Post Week 5 SEC Power Rankings

jennigns-catch

Oct. 1, 2016; Athens, GA; Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15) carried by teammates Kyle Phillips (5) and Charles Mosley (78) after making a last-second touchdown catch to defeat Georgia 34-31. Photo: John Bazemore, AP

14. Mississippi State
Last Week Rank: 14th
Last Week Result: Bye

Mississippi State had their bye week this past Saturday and unfortunately for them, no other team in the bottom of the pact of the SEC played poorly enough to take over the number 14 spot. The Bulldogs will have a tough test this weekend as they face off against an Auburn team that has won their last two games, including a victory over LSU.

13. Kentucky
Last Week Rank: 11th
Last Week Result: Loss to Alabama 34-6

The Wildcats are close to solidifying there place as not only one of the worst teams in the SEC, but the entire country. Kentucky played Alabama better than I thought they would, however; that does not change my opinion of them. Kentucky will play host to SEC foe Vanderbilt on Saturday for a matchup that will be known as “The World’s Biggest Pillow Fight Part 2,” and it will surely expose who is the worst of the worst.

12. Vanderbilt
Last Week Rank: 12th
Last Week Result: Loss to Florida 13-6

Derek Mason’s Commodores have probably been one of the most boring teams to watch this season. Florida visited Nashville this past weekend where Vandy was able to give the Gators a close game for the second year in a row, nevertheless, their efforts came up short, and I wasted three hours of my life on Saturday watching a boring excuse for a football game. Aside from star running back Ralph Webb, this team does not have much going for them. Vanderbilt’s season is still salvageable, though, and a win against Kentucky this weekend would help get things moving in the right direction.

11. South Carolina
Last Week Rank: 13th
Last Week Result: Loss to Texas A&M 24-13

Do not get me wrong, South Carolina is a bad football team, but their play against Texas A&M last week is what helped them jump two spots to number 11. The Aggies were missing several of their starters for this game, but the fact remains that South Carolina put up one hell of a fight, and they did not lie down like many people thought they would. In the overall scheme of things, all this means is that of the four worst teams in the SEC, the Gamecocks are the best of them.

10. Missouri
Last Week Rank: 10th
Last Week Result: Loss to LSU 42-7

If it were not for the fact that the four teams behind Missouri were so bad, the Tigers would have definitely dropped in the rankings. I, for one, am not going to bash on Missouri for this loss, even though it was pretty nasty. LSU was coming out for their first game without Les Miles and were on an emotional high, which ultimately led to the throttling of Missouri. I do not think many people had picked the Tigers to win this game anyways. Missouri will be entering their bye week and I am sure they are happy to get a break following their last performance.

9. Auburn
Last Week Rank: 7th
Last Week Result: Win over UL Monroe 58-7         

The Auburn Tigers drop two spots this week, and unfortunately for them, it is not because they played bad, but rather other teams played better against tougher competition. Auburn should be fine moving forward, and I foresee their stock rising, for sure. For now, though, Auburn will sit as the 9th best team in the conference entering week 6 of the college football season. Auburn will travel to Starkville, MS to battle the Bulldogs this weekend, and for all intents and purposes, should come away with a win.

8. Georgia
Last Week Rank: 8th
Last Week Result: Loss to Tennessee 34-31

Emotions ran high last weekend as the Bulldogs dropped a heartbreaker to Tennessee. Georgia quarterback, Jacob Eason, threw a 47 yard dime to freshman receiver Riley Ridley for the go ahead score with 10 seconds left on the clock, only to give up the game winning hail mary pass to finish off one of the wildest games I have ever seen. Despite the fact that Georgia lost, they did look vastly improved from their matchup with Ole Miss. Not to mention Jacob Eason proved why he will be a force to be reckoned with for at least the next two years. Georgia will take on South Carolina this weekend and look to get back in the win column.

7. LSU
Last Week Rank: 9th
Last Week Result: Win over Missouri 42-7

The LSU Tigers played their first game without Les Miles since 2004 on Saturday, and it went about as well as it possibly could have. Interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron got the team fired up and they dominated Missouri, setting a new school record for total yards in single game with 634. Despite Fournette not playing, LSU still managed to run the ball for 418 yards as a team. Was this a fluke? Or will this be the LSU team that shows up the rest of the season? It is hard to imagine LSU running the ball this much on their western conference opponents, so that will mean that LSU will have to be able to pass the ball with more efficiency, and until I see that, I refuse to put LSU back inside the top 5. However, the Tigers will be in Gainesville this weekend, and if they are able to fight off the Florida Gators, they will most certainly be in consideration.

