (11-1, 7-1)

I’d say it was a pretty successful weekend for Auburn and Gus Malzahn, wouldn’t you? He not only knocked off the two-time national champions, but he outcoached the coach in college football’s biggest second-half game. His in-game adjustments created momentum for the Tigers to cut Alabama’s lead to 21-14 just before half, and he helped further it by scoring right after half to tie it up. The last five minutes of the second quarter and the first five minutes of the third quarter were instrumental in Auburn playing wrecking ball.

Now, they have to prove themselves one more time against Missouri, who is just as worthy – if not more – to win an SEC Championship. How will the Tigers respond after such an emotional win?

Ranked wins: #24 Texas A&M, #22 Georgia, #4 Alabama

Ranked losses: #15 LSU

Key games remaining: #5 Missouri

Related: 6 running backs surpass 1,000 yards

2. Alabama (11-1, 7-1)

The Tide will be watching the SEC Championship from home, along with 11 other SEC coaches and the rest of the college football nation. Including Saturday, the Tide have only played in one of the last four SEC Championships. Doesn’t seem right, does it? All the momentum captured by AJ McCarrron’s 99-yard touchdown pass for the go-ahead score was erased by a horrible kicking game and their inability to convert on a fourth-down attempt in Auburn territory.

If that’s what it takes to beat Alabama – a 100-yard missed field goal return – how many teams could in college football? Above either Auburn or Missouri, Alabama matches up with Florida State the best, but does that mean they’re the best team in their own division?

Ranked wins: #24 Texas A&M, #15 LSU

Ranked losses: #3 Auburn

Key games remaining: None

Related: SEC Bowl Projections

3. Missouri (11-1, 7-1)

The rest of the country is trying to figure out a way to make Auburn jump Ohio State in the final BCS rankings, and nobody is talking about the one-loss Mizzou Tigers. Arguably the most complete team in the SEC, the Tigers are winning in all three facets of the game. With an explosive running game, efficient QB play and a terrorizing and athletic defensive line, Mizzou is worthy to be SEC Champions Saturday.

From 5-7 and missing a bowl game to SEC East division winners in one season, it’s been an epic season to remember and one that won’t be forgotten. Now, it’s time to prove the doubters wrong, yet again. College football is all about timing and matchups. Both are on Missouri’s side, and they match up with Auburn better than they would match up against Alabama.

Ranked wins: #22 Georgia, #24 Texas A&M

Ranked losses: #8 South Carolina

Key games remaining: #3 Auburn

Related: SEC Championship Preview

4. South Carolina (10-2, 6-2)

South Carolina has thought about losing to Tennessee the entire week. It marks the third year in a row the Gamecocks have beaten the SEC East winners and are still left sitting at home on championship week. South Carolina has been to just as many SEC Championships, though, as Alabama in the last four years, which is impressive. Connor Shaw was nasty once again against Clemson, and it makes five years in a row they have thumped the Tigers. Hats off to SC’s defense for the six-turnover day!

You have to wonder, though – was this Spurrier’s best chance to win a championship at Carolina?

Ranked wins: #16 UCF, #5 Missouri, #13 Clemson

Ranked losses: #22 Georgia

Non-ranked losses: Tennessee (5-7)

Key games remaining: None

Related: Final regular season team stats

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

LSU almost had a letdown against Arkansas, and I think there’s an underlying theme here. The Tigers struggle against power offenses like Arkansas and Alabama – teams that can be physical can beat the Tigers, who had questions on defense all season. You’ll see Les Miles beef up that defense in the coming future, but, man, did Anthony Jennings look good replacing Zach Mettenberger Saturday? The future is bright.

You have to wonder how many juniors will take off to the NFL.

Ranked wins: #3 Auburn, #24 Texas A&M

Ranked losses: #22 Georgia, #4 Alabama

Non-ranked losses: Ole Miss (7-5)

Key games remaining: None

Related: Five underrated offensive players in 2013

Note: Rankings reflect BCS rankings

The rest of the pack:

6. Texas A&M
7. Georgia
8. Vanderbilt
9. Mississippi State
10. Ole Miss
11. Tennessee
12. Florida
13. Arkansas
14. Kentucky

Photo Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports





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Comments 18

  1. Why do you constantly disrespect the Missouri football team. Just kidding. Nice article. Wild thought FSU and MSU both go down. The SEC champion plays Alabama for the national championship. Wouldn’t that piss some people off.

