This was by far the craziest weekend of the College Football season, and the SEC wasn’t exempt from the craziness. If I told you two weeks ago that LSU was going to comeback from a twenty point deficit against a top ten Auburn team and win, would you have believed me? Of course you wouldn’t have, because you are a sane human being. Outside of the Auburn-LSU game, we had two games decided in the final minutes with Tennessee failing to score the winning touchdown from the two yard line on the final play of the game against South Carolina, and Felipe Franks throwing an interception with less than a minute left in Florida’s 19-17 loss to Texas A&M. This past weekend in the SEC only made it that much harder to rank the SEC, as if that was even possible, so here goes nothing.
14. Missouri (Last week: 14)
Missouri actually played pretty well against Georgia Saturday, scoring the most points against Georgia’s defense all season, but still found a way to lose by 25. While they may have scored more points than anyone else has against Georgia, Georgia also scored their most points of the season this week. The Missouri defense still isn’t good, and their offense isn’t anywhere near good enough to carry this team.
13. Arkansas (12)
Arkansas was pummeled by Alabama this past weekend, just like most teams will be against Alabama, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that they haven’t been very good throughout season. Arkansas can’t stop a nose bleed on defense, and their starting quarterback Austin Allen is out for a couple more weeks. Add in the fact that this is the worst offensive line Bielema has ever had at Arkansas, and I’m just not seeing a way this team gets to six wins.
12. Vanderbilt (10)
Alabama just ripped this team’s soul out a few weeks ago. Since losing to Alabama the Dores have lost by two touchdowns to Florida, lost by 31 to Georgia and were beat down 57-35 by Ole Miss this past weekend. Sitting now at 3-4 with games remaining at South Carolina, at home against Kentucky and on the road against Tennessee, I’d be surprised if this team gets to six wins this year.
11. Tennessee (9)
Has Butch Jones lost this team? I’m not entirely sure, but he has certainly lost the fan base. This is yet another SEC team that I don’t see getting to six wins. With Alabama on the horizon this weekend and currently sitting at 3-3 on the year, it is going to be tough for Butch Jones and company to go bowling. Notable remaining games on their schedule are, on the road at Kentucky, at home against Southern Miss, which is certainly not a for sure win, at home against LSU and will close the year against Vanderbilt at home.
10. Ole Miss (13)
Shea Patterson and AJ Brown are, in my opinion, the best quarterback/wide receiver duo in the league. Unfortunately for the Rebels, Bears, Landsharks or whatever you want to call them, they have to put up fifty points a game to have a chance in the game due to their pitiful defense. When Ole Miss faces teams who can run the ball effectively, and has a capable pass rush, this team doesn’t stand much of a chance of winning.
9. South Carolina (11)
How about the job Will Muschamp has done in his second season at South Carolina? They lose their big play maker in Deebo Samuel early in the season to injury, they are constantly giving up yards to teams, yet they keep teams out of the endzone and find a way to win. The Gamecocks are sitting at 5-2 heading into their bye week with the meat of their schedule coming up, but they are virtually a lock to make a bowl game, which was the goal coming into the season for Muschamp and the Gamecocks.
8. Florida (7)
It has been a rough two weeks for Gator fans. They have now lost their past two home games by a combined three points. How tough is that? They’re bye week comes at a perfect time as they try and get back on track for their rivalry against Georgia in two weeks. Outside of the Georgia game though, they should be favored in the rest of their games, and could still get to seven wins. (remember Florida will only play eleven games due to Hurricane Irma)
7. Kentucky (8)
The Wildcats are coming off a bye week sitting at 5-1, and could easily be 6-0 if a couple balls bounced their way against Florida. However, the Wildcats haven’t been all that impressive in their wins so far. In their three non conference games against Southern Miss, Eastern Kentucky and Eastern Michigan, their average margin of victory has been just over seven points, not impressive to say the least. But this weekend the Wildcats will get to prove themselves when they travel to Starkville to take on Mississippi State to kickoff a brutal stretch that features Tennessee, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Louisville.
6. LSU (6)
Typically when a team upsets a top ten team like LSU did this past weekend, they get moved up, but let’s not forget that this same LSU team got destroyed by Mississippi State on the road and lost at home to Troy. This was a great win for LSU, and possibly even saved Orgeron’s job, but let’s not start hyping this team up just yet. LSU is super talented, but has huge deficiencies at quarterback and at head coach. Let’s see if LSU can keep winning before we begin hyping them up. My number one rule is to never put too much stock into a single game, and I’m not going to start now.
5. Mississippi State (4)
The Bulldogs were able to upend BYU this past weekend 35-10 coming off the bye week, but it may have been the ugliest 25 point win I’ve ever seen. The receivers continued to drop well thrown balls, the secondary continued to allow a couple big plays that left you scratching your head and Nick Fitzgerald made two bad throws in the red zone that led to interceptions. While there’s no doubt there are things that need correcting ahead of the Kentucky game, State fans have to like where this team is halfway through the season.
4. Texas A&M (5)
I hesitated putting the Aggies in the number four spot following their game against Alabama last week, but they were able to prove that wasn’t a fluke after sneaking out of the Swamp with a win this past weekend. Freshman quarterback Kellen Mond has continued to improve each and every week and has proven he can win in the SEC, and the defense has made drastic improvements since the first three games of the season. If they can keep this up, I don’t see a reason why they can’t get to eight or nine wins.
3. Auburn (3)
This just continues to prove how big of a gap there is between the top three and all the rest. Auburn just blew a 20 point lead to a team that lost to Troy just three weeks ago, and there isn’t a single team that you could argue that should be ahead of Auburn other than Georgia and Alabama. Auburn had a bad game there’s no doubt about it, but like Gus said “This loss isn’t the end of the world.” And he’s right. Look around the country, Washington lost to Arizona State, Clemson lost to Syracuse and Washington State lost to Cal. I’d actually argue that Auburn’s loss was the better one out of the four. As I stated earlier, I have always said to never put too much stock into one game, and I’m not going to start now.
Georgia probably played their worst game of the season this past weekend against Missouri and still won by 25. The gap between Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina is so ridiculous at this point that you might as well go ahead and crown the Bulldogs as SEC East Champs. The only test remaining on Georgia’s schedule at this point will be when they travel to the Plains of Auburn in which may end up being the best game of the year.
1. Alabama (1)
Another boring 32 point conference win for the Tide this past weekend against Arkansas. Alabama has shown few if any weaknesses all year, and it doesn’t seem like they will play a close game until they face off against Auburn or Georgia. The Tide are projected to be at least a 21 point favorite in each game leading up to their game against Auburn, and for good reason.