We have a good deal of movement in this week's power rankings. As much fun as this week was, we probably saw more questions get asked than answered. I am ranking the teams based on where they deserve to be considering their body of work through yesterday.
1. Alabama More style points for the top team in the conference. They did come against the worst team in the FBS and the Tide DID NOT cover, but at the end of the day, 45 - 3 is a good final score for national pollsters to see.
2. Louisiana State The Bayou Bengals came out and did what they needed to do after an emotionally draining loss last week. They dominated a team that they were supposed to dominate. On the road. In the brutal SEC. Maybe it was "only Mississippi State"; but it was a great game for the Tigers, a statement game. Is it fair to move them ahead of a team they just lost to? Absolutely, especially cosidering how far Georgia shot up in perception after beating SC. The big story for the Dawgs was - "Yeah, but they lost a squeaker to a top 10 team on the road!". Goose, meet gander...
3. Georgia The Georgia Bulldogs must be sleeping with a horse shoe, a four leaf clover and a rabbit foot. They really should have lost their game against Tennessee. Having a letdown after an emotional win is one thing, but almost losing to a team that got run out of the game against Oregon is quite another. Sure there were injuries, but based on yesterday, I am not so sure that UGA would be the highest ranked one loss team in the BCS standings at year's end if it comes down to it.
4. Florida What an impressive win for Muschamp's squad yesterday! I ALMOST put the Gators at NO. 3; but they have not had a signature win. Yet. But they sure did put together an impressive win against an Arkansas team that is MUCH better than the won / loss record would indicate. Make no mistake, this was a rock solid win for Florida, a win that this team can and probably will build on.
5. Texas A&M The Texas Aggies move up a spot in this poll with a week off. I know that I have the Aggies lower than most other polls. I also know that they had to face Arkansas on the road while Florida got the Hogs at home. I get it, but here's where I am on this; to BE the best, one must BEAT the best. Texas A&M just does not have a signature win. Yet. They will have plenty of opportunities to rise up in this poll, but to date, they have not looked as strong as the four teams ahead of them.
6. Missouri That's right - Mizzou is climbing the ladder. I would not have believed it at the beginning of the season, but here we are. What we don't know, is this a function of a ridiculously easy schedule, or are the Tigers for real? We will start to find out next weekend. Laugh if you want, but at this point in time, Mizzou has to be considered a legitimate contender for the SEC East. Based on what they have left on the schedule, I am seeing them in the Chik Fil A or Gator Bowl this year at a minimum.
7. Auburn Don't look now, but the Auburn Tigers are 4 - 1 and with W Carolina and FL Atlantic still on deck, six wins and a bowl game should be a lock, not too shabby for a team that failed to win a conference game last year. Based on what we have seen so far, Aubbie SHOULD be favored against Tennessee and Arkansas. That brings us to 8 potential wins. If they can pick off one of either aTm, UGA or BAMA... Get 2 of those and we may be looking at a Malzahn statue... OK, it ain't time to get carried away just yet, but give Gus credit for an amazing one year turnaround!
8. South Carolina Oh how the mighty have fallen. From national title contenders to 4th best in the division? Sorry Gamecocks, that's how I see it in week 6. Is this due to injuries, has the team lost its heart or have we just witnessed a 3 week funk? The talent is certainly there and with games coming up against Florida and Mizzou the ship can be righted in a hot hurry; but after this past weekend, SC better not overlook the Vols. I've got to admit, I'm more than just a little surprised by what I have seen from this Gamecock team this year. It's almost like the whole team has mailed it in because of an emotional loss to Georgia.
9. Mississippi The Rebels have to be disgusted about falling back to the wrong half of the conference power structure. The season is not over and there are still big games left to be played, but this team needs a "signature win". They have LSU and aTm over the next 2 games. Based on what we have seen so far, it does not look like that "signature win" is coming this year. The rest of the schedule looks pretty manageable, but yesterday's loss at Auburn was a setback.
10. Tennessee QUICK - who is the best 3 - 3 team in the SEC? That's tough. I have to call it a tie almost. The Vols sure did look impressive against one of the nation's top teams yesterday. Probably even more impressive than the Hogs against aTm, and that is why I will give UT the nod at this point. Tennessee may not make a bowl game, but their remaining schedule makes the postseason look fairly feasible and maybe even likely.
11. Arkansas Arkansas showed a lot of heart against the Texas Aggies, but did not have enough in the tank as they faced a team with a real defense. The Razorbacks should feel good about the future, but this season looks like it will continue to be a long one. South Carolina is up next and the way I see it, they MUST win that game if they hope to make a bowl game. I just don't see it this year.
12. Mississippi State At this point, six wins is still realistic. Does it hurt to play a top notch team and get your head handed to you - again? Sure it does, but the good news is that the Bulldogs have a real chance to climb out of the cellar this year. MS State SHOULD win the next 2 games and improve to 4 - 3. The big question is, will they be able to take a step up against stronger competition after that?
13. Vanderbilt My expectation at the beginning of the season was that we would see "the same old Vandy" this year. That may not have been fair, as this team MIGHT look a little better right now had they not been in the middle of such enormous distractions. But "ifs", "ands" & "buts" ARE NOT candies and nuts. And this season is what it is. The Commodores have to beat Tennessee, Wake Forrest and Kentucky to get to a bowl. It could happen, but I'd have to bet against it.
14. Kentucky Another Saturday, another "moral victory". The Wildcats sure did play their hearts out against South Carolina, but once again, it was not enough. These guys have been pretty impressive with the amount of heart they have shown, which may surprise folks that I would say about the team I rank NO. 14 out of 14... There is a lot of football left to be played and Kentucky COULD get a bowl IF they beat EVERY team that it looks like they could have a chance against. It ain't happening, but don't be surprised if the Wildcats don't end the season ranked higher - I won't be,
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Edited by dcbl, 06 October 2013 - 04:47 PM.