September is finally over for the college football season, and the Southeastern Conference is beginning to take shape. However, things are still wide open, and the Alabama Crimson Tide may just be right back to where they should be. Where exactly is that? Let’s take a look here in our SEC Power Rankings after Week 5 of this year.
Nothing ever changes. This year more than ever, the Vanderbilt Commodores belong at the bottom of our SEC Power Rankings. Coming off a 38-21 loss to the Missouri Tigers at home, Clark Lea’s program is no better than it has never been. Maybe another strong November could change things, but the end of last year looks more like a fluke than anything.
Sam Pittman’s Arkansas Razorbacks are falling apart. Playing the LSU Tigers close doesn’t look as good anymore, and a blowout loss to the Texas A&M Aggies, which should be a rivalry, knocks the Hogs all the way down to next to last in these rankings. There’s still time for K.J. Jefferson and co. to rise, but they look like the worst team in the West for now.
12. Mississippi State
After a 2-0 start and a Power Five win, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have lost three straight games. There’s no shame in getting blown out by the Alabama Crimson Tide, but it followed a loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks, and it started with a blowout loss to LSU. Neither looks as good right now. It’s a coin flip between them and Arkansas.
11. South Carolina
Spencer Rattler is a great player on a horrific team. The Vols dominated South Carolina without a passing attack, a rarity for a Josh Heupel coached team. Playing the Georgia Bulldogs close doesn’t mean much, and beating Mississippi State by a touchdown doesn’t look that impressive either at the moment. Shane Beamer’s team has just way too many issues.
Beating the Tennessee Vols stalled Billy Napier’s hot seat for two weeks, but the Florida Gators are still not a good team, particularly on the road. A lot went into the reason they won that game. It’d be one thing if they lost to the Kentucky Wildcats, but they got blown out. Being on the road is not an excuse for that debacle.
Everybody is going to heap praise on the Auburn Tigers for playing Georgia close, but that’s a rivalry game, and it was at home. Although Hugh Freeze is a good coach and will have this program rolling in the future, it’s still in the bottom half of our SEC Power Rankings for now. This is about where we expected it to be.
Probably the most controversial take in our SEC Power Rankings, Mizzou is undefeated with a quality win. However, they struggled at times with Vandy on the road, and honestly, who would favor them over any of the other teams we’re about to name? Eli Drinkwitz’s team still hasn’t been tested that much, so it’ll take more to get them into the top half here.
Okay, okay, Kentucky blew out Florida. It was a noon game at home, though, and that alone doesn’t outweigh the insanely easy schedule Mark Stoops’ team has enjoyed to this point. UK is still in the top half of the league, but they are basically middle of the pack, and they have to prove a lot more before climbing this ladder.
Based on Missouri’s and Kentucky’s resumes, Tennessee should easily be below them. Heck, they should be down at No. 11 below Florida. However, the way they blew out South Carolina and the way Kentucky blew out Florida shows that game was a total fluke. With Cooper Mays back at center, this is a completely different team.
Yes, LSU’s title hopes are dashed, and Brian Kelly’s team is officially a disappointment no matter what they do the rest of the year. However, they suffered a last-second loss on the road to the Ole Miss Rebels, who look like a very good team at this point, and they just collapsed in the second half to the Florida State Seminoles. This is still one of the better teams in the league.
4. Texas A&M
I bet against Bobby Petrino joining Jimbo Fisher, and I bet against Texas A&M being successful after losing its starting quarterback. The Aggies even have a better backup, though, and after a blowout win over the Hogs, it’s clear they are better than the team that lost to the Miami Hurricanes. This group is dangerous going forward.
3. Ole Miss
Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss have one loss, and it’s to Alabama. They have a Power Five win and a solid Group of Five win over the Tulane Green Wave, and then there’s that LSU win. Simply put, nobody outside of the Big Two would be favored over them in the league right now, so they belong here in our SEC Power Rankings.
Yes, it’s an overreaction to say Georgia is in trouble because they needed a last-second touchdown to beat Auburn. However, there’s little margin for error when determining who belongs at the top of this list, so they had to drop one spot for their play in that game, at least for now. Failing to cover the spread for three straight weeks has been an issue.
You may not have noticed, but Alabama may be back. Jalen Milroe is finally using his legs, which is crucial since he can’t throw, and this defense is dominant. A blowout win over Mississippi Sate followed their convincing win over Ole Miss, and that win looks better now. The loss to the Texas Longhorns, meanwhile, doesn’t look nearly as bad. Simply put, they’re No. 1 in our SEC Power Rankings for now.