SEC Power Rankings: Ranking every SEC team after Week 12
College football never disappoints, and Week 12 was no exception. None of the top teams around the country looked strong. No. 5 Tennessee got blown out at South Carolina. No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU all earned struggle wins.
So, as we prepare for Rivalry Week – the final games of the regular season for all squads – how did the surprising Week 12 results impact things in the SEC?
Here are our updated power rankings heading into the end of the regular season:
14. Texas A&M (4-7 overall, 1-6 in SEC)
Previous ranking: 14
This week: 20-3 W over UMass
The Aggies won. At least they accomplished that in front of a sparse home crowd at Kyle Field on Saturday. But it wasn’t a good effort offensively, as the Aggies led 10-3 at halftime and only scored 2 touchdowns against a UMass team that entered the game with a 1-9 overall record. This season can’t come to an end fast enough for Jimbo Fisher and company.
13. Auburn (5-6, 2-5)
Previous ranking: 12
This week: 41-17 W over Western Kentucky
The Tigers are playing some strong football under interim coach Cadillac Williams. Is it enough to get him strong consideration for the full-time gig? That remains to be seen, but the rushing attack has been fun to watch the past 3 weeks. Auburn was tied 17-17 at one point with the Hilltoppers, so let’s not overreact too much to this win, but at least the Tigers are playing with consistent effort these days.
12. Vanderbilt (5-6, 2-5)
Previous ranking: 13
This week: 31-24 W over Florida
Clark Lea has given this program hope for the first time in a long time! Following up a road win over Kentucky last week with a home win over Florida (the Commodores’ first win over Florida in Nashville since 1988, by the way) was absolutely huge for momentum. The Commodores now have a chance to gain bowl eligibility if they can shock Tennessee next weekend. Even at 5-7, perhaps the Commodores’ beefy APR score will get them into a bowl game anyway.
11. Mizzou (5-6, 2-5)
Previous ranking: 10
This week: 45-14 W over New Mexico State
The Tigers took care of business against New Mexico State. Brady Cook played perhaps his best game, throwing for 251 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Luther Burden found the end zone twice. The Tigers still have a shot to clinch a bowl berth. But to do so, they’ll have to beat Arkansas on Friday. We’ll see if they’re up to the task! The extra practices would be big for Eli Drinkwitz’s young squad.
10. Florida (6-5, 3-5)
Previous ranking: 6
This week: 31-24 L to Vanderbilt
Coming off a big win over South Carolina, this is not what the Gators wanted or needed. This is a terrible loss for a program that just last week looked like it was turning a corner. Now it’s back to the drawing board for Billy Napier’s crew. If QB Anthony Richardson isn’t going to be a threat with his legs, it severely hampers the other things this offense wants to do.
9. Kentucky (6-5, 3-5)
Previous ranking: 9
This week: 16-6 L to No. 1 Georgia
The defense played really well against Georgia, forcing 3 field goals, allowing only 1 touchdown and forcing a turnover on downs at the 1-yard line. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the offense was atrocious. They only managed to score on the ensuing 99-yard drive after the goal-line stand. Will Levis is clearly not 100% as he deals with injuries. The offensive line has major problems. We’ll see if the Wildcats can end the regular season on a high note with a win over rival Louisville.
8. South Carolina (7-4, 4-4)
Previous ranking: 11
This week: 63-38 W over No. 5 Tennessee
Wow. If you tell me you predicted that the Gamecocks would hang 63 points on the Vols, I’ll call you a liar to your face. No one saw this coming. What an effort for the much-maligned combo of QB Spencer Rattler and OC Marcus Satterfield. One week after getting blown out at Florida, the Gamecocks come out and do this. When South Carolina plays its best, it can beat anyone. When it plays at its worst, it can lose to anyone. We’ll see which team shows up next week against Clemson.
7. Arkansas (6-5, 3-4)
Previous ranking: 8
This week: 42-27 W over No. 14 Ole Miss
Saturday’s win over the Rebels featured 3 (yes, 3!) 200-yard rushers. But neither Ole Miss RB had as many as Rocket Sanders’ 232 yards on the ground. He also scored 3 touchdowns – more than Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans combined. KJ Jefferson is such a difference maker for this team. It was nice to see him back and contributing in a major way after missing last week’s loss to LSU.
6. Mississippi State (7-4, 3-4)
Previous ranking: 7
This week: 56-7 W over ETSU
The Bulldogs took advantage of their pre-Egg Bowl tuneup, dominating ETSU to set up an important showdown vs. Ole Miss on Thursday night. Will Rogers threw for 301 yards and 5 touchdowns to close out the Bulldogs’ home schedule. Now they’ll head to Oxford on Thanksgiving night in search of Mike Leach’s first win in the heated rivalry. Rogers will need to be at his best again to make that happen.
5. Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3)
Previous ranking: 5
This week: 42-27 L to Arkansas
Both Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans ran for more than 200 yards in this game. The rushing attack was working. Jaxson Dart moved the ball through the air, too. But the Rebels shot themselves in the foot way too many times to win. Several costly turnovers and penalties that took points off the board hurt Ole Miss on a cold night in Fayetteville. We’ll see if Lane Kiffin can get the Rebels back on track ahead of Thursday night’s Egg Bowl.
4. Alabama (9-2, 5-2)
Previous ranking: 4
This week: 34-0 W over Austin Peay
Not much to say about the Tide this week. They hosted an FCS foe, struggled somewhat early, but managed to shut out the Governors and earn an easy victory. The starters played into the fourth quarter, so it wasn’t as big of a rest week as it usually is for Alabama. But the Tide look ready to roll into next week’s Iron Bowl rivalry game against Auburn.
3. Tennessee (9-2, 5-2)
Previous ranking: 2
This week: 63-38 L to South Carolina
Yikes. What a terrible effort from the Vols’ defense. Yes, they were without LB Jeremy Banks, one of their leaders on that side of the ball, but giving up 63 points against a Gamecocks team that scored 6 points in a loss to Florida last weekend is unacceptable. The offense played fairly well, but the defense couldn’t get any stops. This is still a talented team, but now all attention shifts to QB Hendon Hooker, who left with a knee injury in the second half. Hopefully he ends up being OK.
2. LSU (9-2, 6-1)
Previous ranking: 3
This week: 41-10 W over UAB
LSU faced a lesser foe and didn’t play down to the competition. That was a good sign, as the Tigers need to continue building momentum ahead of an SEC Championship Game showdown against Georgia in December. Jayden Daniels continues to play like a superstar. Noah Cain found the end zone 3 times on the ground. Impressive effort all the way around. Now the Tigers just need to avoid an upset loss at Texas A&M next weekend to keep their Playoff hopes alive heading into the SEC title game.
1. Georgia (11-0, 8-0)
Previous ranking: 1
This week: 16-6 W over Kentucky
It was an ugly win. The offense didn’t look good. The red-zone play-calling was suspect. But it doesn’t matter. The Bulldogs won on the road in the SEC, finishing off a second-straight perfect year against SEC competition in the regular season. As we saw from many top teams on Saturday, it’s all about getting the win by any means necessary. The Dawgs did that and deserve to be praised for it.