  2. We did win ya know. Beat TSUN in the most deflating way possible. I understand these are based on personal opinion, but it is my opinion that having TSUN over us is utterly and completely stupid. #HailState

    • He’s intited to his opinion didn’t say he was right or a genius just intited lol

    • @Daniel – No. You’re right. It wasn’t accurate. Dan Mullen turned in a heck of a season and silenced critics (guilty as charged). Would never put State lower when they just had head-to-head win. No excuse.

    • Still don’t seem like a legit argument to be in front of THE university of MS. State did not beat anyone on conference who was ranked at the time. Rebs pulled off wins vs then #6 LSU which is on of the “power teams” that’s funny. Then vandy in front of Rebs also which went into Nashville to beat them on opening night. Mullen had to win to go bowling, against a Rebs team that just honestly did not play .

  3. UGA nearly beat 2 of the top 5 teams, almost 3. Darn Tennessee football field.

  4. Georgia will hopefully end the season with 9 wins, 4 losses. If that’s the case, 3 of the Dawg’s 4 losses will have come from Top 10 teams (considering Clemson squeaks back in…which I think they will). Lost by 3 AT #13 Clemson…lost by a fluke AT #3 Auburn…and were closer to beating #5 Mizzou than the score indicates. Losing to Vanderbilt was inexcusable (though Vandy was more formidable than most expected…and it was only by 3 pts). With that said, I question you ranking A&M above Georgia…and I think there’s a strong argument to rank Georgia at #5 in your list above LSU (despite their better record and ranking). We beat #14 LSU…and spanked #8 South Carolina. I thought maybe you were considering the loss of Murray…but then again, LSU lost Mettenberger. As for A&M…with the Dawgs secondary woes, I’d hate to face Manziel but I’d still like our chances. Not barking here…just offering perspective.

    • Great stuff, Kendtut and good points.

      • There are so many things I like about Georgia, but as an SEC fan (Missouri) my one-of-100 million votes is not going Georgia or Alabama until I see a coaching staff that can clean up obvious dirty hits. I expect the same from Pinkel and every other coaching staff in the league. Football is the greatest game of all the games i played and coached. It is a man’s game. Real men respect the long term physical health of their opponents. They know how to deliver physical punishment that hurts for a week but not a lifetime. Plenty of accidents will happen without purposeful classless acts.

  5. How can A and M be above Georgia in this Jon! C’mon Man! They lost their last two games right? And our loss to Auburn was not an awful loss to say sparingly. Hell LSU has beat 1 real solid team all year and the other is only half a team. Someone remind me how South Carolina lost to Tennesee

    • Would be an interesting game for sure. That was actually the biggest debate I had when ranking this week. Aaron Murray out right now was the difference.

      • A&M has lost to every ranked team they have faced this year, so why are they so hyped up? Ole Miss and Vandy both have more ranked wins than them…

  6. Matt
    Commented : 4 months ago

    If South Carolina had 8 players celebrate Senior Day last weekend (and three of those were juniors who are headed to the NFL), please explain why the question has been asked on this site–and countless times, at that–as to whether this was their best chance at an SEC title. Roughly 75 players are freshman or sophomores. I don’t think I’m just looking through garnet-colored glasses, but it seems like the Gamecocks will hardly even have to “reload” for the 2014 season.

    • From a Missouri fan, South Carolina is a great football team with a great coach. Here’s my intuition about why they have just a very few days where they come up short. I think it’s mental. I think they get in their own way. A lot of teams do this. I also think that the star system does not rank their recruits correctly. If it did they would be winning almost every game by 60 points. my ranking: Miz/Aub, SC/AL, aTm, GA/LSU, VAN//MS, OM/TN, FL/AR, KY not enough information available today to split the ////////s having ranked the league however my personal idea is that the talent and coaching at the bottom is much closer to the top than the media want us to believe

  7. bubba
    Commented : 4 months ago

    When SC beat Clemson they were ranked #6. After losing to SC they dropped to #13.