6. Florida
Last Week Rank: 5th
Last Week Result: Win over Vanderbilt 13-6

For the second year in a row, the Commodores were able to give Florida a scare, taking the game into the fourth quarter and even getting a chance to tie the game. Jim Mcelwain was able to hold on, though, and gain the victory. For as good as Florida’s defense has been this year, their offense has been the polar opposite. It is still unsure about Luke Del Rio’s health, but at this point in the season, I am not sure it would make a difference. Florida will host an LSU team that is currently trying to discover their identity, unfortunately for Florida, they might have found it last week when they were disposing of Missouri.

5. Arkansas
Last Week Rank: 6th
Last Week Result: Win over Alcorn State 52-10

Arkansas is starting to enter that part of the calendar that they love. The later the season get, usually the better the Razorbacks play. This theory could be put to rest this weekend, as the Alabama Crimson Tide will be coming for a visit. I for one think Arkansas can win this game, it will not be easy, but it is definitely doable. If Arkansas can maximize their red zone efforts and start punching the ball in the end zone when they get to the goal line, this team could be very dangerous. Alabama opened up as a 14 point favorite, and at the very least I look for Arkansas to cover.

4. Ole Miss
Last Week Rank: 3rd
Last Win Result: Win over Memphis 48-28

Ole Miss had their revenge game against Memphis on Saturday, and handled business as expected. The Memphis team the Rebels played this year, while still a good team, were not on the same level as the team last season. Ole Miss still appears to be one of the best teams in the nation, while also having the best quarterback in the SEC on their team too. That loss to Florida State is looking a lot worse this week than last, though, as Florida State lost their second game of the season to the North Carolina Tar Heels. The loss to Florida State could have been considered a “quality loss” a few weeks ago, but it is looking worse and worse each week. Ole Miss enters their bye week, and will have to travel for back to back games when they return, as they get into the heart of their schedule.

3. Tennessee
Last Week Rank: 4th
Last Week Result: Win over Georgia 34-31

Tennessee has just found ways to win this season. They have not been the prettiest of victories, but regardless, Butch Jones and company have been able to get the job done. Tennessee is coming off of a game that will go down in history as one of the greatest games in the history of the rivalry. Many people have already labeled the hail mary pass as “The Dobbnail Boot.” The game versus Georgia is no doubt an instant classic, but Tennessee cannot spend time recollecting on the win, because if the Vols do not figure out a way to play two complete halves of football Texas A&M will handle Tennessee with ease. Tennessee will be traveling to College Station, Texas, along with College Gameday who will be covering a Tennessee game for the third time this season. This game has the makings of a shootout, but at the same time it could just as easily be a defensive battle, and that is what makes this game so exciting.

2. Texas A&M
Last Week Rank: 2nd
Last Week Result: Win over South Carolina 24-13

An injury depleted Texas A&M team went to South Carolina last week, and while the score may suggest otherwise, the Aggies had the game locked up the entire time. The game was never in question, in my opinion, despite the score being so close for most of the game. A&M was without many of their starters and it could have even been considered a tune up game for Tennessee this week. Texas A&M will play host to the Vols this week when Tennessee travels to play at Kyle Field for the first time in school history. Tennessee does lead the all-time series two games to none, but the Aggies have the edge heading into this matchup. Sumlin’s squad is capable of playing a complete game, something Tennessee has yet to do. Furthermore, Texas A&M’s receivers should outmatch Tennessee’s secondary, the question just remains if whether or not the Aggie o-line can block the defensive front of the Volunteers. Without going into all the details and different matchups, this game could be the best of the weekend.

1. Alabama
Last Week Rank: 1st
Last week Result: Win over Kentucky 34-6

Once again Alabama sits atop the Coaches and AP Polls, along with the T&T Power Rankings. The Crimson tide have handled every opponent they have faced so far, and they have done it convincingly. Kentucky was no match for Alabama and it probably felt like they were playing Kent State again, not an SEC opponent. Alabama will be tested this weekend, however; and if the Tide want to stay at the top they will need to hold off the Razorbacks and not get caught looking ahead to their trip to Knoxville when they battle the Vols. I really doubt that this will happen, for Nick Saban is the best coach in the world at getting his team prepared to play, but regardless, while I am not expecting it to happen, I would not be surprised if they lost.

-Treigh

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