I know I’m going to get some disagreements about where a couple of the teams are, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
No. 1 — Alabama Crimson Tide
If there’s one thing that Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide know all to well, it’s winning. The injuries of DeAndrew White and Dee Hart haven’t looked like they’ve phased the offense at all. I’m fairly certain that their second string could come in and win some conferences. Their routes on the road against the Missouri Tigers and the Tennessee Volunteers show that they’re obviously a cut above any other team.
Week 9 Opponent: Mississippi State
No. 2 — Florida Gators
Going 7-0 while playing the nation’s 14th ranked toughest schedule is certainly a feather in the cap for Will Muschamp. What can you say about this team? The computer rankings that figure into the BCS actually have the Florida Gators as the No. 1 team in the nation. If this holds out, it will make an interesting SEC championship game. If Florida can pass the Georgia Bulldogs‘ test this weekend, they’re in for the championship game and have a very good chance at giving Alabama a tough game.
Week 9 Opponent: Georgia
No. 3 — Mississippi State Bulldogs
Yes, I already hear your disagreement. I’m fully aware of what kind of team the Mississippi State Bulldogs usually are and what people are expecting them to do. The fact is that they’ve earned their way to this No. 3 spot without losing, which is the point of college football. When they lose, I will be glad to knock them back down to No. 4 or No. 5 which is where people would say they belong. If they however win against Alabama, there will be no question that they are right where they should be.
Week 9 Opponent: Alabama
No. 4 — LSU Tigers
After personally picking against the LSU Tigers two weeks in a row, they have come to show that they are getting serious about playing college football in 2012. Two week ago I wrote about how they could fight for bowl eligibility and now they sit in a great position controlling their own destiny to the SEC championship game. I may have been wrong about LSU recently, but I’m saying now that even without playing, I’m going to bet their Power Ranking will be higher than No. 4 next week.
Week 9 Opponent: BYE
No. 5 — South Carolina Gamecocks
Two losses have been tough, but when you’ve played the nation’s 8th toughest schedule at this point, what can you expect? The South Carolina Gamecocks have two major things going for them right now that no one else does, and that’s Jadeveon Clowney and Conner Shaw. Both of these guys are gamers and can’t be taken lightly. Although the SEC championship game seems like a longshot now, winning out isn’t. Look for them to do so, and destroy the Clemson Tigers at season’s end.
Week 9 Opponent: Tennessee
No. 6 — Georgia Bulldogs
Hey what gives with the low ranking? Well for one, I can’t in good faith put Georgia above South Carolina. Not this season. And what was with the game against the Kentucky Wildcats? Georgia has seriously sputtered in games against mediocre competition. If they lose their next game, although it will be completely unwarranted and makes no sense, the fans will be calling for Mark Richt’s head. Hope they’re happy with what they’ll get.
Week 9 Opponent: Florida
No. 7 — Texas A&M Aggies
Oh how quickly the door to SEC-elitism can shut. Johnny Manziel’s Heisman talk has dried up. The Texas A&M Aggies are a very good football team and have lost games to quality opponents. If you’re a fan, you could always say they could be doing better, but they have to be thrilled with their first season in the SEC.
Week 9 Opponent: Auburn
No. 8 — Vanderbilt Commodores
The Vanderbilt Commodores didn’t look great this year, and were supposed to win the close games they didn’t win in 2011 under their senior offensive leadership. They can be .500 this weekend with an easy win, but losing to the Northwestern Wildcats really killed the season from the start.
Week 9 Opponent: UMass
No. 9 — Arkansas Razorbacks
I don’t know if it will happen or not, but it sure can. We’re learning now that Rutgers Scarlet Knights are a very good team. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks are a good team. The Arkansas Razorbacks are a great team who can still right their ship. They currently have a 2-2 conference record and could play out strong and make a bowl.
Week 9 Opponent: Ole Miss
No. 10 — Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee has a great quarterback to receiver combo, but after that, there’s a huge drop-off. Losing three games in a row hasn’t helped their cause. It could have been the year in Knoxville. Doesn’t get easier this week.
Week 9 Opponent: South Carolina
No. 11 — Ole Miss Rebels
It’s possible that the Ole Miss Rebels could have a leg up on other teams as they’ve only played three conference games so far, and do sport a winning record. Their record the rest of the way isn’t favorable though, with Vanderbilt looking like their only possibility at a win.
Week 9 Opponent: Arkansas
No. 12 — Kentucky Wildcats
Injuries have hit Kentucky hard this season. All-in-all, Joker Philips has done a pretty decent job considering. The Wildcats vie for SEC respect and their first conference win of the year.
Week 9 Opponent: Missouri
No. 13 — Missouri Tigers
Injuries. It’s a word Gary Pinkel doesn’t like at all anymore. Mizzou has been a huge disappointment so far in the SEC season. They hope to get their first SEC win on Homecoming.
Week 9 Opponent: Kentucky
No. 14 — Auburn Tigers
To fire Gene Chizik, or not to fire him? That seems to be the only debate for the Auburn Tigers. Just an opinion here, but with three 5-star recruits committed, I’d give him one more year as to not risk losing these guys. True that Chizik has led top recruiting fail in the past, so if 2013 starts out anything like this year, give him the ax.
Week 9 Opponent: Texas A&M