SEC Power Rankings: Week 4

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Sept. 24, 2016; Auburn, AL; Auburn team members joined in on the field for a post-game prayer after beating LSU 18-13 at Jordan Hare Stadium.

14. Mississippi State – It is crazy to think that this team was actually thriving last season, considering where they are at now. Only four games in and this already could be a season that many State fans are wanting to forget. Dan Mullen and his Bulldogs are coming off of a game in which they played UMASS in Gillette Stadium where they surrendered 35 points to the Minutemen, that is equal to the amount of points UMASS has scored in their first three games combined. This performance, along with a terrible loss to South Alabama in week one is why Mississippi State is the worst team in the SEC.

13. South Carolina – The next three teams on this list could honestly go in any order, but for the time being the Gamecocks belong at number 13 after only managing to score 10 points on what is more than likely the worst defense in the nation. South Carolina does have a conference win over Vanderbilt, but other than that game, South Carolina has looked mediocre at best.

12. Vanderbilt – Coming into the season Vanderbilt was, at least in my opinion, a lock to go bowling. However, a loss to South Carolina week one could very possibly derail their plans. Not to mention that Vandy was nearly able to squeak through with a win against Western Kentucky. While they might be sitting at 2-2 right now, I honestly only see two more winnable games for Vanderbilt the rest of the season.

11. Kentucky – The Kentucky Wildcats are my week 4 best, worst team in the conference. That is right, out of all the terrible teams in the SEC, I think that Kentucky is the best one out of them, which is not saying much. Nevertheless, Kentucky did just beat South Carolina in the biggest pillow fight in college football until they face off against Vandy. Congrats Kentucky, you are not the worst team in the SEC.

10. Missouri – Missouri definitely looks like they could be ranked higher than tenth on this list, however, they still do not have a conference win. The Tigers look a lot better off than where they were at last season, but just because you blew out Delaware State 79-0 does not mean you are all that good. Their showdown with LSU this coming Saturday will tell a lot about this team, but I still expect Missouri to take the loss.

9. LSU – It does not seem that long ago that everyone was picking LSU to win the West. Well that thought is nothing but a distant memory now that Les Miles has been ousted and Ed Oregon has taken over as interim head coach. Obviously, the Tigers have the best running back in the country on their team, but when all you can do is run the ball, it doesn’t take much for the defensive to figure out how to stop it.

8. Georgia – The Bulldogs are in an interesting spot. They opened the season with a good win against North Carolina, but they have not looked the same since. Kirby Smart and his team struggled mightily against one of the worst FCS schools in the country in Nichols State, squandered past Missouri on a fourth quarter-game winning drive, and then got blown out by Ole Miss. Chubb’s health is also an issue at this point, and while I think Georgia will play tough with Tennessee, if they do not have Chubb they do not stand a chance.

7. Auburn – The Auburn Tigers finally won a home game on Saturday when they defeated LSU, which probably saved Gus Malzahn’s job for the time being. Auburn plays one of the toughest schedules in the entire country and so far they are at about where I thought they would be. The defense looks fantastic, now if Malzahn could only figure out his QB situation this team would stand a solid chance.

6. Arkansas – The Razorbacks are another tricky team in the SEC. Early on they were a team many were picking to give Alabama a run for their money, which they still very much can. The run game is crucial when it comes to Bielema’s offense, and at the end of the day they just were not able to keep up with Texas A&M. I look to see this team make a strong push towards the end of the season though and finish in the top three of the division.

5. Florida – Teez (Jalen) Tabor and Quincy Wilson were among some of the Florida players who partook in smack talking the Volunteers prior to Saturday. After the Gators blew a 21-3 lead at halftime, however; I doubt we will hear much smack talk at all coming from these two anymore. Regardless, Florida still has a very good defense and with a healthy Del Rio, Florida’s SEC East hopes are still alive.

4. Tennessee – While faltering in two of their first three games, many experts believed the preseason hype for Tennessee was not warranted. After Saturday, though, Tennessee put most of these thoughts to rest, as they racked up 38 unanswered points against college football’s top ranked defense. Tennessee still has a long way to go, including back-to-back-to-back games against ranked opponents. Still, Tennessee is 4-0 for the first time since 2004 and are the clear frontrunners to win the SEC East crown.

3. Ole Miss – If Ole Miss only had to play a single half instead of a full game, they would be ranked number one easily. Unfortunately, The Rebels have dwindled away two double-digit leads against good ranked opponents. Now that the toughest part of Ole Miss’s schedule is behind them, and Chad Kelly should be able to lead this dynamic offense to at least six more wins on the season. Also, I feel bad for Memphis this Saturday as Ole Miss will work them over for what happened last season.

2. Texas A&M – Coach Kevin Sumlin started the year on the hot seat for the Aggies, but he has them on pace now for their best season since Johnny Manziel was enrolled. Transfer QB Trevor Knight has been a bright sport for A&M, to go along with their receiving core, whom many believe to be the best in the country. While Texas A&M started the season hot and just capped off a victory against Arkansas, there will still be plenty of tests left for this team to prove they are legit, but as far as I am concerned, they are the real deal and they have a legit chance to dethrone Alabama as the King of the West.

1. Alabama – To nobody’s surprise, Alabama reigns supreme in the SEC, for now. Alabama certainly has some tough matchups upcoming, including a stretch of three straight against Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. The way it looks right now this stretch could be the deciding factor for Alabama. For now, though, Saban’s focus is on Kentucky and I would not be surprised if they hung 60 on them.

-Treigh

 

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