Written by Ryan Lippert
College football fans, we are getting closer and closer to the end of the regular season. Things will start to get interesting in the next few weeks as we still have many teams fighting to get in the College Football Playoff. Per usual, the Southeastern Conference title race will make a big impact on the final playoff standings. With that being said, let’s take a look at how things are shaping up in my SEC Power Rankings.
1. Alabama (8-0):
I know that LSU passed up Alabama in the AP poll but I simply couldn’t do it just yet. Although they played a terrible Arkansas team, the Crimson Tide kept things rolling even without Tua at quarterback. In his absence, Mac Jones threw for 235 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions in a 49-7 route of the Razorbacks. They will have a huge bye week this week before having everything on the line next weekend against LSU. Hopefully for the Crimson Tide, Tua will be able to return.
2. LSU (8-0):
As I just said, I couldn’t put LSU above Alabama just yet but it was very close. The Tigers made a case for themselves once again last week in a close 23-20 victory over a talented Auburn team. Quarterback Joe Burrow continued his Heisman campaign, throwing for 321 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. He was helped by a huge game on the ground from junior running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who finished with 136 yards and a touchdown. All eyes will be on the Tigers next weekend as they will get their opportunity to prove that they are the best team in the country against Alabama.
3. Florida (7-1):
The Florida Gators are the team that everyone will have their eyes on this weekend. Coming off the bye week, they have the opportunity to show the entire country that they are legit. They will face the Georgia Bulldogs at home this weekend for the SEC East title. If Florida wins this game, they will obviously be in the SEC Championship but will also likely be in the College Football Playoff discussion.
4. Georgia (6-1):
Just like Florida, all eyes will be on this Georgia Bulldogs team this weekend. After looking shaky at times this season, they have the opportunity to silence all the doubters and show why they were picked as the favorites to win the SEC East. In order to win this game, they will need a huge performance from Jake Fromm as he tries to make his case as a first round draft pick. Like I mentioned with Florida, a win by Georgia will make things very interesting in the College Football Playoff debate.
5. Auburn (6-2):
Even though they lost, the Auburn Tigers proved that they are a very talented team this past weekend. They played neck and neck with the top ranked LSU Tigers down to the very end, losing the game 23-20. Freshman quarterback Bo Nix played a decent game throwing for 157 yards, one touchdown, and an interception, but they were led by their defense who held a very talented LSU offense to 20 points. The Tigers have a big opportunity to get back on track this weekend with a home game against Ole Miss.
6. Texas A&M (5-3):
The Aggies showed me this past weekend that they are the best team outside of the five powerhouses in the SEC. They had a huge 49-30 win at home over Mississippi State. Quarterback Kellen Mond put on a show against the Bulldogs, throwing for 234 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions while also rushing for 76 yards and two touchdowns. They will have what should be an easy win this weekend at home against UTSA.
7. Kentucky (4-4):
My biggest jump in the power rankings this week is the Kentucky Wildcats. After a rough offensive performance against Georgia, the Wildcats bounced back this past weekend in a 29-7 victory over Missouri. Wide receiver turned quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. dominated against the Tigers, rushing for 204 yards and two touchdowns. They will have a bye week this week to get ready for a huge rivalry game against Tennessee next weekend.
8. Missouri (5-3):
After getting off to an impressive start this season, the Tigers have taken two tough SEC losses in a row. Missouri was embarrassed on the road this past weekend against Kentucky in a 29-7 blowout. Quarterback Kelly Bryant struggled in the rain, throwing for only 130 yards and a touchdown. On top of that, their defense had no answer for Lynn Bowden Jr. The Tigers will have a much needed bye week this week before going on the road to face Georgia next weekend.
9. Tennessee (3-5):
If I could give a most-improved award in the SEC, I would give it to the Tennessee Volunteers. After looking like they were easily the worst team in the conference to start the season, they have turned things up a notch the past few weeks. The Volunteers picked up a huge SEC win at home this past weekend with a 41-21 victory over South Carolina. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano led the way, throwing for 229 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. They will have a decent test at home this weekend against a solid 6-1 UAB team.
10. South Carolina (3-5):
Things have gone downhill for the Gamecocks following their upset victory over Georgia. They dropped their second game in a row this past weekend in a 41-21 loss to Tennessee. Quarterback Ryan Hilinski played a decent game, throwing for 319 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough as they couldn’t keep Tennessee off the scoreboard. They have a chance to get back on track this weekend with a home game against the 2-5 Vanderbilt Commodores.
11. Ole Miss (3-5):
The Rebels are a team that has been sneaky competitive this season but just simply hasn’t been able to put it all together. Following a bye week, they will have yet another tough task ahead of them with a road game against an Auburn team that is coming off a tough loss. Unless the Rebels can shock the country, they will likely be sitting in this same spot or lower next week.
12. Mississippi State (3-5):
While Tennessee is the most improved team, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are the biggest disappointment. After what looked like a very promising start to their season, the Bulldogs have now lost four straight games. They took a tough 49-30 loss to Texas A&M this past weekend. Running back Kylin Hill put on a nice performance, rushing for 150 yards and a touchdown but it just simply wasn’t enough as their defense couldn’t stop Kellen Mond. The Bulldogs should be able to get a much needed win this weekend on the road against a terrible Arkansas team.
13. Vanderbilt (2-5):
Following their upset win over Missouri, the Commodores had a bye week this past week so they didn’t get a chance to move up in the rankings. After struggling for most of the season, they have finally gotten star running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn going in the past few weeks. They will need a big game out of him this weekend as they have a very winnable game on the road against a struggling South Carolina team.
14. Arkansas (2-6):
As I have already mentioned a couple times in this article, this Arkansas team is terrible. Although, they weren’t expected to put up much of a fight, the Razorbacks were embarrassed on the road this past weekend in a 48-7 loss to an Alabama team playing with their back up quarterback. They struggled once again at the quarterback position as Nick Starkel threw for 58 yards and three interceptions. Back up John Stephen Jones wasn’t much of an improvement as he only threw for 49 yards and a touchdown. They will need to figure things out this weekend as they have a home game against a struggling Mississippi State team that will be hungry for a win.