Week 5 SEC Power Rankings, CFB Playoff Picks, SEC Weekend Picks

The College football regular season is already almost a third of the way done, which is crazy to think about. Over the first four weeks of college football, we have learned a whole lot, but there still are so many questions left to be answered. Let us take a quick look at my weekly SEC power rankings, my CFB Playoff top four and two teams right behind them and my SEC weekend picks.

SEC Power Rankings

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0)

The Tide are on top once again and for good reason. They went into Nashville last weekend and came out with one of the most physically dominant conference wins of the Nick Saban era. Heck, they held Vanderbilt to 67 total offensive yards and zero points and put up 677 yards and 59 points on the Commodore defense. Alabama is loaded at pretty much every position (except kicker). No one in the SEC will be able to beat them this year. In all honesty, it will be a surprise if they do not beat every team by multiple touchdowns. They are that good.

2. Georgia Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0)

Man, Georgia really looks impressive. I will be the first to say that I picked Mississippi State to come into Athens and upset the Bulldogs on Saturday night. I just did not fully know what to make of this UGA team. How I was wrong. Georgia absolutely dominated the other Bulldogs. It was apparent from the opening whistle.

The defense led by ultra-talented inside linebacker Roquan Smith and outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter and others is one of the best in the entire country. The offense is not too shabby either led by a tough running game. This is the best Georgia team I have seen since probably 2012.  I would not be surprised if the Bulldogs run the table the rest of the way in the regular season. They are that good. They should win every game left on their slate, but will they?

3. Auburn Tigers (3-1, 1-0)

I am not really high on Auburn, but the conference looks so weak at this point that I have to put them at No. 3. It is honestly head-scratching that the league has looked pretty mediocre outside of Georgia and Alabama. (I believe it goes back to coaching as I have reiterated a lot.)

Even though Auburn has not looked great on the offensive side of the ball at times, their defense has played well, and the Tigers had a nice 51-14 win over Missouri. (Yes, I know it is Missouri, but Auburn putting up 51 points against anyone is something they will take.) The Tigers have the talent to still be a force this season. They will face a big test this weekend when they host Mississippi State on the Plains. That will go a long way in determining the landscape of the West.

4. Mississippi State Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1)

MSU got exposed against a very good Georgia team on Saturday night. They are not going to seriously challenge Alabama this year, but they can still have a very good season. Nick Fitzgerald will have success against a lot of the teams he plays this season. How will he handle the challenge of going into another hostile environment in Auburn, Ala., this Saturday? That will tell a lot.

5. LSU Tigers (3-1, 0-1)

LSU have had an up-and-down season so far. That is for sure. After a dominate early wins over BYU in Week 1 and Chattanooga in Week 2, the Tigers got boat raced 37-7 in Starkville against MSU and then struggled at home against Syracuse last week. The injury-plagued squad should have another easy outing against Troy this Saturday before traveling to Florida next Saturday in a game which will tell a lot about the two teams. Hopefully, Derrius Guice (whose status is up in the air for this weekend) will be fully healthy for that one. LSU is so much more enjoyable to watch when he is out there.

6. Texas A&M Aggies (3-1, 1-0)

Big overtime win over Arkansas last weekend was nice, but Kevin Sumlin’s firing is still only a matter of time.

7. Florida Gators (2-1, 2-0)

The Gators were lucky to get out of Lexington with a win last week. They are not near where they were last season, but they should still probably contend in a crappy East.

8. Kentucky Wildcats (3-1, 1-1)

They are never going to beat Florida. It is written in stone.

9. Tennessee Volunteers (3-1, 0-0)

Butch has to go. How do you barely beat UMass?

10. Vanderbilt Commodores (3-1, 0-1)

Never talk trash about Alabama. We all see the result (59-0).

11. Arkansas Razorbacks (1-2, 0-1)

Ol’ Bert should be gone. No excuse. Enjoy another mediocre season, Arkansas fans.

12. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1)

The Gamecocks survived against La. Tech at home. Congrats.

13. Ole Miss Rebels (2-1, 0-0)

NCAA probs and Bryant-Denny this Saturday has such a good ring to it. Doesn’t it?

14. Missouri Tigers (1-3, 0-2)

Absolutely pathetic. Yep, that is all I got.

CFB Playoff Rankings

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Oklahoma Sooners
  3. Clemson Tigers
  4. Penn State Nittany Lions

Two teams looking in: USC and Michigan

Week 5 SEC Picks

Florida over Vanderbilt

Arkansas over New Mexico State

Georgia over Tennessee

Kentucky over Eastern Michigan

Auburn over Mississippi State

LSU over Troy

Texas A&M over South Carolina

Alabama over Ole Miss

 

That’s all I got right now, folks. Follow me on Twitter: @legitjaydogg

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Week 9 SEC Power Rankings

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.

THE MIDDLE

9. Georgia (4-3)

8. Arkansas (5-3)

7. Ole Miss (3-4)

6. Florida (5-1)

5. Tennessee (5-2)

TOP FOUR

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.

Follow me on Twitter: @legitjaydawg