SEC Power Rankings after Week 8: Florida closing gap on Alabama
SEC Week 8 didn’t have a ton of games, but did it ever have a ton of points! It was apparently Offense Week in the SEC. Florida was the only upper-echelon team in action, but we did clarify a bit on the bottom rungs of the SEC.
In any case, here’s our current power rankings, where we stack up the league, bottom to top.
14. Vanderbilt (0-6, lost to Kentucky 38-35)
Some of this was late-game window dressing, but Vandy had a solid offensive day in Lexington. Unfortunately, its defense really didn’t do much with a pedestrian Kentucky offense. And so the ‘Dores stay on the bottom.
13. Mississippi State (2-4, postponed)
No reason to move the Bulldogs. As one-dimensional as they’ve been (and as mediocre as that dimension has been), the contemplating of moving them to 12th didn’t last very long.
12. South Carolina (2-5, lost to Ole Miss 59-42)
Well, that was a different way to lose a game. Kevin Harris and the USC ground attack was impressive, but the Gamecocks’ defense got blasted for a second consecutive week. Other than breakout star Kevin Harris, there’s just not much hope to hang your hat on for Carolina down the stretch of this season.
11. LSU (2-3, game postponed)
Not moving the Tigers after their game against Alabama was postponed. Still a massively disappointing season, and no reason to think they finish in the upper half of the SEC.
10. Tennessee (2-4, postponed)
Similarly, UT doesn’t get moved, either, after its game against Texas A&M was postponed. The remaining schedule isn’t very helpful, and the Vols are likely to finish 2020 without a shred of momentum.
9. Missouri (2-3, postponed)
Yes, we did move Mizzou down just because the 2 teams right behind them last week had offensively impressive victories this week. Honestly, the Tigers might be better than both, but our weekly recency bias moves in favor of Kentucky and Ole Miss, which is why we have the Tigers here.
8. Kentucky (3-4, beat Vandy 38-35)
On the one hand, not a particularly impressive win for Kentucky, as the defense was half asleep all day. On the other hand, their OL coach died on Thursday after a long battle with cancer, they were missing multiple starters due to injuries and/or COVID-related issues, and they basically dug deep into the depth chart up 38-21 and made this game look competitive. If Kentucky rushes for 300 yards, like it did in this game, it’s a decent team, although the defense was a little troubling.
7. Ole Miss (3-4, beat South Carolina 59-42)
Basically, the most eminently watchable .500ish team in memory. In his first year, Hal Mumme 5-6 with Tim Couch at Kentucky in 1997. That’s the most accurate comparison here, because just like that Kentucky team going from pretty sleepy to must-see TV, the Rebels won’t win the SEC anytime soon, but wow, are they fun to watch.
6. Arkansas (3-4, lost to Florida 63-35)
Tough loss for the Razorbacks, as they just couldn’t keep up with Florida’s passing game, even with Kyle Pitts out. Of course, the program had a tough week, with Sam Pittman missing the game because he tested positive for COVID. Unlike some previous editions of Razorbacks, Arkansas keeps competing, even in the toughest games. It’ll take more than this to drop out of the top of the SEC’s second tier.
5. Auburn (4-2, postponed)
Which Auburn is the real Auburn? We have no idea, but on a given day, they could be as good as the 3rd best team in the SEC or as bad as, say, the 12th. Given the amount of talent and the fire under the seat of the Gus Bus, we’re staying a trifle optimistic on this bunch.
4. Georgia (4-2, postponed)
No need to move the Bulldogs. Florida did look good enough that there was a flicker of a thought about shuffling the Bulldogs and the Aggies, but A&M has looked solidly superior this season, and the 2nd loss is probably fairly definitive for UGA.
3. Texas A&M (5-1, postponed)
A&M’s situation could have been fluid because the Aggies could fit anywhere in the No. 2-4 range, but Florida certainly proved that it belongs on top, and the Aggies feel like the solid pick as the 3rd-best team in the SEC.
2. Florida (5-1, beat Arkansas 63-35)
Everything about Saturday’s game just made us look forward that much more to the SEC title game. Florida/Alabama isn’t just the game we want, given UF’s explosive passing game (and relative lack of defense), it might be the game we need. Can UF get a couple of lucky bounces? At this point, the Gators have as good of a chance against Bama as anybody.
1.Alabama (6-0, postponed)
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.