It was a week of surprises and big wins in the SEC last week, and the new Power Rankings reflect this. Let’s dive right in.
No. 1 — Alabama Crimson Tide
Throwing an undefeated Mississippi State Bulldogs team into Tuscaloosa didn’t scare the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tide were able to control the running game early and T.J. Yeldon set a nice early tone with a solid touchdown. Mississippi State attempted to establish their run unsuccessfully and ultimately could not get any leverage in the field position battle. Alabama has been the class of the SEC so far, but their next opponent isn’t all that bad either.
Week 10 Opponent: LSU
No. 2 — LSU Tigers
Sitting idle for a week and moving up two positions isn’t a bad thing. The fact is that the LSU Tigers only have one loss and are full of confidence rolling into the massive Saturday night game against Alabama. Something to keep an eye on this week would be the potential return of guard Josh Williford, who’s missed the last two games but is questionable for this week. His return would be a solid plus.
Week 10 Opponent: Alabama
No. 3 — Georgia Bulldogs
Last week, I said that I couldn’t rank the Georgia Bulldogs higher than the South Carolina Gamecocks the rest of the season. That all changed after Georgia brought the Florida Gators‘ season to a screeching standstill. An amazing defensive performance is what stood out for the Dawgs. Coach Mark Richt warmed up the hot seat a little bit after losing to South Carolina in such bad fashion earlier this year, but the Florida win certainly quieted that talk for the rest of the season. A win for Georgia this weekend will have them leap into the No. 2 spot over the Alabama-LSU loser.
Week 10 Opponent: Ole Miss
No. 4 — Florida Gators
Still a dangerous team capable of beating anyone, head coach Will Muschamp emphasized that his team was going to have to learn how to deal with and respond to adversity. The Gators still have a BCS bowl to play for, but losing their critical game to Georgia takes them out of controlling their own destiny to Atlanta as well as shattered their national championship hopes. Luckily for the Gators, they will get a winnable game at home this week.
Week 10 Opponent: Missouri
No. 5 — South Carolina Gamecocks
The Gamecocks got the win on the field on Saturday, but no one in Columbia feels like a winner this week. The loss of their running back sensation Marcus Lattimore is going to greatly impact their ability to run the ball. Many players said that they played the rest of the game for Lattimore and they may just have that sentiment for the rest of the season.
Week 10 Opponent: BYE
No. 6 — Texas A&M Aggies
The Texas A&M Aggies showed no mercy this past Saturday, scoring early and often against an Auburn Tigers team who never looked good. Johnny Manziel continues to impress and is without question one of the top quarterbacks in the country. They could earn a huge feather in their cap by giving Mississippi State their second loss of the year.
Week 10 Opponent: Mississippi State
No. 7 — Mississippi State Bulldogs
It was just one loss, but it was the big “there we go” for fans around the SEC who were expecting the normal Mississippi State team to show up any time. The Bulldogs were bullied around the whole game by Alabama and never really looked like they controlled any aspect of the game at any time. The start was nice, but let’s see how the finish will be in Starkville.
Week 10 Opponent: Texas A&M
No. 8 — Vanderbilt Commodores
What a confidence builder thrashing the UMass Minutemen this past week. The Vanderbilt Commodores looked good, and although it was against a much lesser opponent, never underestimate the value of being able to go through the motions the right way and be surrounded by positive results. They’ll have a tough but winnable game this week on the road.
Week 10 Opponent: Kentucky
No. 9 — Ole Miss Rebels
The Ole Miss Rebels pulled out a gutsy performance on the road against the Arkansas Razorbacks in what was a back-and-forth battle. Did anyone notice that this team is 5-3? All the Rebs have to do is keep on winning and great things are going to happen. The only problem is their next opponent will make a simple “W” a little bit difficult.
Week 10 Opponent: Georgia
No. 10 — Tennessee Volunteers
It was a tough road game that was well played for the Tennessee Volunteers last week, and although they ended up with the loss, it was hard to move them down from their previous spot. It looked like this year was the return of Tennessee early on, but winless in the SEC and sitting with a losing record has deflated that balloon completely.
Week 10 Opponent: Troy
No. 11 — Arkansas Razorbacks
It’s been a rough year. I still do believe that this team has played significantly under what they are capable of. For those of you who are eternal optimists, Arkansas was officially eliminated from possibly winning the SEC West this past week. They’ll now try to squeeze three more wins out of the season and see if they can make a bowl.
Week 10 Opponent: Tulsa
No. 12 — Missouri Tigers
It was a big Homecoming for the Missouri Tigers as they finally got the SEC monkey off their backs and got their first conference win over the Kentucky Wildcats. Mizzou needs to score an upset against someone in November as well as handle their winnable game against the Syracuse Orangemen in November to become bowl eligible.
Week 10 Opponent: Florida
No. 13 — Kentucky Wildcats
Losing to Missouri really stunk as most viewed this as a winnable game. Still winless in the SEC, the Wildcats will press on. Their current record is a dismal 1-8.
Week 10 Opponent: Vanderbilt
No. 14 — Auburn Tigers
It’s real ugly for Auburn. It might be best to just watch Cam Newton play in the NFL for now–that and check the SEC headlines for news of Gene Chizik being fired after their last game.
Week 10 Opponent: New Mexico State