SEC Power Rankings after Week 12
Form held around the league in SEC Week 12. That can make things tricky in our weekly power rankings. There’s not a lot of easy answers once you escape the SEC’s top four teams—and the league’s bottom two would likely struggle in a good FCS league. Outside of that … well, here’s how we rank the league, after Week 12.
14. Vanderbilt (2-8, lost to Kentucky 38-14)
Arkansas lost to Kentucky in Lexington by four. Vandy got a 14-3 lead and then fell off the side of a cliff at home. Also, at this point, the Razorbacks have begun the hard work of resettling their culture. Vandy seems to be (for the moment) still in denial.
13. Arkansas (2-8, off this week)
It’s hard to say who really is worse between the Razorbacks and Vandy. The week off dulls our perception of Arkansas’s crappiness, so they move up a spot.
12. South Carolina (4-7, lost to Texas A&M 30-6)
South Carolina has apparently chosen to stand by its coaching man, but getting absolutely dominated by an A&M team that has been pretty ho-hum doesn’t help justify that choice.
11. Mississippi (4-7, lost to LSU 58-37)
This looked vaguely like last year’s Rebels squad, as they racked up 614 yards and 37 points — only to be outgained by 100 yards and to lose by three touchdowns. But hey, LSU can do that to just about anybody, so we’ll cut the Rebels a little slack.
10. Mississippi State (4-6, lost to Alabama 38-7)
The Bulldogs were almost certainly headed for a humiliating defeat before the injury to Tua Tagovailoa, which sent Bama into deep freeze mode. MSU was only outscored 3-0 for the remaining two quarters and change of the game.
9. Missouri (5-5, lost to Florida 23-6)
This game feels like the opposite of last year’s Missouri season when the Tigers caught fire midseason and made their season into something impressive. The Tigers just look punchless at this point, playing out the string. While they’ll win another game and (perhaps) go bowling, the momentum hasn’t remained.
8. Kentucky (5-5, beat Vanderbilt 38-14)
Yes, Vanderbilt is awful, but for a Kentucky team running a stripped-down, run-heavy offense, this is about as good as things can get. UK was a couple missed plays away from being the East’s surprise team for a second consecutive season.
7. Tennessee (5-5, off this week)
If the Vols finish 7-5, should Jeremy Pruitt get legitimate Coach of the Year consideration? After a 2-5 start, this seemed impossible.
6. Texas A&M (7-3, beat South Carolina 30-6)
The dilemma for the Aggies is that they’re clearly better than the teams below them, but also weaker than the teams above them. That’s why they didn’t jump Auburn.
5. Auburn (7-3, lost to Georgia 21-14)
The Auburn defense played well enough to win this game, but the offense didn’t answer the bell. That has happened way too much this season.
4. Florida (9-2, beat Missouri 23-6)
This was a convincing road win for the Gators, who have quietly played their way to a second consecutive impressive season with Dan Mullen.
3. Alabama (9-1, beat Mississippi State 38-7)
Not sure we’ve ever expressly moved a winning team down for injury, but a Tua-less Alabama isn’t demonstrably better than a Georgia team that’ll get a shot at LSU in Atlanta.
2. Georgia (9-1, beat Auburn 21-14)
This wasn’t a terribly adventurous or exciting performance, but Kirby has taken the Nick Saban playbook — win games like this by making as few potentially defining mistakes as possible. Beating LSU will require something a little bolder.
1. LSU (10-0, beat Mississippi 58-37)
Sure, they gave up a bunch of yards, but if you can’t stop the Tigers offense, all they have to do is give up one score fewer than they make. The Tigers have been the story of the season — and the league’s (and perhaps, the sport’s) best team.