Happy Thursday, everyone! It’s time for my weekly SEC Power Rankings. You’ve seen them before if you’ve read my previous work on Dawn of the Dawg. Anyway, let’s get right to our Week 9 edition of these rankings.
Week 9 SEC Power Rankings
THE BOTTOM FOUR
14. Missouri (2-5)
Missouri sucks. Let’s just make that clear. They are the worst team in the SEC. I honestly thought Missouri was destined to have a decent season after their close loss to Georgia in Week 4. However, we have all found out that Georgia is not very good. Missouri is winless in the conference and hit a new low last week when they lost to Middle Tennessee State. Missouri’s strength over the pass few seasons is defense, and that’s Barry Odom’s specialty. They gave up 51 points to MTSU. I rest my case.
13. South Carolina (3-4)
Will Muschamp has had a tough time in his first season in Columbia. The main reason is that the talent level is just plain bad. The defense is decent, but the offense is beyond awful. It looks like the unit might be getting a much-needed shot in the arm by the emergence of true-freshman quarterback Jake Bentley. He was solid in his first start last week albeit against UMASS. Still, this team has a LONG way to go.
12. Mississippi State (2-5)
This year, the Bulldogs are showing just how much they miss 2015 graduate and now Cowboys’ star rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. (Just imagine how good Prescott would have been on another team, but I digress.) Dan Mullen’s team has had its struggles this year. They only have one SEC win this year, and that was against South Carolina. They almost had a big upset against BYU last Friday night in Mormon country but fell just short.
11. Vanderbilt (4-4)
The Commodores got a huge win last week. They upset Georgia in Athens for the first time since 2006. It was on their homecoming no less. Now, while the Vanderbilt win probably says more about Georgia than it does VU, it was still a big win for a Derek Mason-coached team that has been starved of success.
Star linebacker Zach Cunningham and this Vanderbilt defense is the real deal. The offense is still struggling aside from the SEC’s leading rusher Ralph Webb, but the Commodores finally have some momentum.
10. Kentucky (4-3)
After we left them to die after they lost their first two games of the season, Mark Stoops and Kentucky have quietly climbed back to a winning record. The Wildcats are finally having some success, and if they beat Missouri this weekend and Georgia somehow beats Florida (the latter is unlikely), Kentucky will be on top of the SEC East standings. That is crazy. That’s a testament to how bad the division is.
9. Georgia (4-3)
8. Arkansas (5-3)
7. Ole Miss (3-4)
6. Florida (5-1)
5. Tennessee (5-2)
4. Auburn (5-2)
Auburn has quietly had a successful season so far. They have gotten better each game, particularly on offense. Sean White is coming into his own at quarterback and the Tigers have a competent running back duo in Kamryn Pettway and the electric Kerryon Johnson. The Auburn defense is a top unit lead by the conference’s second-leading sack leader in defensive end Carl Lawson.
The Tigers’ blowout win over Arkansas last week (56-3) was very impressive. They’re one of the teams in the conference that no one wants to play right now. The Tigers travel to Oxford, Miss., to take on an Ole Miss Rebels team that is a lot better than their record shows. I still expect Auburn to win though. They are one of the top teams in the SEC and still in the thick of the SEC West race.
3. LSU (5-2)
Coach Orgeron has definitely breathed new life into the LSU Tigers. Superstar running back Leonard Fournette is back healthy, and you saw how effective he was last week against Ole Miss as he rushed for 284 yards and three touchdowns. The rest of the offense is thriving and is averaging 41.6 points per game since the firing of Les Miles.
They are off this week before hosting Alabama the following Saturday. LSU actually probably has a decent chance against the Tide now that they have finally opened up their offense. We know the defense is solid. This team is really trending up. We’ll see if that momentum lasts.
2. Texas A&M (6-1)
The Aggies suffered their first loss of the season 33-14 against Alabama last Saturday. Despite the loss, A&M has some positive takeaways. First off, they moved the ball at times against Alabama and were even up at one point. Also, compared to what Alabama has done to a lot of teams, the loss does not look so bad. The Aggies are one of the most complete teams in the conference. They are just not on Alabama’s level.
1. Alabama (8-0)
This looks like the best team Nick Saban has had at Alabama. That is truly scary. They have no weaknesses. Fresh off a nice victory over the only (previously) undefeated team in the conference in Texas A&M, Alabama has an off week before they travel to LSU next week in a Saturday primetime game.
Night games at Death Valley are never easy, but if any team is capable of coming out unscathed, it is this Alabama team. Their defense is dominant led by defensive end Johnathan Allen (who is an absolute freak of nature and has NFL scouts drooling), a group of linebackers led by pass-rushing specialists Ryan Anderson and Tim Williams, a talented secondary despite the loss of safety Eddie Jackson to injury, and an offense that is so dangerous led by a strong running game.
Add to that a strong receiving corps and the emergence of true-freshman, dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts (who is good enough to win a Heisman one day in my opinion), and it is just unfair. I do not know if anyone will beat Alabama this year at least in the SEC.
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