Week 11 SEC Power Rankings: Shake-up Saturday
Week 11 very nearly ended up as the craziest in half a century of college football. As it was, there were probably fewer surprises in the SEC than elsewhere in the college football landscape. Who’s up, who’s down? What does it mean? Our power rankings will help you sort it out. And here they are, your week 11 SEC power rankings:
14. Florida (3-6, lost to South Carolina 28-20)
A week after completely folding against Missouri, the Gators scratched, clawed, and gave South Carolina a decent game in Columbia. Randy Shannon’s biggest task has been to keep his team competing. But this Gators offense is spectacularly bad, whoever the QB is, and at this point, they can’t wait to end the season and hire their new coach.
13. Tennessee (4-6, lost to Missouri 50-17)
The brief Will McBride era will probably best be remembered as testimony that Butch Jones, on his way out the door, destroyed almost everything he could touch. How did Tennessee and Florida end up here, one already eliminated from bowl consideration, the other hanging by a formality ahead of a matchup with LSU? One lousy, lousy football game at a time.
12. Arkansas (4-6, lost to LSU 33-10)
For a half, Arkansas looked decent. They blitzed and tackled and fought. And then, it all fell apart in the second half. There is no aspect of this team which can redeem this horrid season. Other mediocre SEC teams like Mizzou or Ole Miss at least have positional units or players that are worth watching. Arkansas might not be the worst team in the league, but they’ve been the most boring.
11. Vanderbilt (4-6, lost to Kentucky 44-21)
Nobody had lost to Kentucky by 23 points this season. Vandy neither played well on offense, turning the ball over every time they threatened to get back in the game, or on defense, watching Kentucky gash them again and again. The Commodores could still make a bowl, but 4-8 looked more likely than 6-6 this week.
10. Ole Miss (5-5, defeated Louisiana 50-22)
Given the wealth of receivers and the talented offensive line, forgive us if we assume that an average SDS columnist could step in and pass for 300 yards for the Rebels. With two tough games left, the Rebels probably had their final positive moment of the season, but in many ways, Matt Luke’s gang has overachieved. In other ways, you wonder what if the NCAA cloud and the Hugh Freeze firing somehow hadn’t happened.
9. Missouri (5-5, defeated Tennessee 50-17)
The Tigers benefitted from a soft late schedule but also showed that this team kept scratching and digging when few (present company included) gave them a chance. They should get a bowl, and they’ve earned it.
8. Texas A&M (6-4, defeated New Mexico 55-14)
The Aggies had no trouble with New Mexico, with Nick Starkel giving the team an Air Raid look that is either a complete fluke or will lead them to a couple of fairly impressive wins. Much like Ole Miss, if Starkel shines, the overarching narrative might be what if he had stayed healthy all season.
7. Kentucky (7-3, defeated Vanderbilt 44-21)
Kentucky has done everything except win impressively, but its schedule gives them two house money opportunities to impress. If Kentucky wins either, it’s hard to label their season anything but a success.
6. South Carolina (7-3, defeated Florida 28-20)
Kentucky and Carolina in many ways are soul brothers. They’ve both climbed over two of the SEC’s big three, but still show a gap between themselves and Florida. They’ve both spent much of the season winning ugly, trying to camoflauge some big personnel losses that kept either team from being elite. But both have put in serviceable seasons, which will leave their fans feeling positive about the future.
5. LSU (7-3, defeated Arkansas 33-10)
The Tigers have to be the most maddening team in the league, because they’re capable of beating Auburn or losing to Troy. Of course, Week 11 proved that LSU didn’t get the patent on parity in college football, but they’re still the most inconsistent team in the SEC, capable of soaring highs or horrifying lows in any given week.
4. Mississippi State (7-3, lost to Alabama 31-24)
State showed their bona fides in giving Alabama everything it could handle. Frankly, they might deserve the third spot, but it’s hard to flip them with a team that rolled them badly head-to-head. But if there were any questions about State’s legitimacy, consider them answered.
3. Georgia (9-1, lost to Auburn 40-17)
Well, so much for the Bulldogs as top dogs. After nine games in which UGA could seemingly do no wrong, everything they tried on Saturday seemed to blow up in their face. Could they beat Alabama? Sure. Will they? Feels a lot less likely than it did a week ago.
2. Auburn (8-2, defeated Georgia 40-17)
And then there’s Auburn, which had the talent, but didn’t bother to block anybody against Clemson, and took the foot off the gas against LSU. By not just beating but annihilating the top team in the CFP, the Tigers proved themselves as capable of sneaking into the Final Four as anybody. Beating Alabama won’t be easy, but this year …
1. Alabama (10-0, defeated Mississippi State 31-24)
Barring something otherworldly, we’re two weeks away from the top two teams facing off. Alabama took every shot Mississippi State had, and answered with one more to boot.