SEC Power Rankings: Week 8

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    SEC Championship Trophy

    Before I get started on this week’s SEC Power Rankings, I want to offer up a sincere apology. While I’m proud to say it doesn’t happen often here at RTI, we do make the occasional error. Which is what we did last week. Which is why, again, we want to offer our sincere apologies. To deliver them, we’ll head to the…

    Commodores’ Quarters

    14. Vanderbilt
    Granted, this is only RockyTopInsider’s second football season, but until last week, every single edition of RTI’s SEC Power Rankings had one thing in common. Vanderbilt occupied the last spot. And last week we had the audacity to tie them with South Carolina. We got so swept up in what a train wreck the Gamecocks have been that we flat-out messed up. Technically, the Commodares were still in the 14th spot, so I supposed you could make an argument that we didn’t actually break the streak, but in our mind we did since they shared that spot with someone else. And for that we’re truly sorry. Vanderbilt deserves better worse than that.

    Columbia Calamities

    13. South Carolina
    Chin up, South Carolina. You’re still really bad. Yeah, you beat Vandy, but you trailed at the half, and that’s gotta be worth something.

    12. Missouri
    For the second time this year, Missouri played a game that ended with the score 9-6. They beat mighty UConn by that count a few weeks back, but unfortunately for them, they were on the wrong end of that score to Georgia on Saturday. Incidentally, if you’re reading this near a phone and you have ANY information about where the Missouri offense is, I strongly encourage you to dial 1-800-NOMOFGS. I thank you, and so does all of Columbia. Missouri. Columbia Missouri.

    See What Had Happened Was

    11. Arkansas
    The first team to recount in our See What Had Happened Was section is No. 11 Arkansas. They had the week off to reflect upon (a) their loss to Alabama the week before and (b) their less-than-stellar season to date. The feather in the cap being their win in Knoxville. (My bad.) They should be 4-2. They’re not.

    10. Kentucky
    Maybe a little harsh to put KY in the See What Had Happened Was tier, but all the Wildcats had to do was beat an Auburn team that was an absolute mess coming into Thursday night’s game in Lexington. But they couldn’t do that, and as a result, you have to wonder about the rest of their season. With Vanderbilt, Charlotte and Louisville still left on the schedule, they look like a lock to finish above .500 for the first time in forever. So that’s good. But expecting to compete for the East is no longer in the realm of possibility.

    9. Georgia
    This Georgia team is the epitome of See What Had Happened Was. Lest you forget, they were a favorite against Alabama. Fast forward two losses and a near loss against Mizzou that saw their once vaunted offense score nine measly points, and, well, here we are.

    NOTE: Heard last week on SEC Network (forgive me, I forget who said it): If there is to be life after Chubb, it’s in the hands of Michel. I’m starting to think I’m not the only one who’s playing this game. In all seriousness, losing Chubb not only hurts the Bulldogs, but the entire conference. Kid is a baller. Love him as a player. Wish him the speediest of recoveries.

    8. Auburn
    Another ultimate See What Had Happened Was team. It’s puzzling to see a pre-season top-10 team have such a rough go of it. Yes, they beat Kentucky. And yes, despite it all, they’re still 4-2, but they have a ton of tough games on the schedule.

    Meh

    7. Mississippi State
    Losses to LSU and A&M aren’t the worst thing in the world. And the Bulldogs have a couple of winnable games coming up against Kentucky and Mizzou. Win those and they’re 7-2. Still time to make a push, but with two losses, they won’t flirt with the West this year as they did last year.

    6. Tennessee
    Well looky here. The Vols move up again! That’s the good news. The bad news is they head to T-town this week to take on Alabama. Well, that and the fact that the season thus far has been relegated to the Meh tier. Win any one of Oklahoma, Florida or Arkansas and this town would have a way different feel to it. Regardless, one of my bold predictions before the season started was the UT would hold a second half lead at Alabama. I stand by that for two reasons. First, the Vols have the talent to do it. And, second, this staff far prefers the “underdog” role as opposed to the “expecting big things” role. Plus, I think Bama is due a bit of a let down off a three game stretch that featured two different top-10 teams.

    5. Ole Miss
    I have a question. What in the hell happened to Ole Miss? They lost to Memphis. And it wasn’t close. Despite holding an early 14-point lead. On the heels of getting clobbered by Florida two weeks prior. Sure, the Rebels only have one conference loss. And yes, they’re still in contention in the West. But this season is way more Meh-ier than it was just two weeks ago. To be fair though, we could have just as easily grouped them here:

    In The Hunt

    4. Texas A&M
    There, there, Aggie Nation. Still lots to play for. A key game coming up against Ole Miss. Winner is still alive for the West.

    3. Florida
    Say what you want about these guys, but Jim McElwain is a good coach. He goes down to Death Valley with a patchwork offensive line and a backup QB and damn near beats LSU. At night. They get a bye week before heading to the game we’re not supposed to call the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party because America is soft and therefore scared of large outdoor cocktail parties. I’m not though. And I have a feeling Florida won’t be, either.

    2. Alabama
    These guys… Everyone was ready to bury them after Ole Miss, but NO, they have to come back and beat Georgia, Arkansas and Texas A&M by an average of nearly 20 points. If they play their cards right, their matchup against LSU on November 5 will be for control of the SEC West.

    King of the Hill

    1. LSU
    If loving Les Miles is wrong, then I ain’t right. And I ain’t apologizing either. The stones he showed to run that fake FG deep into the fourth quarter makes Les, Les. Even if it didn’t quite make sense, because you gotta think a field goal would have gotten them the W against Florida. But the other side to that coin is the unexpected TD after the expected moral-victory FG didn’t happen was a mule kick to the stomach that proved fatal for Florida. Advantage Les Miles and the LSU Tigers. They have Western Kentucky, then a bye before facing Alabama (does anyone NOT have a bye coming into Alabama?!) so they can relax a bit.

    And so can you. Till Saturday, that is. Enjoy the games this weekend. Especially the one in Tuscaloosa.