After Week 5 of the regular season and several inter-conference matchups the SEC is starting to take its shape. Here are our SEC Power Rankings heading into the Week 6 slate of games.
1. Alabama: After beating Kentucky 34-6, the reigning champs continue to show they’re head and shoulders talent wise above the rest of their opponents thus far. Bama will have its second real test of the season this week when they face up against Big Game Bret in a Western divisional showdown that was very close last year until the Tide outscored the Razorbacks 17-7 in the fourth quarter.
2. Texas A&M: The Aggies played a close one against South Carolina this past week, but closed out the game on a 17-6 run to give them a 24-13 win over the Gamecocks. With just over 200 yards through the air and 84 on the ground, along with a rushing TD, Trevor Knight continues to show he can do whatever it takes to put his team in a position to win. They head home this week to take on the Vols in a top-10 showdown
3. Tennessee: The Vols snuck out of Georgia with a victory this past weekend. The 34-31 victory for Tennessee came from a 43-yard Hail Mary pass from Joshua Dobbs to Jauan Jennings that has been deemed one of, if not the, greatest play in Tennessee football history. Even though the Vols played a down Georgia team close, Tennessee remains in the top 3 for a couple of reasons: 1. You can’t move a still unbeaten team in my mind and 2. Tennessee has yet to put two halves of football together. Still a lot more potential for this team if it finds a way to put 60 minutes of football together on the field
4. Ole Miss: Heading into their much needed bye week the Rebel Bears could be the single most talented 3-2 team in college football history. After a couple late game meltdowns early on in the season, Ole Miss seemed to have hit its stride two weeks after handing out a shellacking to Georgia. It continued that this week coasting to a win over Memphis. After a bye this week, Ole Miss will head to Arkansas, a team that will be coming off a tough matchup with Alabama.
5. Arkansas: The Razorbacks coasted through a Week 5 victory over Alcorn State 52-10 but will welcome in the Crimson Tide of Alabama this week for their biggest test of the year. Arkansas showed it can play with the big boys to a point – let’s not forget that the Razorbacks had A&M in their sights until a 4th quarter melt down. This matchup has been close in recent years, and Big Game Bret seems to love the Week 6-12 stretch of the season.
6. LSU: This is probably the biggest jump of the week, but in my eyes it’s deserving. Coach O has rejuvenated this Tigers team, and they showed Saturday that they still have a lot of talented players on this squad after ravaging Missouri 42-7. Not to mention LSU’s 422 rushing yards with virtually no Fournette (3 attempts 12 yards). The reborn Tigers take on Florida this week in a game that could get ugly, especially when you take into account Florida’s recent history with noon kickoffs.
7. Florida: The Gators slept walked through their Week 5 match up against Vanderbilt and scraped out a 13-7 win. If not for a questionable call to punt the ball with 1:15 left in the game, Vandy may have been able to string together a game-tying drive. It’s understandable that Florida would have a tough time getting up for a noon game against the Commodores coming off a loss to Tennessee, but the Gators can’t let the hangover last too long because an LSU team with new life rolls into town this week.
8. Auburn: Auburn got to coast through its Week 5 matchup versus UL Monroe to the tune of 58 points. Safe to say the War Tigers are still riding the wave from two weeks ago after narrowly escaping the Bayou Bengals, but the party comes to an end this week. Auburn heads down to Starkville Mississippi where a pack of hungry bulldogs coming off a week of rest are ready to test the still unproven offense of the Tigers.
9. Georgia: UGA had looked UGA-ly in the last three games heading into this past week’s matchup with Tennessee, struggling with Nicholls St. and Mizzou before getting throttled by Ole Miss. The Bulldogs seemed to have finally caught some life in this game, however. Jacob Eason played like a true star, and if not for an extremely questionable call by OC Jim Chaney to throw the ball out of their own end-zone, which led to a sack-fumble-TD for Tennessee, Eason might have started off his career 1-0 vs the Vols. Despite that, Eason still had a great game and played well enough to put his team ahead with only 10 seconds left in the game, but the Bulldogs would fall to the Vols on a Hail Mary pass from Dobbs to Jennings. They may be slightly low on the power rankings right now, but if they continue to show what they did Saturday, Georgia could jump up quick.
10. Mississippi State: We’re into the part of the power rankings where it’s really a battle of who sucked the least last week, and seeing as how Mississippi State didn’t play I’d say that was them. Coming in as king of the losers are the 2-2 (1-1) Bulldogs of Starkville. Coming off a bye, State fans are just praying Dan Mullen was able to shape up the defense and get this team back on track as they head into their week 6 matchup against Auburn.
11. Vandy: Vandy jumps up a couple spots this week. Like I said, in this section it’s a battle of who can suck the least, and that’s what they did. The Dores played a decent Gators team close and had a chance late in the fourth. That’s about all you can ask of them, especially after watching what Florida did to Kentucky just a couple weeks ago. Vanderbilt’s defense kept them in the game late and continues to show that they are the strength of this team. Vandy travels to The Bluegrass State to take on the Wildcats in the battle of bottom dwellers.
12. Missouri: Missouri got absolutely manhandled Saturday by LSU to the tune of 42-7. Mizzou thought it had found an answer to its offensive struggles behind the arm of Drew Lock, but LSU’s defense shut him down with ease. Lock only had 188 yards through air on 38 attempts and Mizzou as a team only had 77 on the ground. Mizzou gets the week off to prepare for a tough Florida defense, but I’m not too sure it will help all that much.
13. Kentucky: The Wildcats are off to their slowest start in two years, and Saturday’s game against the Tide didn’t help with that. In their last ten matchups with Alabama, Kentucky has averaged less than 10 points a game, and that trend remained true this past week as Alabama glided to a 34-6 win over the ferocious felines of Kentucky. Kentucky will take on Vanderbilt this weekend in a game of “who wants to keep their job more” between Derek Mason and Mark Stoops. If you plan on watching this heavyweight brawl, I’d advise you think again. It will only be painful.
14. South Carolina: Rounding out the SEC is South Carolina. Currently 1-3 in conference play and 2-3 overall, the Gamecocks have shown SEC football fans just two things this year: They can’t score and they can’t stop the other team from scoring. South Carolina has yet to score more than 20 points against any opponent this season and is coming off a 24-13 loss to the Aggies. This week they welcome in a very hungry Georgia team that is trying to make up lost ground in the standings. Don’t look for any miracle games from the Gamecocks this time around.