Week 10 SEC Power Rankings
Connor Shaw Leads Upset over Missouri, Shakeup at Top of SEC Power Rankings
Part of the appeal of college football is that every single week of the season we always get a surprise when we least expect it, and we got that again this week in the SEC. One week after one upset after another was the top storyline in the conference, an upset was the headline after this week as well as Missouri fell to South Carolina in double overtime.
The loss by last week’s No. 2 team in the power rankings continues a recent trend of highly-ranked teams losing, but then again that’s the nature of the beast in the toughest conference in the country. Great teams are going to lose to other great teams.
The exception to the rule so far this season is the two-time defending national champions in Alabama as the Crimson Tide are the only undefeated team in the conference and have clearly established themselves as the top team in the country and the conference.
The top is not in question and neither is the bottom as we saw on display on national television Thursday, but there are a couple groups in the middle class of the conference where there isn’t much separation.
With a month left in the regular season there is plenty of time for the separation to take place, but after nine weeks here is how the hierarchy of the SEC shakes out in this week’s power rankings.
14. Kentucky (1-6)
Mark Stoops has his work cut out for him at Kentucky to say the least. The good news is that Alabama State is on the schedule this week. The bad news is they are 6-2 and have scored more points in their last two games than Kentucky has scored in their last five.
13. Arkansas (3-5)
Arkansas was idle last week, and I wonder if Bret Bielema used the down time on Saturday to second-guess his decision to leave Wisconsin for this job. His team hosts Auburn this weekend, and an upset would go a long way toward some positive vibes in Fayetteville.
12. Mississippi State (4-3)
Not much separates the next three teams on my list, but I put Mississippi State here because their quality of wins isn't on par with the two ahead of them. The next three games are against ranked opponents with two on the road and the home game vs. Alabama, so the 'Dawgs will need to beat Arkansas and Ole Miss in their final two for a bowl bid for the fourth straight year.
11. Vanderbilt (4-4)
Vanderbilt took it on the chin against Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel as they gave up 56 points. They'll lick their wounds on a bye this week and need to split their final four--a safe bet--to get a bowl bid for a third straight year.
10. Tennessee (4-4)
Tennessee may have narrowed the gap against their SEC east foes, but they still have a long, long way to go to close the gap between them and Alabama who dominated from beginning to end against the Vols. They face their sixth ranked opponent of the year and fifth in the top 11 when they play Missouri on Saturday.
9. Florida (4-3)
Injuries have ravaged this Florida team, and with no chance of an SEC east title this year they will look to play spoiler vs. Florida State later in the season and win their rivalry game against Georgia on Saturday.
8. Georgia (4-3)
Similar to the team ranked one spot below them, Georgia has dealt with a myriad of injuries but hope to have star tailback, Todd Gurley back this weekend in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
7. Ole Miss (5-3)
A week after a huge upset vs. LSU, the Rebels hung 59 on an over-matched Idaho team and have a realistic shot of winning out and getting to nine wins. Missouri is their toughest remaining opponent, and they get them in Oxford.
6. Texas A&M (6-2)
A&M had no trouble with Vanderbilt and got back into the win column after their upset loss vs. Auburn a week earlier. They should win the next two rather easily but face stiff tests in LSU and Missouri to close out the regular season. Can they win out?
5. South Carolina (6-2)
South Carolina picked up the biggest win in the SEC with their double overtime win at Missouri after a gutsy performance by Connor Shaw. The Gamecocks still trail in the east race, but their remaining games are all at home, including the season finale vs. Clemson.
4. Missouri (7-1)
Missouri is a chip-shot field goal from potentially being 8-0 as they missed a game-tying field goal that would have forced a third overtime in their loss to South Carolina after blowing a 17-point fourth quarter lead.
3. LSU (7-2)
A week after losing at Ole Miss, the Tigers got back in the win column against Furman even though they looked sloppy in the first half against the inferior opponent. LSU is still looking to put together a complete game, and they'll hope that comes Nov. 9 at Alabama.
2. Auburn (7-1)
Not much separates the previous four teams and Auburn, but the Tigers have momentum on their side the past month since their loss at LSU. In fact, they're a bad first half in a torrential downpour away from potentially being unbeaten. They outscored LSU 21-14 in the second half after falling down 14-0 in the first five minutes and trailing 21-0 at half. Nick Marshall was injured vs. Florida Atlantic but should be ready for this week's game at Arkansas.
1. Alabama (8-0)
Head and shoulders the best team in the SEC, Alabama looks as good as they have over the past two seasons that resulted in BCS Championships. Besides their shootout with Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide defense has given up a ridiculous 36 points in seven games.