After upside down week in the SEC, this past week was mostly sane. Not entirely so, though, as Auburn nearly swept South Carolina, settling for a surprising series win that vaults the Tigers into the thick of the West pile-up. But LSU was LSU, Florida was mashing, and Vandy returned to form. With 3 weeks left in the regular season, here’s how the SEC stacks up:

14. Missouri (24-19, 5-16)

Remember when the Tigers were ranked nationally? They are 2-16 since sweeping UT to open league play. Not only did they get swept in Gainesville, but Mizzou gave up 30 runs over the 3 games. The Tigers are hitting .216 in conference play, which is 28 points below 13th-place Ole Miss and 37 behind 12th-place Auburn. They’re last in runs and 13th in home runs hit and errors committed. The Tigers host Ole Miss and Georgia over the next 2 weeks, and if they want to make anything of their season, the time is now.

13. Mississippi State (24-20, 6-15)

The SEC’s worst pitching staff headed into Knoxville and got nuked, not only getting swept but allowing 33 runs to the Vols. We know we dwell on State’s conference pitching numbers, but they’re just horrifying — 9.82 ERA, .309 opposing batting average, 48 home runs allowed. Worse yet, the Bulldogs host Arkansas and go to LSU in the next 2 weeks.

12. Ole Miss (23-21, 5-16)

Yes, they did lose 2-1 early in the week to State, but the Rebels won their series with Georgia. Grayson Saunier earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors, and star shortstop Jacob Gonzalez is still one of the most impressive players in the SEC. By finishing the season with Mizzou, Auburn, and Alabama Ole Miss could sneak into Hoover in pretty decent shape when all is said and done.

11. Georgia (24-20, 8-13)

Coming off a sweep of Arkansas, the Bulldogs lost a series at Ole Miss. The Sunday loss was brutal, as Georgia scored 5 runs in the last 2 innings, only to lose 8-7 in the bottom of the 9th. Tennessee and LSU still await on Georgia’s schedule, although so does a series with Missouri in between. This feels like a bubble team that could be dangerous or get beat by a team nobody ever heard of in regional play.

10. Alabama (30-15, 9-12)

The Tide, predictably, had trouble with LSU. Scoring 25 runs in 3 games in Baton Rouge was quite good … but for the team with the best ERA in conference games, allowing 33 runs was a rude awakening. How rude? Well, Bama fell from 1st to 6th in team ERA in league games, shooting up almost a full run per 9 innings to 5.40. The Tide host Vandy next, so it could be the Bama bats that have a rough weekend this time.

9. Texas A&M (25-19, 9-12)

The Aggies lost their midweek game to Sam Houston State and then got swept at Arkansas, having dropped 5 games in a row. A&M hosts Florida next, and the Aggies are staring at a losing league record for the season. A&M’s 7.51 ERA in conference games is 13th in the league and has to improve in a hurry, although the Gators might make that rather unlikely.

8. Kentucky (30-13, 11-10)

Tough week for the Wildcats as they lost a nonconference matchup to Louisville and then got swept at Vandy. UK scored just 9 runs at Vandy and their hideous power game (just 13 homers in league play) finally bit them. Playing small ball worked pretty well against some of the SEC’s weakest teams, but Nick Mingione’s Wildcats have fallen out of the national polls and can probably kiss their Regional hosting dreams goodbye at this point. Kentucky still slaps and slashes, but next up, they’ll host South Carolina in a matchup that will definitely require some run production.

7. Auburn (25-18, 9-12)

So ace starter Joseph Gonzalez is basically gone for the season … and the Tigers went out and nearly swept South Carolina. That’s back-to-back series wins for the Tigers, with Bryson Ware and Ike Irish both mashing the baseball. Ware’s 18 homers are tied for 5th in the league and Irish’s .370 batting average is about as good as anybody not named Dylan Crews is delivering. If the Tigers can just find enough pitching, they’re a tough out. But finding pitching could be a problem at LSU this weekend.

6. Tennessee (30-14, 11-10, No. 21 in Baseball America poll)

UT extended its winning streak to 7 by crushing Mississippi State. The only real moment of suspense was Thursday’s game, which the Vols ended with a walk-off moment that seemed to harken to last season.

Could UT be this year’s Ole Miss? Well, the Vols didn’t fall quite that far and they’re rebounding a little sooner … but the result could be similar, particularly if Drew Beam continues to flash his 2022 form, as he did in Saturday’s 13-2 beatdown. UT heads to Georgia next and could well extend its winning ways.

5. Arkansas (33-11, 14-7, No. 6 in BA)

It was a nice week for Arkansas, sweeping A&M in large part due to an 8-for-12 weekend for outfielder Jace Bohrofen. The return of Brady Tygart was also a good sign for the Hogs’ long-term chances. Arkansas is already 5th in the SEC in ERA in league play, and another arm could be pivotal. Next up, a trip to Mississippi State should see the Hogs staying hot.

4. South Carolina (35-8, 14-6, No. 4 in BA)

The South Carolina pitching staff struggled with Auburn, and with some mild health issues impacting the infield, Carolina took a surprising series loss on the heels of a breakthrough sweep against Florida the weekend prior. They can get back on track this week at Kentucky. Handling prosperity can be even more daunting than handling failure, and Carolina might be the latest to ingest a bit of Nick Saban-style rat poison.

3. Vanderbilt (32-11, 16-5, No. 3 in BA)

Vandy rebounded from a rough week by sweeping Kentucky, holding the Wildcats to just 9 runs. How good has Vandy been? The Vandy Boys have allowed the fewest runs in league play and are a single run behind LSU for scoring the most in those games. It’s worth noting as Vandy beat UK in a small ball showdown that Vandy also has committed the fewest errors (10) in SEC play. How good is a team that can pitch, hit, and field? Yogi Berra would probably have that at about 117% of baseball. After a hiccup against UT, Vandy seems to be back on track, and they’ll head to Alabama this weekend.

2. Florida (35-10, 14-7, No. 5 in BA)

Florida swept through its week, scoring all over Mizzou. Wyatt Langford has been a bit quiet in the shadow of Jac Caglianone, but his 8-for-13 weekend was worth watching. Langford’s .397 average is 4th in the SEC and he’s 2nd in runs scored behind LSU’s Dylan Crews.

Caglianone keeps doing Caglianone things — his 25 homers are still 4 ahead of the national 2nd-place race. He also has 52 strikeouts in 44 innings on the mound, although his pitching has become a bit more of a struggle as the season has rolled. But Brandon Sproat has UF covered there — 7 innings of 1-run ball against Mizzou lifted him to 11-2 in his past 17 starts. Playing Florida State and at Texas A&M should be a good test this week for the Gators, but they’re looking pretty ready.

1. LSU (35-8, 15-5, No. 1 in BA)

Surprise, surprise. Dylan Crews is still hitting .490 (and how has a 47 consecutive game on base streak, Tommy White’s 71 RBIs continue to lead the nation, and Paul Skenes continues to be the nation’s top pitching prospect. White blasted 2 more home runs in the weekend sweep of Alabama, pushing his total to 15.

Pitching depth continues to be a concern, however. Skenes was his usual dominant self, allowing 1 earned run and striking out 9 in 6 innings in improving to 8-1. After he left? LSU pitchers allowed 24 runs over the remaining 21 innings of the series. Fortunately, LSU’s bats won the day, as they have all year.

LSU comes into this week having piled up 33 runs on the pitching staff that previously had the best ERA in conference play. They’ll play at Auburn this week, and seem to be sitting on cruise control in the national driver’s seat.