SEC Power Rankings after Week 7
SEC Week 7 told us plenty of things we already knew — yes, Florida and Texas A&M are really good. Arkansas is still the surprise of the SEC season. And South Carolina, Vandy, and Tennessee are awful. But while the gap between the haves and have-nots is clear, it’s time for the weekly power rankings to figure exactly how these teams stack up. Here goes.
14. Vanderbilt (0-5, lost to Mississippi State 24-17)
On the bright side, it was a close game. On the dark and cloudy side, Vandy outgained an opponent by 274 yards. And lost. Five turnovers have a funny way of overshadowing 478 yards of total offense, which is why a generally punchless Vandy team that found its offense lost the game anyway. Sheesh.
13. Mississippi State (2-4, beat Vandy 24-17)
Yes, there’s an argument that winning their 2nd game of the season should move State up. But let’s be candid. They rushed for -22 yards and were outgained 478-204 at home by Vandy. State could very easily be 0-6, and could easily have gone 0-10.
12. South Carolina (2-4, lost to Texas A&M 48-3)
South Carolina did beat Auburn. Fantastic. But that aside, they were absolutely dominated at home by A&M. The Aggies are good, but they probably shouldn’t be a 530-150 total yardage advantage better than the Gamecocks. This was a special kind of hopeless effort — frankly the kind that could leave Carolina looking to make a move, massive buyouts and COVID shortened seasons be damned.
11. LSU (2-3, off this week)
You could argue that LSU should be 13th — they did lose to Mississippi State, after all. The Tigers have had a couple of good weeks — granted against the teams ranked 12th and 14th in these rankings — in which they completely took care of business. They also got boat-raced at Auburn and lost at Mizzou and at home to State. So 11th seems like a reasonable compromise.
10. Tennessee (2-4, lost to Arkansas 24-13)
Where does it go from here? Of course, Arkansas is far from terrible, but to watch Tennessee’s offense stumble around cluelessly against both Kentucky and Arkansas does not say good things for the future of Jeremy Pruitt’s program. Once again, a strong argument could be made that the Vols are ranked too high.
9. Kentucky (2-4, off this week)
The Wildcats picked a good week to be off. They gained 2 spots by not suffering an embarrassing loss. Sometimes it’s not what you do, it’s what you don’t do that counts.
8. Ole Miss (2-4, off this week)
Like Kentucky, the Rebels get a boost because they didn’t besmirch their body of work with a crappy effort like Tennessee or South Carolina just did. Not at all sure the Rebels belong this high, but pretty certain that nobody below them does.
7. Missouri (2-3, off this week)
Didn’t see any need to bump down the Tigers either, who look like they could well end up with a .500 season in coach Eli Drinkwitz’s first season. If not for Arkansas, Mizzou would be the feel-good story of the SEC season.
6. Auburn (4-2, off this week)
Not really fair to Auburn because it didn’t do anything wrong, but being inactive cost them as the Razorbacks jumped them this week. Yes, Auburn beat Arkansas, but a) they shouldn’t have and b) Arkansas doesn’t have a South Carolina-level loss on their résumé. So the Tigers sit here, with a pretty decent sized gap between them and every team below them.
5. Arkansas (3-3, beat Tennessee 24-13)
At some point, we stop saying that Arkansas is a good team for a team that was expected to finish last in the West, for a team that hadn’t been decent in SEC play for a long time, or a team with a new coach. At some point, we just say that the Hogs are a good team — a team that falls down 13-0 at halftime and then just romps over Tennessee from that point out. Maybe this was that point.
4. Georgia (4-2, lost to Florida 44-28)
When Georgia’s defense got lit up by Alabama, it could conceivably have been a unique occurrence. How many Alabamas are there out there? Well, now it got dominated by the Florida offense as well, which was curtains for this game. It’s hard to imagine Georgia falling below this spot in the power rankings, but this game suggests it’s hard to imagine the Dawgs moving up much, either.
3. Texas A&M (5-1, beat South Carolina 48-3)
The Aggies were the superior team against the Gamecocks and played the part well. The offensive balance to pass for 266 yards and rush for 264 is impressive. So was a defensive effort that just shut down Carolina completely. Considered jumping the Aggies to No. 2, which could be justified by their win over Florida. But Florida’s surprising big week gives the Gators the tiniest of advantages over a predictable thumping by A&M.
2. Florida (4-1, beat Georgia 44-28)
The offense was impressive but somewhat predictable. The hidden story here is the defense, which just thwarted Georgia at every turn. Even the 28 points is misleading, as it includes a pick-6 and a 75-yard TD run on the first play of the game. Those plays aside, Florida was outstanding defensively. The Gators looked like they could have a shot at Alabama on a given day …
1.Alabama (6-0, off this week)
Likely headed on a collision course with Florida, it should be an easy next few weeks for the Tide.