SEC Power Rankings after Week 6
SEC Week 6 was the semi-official week of non-competitive football. The closest game of the week was Georgia’s 14-3 win over Kentucky, which really wasn’t as close as the score suggests. Much of Week 6 was the SEC’s collection of “Haves” separating themselves from the “Have Nots.” We’ll clean up the mess in our weekly SEC Power Rankings.
14. Vanderbilt (0-4, lost to Ole Miss 54-21)
Of course, they’re the league’s only winless team, but this week included a pretty comprehensive portrait of why, record aside, they belong in the cellar. Losing at home by 33 to the team we had ranked 12th won’t exactly help Vandy. Neither will giving up 645 yards of total offense.
13. Mississippi State (1-4, lost to Alabama 41-0)
For Mike Leach’s team to not be tearing up the SEC isn’t exactly shocking. But since that Week 1 upset of LSU, the Bulldogs are averaging 7.5 points per game. Looks like the SEC is a different kettle of fish than the Pac-12 for Leach’s Air Raid.
12. LSU (2-3, lost to Auburn 48-11)
South Carolina beat Auburn. LSU beat South Carolina by 28. Auburn then beats LSU by 37. It’s hard to determine what particular game means anything in this year’s SEC. South Carolina made us want to believe in this LSU team. But this Auburn game certainly put the brakes on that. Getting outrushed by Auburn 206-32 is probably the stat of the week (outside of a Mike Leach team being shut out for the first time in his 19-year head coaching career).
11. Kentucky (2-4, lost to Georgia 14-3)
Kentucky’s defense played a reasonably solid game against Georgia, forcing a couple of turnovers and holding the Bulldogs to 14 points. But the offense was downright offensive. Kentucky might be better than this, but it’s hard to reward a team that is just stuck in the mud on offense.
10. Ole Miss (2-4, beat Vandy 54-21)
The Rebels still don’t play any defense (see 300 passing yards allowed to Vandy) but are one of the more genuinely interesting teams to watch in the SEC. They end up in the logjam of 2-win teams, none of which are especially good, but all of which would struggle to stop the Rebels.
9. South Carolina (2-3, off this week)
They beat Auburn, which is impressive. They got mauled by LSU, which is very unimpressive. In other words, like all 7 the SEC’s 2-win teams, on a given week, they can be really competitive or really embarrassing.
8. Tennessee (2-3, off this week)
Is Tennessee actually any good? Very possibly not, if the Georgia and Alabama games are any indication. But somebody has to win in all these battles of sub-.500 teams in the East, and the Vols are as reasonable of a guess as anybody else.
7. Missouri (2-3, lost to Florida 41-17)
Not a good week for Missouri, but it picked a good time to lay an egg, as much of the rest of the middle of the SEC pack was doing likewise. Missouri beat Kentucky and LSU but also got drilled by Tennessee… although that was before their QB change that rejuvenated the offense. Let’s be honest: All the teams from Nos. 7-11 could be thrown into a hat. And you’d have a hat full of thoroughly mediocre teams, any of which could win or lose to each other on any given week.
6. Arkansas (2-3, lost to Texas A&M 42-31)
No, this game wasn’t as close as the score (it was 42-17 at the end of the 3rd quarter). But it’s also a good example of why Arkansas gets more respect than more talented teams that rank below them. The Razorbacks didn’t bury their heads or quit on the game. Theuy kept plugging along, getting better and posting successful plays and scores. In a league where 7 teams are flawed 2-3 or 2-4 teams, effort and forward momentum are the difference between No. 6 and No. 12.
5. Auburn (4-2, beat LSU 48-11)
Doesn’t it seem like every year, Auburn is struggling, grinding and then flips the switch on around midseason? Maybe 2020 isn’t so different after all. Tank Bigsby might be the most underrated player in the SEC, and when you give him a potent running back, Bo Nix looks pretty good.
4. Texas A&M (4-1, beat Arkansas 42-31)
A&M did fine, but they get jumped by Florida. Why? Arkansas outgained them 461-442 in this game. The Aggies have been a little sloppy with the details, and if that hasn’t come back to bite them against the lower half of the SEC, it well could against the upper half.
3. Georgia (4-1, beat Kentucky 14-3)
The Bulldogs have plenty of issues. Their defense is beat up, their passing game is badly broken and didn’t get any real work in Lexington, and their focus has been inconsistent throughout the season. When healthy, the defense is legitimate, but Alabama proved that it’s not invincible. Meanwhile, the offense is still long on talent and short on results.
2. Florida (3-1, beat Missouri 41-17)
The Gators seem to be developing a more consistent running game and a defense at the same time. Down the line, Florida may well slide down to 5th or so … but they also look increasingly like the team most likely to give Alabama some problems.
1. Alabama (6-0, beat Mississippi State 41-0)
It’s pretty smooth sailing from here for Alabama, which imposed its will on Mississippi State, capping its shutout with a pick-6. They remain the best team out there until somebody proves otherwise.