Ohio State, LSU stay on top in SEC vs. Big Ten rankings
SEC stalwarts Georgia and Ole Miss didn’t just lose, they were embarrassed, by Alabama and Florida, respectively. Big Ten behemoths Ohio State and Michigan State barely slipped past traditional Hoosier State doormats Indiana and Purdue.
Of last week’s top 5 in our SEC vs. Big Ten rankings, none played up to form. So changes were in order this week, though not as many as you might expect. Not a single team in either conference has made it through the early season without either a loss or a disappointing performance as a heavy favorite.
Ohio State and LSU retained the top 2 spots this week with Alabama, reinstated from a rare absence, and Texas A&M joining the top 5.
Below are our hybrid SEC-Big Ten rankings. SEC teams are ranked according to our SEC power rankings published earlier in the week.
Right now, LSU with phenomenal RB Leonard Fournette looks like the class of the SEC. Not so fast, you say? The Tigers haven’t played Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida or Texas A&M. You’re absolutely right. We’re not particularly confident the perennially passing-challenged Tigers will be in Atlanta on the first Saturday in December. They probably have as much of a chance to finish 4th as they do first in the West Division. But the Tigers’ stay as the top SEC team in our rankings probably will last another week with struggling South Carolina as Saturday’s opponent. As much as it hurts SEC fans, Ohio State holds on to the top spot with Michigan State creeping up to No. 3 just behind LSU. Despite its one loss, Alabama gets the nod for the 5th slot over surprising Florida.
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- Texas A&M
What happened to Georgia and Ole Miss last weekend? Of the two teams, the Bulldogs were the biggest surprise playing at home against an Alabama team that lost at home to Ole Miss. But the Bulldogs are back in the East Division playing against a Tennessee team that knows how to lose close games. Florida should be on upset alert playing at Missouri, a strong defensive team that will test freshman QB Will Grier with a rejuvenated offense under its freshman quarterback, Drew Lock. In the Big Ten, unbeaten Northwestern and inspired Michigan have been impressive, though clearly a notch behind the Buckeyes and Spartans.
- Ole Miss
No news here. Dak Prescott and Mississippi State have the misfortune of playing in the West. Mizzou looked better with Lock, who will start again against the Gators for still-suspended Maty Mauk. Iowa showed something with a rare win at Wisconsin, and Indiana would have taken some heat off Mizzou’s much-touted loss from last season if the Hoosiers could have driven just a few more yards in the final seconds against Ohio State.
- Mississippi State
Tired of hearing how good Arkansas and Tennessee are with each loss? Yeah, us, too. The Razorbacks’ victory at Knoxville would be more impressive if the Vols weren’t notoriously good at losing close games. Purdue put up a surprising fight against Michigan State. Penn State’s win over Army wasn’t particularly impressive, but it was a win for a struggling program.
- Penn State
NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP
A long season got longer for Steve Spurrier, who now must take his Gamecocks to Death Valley rather than stay at home to play LSU. In many years, a victory over Nebraska would be a major victory for Illinois. Not this season. Maryland and Vanderbilt, well, they’re not good. Except when compared to train wreck Rutgers.
- South Carolina