SEC Power Rankings after Week 7
Well, that was something, wasn’t it? Week 7 had a couple of big upsets, a top-10 showdown and plenty of action up and down our weekly SEC Power Rankings. As usual, we rank based on what we’ve seen, not what’s left to come. But here’s where we have the squads of the SEC:
14. Vanderbilt (1-5, lost to UNLV 34-10)
It’s one thing to lose by three scores to a decent SEC team. But UNLV’s only win coming into this game was against an FCS team. At this point, the question has to be whether Vanderbilt can find any real motivation for the rest of the season. Bowls are off the table, the coach is probably heading elsewhere … just brutal.
13. Arkansas (2-4, lost to Kentucky 24-20)
A second straight tough loss for Arkansas. The good news is that the Razorbacks are staying in games. The bad news is that they aren’t winning them.
12. Mississippi State (3-3, lost to Tennessee 20-10)
It isn’t a surprise that the Bulldogs won’t end up at the top of the West, but a loss like this feels almost inexplicable. Offensive coaches whose teams score 10 points against one of the weakest teams in the SEC don’t tend to stay in the SEC very long.
11. Tennessee (2-4, beat Mississippi State 20-10)
A week after putting together a very nice quarter and a half against Georgia, the Vols just put together a 60-minute effort and grabbed a much-needed SEC win. Much of the negativity from the previous few weeks was diffused on Saturday afternoon.
10. Kentucky (3-3, beat Arkansas 24-20)
It was far from a thing of beauty, but Kentucky rallied from an early 13-0 deficit with wide receiver Lynn Bowden playing quarterback. The Wildcats got a win which will keep them in the SEC’s bowl picture.
9. Mississippi (3-4, lost to Missouri 38-27)
Tough loss for the Rebels with a goal-line failure late in the first half looming large. The good news is that they’re close enough to being a good team that a yard here or there matters. The bad news is they didn’t get that yard.
8. Texas A&M (3-3, lost to Alabama 47-28)
It wasn’t the worst week ever for the Aggies, but the talent divide between Bama and A&M manifested itself as expected. The Aggies offense acquitted itself well, but the defense looked very middle of the road.
7. South Carolina (3-3, beat Georgia 20-17)
Yes, South Carolina had showed signs of a rebirth based on an efficient ground game and tough defense, but knocking off UGA was nowhere on the script. To finish this win off with the third quarterback was certainly impressive and suddenly those bowl plans don’t look as implausible as they did before.
6. Missouri (5-1, beat Mississippi 38-27)
The Tiger defense passed its first test in the post-Cale Garrett era, albeit with an uneven fourth quarter. Still, how much higher would the Tigers be in both this ranking and the national polls had they not lost to Wyoming?
5. Georgia (5-1, lost to South Carolina 20-17)
UGA taking a regular season loss wasn’t necessarily outside the realm of possibility, but this wasn’t supposed to be that loss. The offense’s inefficiency and costly turnovers were shocking, and that Jake Fromm for Heisman campaign looks more than a little silly.
4. Auburn (5-1, off this week)
As opposed to Georgia’s loss, Auburn’s loss was both against a better opponent and on the road. Thus, the Tigers up a spot after their off week.
3. Florida (6-1, lost to LSU 42-28)
The Gators held serve in this game for most of the night and despite the tough loss, really didn’t look that bad. Yes, LSU piled up some yards, but the Tigers have done that to everybody.
2. LSU (6-0, beat Florida 42-28)
Should the Tigers jump Bama? Well, they did give up 457 total yards to a pretty ho-hum Florida offense. And in general, LSU hasn’t been as sharp defensively as they’ll need to be against Bama. So for now, they hold strong in second place.
1. Alabama (6-0, beat Texas A&M 47-28)
With both Alabama and LSU, the offense is superb, but the defense has been a little hit and miss. If the non-SEC powers hold an advantage over the SEC’s CFP contenders, it’s probably on defense. Will that matter to Alabama aside from the LSU game? Probably not, but it’s worth watching moving forward.