SEC Power Rankings after Week 5
SEC Week 5 continued the jumble of the middle of the league. With several of the league’s top teams off, the middle of the pack beat up on the middle of the pack. But let us sort it all out. Based on what we’ve seen, here’s how we unstack the SEC after 5 weeks of play.
14. Vanderbilt (0-3, off)
The league’s lone winless team had another week to look at the rest of the SEC and marvel at the gap between the ‘Dores and everybody else. Although this is the same Vandy team that played a one-score game with Texas A&M a few weeks back.
13. Mississippi State (1-3, off)
The Bulldogs had the week off, but watched rival Ole Miss (which also only has 1 win) very nearly upset Auburn. Meanwhile, since a brilliant first week, it’s been a struggle in Starkville.
12. Ole Miss (1-4, lost to Auburn 35-28)
Tough loss for the Rebels, who did a good job getting themselves in position to win, only to see Auburn pull off a big-time passing play. The Rebels looked pretty confused on their last drive, which ended with a Matt Corral pass beyond the line of scrimmage to a spot shy of the end zone. But weird end-game aside, this was a very decent effort, and the Rebels have plenty to build on.
11. South Carolina (2-3, lost to LSU 52-24)
Not unlike Kentucky, South Carolina went from the best of times (last week) to the worst of times (this week). LSU hasn’t been world beaters, but without Myles Brennan, this looked to be a competitive game on paper. But Carolina could not stop LSU whatsoever … and so, they fall to the back of the 2-win teams.
10. Tennessee (2-3, lost to Alabama 48-17)
Not a real surprise here. Alabama doesn’t lose to unranked teams, and Tennessee didn’t show any reason to think it would change that trend. The Vols’ offense looked better than last week, but the talent gap between UT and Alabama is daunting. Of course, so is the gap between almost anybody and Alabama.
9. Kentucky (2-3, lost to Missouri 20-10)
In Kentucky’s case, it was an absolutely brutal offense that came to the forefront in Week 5. Kentucky might just miss the Lynn Bowden days — line up in the Wildcat, run 90% of the time, and pick up some ugly wins. The Wildcats have to figure out some way to move the ball, or the rest of their season will be brutal.
8. LSU (2-2, beat South Carolina 52-24)
It’s been a bizarre season already for the Tigers, but Week 5 was an excellent reminder that despite many of the growing pains that surfaced, this is still a very talented team. TJ Finley might be the spark to land LSU a couple of spots higher than this.
7. Missouri (2-2, beat Kentucky 20-10)
Two in a row for the Tigers. Eli Drinkwitz might not be delivering a Sam Pittman level of a shocker here, but he’s done a good job of making Missouri competitive. A Week 2 QB change seemed like a bad idea at the time, but it certainly has proven to work out well for the Tigers.
6. Auburn (3-2, beat Ole Miss 35-28)
Auburn was thoroughly unimpressive, picking up another win in which an officiating gaffe loomed large. The Tigers leaned on the run game and did get the big play from Bo Nix and Seth Williams, but against a better opponent, it might have been too little too late. Still, a win bumps them up a couple spots in the SEC shuffle.
5. Arkansas (2-2, off this week)
No reason to move Arkansas, which remains perhaps the story of the SEC season. What if Arkansas and Missouri at the end of the season ends up being a battle of teams in the top half of the SEC?
4. Florida (2-1, off this week)
Of course there are concerns about the defense, but look at the teams below them. Florida is perhaps the best of the known unknowns — meaning we don’t yet know whether the defense is as awful as it seems. Even if it is, they wouldn’t fall much in the rankings.
3. Texas A&M (3-1, off this week)
Two unimpressive wins (Vandy and State), 1 impressive win (Florida) and 1 unimpressive loss (Alabama). But hey, not measuring up to Alabama will be a common theme this fall. The Aggies have found ways to win the games they’ve needed to win, and that’s why they stay at the third spot.
2. Georgia (3-1, off this week)
No reason to move the Bulldogs. The game with Kentucky will be interesting, mostly to see what UGA does offensively. Will they stick with Stetson Bennett IV or make a QB move? Bennett is probably good enough to keep the Bulldogs in this spot, but will the allure of a potential CFP spot at 9-1 spark a change?
1.Alabama (5-0, beat Tennessee 48-17)
Does the loss of Jaylen Waddle change anything? Not at this phase. There’s a very small group of teams that could potentially exploit the lack of playmakers for Alabama. That’s presuming that the other Alabama players aren’t somehow playmakers … and they very well could be. The loss of Waddle changes nothing in the context of the SEC. Alabama is still the best team until somebody proves otherwise.