Week 10 SEC Power Rankings: The good SEC and not-so-good SEC
College football’s Week 10 was mostly about highly ranked teams falling on the sword. But not in the SEC. The two top dogs took care of business, and everybody else … well, they chugged along.
Sure, Mississippi State nearly loss to UMass. Sure, Arkansas had to go to the limits to hold off Coastal Carolina. But in the SEC, what we learned is that there are actually two SECs — the good SEC (although admittedly, good is getting stretched a bit toward the bottom) and the not-so-good SEC.
Seriously, you can take the bottom half of these rankings and … well, actually just take them. Good enough. Anyway, your weekly power rankings:
14. Florida (3-5, lost to Missouri 45-16)
When you thought it couldn’t get any worse. Sure, people lose to Georgia by 35. And some people fire their coach mid-season. But the last SEC team to lose a game to Missouri by 29 points — well that would have been a 2-10 Kentucky team in Mark Stoops’s first year. Until Saturday. The Gators couldn’t defend Drew Lock, and at this point, it feels like Tom Brady at QB would still result in a dead offense. Sheesh.
13. Arkansas (4-5, defeated Coastal Carolina 39-38)
So, Arkansas won. It came back to hold off a 1-8 Coastal Carolina team after trailing 38-25 in the early fourth quarter. A few other results from the Chanticleers’ season: They lost to Western Illinois by 42 and to Arkansas State by 34. These comeback wins would be kind of awesome if they weren’t darkly sad.
12. Tennessee (4-5, defeated Southern Miss 24-10)
Tennessee actually played pretty well. That said, this team is still a dumpster fire and beating a mediocre Conference USA team by two scores shouldn’t be a big highlight.
11. Vanderbilt (4-5, defeated Western Kentucky 31-17)
See Tennessee comments above and repeat. The “5-6 bowl” of UT vs. Vandy is looking more and more possible.
10. Ole Miss (4-5, defeated Kentucky 37-34)
Give the Rebels all the credit in the world for going on the road and pulling out a last-second win. Honestly, Ole Miss is better than it should be, and Matt Luke might just stick around in Oxford.
9. Missouri (4-5, defeated Florida 45-16)
The back end of Mizzou’s schedule is light, as they draw three of the teams ranked below them in this week’s power rankings. From being the dregs of the league to ending up bowl eligible? Could be.
8. Kentucky (6-3, lost to Mississippi 37-34)
Kentucky probably isn’t the eighth best team in the SEC. They again played even with a mediocre opponent, and this week, the Cats got them burned. So they have home losses to the No. 10 and No. 14-ranked teams in the league. That said, they are bowl eligible and still could/should win seven or eight games — which means they’re either at the top of the not-so-good SEC or the bottom of the good SEC.
7. Texas A&M (5-4, lost to Auburn 42-27)
Auburn is legitimately good and there’s no shame in losing to the Tigers. A&M will get bowl eligible next week against New Mexico and then face Ole Miss and LSU to determine where it belongs in the top of not-so-good SEC/bottom of good SEC dichotomy.
6. Mississippi State (7-2, defeated UMass 34-23)
So State is definitely in the good SEC, but by the same token, the Bulldogs trailed 2-7 UMass at halftime. Yes, the same UMass that lost to Georgia Southern by 35 points two weeks ago. That won’t cut it next week against Alabama, or perhaps against Arkansas or Ole Miss.
5. South Carolina (6-3, lost to Georgia 24-10)
No shame in losing to the Bulldogs. Carolina has all but wrapped up second place in the East, and should have little trouble with Florida.
4. LSU (6-3, lost to Alabama 24-10)
See comments above re: South Carolina, and substitute “Tide” for Bulldogs. (Same score even). The final three games of Arkansas, Tennessee and A&M aren’t so daunting.
3. Auburn (7-2, defeated A&M 42-27)
The Tigers not only are the clear third best team in the league, they are the would-be spoilers. Georgia or Bama could stumble in upcoming matchups with Auburn, and if the Tigers trip up either, first, they screw up the CFP, and second, they might mess up these rankings, too.
2. Georgia (9-0, defeated South Carolina 24-10)
Not the most exciting game, but a solid performance when they needed one. Jake Fromm is fine when he’s needed, as we’ve assured folks that he would be.
1. Alabama (9-0, defeated LSU 24-10)
Maybe it’s just us, but it could be Bama and not Georgia that is more vulnerable to a potential upset from Auburn. The Tide offense didn’t impress, and those defensive injuries are rough.