November 5th is going to be a HUGE day in college football. Some surprises in this week’s power rankings, but, overall, the West reigns supreme.
1. LSU Tigers
LSU did nothing to lose the top spot last week and the Honey Badger was at it again. Tyrann Mathieu is a legitimate Heisman contender with his shutdown and ball hawking abilities, not to mention his returns. He’s Patrick Peterson lite, but he still has some time to grow into filling the Arizona Cardinal’s shoes.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tide came into The Swamp and came out big winners. Trent Richardson is a manimal, manchild, beast, whatever you want to call him. Florida’s front seven are pretty good, and he tore up their defense pretty well. Alabama didn’t get out to a great start, but they showed they’re legitimate BCS contenders. This is the second straight week the Crimson Tide has put a beatdown on a rising SEC contender.
3. Arkansas Razorbacks
The Hogs had somewhat of a hangover from their beatdown by Alabama and trailed by 18 in the third quarter to future SEC rival Texas A&M. But then that offense turned it on and proved that they deserve to be in the SEC West conversation. QB Tyler Wilson and WR Jarius Wright both had career days for Arkansas. Darkhorse status is back in Fayetteville.
4. Auburn Tigers
I almost put Georgia here instead of the defending national champions. But then I realized that their only loss is to a Clemson team that actually looks pretty good right now. And the game was in Death Valley. The Tigers are back in the picture thanks to their win in Columbia to beat South Carolina. Their defense showed up against the Gamecocks. They’ll need to show up big this week against Arkansas.
5. Georgia Bulldogs
As a Gator fan, it absolutely kills me to put the Bulldogs ahead of the Gators, but Georgia may be in the driver’s seat in the SEC East with South Carolina’s loss. They had a tough first two games, but this week they took care of business against a good and dangerous Mississippi State team. Kudos to them this week. We’ll see if that defense can hold up against Tyler Bray and the Volunteers this week.
6. Florida Gators
Some of you may call me a homer for putting them ahead of South Carolina, but Florida’s been the more consistent team. Everything was going alright for the Gators against Alabama until QB John Brantley was knocked out of the game with a high ankle sprain. The timing couldn’t be worse. Most people expected Florida to split this daunting month of October. Hopefully Jeff Driskel grows up quickly and is able to keep Florida on an even keel.
7. South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina had been flirting with losses for weeks now and finally it caught up with them. They got beat on their home turf by and almost equally enigmatic Auburn team. Stephen Garcia has been terrible most of the time (nine interceptions, tops in FBS), but has also led them to their four wins. It’ll be interesting how the Ol’ Ball Coach deals with his quarterback situation. This team has the talent to run away with the East. But right now, they have no consistency.
8. Tennessee Volunteers
The Vols played a pretty terrible Buffalo team and won like they should. This week should be the second test on Tennessee’s season when they host Georgia at Neyland Stadium. We’ll know a lot more about both teams after this game has been completed.
9. Vanderbilt Commodores
I’ve said all season how impressed I am with what head coach James Franklin has done in such a short period of time. Vandy had a bye week, but still moves up a spot. They’re 3-1 on the season and should be able to get three more wins to become bowl eligible. Their defense is a turnover machine. If only their offense could convert.
10. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Clearly that LSU loss really took a lot out of the Bulldogs. This was supposed to be a promising season, and losing to Georgia by two touchdowns means that this team may have given up on the season. They are certainly out of the SEC West picture and really can only play spoiler now. They have the talent to upset some teams who may look past them.
11. Kentucky Wildcats
They played LSU in Death Valley. Can’t get much tougher. But they held them to 35 points and managed to get a touchdown. LB Danny Trevathan gives the Wildcats the nod over Ole Miss.
12. Ole Miss Rebels
This team went out to California and beat Fresno State. I give the props for that. I’m still not going to move them up until they show they can do the same in SEC play. Houston Nutt named Randall Mackey the starting quarterback. It’s his job to lose now. Maybe he can turn the Rebs season around. If not, Nutt could be gone.
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