You know what’s tough about these power rankings? Seeing Tennessee flounder in them. And after a setback against Arkansas, this week is yet another that sees the Volunteers take a step backwards. Or is backward? That’s always confused me. One thing that doesn’t confuse me, however, is the basement of the SEC Power Rankings. A little place we like to call:
The Commodores’ Quarters
Because that’s where they live. Ranked No. 14 in the SEC. Nice come-from-behind win over MTSU, however. But until they beat an SEC team, in the basement they remain.
Brett Favre Territory
13. South Carolina
It’s just hard for me to watch this team and not wish Spurrier were retired. Their game against Missouri, which was without Maty Mauk, was embarrassing to watch. They were supposed to face LSU at home this week but the game has been moved to Baton Rouge in light of the flooding in Columbia.
Looked Good on Paper
What in the world is happening on the Plains? You’re a preseason top-10 team and you need OT to put away a lowly FCS school in Jacksonville State. You bring on Will Muschamp as your defensive coordinator yet you give up nearly 200 yards on the ground, nearly 5 yards per run, against San Jose State. To that end, maybe dismissing Duke Williams will somehow make them better. Regardless, if you’re a Tennessee fan, you should take solace in the season Auburn’s having. If you’re into the whole misery-loves-company thing, that is.
Clocking in at No. 11 is our beloved Tennessee Volunteers as, sadly, they came up just short against Arkansas in a game I affectionately dubbed the Armageddon Bowl. Yet as much of a downer as that was, it’s evident from my Twitter timeline that some have placed far too much of their personal identity in the “Tennessee Football” bucket. I recommend buying a kitten and getting hobby or something. Fingers crossed the Vols can get it done against the Bulldogs on Saturday and turn those frowns upside down.
Home losses to Texas Tech and Toledo pretty much say it all. Like the other two teams in the Looked Good on Paper tier, Arkansas was expecting a lot more from this season than how it’s played out thus far. That said, the Hogs seemingly got back to their smash mouth brand of football against Tennessee with an impressive game on the ground. It will be interesting to see where they go from here.
Which Way Will They Go?
Have you watched these guys this year? Because I have and they’re hard to watch. But they’re like that every season, yet have somehow found a way to win the East the last couple years. This time around, however, looks to be different. Especially with the absence of QB Maty Mauk. Unlike recent history, I predict the Tigers get weaker as the season goes on. Florida is going to walk the dog on them. But they’ve surprised us before so maybe they’ll do it again.
Kentucky avoided disaster against against Eastern Kentucky last week. Now they get a week off to prepare for a disappointing Auburn team. Their lone loss against FL is looking better and better as time goes by, but they still have a tough road ahead in the SEC, most notably, road games at Mississippi State and Georgia. And let’s not forget their home contest Halloween night against Tennessee. Kentucky might be on its way to a historical season. Or it might be on its way to a season just like 2014. Fast start. Tough finish.
7. Mississippi State
Already armed with two conference wins losses, Mississippi State is also at a fork in the road. Their season could go either way. Especially playing in the West. But those SEC Ls are against (SPOILER ALERT) our two top-ranked teams in the conference. They’ll get well against Troy before tackling the meat of their SEC schedule.
They got waxed last week. Simply embarrassed. The East is still theirs to lose, however, and they also still have Nick Chubb, who will surely be up for this game. Look for Chubb to have lots of touches. In a number of different ways. I could even see a scenario where Chubb is in the slot. Plus, word on the street is that Chubb is NOT afraid of the red zone, though, understandably, if it is a red-zone situation, Chubb may be more comfortable with the end around. By the way, I’ve heard Michel really likes Chubb a bunch.
Related: I’m a 15-year-old boy trapped in a man’s body.
Most of us at RTI expect Alabama to be vying for the top spot of the SEC Power Rankings by the time it’s all said and done. But right now, they sit in the second tier as we can’t rank them ahead of Ole Miss because it’s not even been two weeks since the Rebels beat them. But they dismantled Georgia and if they do the same to Arkansas this Saturday, that five-turnover loss to Ole Miss may be one best taken with a grain of salt.
4. Ole Miss
These guys deserve to drop further than to No. 4 after that thrashing they took in Florida. Only they really don’t because of they beat Alabama and Bama beat Georgia. Ole Miss gets a tuneup against New Mexico St. before an intriguing matchup the following week with a very hot Memphis team.
If someone told you midway through the fourth quarter in Gainesville that the winner of the Tennessee-Florida game would soon find itself in the top tier of the SEC, you would have popped the champagne. And I would have been right behind you. But as we all know, it’s Florida who would win, and it’s Florida we see near the top of the rankings. After a thorough domination of Ole Miss I might add. Look for the Gators to annihilate Missouri this week.
So far so good for LSU, who had little trouble with Eastern Michigan. They should crush South Carolina in a bonus home game unless they get caught looking ahead to Florida.
1. Texas A&M
Which means the top team in this week’s rankings is Texas A&M. Kevin Sumlin had his team ready for Mississippi State and now have an open date to get ready for Alabama a week from this Saturday.