SEC Power Rankings after Week 11
SEC Week 11 is in the books, and for Kentucky and South Carolina, the regular season is over. While the other dozen SEC teams are still playing, the end is looming. And as we compare, contrast and evaluate the pecking order, here’s where every team stands for our weekly power rankings after Week 11.
14. Vanderbilt (0-8, off this week)
COVID issues sidelined the Commodores for this week, but there’s not a ton of mystery as to where they’ll finish the 2020 season in the power rankings.
13. South Carolina (2-8, lost to Kentucky 41-18)
How weird is it for the SEC’s (likely) leading rusher to come from a 2-8 team that very much deserves the nod for 13th place in the league? Kevin Harris might’ve been the only thing that kept Carolina ahead of Vandy. Aside from a surprising win against Auburn, almost nothing went right. South Carolina had plenty of early defections, Will Muschamp got fired, COVID impacted the team, and by the end, it was pretty brutal.
12. Mississippi State (2-6, off this week)
The Bulldogs didn’t play, so no need to move them this week.
11. Tennessee (2-6, lost to Florida 31-19)
Tennessee’s loss to Florida wasn’t terribly impressive, but at the same time, respect for the fact that UT didn’t quit on a game that could’ve gotten ugly. No idea who the QB is for this team moving forward, but as rough as this season has been, the Vols could still gain some momentum should they finish with a couple of wins.
10. LSU (3-5, lost to Alabama 55-17)
The Tigers’ defense is one of the most disappointing units of the 2020 season. Admittedly, LSU lost a ton of talent, but from the opener on, they frequently got humiliated on the defensive side of the ball. The offense had its issues, but the failure of the defense is probably the story of their season.
9. Kentucky (4-6, beat South Carolina 41-18)
Kentucky looked very solid against a South Carolina team that had limited numbers and apparently limited motivation in their season finale. If Kentucky had a reasonable passing game, it could well have gone 6-4 or 7-3 in 2020.
8. Arkansas (3-6, lost to Missouri 50-48)
Even in defeat, Arkansas was impressive, fighting hard and putting up 48 points without its starting QB or featured running back. Sam Pittman changed the culture overnight in Fayetteville and that will probably stick with us longer than the final Arkansas win-loss record.
7. Ole Miss (4-4, off this week)
The Rebels didn’t play this week and would’ve held their spot had Missouri not gone out and pulled off a fairly impressive win.
6. Missouri (5-3, beat Arkansas 50-48)
Every team that Missouri beats seems to regard the loss as both a surprise and a sign of some lackluster performance. As the Tigers end up as the surprise of the SEC season, maybe they deserve some actual respect. Like many of their games, those inclined to be negative can see flaws in nearly losing to Arkansas. But by the same token, the TIgers were incredibly resourceful and picked up a walk-off win. What’s not to like?
5. Auburn (5-4, lost to Texas A&M 31-20)
On the one hand, Auburn led this game after three quarters. On the other hand, all the key plays were made by A&M. Kellen Mond outplayed Bo Nix. The Aggies won the yardage battle by 169, in large part because they rushed for 313 yards. We considered dropping Auburn, but we do think they’re better than Mizzou … but honestly, the talent gap between the weakest of the league’s big brothers (Auburn) and the strongest of the little brothers (Missouri) is the only reason we’re keeping Auburn at 5th.
4. Georgia (6-2, off this week)
The game with Vandy was pushed back due to COVID. Watching Auburn struggle pretty much ensures that UGA doesn’t slip below this spot for the rest of the season.
3. Florida (8-1, beat Tennessee 31-19)
We’re flipping the Aggies and Gators. Basically, they won by almost identical scores, but A&M’s win came over an Auburn team that’s significantly better than Tennessee. Similarly, A&M’s potential CFP route looks smoother than Florida’s. Basically, the Gators have to beat Alabama, and considering their issues with putting together consistent efforts over a whole game, that looks pretty unlikely.
2. Texas A&M (7-1, beat Auburn 31-20)
That 17-0 4th quarter was the kind of football that makes believers. The Aggies were 7-for-11 on 3rd down against Auburn and rushed for 6.7 yards per carry while Kellen Mond did the things he needed to do to move the chains, keep the ball and win the game. A&M might actually benefit from not being in the conference title game, but there’s still some football between here and there.
1.Alabama (9-0, beat LSU 55-17)
Oh, my: 32 1st downs, 650 total yards, 6.2 yards per carry on the ground, 385 passing yards, 1 punt. Alabama took apart an overmatched LSU team without any particular difficulty or compassion. They’re in the Playoff regardless, and until somebody can at least slow down DeVonta Smith, you have to like their chances.