SEC Power Rankings, Week 6
It’s been an interesting six weeks of SEC football, but at the end of the day, we’re back to the place where there’s Alabama, Georgia — and everybody else. But for the sake of trying to make sense of college football chaos, here’s our SEC Power Rankings for Week 6.
14. Arkansas (1-5, lost to Alabama 65-31)
Well, we praised the Arkansas defense and then this happened. It was the offense that looked competent, but the defense was lost. If the Hogs can put a complete week together, they could move out of the basement. But until then…
13. Tennessee (2-3, off this week)
The Tennessee defense against the Auburn offense next week could be one of those quandaries that will result in one or the other somehow having to put up a good game.
12. Vanderbilt (3-3, lost to Georgia 41-13)
Vandy built its recent success on the back of a tough defense and an opportunistic offense. When the defense isn’t so good, the offense doesn’t have a lot of opportunity to convert.
11. Mississippi (4-2, beat UL-Monroe 70-21)
This was a typical Rebel out-of-conference performance, full of sound and fury and signifying not very much of anything except that they will score all over a bad team.
10. Missouri (3-2, lost to South Carolina 37-35)
This one hurts, because it’s the kind of game Mizzou needed to claim any kind of legitimacy beyond being a slightly superior version of Ole Miss. Until the Tigers start winning SEC games, it’s hard to be too optimistic about their long-term situation.
9. Auburn (4-2, lost to Mississippi State 23-9)
Is there any unit more disappointing in all of the SEC than the Auburn offense? The defense has been more or less adequate, but Auburn’s offense may end up being the weakest in the SEC West. An ugly season is coming for Gus Malzahn, unless he can figure out some change of pace for the Tigers.
8. South Carolina (3-2, beat Missouri 37-35)
Beating Missouri was the quality win that has been lacking so far for South Carolina, who may have created a Wally Pipp-style QB controversy moving forward with Michael Scarnecchia playing so well after Jake Bentley’s injury.
7. Mississippi State (4-2, beat Auburn 23-9)
How big was this win? Had Mississippi State lost, it might have slid down to battle their intrastate rivals from Oxford for the next-to-bottom spot in the SEC West. Instead, they’re slugging it out with the big boys, particularly over the next two weeks.
6. Texas A&M (4-2, beat Kentucky 20-14)
The third time was the charm for Texas A&M against a ranked opponent, and its defense stuffed Kentucky while the offense did just enough to get by. Given the way that the rest of the non-Alabama West looked, the Aggies could keep climbing on up this ranking.
5. Florida (5-1, beat LSU 27-19)
Florida could have ended up anywhere from third to fifth, but it’s hard to put them above Kentucky since they lost to UK at home. That said, the Gators are regaining their swagger, although admittedly doing so by leaning heavily on their defense. Not the way Dan Mullen likes to roll, but he’ll take it.
4. Kentucky (5-1, lost to Texas A&M 20-14)
Sure, there was some smoke and mirrors in a 5-0 start for UK. If you can stop Benny Snell, you can make Kentucky very, very pedestrian. But not many teams play the run like A&M, and not many environments are tougher to win in than College Station. This was a bad matchup for a Kentucky team that is better than it played in this game.
3. LSU (5-1, lost to Florida 27-19)
This was the tough loss that had to be awaiting LSU. There a déjà vu all over again thing with Joe Burrow at QB. Does this start a longer slide, or can LSU right the ship after a tough loss at a difficult place to play?
2. Georgia (6-0, beat Vanderbilt 41-13)
UGA took a little heat in the power rankings for looking disinterested. Well, now they’re looking like the only unbeaten SEC team left aside from the juggernaut that is Alabama. Can anybody give the Bulldogs a game before the SEC Championship Game?
1. Alabama (6-0, beat Arkansas 65-31)
It’s the small things with Alabama. The defense may have taken a step back, but the offense took three steps forward by passing the ball. Until somebody gives them a competitive game, how can they move on this ranking?