Written by Ryan Lippert
College football fans, this season has gone by way too fast! As we head into the second to last week of the 2019 college football regular season, things are really heating up in the College Football Playoff rankings. With that in mind, I will say it once again, these rankings revolve around the Southeastern Conference. Although there are only two weeks left, we still have multiple big-time matchups in this conference that could have a huge impact on the playoff picture. While things could easily change in these rankings in the coming weeks, let’s take a look at how my SEC Power Rankings stand heading into Week 13 of the college football season.
1. LSU (10-0):
The one thing that is clear to me about this college football season so far is that the LSU Tigers are the best team in the country. They followed their huge statement win over Alabama with a dominant 58-37 victory on the road against Ole Miss this past weekend. Quarterback Joe Burrow continued his Heisman campaign, throwing for 489 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. He benefited from a huge game from sophomore wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase who finished with eight receptions for 227 yards and three touchdowns. Junior running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire also had a big game, running the ball 23 times for 172 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers will look to continue their dominance with a home game against an awful Arkansas team this weekend.
2. Alabama (9-1):
I know Georgia is ranked over Alabama in both the College Football Playoff and AP rankings but I just can’t put them over the Crimson Tide just yet. Alabama bounced back from their devastating loss to LSU by cruising to 38-7 victory on the road against Mississippi State this past weekend. Unfortunately, they still took a huge loss as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa left the game in the first half with a hip injury and has been ruled out for the rest of the season. In his absence, Mac Jones went 7/11 throwing the ball for 94 yards. Running back Najee Harris picked up the slack, rushing for 88 yards for three touchdowns off 17 carries. Jones will have what should be a good tune-up game as the starting quarterback in a home game against Western Carolina this Saturday.
3. Georgia (9-1):
As I just mentioned, I can’t put Georgia over Alabama just yet. However, it is very close as the Bulldogs are sitting at fourth in the College Football Playoff rankings and control their own destiny. The Bulldogs picked up a huge statement win on the road this past weekend with a 21-14 victory over a talented Auburn team. Quarterback Jake Fromm only threw for 110 yards but did connect on three touchdown passes. It was the Georgia defense that stepped up in this game as they held Auburn to 84 total rushing yards and made the stops when it mattered down the stretch. Georgia will have another big test this weekend with a home game against a Texas A&M team that is talented enough to spoil the Bulldogs’ season.
4. Florida (9-2):
Although they aren’t in the College Football Playoff race anymore, the Florida Gators are still playing for a good bowl game. They continued to make their case for one of those games in a 23-6 victory on the road against Missouri this past weekend. Quarterback Kyle Trask led the way for the Gators, throwing for 282 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Their defense also stepped up when they were needed, holding the Tigers to 256 yards of total offense and forcing Kelly Bryant to throw an interception. The Gators have a bye week this weekend before hosting their in-state rival, the Florida State Seminoles, next weekend.
5. Auburn (7-3):
The Auburn Tigers have been a team that is very talented this season but just hasn’t been able to close out in the bigger SEC matchups. This was the case once again this weekend as they took a close 21-14 loss at home to the Georgia Bulldogs. Freshman quarterback Bo Nix had another solid performance, throwing for 245 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions while also rushing for 42 yards and a touchdown. He benefited from a nice performance from sophomore wide receiver Seth Williams who finished with 13 receptions for 121 yards. However, that wasn’t enough as they were the only two players on offense that could get anything going. They will have a chance to bounce back this weekend with a home game against Samford.
6. Texas A&M (7-3):
Nothing changes in the top six for my SEC Power Rankings this week. The Aggies continued to show that they are the best team in this conference outside the top five with a 30-6 home victory over South Carolina. Quarterback Kellen Mond led the way with 221 passing yards for one touchdown and zero interceptions, along with 47 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. They also had two running backs that both had impressive performances in sophomore Cordarrian Richardson and freshman Isaiah Spiller. Richardson ran the ball six times for 130 yards and a touchdown while Spiller had 24 carries for 129 yards. The Aggies will have a chance to play spoiler this weekend with a road game against the fourth ranked Georgia Bulldogs.
7. Tennessee (5-5):
As I have said the past few weeks, the Tennessee Volunteers are the most improved team in the Southeastern Conference. They had a bye week this past weekend following a huge win against Kentucky. This week, they will look to continue to show the college football world that they are a much different team than they were to start the season. The Volunteers will go on the road this weekend to face a struggling Missouri team in a game that would give them bowl eligibility with a win.
