Written by Ryan Lippert
This past week of college football provided us some crazy shake ups at the top of the rankings. This is especially true in the Southeastern Conference. From major upsets to big time finishes, this past week has made things very interesting in the outlook of this conference. With that being said, here is how my SEC Power Rankings look heading into week eight of the college football season.
1. Alabama (6-0):
I feel like I might as well copy and paste for the top spot every week. Alabama showed once again that they are the best team in the country this past weekend with a 47-28 victory over Texas A&M. Tua Tagovailoa continued his path to being a Heisman finalist, throwing for 293 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception. This team is just too good on both sides of the ball and I see them continuing their dominance this week against Tennessee.
2. LSU (6-0):
After a lot of back and forth thinking between LSU and Georgia all season, this past week made it clear that LSU is not only the second best team in the conference but also in the country. In what was a very exciting game, the Tigers took over in the fourth quarter, coming away with a 42-28 victory over Florida. Quarterback Joe Burrow showed once again that he is a legit Heisman contender and first round draft prospect, throwing for 293 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions against a very talented Florida secondary. They look to continue their dominance this week on the road against Mississippi State.
3. Florida (6-1):
Speaking of that great game on Saturday night, Florida has finally convinced me that they are legit. Even in the loss, the Gators looked like a true top contender for the SEC East title. Although it wasn’t quite enough, quarterback Kyle Trask showed that he can play big in big games, throwing for 310 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. They will look to get back on track this week on the road against South Carolina.
4. Georgia (5-1):
In the biggest SEC upset since 2014, Georgia was stunned at home this past week in a 20-17 loss to South Carolina in double overtime. Nothing seemed to go Georgia’s way on Saturday as Jake Fromm threw for 295 yards with only one touchdown and three interceptions. On top of that, the usually automatic Rodrigo Blakenship missed a 42-yard field goal to force a third overtime. The only positive thing is that it is only one loss and they are still neck and neck with Florida at the top of the SEC East. The Bulldogs will look to get going in the right direction this week with a home game against Kentucky.
5. Auburn (5-1):
The Auburn Tigers had a much needed bye week this past weekend after suffering their first loss of the season to Florida. They look to get things back on track this weekend as they go on the road against a struggling 2-4 Arkansas team. I look for freshman quarterback Bo Nix to find his groove again and torch this Arkansas defense in what should be an easy win.
6. Missouri (5-1):
Missouri is a team that has impressed me even more than I thought they would this season. Most of my reason for being high on them was the addition of Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant. Bryant had a huge bounce back game this past week after leaving with an injury the week before, throwing for 329 yards, one touchdown, and an interception in a 38-27 victory over Ole Miss. Running back Larry Rountree III also had a huge game, rushing for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers have yet another game that they should dominate this weekend on the road against a terrible Vanderbilt team.
7. South Carolina (3-3):
South Carolina but the Southeastern Conference and the entire country on notice this past weekend as they pulled off a stunning upset on the road against the #3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Their defense showed that they are legit, forcing Jake Fromm to throw three interceptions. All three of those interceptions were made by sophomore defensive back, Israel Mukuamu, who was also second on the team with 11 tackles. They have another huge test this weekend with a home game against Florida. If they can somehow pull out a win, it will be a very interesting conversation this time next week.
8. Texas A&M (3-3):
The Aggies unfortunately ran into the machine that is the Alabama Crimson Tide this past weekend. They suffered their third loss of the season, all being at the hands of a top ten ranked opponent, 47-28. Although the scoreboard didn’t show it, quarterback Kellen Mond still put together an impressive performance against a very good Alabama defense. Mond threw for 264 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions, while also rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown. They will have what should be an easy rebound game this weekend on the road against Ole Miss.
9. Kentucky (3-3):
After a much needed bye week, the Wildcats finally seem to be back on the right track, picking up what I believed to be a must-win victory over Arkansas 24-20. The big story from this win is Lynn Bowden Jr., who made the switch from star wide receiver to starting quarterback. The former high school quarterback threw for only 78 yards and a touchdown but did his damage on the ground, rushing for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Bowden will look to lead this new-look offense into a very hostile environment on the road against Georgia, who will be looking to bounce back from that upset loss to South Carolina.
10. Tennessee (2-4):
After starting off the season looking like they were headed for a last place finish in the SEC, Tennessee has improved tremendously the past few weeks. They picked up their second win of the season this past week with a 20-10 victory over Mississippi State. Following the injury to new starting quarterback Brian Maurer, the man he replaced, Jarrett Guarantano stepped in and threw for 106 yards and a touchdown. However, it was the Tennessee defense who stepped up in this one, forcing three interceptions, and holding star running back Kylin Hill to only 13 rushing yards. Unfortunately, this excitement probably won’t last long as they go on the road to Alabama this weekend.
11. Mississippi State (3-3):
After getting off to a hot start this season, the Bulldogs have gone downhill quickly the past few weeks. They suffered a 20-10 loss in what should’ve been a very winnable game against Tennessee. The main reason for their struggles is that they can’t figure out their quarterback situation. Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens was supposed to be the answer but was benched after throwing for only 67 yards and two interceptions. Garrett Shrader didn’t do much better, throwing for 79 yards, a touchdown, and one interception. They will need to pull things together quickly as they have a home game against LSU this weekend.
12. Ole Miss (3-4):
Ole Miss is a team that has been up and down this season. They suffered their fourth loss of the season to a very good Missouri team 38-27 this past week. One bright spot in this loss was freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee who showed his dual threat ability once again, throwing for 103 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 143 yards and two touchdowns. They will look to try to get back on track this week with a tough home game against Texas A&M.
13. Arkansas (2-4):
The Razorbacks are a team that just can’t seem to pull it all together. They suffered their second straight four-point SEC loss this past weekend in a 24-20 loss to Kentucky. The one positive from this game was that former Last Chance U star running back Rakeem Boyd finally got on track, rushing for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, Arkansas is another team that can’t figure out their quarterback situation, as both Ben Hicks and Nick Starkel struggled when given their opportunities. Things will only get harder for the Razorbacks as they have a very tough home game against Auburn this weekend.
14. Vanderbilt (1-5):
I wanted to have some hope for the Commodores this season as they seemed to have some talent, including a top running back prospect in Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Unfortunately, I have been proven wrong in a huge way when it comes to this team. They suffered an embarrassing 34-10 loss at home to a UNLV team that they should’ve been able to blow out. Vaughn rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown but he simply just doesn’t have any help. Unless things change dramatically, Vanderbilt might be looking at another ugly loss at home this weekend against a very good Missouri team.