Week 8 SEC Power Rankings
Missouri Picks up Huge Win, Suffers Devastating Loss
If you were trying to convince a friend to watch college football, then this past weekend was certainly the week to get out to a game or sit in front of the TV and enjoy all that the sport had to offer. There were great theatrics from coast to coast, but especially in the SEC where a number of games provided edge-of-your-seat action.
Teams who were idle this week included Tennessee and Vanderbilt but other than that, we saw seven games featuring conference teams, with five inter-conference games and two featuring ranked opponents squaring off.
The big games of LSU vs. Florida and Georgia vs. Missouri lived up to the pregame billing and provided each team with a signature win this season. However, Missouri’s win came at a price as they lost starting quarterback James Franklin for the season. His absence from the lineup for the rest of the season made it interesting as to how I would evaluate this team moving forward.
Besides these marquee matchups, the Texas A&M and Ole Miss game intrigued me based on how tough the Rebels played them a year ago. This game went down to the final second as the home team gave the Aggies all they could handle, but came up just short.
14. Kentucky (1-5)
Kentucky lost 48-7 vs. Alabama on Saturday, but the bright side is that they won't lose this week as they are idle before traveling to Mississippi State on Oct. 24. The Wildcats' lone win is against a winless Miami (OH) team.
13. Arkansas (3-4)
It's now four straight losses for Arkansas as they are in the teeth of their schedule. It has taken the shine off their 3-0 start and won't get any easier with Alabama up this weekend. The potential is there to win three of their final four games to get bowl-eligible, but they need Brandon Allen to play much better at quarterback.
12. Mississippi State (3-3)
Mississippi State sneaked past Bowling Green by the narrowest of margins in their homecoming game this past weekend as Dan Mullen continues to rotate quarterbacks. He may have to make a firm decision to get the most out of his offense. This week's game vs. Kentucky is a must-win if the Bulldogs want to keep any hopes of a fourth straight bowl game alive.
11. Tennessee (3-3)
This week will be a huge test for Tennessee vs. South Carolina to see if their game against Georgia was a true building block or a blip on the radar. Tennessee is in their second week of a five-week stretch of games vs. ranked opponents.
10. Vanderbilt (3-3)
Vanderbilt was off last week after getting spanked by Missouri, and play three ranked opponents in the coming weeks with two on the road. This could ultimately end up being the start of a four-game losing streak.
9. Ole Miss (3-3)
For the second straight year, Ole Miss fell victim to a fourth-quarter comeback at the hands of Texas A&M. The Rebels still have a lot going for them, but with LSU coming this weekend, they will need to do a better job of closing games out. LSU beat Ole Miss in the final 15 seconds last year. After this week, the schedule softens considerably.
8. Auburn (5-1)
You can make a great case for Auburn to be ranked a spot or even two higher, and they have to be the conference's second biggest surprise after Missouri. We thought the offense would be good, and their No. 7 ranked rushing offense and 34 points per game suggest they are, but its the defense that has been a primary reason for their 5-1 start.
7. Florida (4-2)
Florida was kept out of the end zone at LSU as this offense made the Tigers look dominant for the first time all season. They play three ranked opponents in the next four weeks and four in the next six weeks as their season hangs in the balance.
6. Georgia (5-2)
Georgia had been dangerously close to losing in each of the previous games before hosting Missouri, and the Bulldogs ran out of fourth quarter magic without a number of offensive skill players. They've likely lost their chance at a BCS bid.
5. Missouri (6-0)
Missouri picked up the biggest win of the weekend in defeating Georgia, but in the process lost their quarterback James Franklin for the rest of the season. If Franklin was not injured, I would have them flipped with the team ranked directly ahead of them.
4. South Carolina (5-1)
After winning their previous games three games by a combined 20 points against inferior competition, South Carolina absolutely slaughtered Arkansas in both sides of the ball in their best game of the season.
3. Texas A&M (5-1)
The Aggies avoided the near upset at Ole Miss and were held to their lowest point total of the season in the process. Mind you it was still 41 points, and Johnny Manziel looks better this year than he did when he won the Heisman.
2. LSU (6-1)
LSU had its defense show up for the first time all season in their convincing win over Florida, which is a scary thought for their opponents with the way the Tigers' offense has been putting points up this season.