SEC Week 9 ended up a game shy of a full dance card and with several of the league’s struggling programs putting together surprisingly strong performances. Time to see how it shapes up our weekly power rankings.

14. Vanderbilt (0-7, lost to Florida 38-17)

The Commodores put together a credible performance against Florida, but it wasn’t enough to get them off the bottom of the SEC Power Rankings. Vandy’s offense has made strides in the last couple of weeks, though, behind freshman QB Ken Seals.

13. South Carolina (2-6, lost to Missouri 17-10)

Carolina wasn’t awful, but in a game that clinched a losing season, it was incredibly pedestrian against a thoroughly average Missouri team, falling down 17-0 before rallying to make the game competitive late. Gamecocks fans finally got to see Luke Doty under center, though.

12. Mississippi State (2-5, lost to Georgia 31-24)

This was an incredibly gutty performance by a State team that fell below 50 scholarship players due to COVID-related issues. State handled the Georgia ground game, put together a very decent offensive performance, and took UGA down to the wire. Good enough to move up a spot in the power rankings.

11. Tennessee (2-5, lost to Auburn 30-17)

In perhaps the biggest game of the season, UT blew a 10-0 lead and wasted a 173-yard rushing game from Eric Gray. A crucial Jarrett Guarantano mistake (this one a 100-yard pick-6) again left UT on the losing end of things, in a season that’s devolving into a nightmare.

10. Kentucky (3-5, lost to Alabama 63-3)

There were a ton of issues for Kentucky. The Cats were down a lot of players due to injuries and COVID issues, and the team said goodbye to Coach Schlarman at a Monday memorial service. But the Wildcats were not only outmatched, they took a drilling that hadn’t been seen since 1996, when Bill Curry started a true freshman QB named Tim Couch at The Swamp and lost 65-0.

9. LSU (3-3, beat Arkansas 27-24)

The Tigers played an inspired game, holding the ball for over 41 minutes, going 12-for-23 on 3rd down and holding Arkansas to 0-for-10. It also benefitted from a couple of calls. Before the season, it would have been unthinkable for the Tigers to need their most complete effort of the season to overcome Arkansas … but it’s 2020, and LSU played well and gets moved up accordingly.

8. Missouri (3-3, beat South Carolina 17-10)

The Mizzou defense has continued to improve, and much like its win over Kentucky, the offense did just enough to help carry the load. The Tigers are a plucky group of overachievers, not unlike …

7. Arkansas (3-5, lost to LSU 27-24)

It was a tough loss for the Razorbacks, coming down to a late blocked field goal by LSU, after a couple of questionable calls went against them. Feleipe Franks was outstanding and Arkansas, record aside, has given almost everyone they have played a tough battle. Next week’s game with Missouri is likely to be a slugfest.

6. Ole Miss (3-4, off this week)

The Rebels didn’t play, but the loss by Arkansas moved them up a spot. The Rebels’ offense could earn them a spot near the top of the SEC, but of course, the defense would slide them near the bottom.

5. Georgia (5-2, beat Mississippi State 31-24)

The Bulldogs struggled greatly with MSU, despite a 400-yard passing game from newly installed QB JT Daniels. Georgia couldn’t run the ball at all, and while that’s unlikely to matter against South Carolina or Vandy, it’s part of what kept the Bulldogs on the back end of the SEC’s upper echelon.

4. Auburn (5-2, beat Tennessee 30-17)

The Tigers weren’t superb in any single area against Tennessee, but they made the plays they needed to grab the victory. Smoke Monday’s 100-yard pick-6 might have been the SEC Play of the Week, and it’s the kind of effort the Tigers will need against Bama and A&M if they want to pull a surprise (or two).

3. Texas A&M (5-1, off this week)

No move for the Aggies on the off week.

2. Florida (6-1, beat Vandy 38-17)

It wasn’t the A game for Florida this week, which made us consider flipping them with A&M. But if a bad week is a 21-point win on the road, that probably will suffice in this year’s SEC. Kentucky, Tennessee and LSU probably won’t provide much more difficulty than Vandy did.

1.Alabama (7-0, beat Kentucky 63-3)

We weren’t going to learn much about Alabama from its game against Kentucky. But the Tide didn’t do anything to dissuade the notion that they are the best team in the league and probably the country.