8. Kentucky (5-5):
Following a tough loss at home to Tennessee two weeks ago, the Kentucky Wildcats bounced back in a huge way this past weekend. The Wildcats picked what I believe to be a must-win victory on the road with a 38-14 win over Vanderbilt. Wide receiver turned dual-threat quarterback, Lynn Bowden Jr., led this Kentucky offense, throwing for 104 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions while rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown. Freshman running back Christopher Rodriguez had the best game of his career so far, running the ball 15 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns. The Wildcats have a chance to officially become bowl eligible this weekend with a home game against UT-Martin.
9. Missouri (5-5):
The Missouri Tigers are a team that I had high expectations for this year but has had a lot of ups and downs to this point in the season. The suffered a tough 23-6 loss at home this past weekend to a very talented Florida team. After missing the previous game with a hamstring injury, quarterback Kelly Bryant struggled in his return, throwing for 204 yards, zero touchdowns, and an interception. They also struggled to get anything going on the ground, finishing with only 52 total rushing yards. The Tigers have a home game this weekend against a much-improved Tennessee team in which both teams will be seeking a win to make themselves bowl eligible.
10. South Carolina (4-7):
South Carolina is a team that has been sneaky competitive in this conference this season but has struggled the past couple weeks. The Gamecocks are now on a two-game losing streak after taking a 30-6 loss on the road against a very good Texas A&M team. Quarterback Ryan Hilinski struggled to get anything going against the Aggies, throwing for 175 yards and zero touchdowns. To make matters worse for this Gamecocks offense, their run game was completely shut down as they only finished with 45 total rushing yards. As they now have zero chance of becoming bowl eligible, the Gamecocks will have a bye week before hosting their in-state rival, the third ranked Clemson Tigers next weekend.
11. Mississippi State (4-6):
After getting off to a solid start to their season, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have completely fallen apart in conference play. Although it was expected, the Bulldogs took a huge 38-7 loss at home against Alabama this past weekend. Star running back Kylin Hill couldn’t get anything going as he was held to 35 yards and a touchdown off 16 carries. They also couldn’t find any luck in the passing game as quarterback Tommy Stevens threw for only 82 yards and an interception. The only positive for their offense is that Stevens was able to have a decent game on the ground with 10 carries for 96 yards. As bad as they have been lately, the Bulldogs somehow still have a chance to become bowl eligible if they win out with two very winnable home games against Abilene Christian and Ole Miss ahead of them.
12. Ole Miss (4-7):
The Ole Miss Rebels have been a team that has been competitive in some big games this season but hasn’t been able to close, and unfortunately their record shows it. They took a much expected 58-37 loss at home this past weekend against the top ranked LSU Tigers. Freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee struggled throwing the ball, finishing with 123 yards, zero touchdowns, and an interception. However, he made up for it on the ground rushing for an impressive 212 yards and four touchdowns off 21 carries. It unfortunately wasn’t enough as Joe Burrow and the high-powered LSU offense picked apart the Ole Miss defense. As they now have no chance to make a bowl game, the Rebels have a bye week before having a chance to go on the road to face their rival Mississippi State Bulldogs and keep them out of a bowl game.
13. Vanderbilt (2-8):
Coming into this season, I believed that the Vanderbilt Commodores had enough talent to be sneaky competitive and put together a solid number of wins. However, they have proved me wrong as they have struggled tremendously throughout the season. The Commodores continued their struggles this past weekend in a tough 38-14 loss at home against Kentucky. They struggled once to create room for star running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn to get going as he was held to 58 yards and a touchdown off twelve carries. Their offense also struggled in the passing game as quarterback Riley Neal threw for only 74 yards with zero touchdowns and an interception. To make matters worse, the Commodores’ defense allowed Kentucky to finish with a season-high 528 yards of total offense, with another season-high of 401 yards on the ground. Vanderbilt will look to bounce back and give their fans something to cheer about with a home game against East Tennessee State this weekend.
14. Arkansas (2-8):
I’ve said it all season and I’ll say it again, the Arkansas Razorbacks are a very,very bad football team. After suffering through seven straight losses in a row, Arkansas fans finally got a break from watching terrible football this past weekend as the Razorbacks had a bye week. However, that break from embarrassment will likely be short-lived as the Razorbacks go on the road this weekend to face the best team in the country, the LSU Tigers. Unless some type of miracle happens, that game should be over after the first quarter.