SEC Power Rankings: Ranking every SEC team after Week 9
There were only 8 SEC teams in action Saturday, as 6 squads had the weekend off. That group of teams on byes included Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Despite the paltry slate of games, there was plenty of excitement around the league in Week 9.
So, how did that shake up the weekly power rankings as we prepare for a full Week 10 slate?
Here’s a look at our weekly SEC power rankings as things stand following Week 9 action:
14. Vanderbilt (2-7 overall, 0-5 in SEC)
Previous ranking: 14
This week: 37-28 L to Mizzou
Next week: OFF
The Commodores fought hard, but the results still aren’t there for Clark Lea’s squad in Year 1. This team makes too many mistakes. At least in this SEC game, they managed to find the end zone a couple of times. This team desperately needs a week off, so we’ll see if the Commodores can regroup and snap an 18-game SEC losing streak. It won’t be easy, as the Commodores’ last 3 games are vs. Kentucky, at Ole Miss and at Tennessee. Yikes.
13. South Carolina (4-4, 1-4)
Previous ranking: 13
This week: OFF
Next week: vs. Florida (4-4)
The Gamecocks were happy to have a week off, as things haven’t been going so well in Columbia. Now, as they prepare for a game against a struggling Florida squad, they should be rested. The problem? QB Zeb Noland is coming off a knee surgery and might not be ready to go against the Gators. We’ll see if the Gamecocks fixed any of their issues during the off week.
12. Mizzou (4-4, 1-3)
Previous ranking: 12
This week: 37-28 W over Vanderbilt
Next week: at Georgia (8-0)
Mizzou doesn’t get a ton of credit here for a less-than-dominant win on the road against a bad Vanderbilt team. But RB Tyler Badie was dominant. He ran for a career-high 254 yards. He also had 2 rushing touchdowns and 8 catches for 40 yards. However, he’ll likely find it hard to find running room next weekend at Georgia. Add in the fact that QB Connor Bazelak was injured during the Vanderbilt game and the Dawgs will likely be selling out to stop Badie on Saturday.
11. LSU (4-4, 2-3)
Previous ranking: 11
This week: OFF
Next week: at Alabama (7-1)
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How bad is LSU’s injury situation? Well, the Tiger Bowl — the annual off-week scrimmage — was canceled due to a lack of healthy players. That shows just how dire things are in Baton Rouge. Perhaps the bye week helped the Tigers heal up, but you never want to be dealing with the injury bug when a trip to Alabama looms large on the upcoming schedule.
10. Florida (4-4, 2-4)
Previous ranking: 9
This week: 34-7 L to No. 1 Georgia
Next week: at South Carolina (4-4)
The Gators are a mess this year. Dan Mullen is (understandably) taking a ton of heat for his coaching so far this season. Florida fell apart right before halftime of this game. A 3-0 deficit against Georgia quickly turned into a 24-0 deficit in the final 3 minutes of the second quarter. That can’t happen. If the Gators played the way they did against Georgia, they’ll be lucky to beat South Carolina in Week 10.
9. Tennessee (4-4, 2-3)
Previous ranking: 8
This week: OFF
Next week: at Kentucky (6-2)
This will be a good test to see where the Vols are as a program. Losses to Pitt, Alabama, Ole Miss and Florida show that the Vols still have a ways to go before they can be considered anywhere close to “elite” again, but this team is playing some exciting football under Josh Heupel. Beat Kentucky and the Vols will have a signature win to hang their hats on at the end of the regular season.
8. Arkansas (5-3, 1-3)
Previous ranking: 7
This week: OFF
Next week: vs. Mississippi State (5-3)
Arkansas needed a bye week badly. Now, the Razorbacks have had a chance to rest up, get healthy, and prepare for a push for bowl eligibility. Mississippi State will be riding high this week, though, after a big win over Kentucky on Saturday. We’ll see if Arkansas can pick up SEC win No. 2 on the season.
7. Mississippi State (5-3, 3-2)
Previous ranking: 10
This week: 31-17 W over No. 12 Kentucky
Next week: at Arkansas (5-3)
It’s been a roller coaster of a season for the Bulldogs, and that’s been evident in these rankings. I’ve had no idea what to do with Mississippi State all year. Start out 2-0 with 2 narrow wins? Lose back-to-back games to Memphis and LSU? Bounce back with an upset of Texas A&M? Get blown out by Alabama? Beat a tough Kentucky team? What am I supposed to do with all that? It wouldn’t surprise me if Mississippi State lost by 3 touchdowns at Arkansas this weekend. It also wouldn’t surprise me if Mississippi State won by 3 scores. Crazy year for Mike Leach’s team.
6. Kentucky (6-2, 4-2)
Previous ranking: 4
This week: 31-17 L to Mississippi State
Next week: vs. Tennessee (4-4)
Will Levis picked a bad time to have his worst game in a Kentucky uniform. The Wildcats couldn’t get any momentum going on Saturday night in Starkville, which was disappointing to see since Kentucky was off last week. The Wildcats came out flat and Mississippi State dominated. This is still a good football team, though, and it’ll be important for Mark Stoops’ squad to bounce back next week at home against a dangerous Tennessee team.
5. Ole Miss (6-2, 3-2)
Previous ranking: 3
This week: 31-20 L to No. 18 Auburn
Next week: vs. Liberty (7-2)
It wasn’t pretty for the Rebels on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium. But QB Matt Corral was not 100% while dealing with both ankles being injured. At least he was able to still play. For most of the game, Ole Miss was without its top 3 receivers — Dontario Drummond, Braylon Sanders and Jonathan Mingo. That’s brutal. The Rebels need to get healthy ahead of a sneaky tough matchup against Liberty this coming week.
4. Auburn (6-2, 3-1)
Previous ranking: 6
This week: 31-20 W over No. 10 Ole Miss
Next week: at Texas A&M (6-2)
I continue to be impressed by the work Bryan Harsin has done at Auburn in Year 1. This is a really tough squad that has a dynamic offense and stout defense. Bo Nix continues to do enough to win games for the Tigers, and it’s tough to stop RBs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter. At this point in the season, Auburn still controls its fate. If the Tigers win out, they’ll head to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Difficult challenges remain these last 4 weeks, though.
3. Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2)
Previous ranking: 5
This week: OFF
Next week: vs. Auburn (6-2)
The Aggies benefited the most from the off week in terms of these power rankings. Texas A&M got to watch some typical SEC carnage this week. Kentucky lost at Mississippi State, meaning the Aggies are moving up. Now, they’ll prepare for a game against a talented Auburn team with the No. 2 spot in the SEC West on the line. It’s a big game for Jimbo Fisher and his crew.
2. Alabama (7-1, 4-1)
Previous ranking: 2
This week: OFF
Next week: vs. LSU (4-4)
The Crimson Tide were off, but they were still in the news. Analysts, including Paul Finebaum and David Pollack were debating whether the Tide could beat Georgia in a hypothetical SEC Championship Game matchup. However, the Tide were on their break, and Nick Saban celebrates his 70th birthday on Halloween. We’ll see if the Tide can get their coach a late birthday gift with a win over LSU on Saturday.
1. Georgia (8-0, 6-0)
Previous ranking: 1
This week: 34-7 W over Florida
Next week: vs. Mizzou (4-4)
Folks, this is your No. 1 team when the College Football Playoff rankings are released on Tuesday night. What more is left to say about the Georgia defense? What the Dawgs are doing to teams in this era of high-powered offenses is simply incredible. Holding Florida to 7 points was just showing off at this point. Now, the Dawgs face a Mizzou team that has struggled this year. This coming weekend’s game could get ugly in a hurry for the Tigers.