SEC Power Rankings after Week 8
Of course. Everything we thought we knew about the SEC before Week 8 was wrong. Vandy is awful? Well, not always. Mizzou is underrated? Ha. Alabama is invincible? Negatory. Fortunately, our SEC Power Rankings attempt to wrangle some sanity out of the craziness.
14. Arkansas (2-5, lost to Auburn 51-10)
A week after a tough loss to Kentucky, Arkansas pretty much took this one on the chin, and looks likely to be consigned to the basement for the rest of the season.
13. Mississippi (3-5, lost to Texas A&M 24-17)
Frustrating loss by the Rebels as they outgained A&M by 70 yards, broke even on turnovers, rushed for 253 yards, but came up short on the scoreboard. With Auburn and LSU left on the schedule, it’s unlikely to get much better.
12. Vanderbilt (2-5, won against Missouri 21-14)
A week after this ranking — and most observers — had given up and buried this Vanderbilt team, the Commodores beat Missouri as a three-touchdown underdog. Is this the fluke or was it the blowout loss to UNLV? Until we’re sure, we’re staying cautious.
11. Kentucky (3-4, lost to Georgia 21-0)
The good news is that UK held Georgia scoreless for the first half — the first time somebody did that to UGA since 1991. The bad news is that Kentucky’s own offense might have to play for 28 years to score on Georgia.
10. Tennessee (2-5, lost to Alabama, 35-13)
Yes, UT lost to Alabama and moved up a spot. Unlike the teams behind them, the Vols are still fighting and showing signs of real improvement from week to week.
9. Mississippi State (3-4, lost to LSU 36-13)
This game wasn’t even as close as the score. After State drew within 9-7 midway through the second quarter, LSU just opened the game up. Garrett Shrader gains some valuable experience, but the Bulldogs just aren’t that good.
8. Missouri (5-2, lost to Vanderbilt 21-14)
Just when we were getting convinced that the Tigers were a sleeping giant who was underrated because of their inexplicable loss against Wyoming, Missouri lost at Vandy. The Tigers had a real shot to be first in the East … but not now.
7. South Carolina (3-4, lost to Florida 38-27)
It did not translate into victory, but the Gamecocks led a top-10 team in the fourth quarter for the second week in a row. South Carolina looks like a different team from a month ago, and would be a rare 6-6 team that truly earned a bowl game … if it can nab three more wins.
6. Texas A&M (4-3, won against Mississippi 24-17)
It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but SEC road wins aren’t something to second-guess. The Aggies grabbed a crucial one in Oxford, and will parlay that into a middle-of-the-pack finish in the SEC West.
5. Georgia (6-1, won against Kentucky 21-0)
Their game was played in a monsoon, but the Bulldogs spent two and a half quarters figuratively and literally grinding in the mud. They pulled away from UK late, but it wasn’t the kind of inspired effort Georgia needs to move up the top echelon of the SEC.
4. Florida (7-1, won against South Carolina 38-27)
There’s no way around it — the Gators benefited from a curious series of no-calls which helped them escape their matchup with South Carolina. It was unclear that Florida played better against the Gamecocks than Georgia did but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
3. Auburn (6-1, won against Arkansas 51-10)
This looked like a potentially dominant team working back on track. Yes, Arkansas is bad … but by moving past their loss at Florida, the Tigers readied themselves for a much bigger challenge in Week 9 in Death Valley.
2. Alabama (7-0, won against Tennessee 35-13)
We’ve avoided moving the Crimson Tide down. The defense has been hit and miss, and after the injury to Tua Tagovailoa, the offense suddenly looked fairly pedestrian. When all cylinders are hitting, Alabama is still potentially the best team in the country. But Tagovailoa’s health is a significant question, and until we know he’s OK, we’re going to make the move.
1.LSU (7-0, won against Mississippi State 36-13)
They’ve answered the bell every week, and at this point, there are fewer questions with the Tigers than the Tide. They may prove us wrong, but after Week 8, we’re making the change at the top. Will it last?