SEC Power Rankings: Week 9

Amari Cooper found plenty of wide-open spaces in the Tennessee secondary. (AP photo)

Amari Cooper found plenty of wide-open spaces in the Tennessee secondary. (AP photo)

I’ve put a lot of care and thought into this week’s SEC Power Rankings because I know the Selection Committee will use them to help pick this week’s first playoff rankings, which will be released at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

As you probably know, the SEC still holds three of the top four spots in the AP Top 25, even though Ole Miss was upset by LSU on Saturday night.

Here are the last SEC Power Rankings for October. Enjoy what should be a crazy November.

Mississippi State (No. 1 last week) – The path was a little sketchy at times, but the Bulldogs improved to 7-0 to hold onto the No. 1 spot in the land and, not surprising, the top of the heap here. They should be able to handle Arkansas on Saturday.

Alabama (No. 3) – Benefitting from Ole Miss’ loss, Alabama is the new No. 2. The Crimson Tide still have some areas that need work, especially on the defensive side, but when nothing else works, just find Amari Cooper running free through the secondary.

Auburn (No. 4) – What a fun game to watch Saturday night, but like so many other teams, the Tigers have to be concerned about their defense. Offense? No problem, as usual. Just give the ball to Nick Marshall. The “Land Sharks” lie in wait.

LSU (No. 6) – If you wanted to defeat LSU this year, you needed to play them before the weather turned brisk. The Tigers have won three straight since their disastrous trip to Auburn and have a week off before welcoming Alabama to Tiger Stadium.

Ole Miss (No. 2) – The Rebels had their chances, especially late, but Bo Wallace apparently didn’t make the safe throw and threw away their last chance at LSU. There’s no time to cry: Auburn comes to town this week (7 p.m., ESPN).

Georgia (No. 5) – LSU is playing better than the Bulldogs, so the Tigers jumped the Bulldogs. Georgia needs to come out of its off week with a strong showing against Florida. Expect round-the-clock Todd Gurley updates this week.

Missouri (No. 7) – News alert. Maty Mauk didn’t throw an interception. And somehow Missouri survived against Vanderbilt. The Tigers need to fix their offensive problems, but they remain right behind Georgia in the East, just waiting for the Bulldogs to slip and fall.

Kentucky (No. 8) – There was a ton of heart on display, but the Wildcats couldn’t keep up with Dak Prescott. Nobody will watch it, but Kentucky’s game at Missouri could be one of the conference’s best games on Saturday.

South Carolina (No. 9) – Three losses in four games have practically ruined the Gamecocks’ season, although QB Dylan Thompson is having a tremendous year (2,237 yards, 20 TDs). The defense, however, has been practically nonexistent.

Texas A&M (No. 10) – Another team with sudden interceptionitis, something I’m sure coach Kevin Sumlin worked on during the off week. Look for them to get back on track against Louisiana-Monroe this week.

Tennessee (No. 11) – So if the season isn’t going bad enough for the Vols, Josh Dobbs created a QB controversy with his strong performance against Alabama. Coach Butch Jones might as well play him since his redshirt has been burned.

Florida (No. 12) – Florida is 0-3 against Georgia under Will Muschamp. If they go 0-for-4, he won’t get a chance for a fifth chance. The Gators need a miracle turnaround for Muschamp to survive this season. Does new QB Treon Harris have that in him?

Arkansas (No. 13) – Arkansas deserves to drop below Vanderbilt for pulling that trick play against woefully outmanned UAB. The Razorbacks would have won that game without such deception. Expect their SEC streak of misery to reach 17 games at No. 1 Mississippi State.

Vanderbilt (No. 14) – Poor, pitiful Vanderbilt might finally cease its quest for a QB after Johnny McCrary’s strong performance against Missouri. He’s the fourth of four QBs to start this season. Derek Mason needs to stick with one.






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