One team remains undefeated in the Southeastern Conference, but of the two others that lost this past weekend, only one didn’t embarrass themselves. Meanwhile, there are still five one-loss teams in the league. Here’s a look at how they all stack up against each other in our SEC Power Rankings after Week 6 of 2023.
While the rankings are extremely jumbled in the middle, the top and the bottom are clear-cut, and the Vanderbilt Commodores clearly belong at the bottom. Coming off a 38-14 loss to the Florida Gators, they are 2-5 and 0-3 in the SEC, and Clark Lea’s team looks to be in for another long year.
13. Mississippi State
Honestly, not beating the Western Michigan Broncos by 40 was enough to drop the Mississippi State Bulldogs two spots despite them getting their first win in three weeks. They have quite a few issues they need to work out, particularly defensively, and WMU is a really bad team, so that’s where this comes from.
12. South Carolina
Not playing on its own wasn’t going to hurt the South Carolina Gamecocks, but Shane Beamer’s team had to drop to No. 12 in our SEC Power Rankings based on what other teams in the league have done. At 2-3, regardless of what Spencer Rattler says, they have a lot to work on, but maybe the bye did them some good.
Here’s how South Carolina and Mississippi State fell. The Arkansas Razorbacks are still falling apart Sam Pittman’s fourth year, but to be fair, they did put up a fight against the Ole Miss Rebels. That’s enough to keep them from right at the bottom of the league, but they still aren’t in good shape long-term.
How did they beat the Tennessee Vols? Billy Napier’s team is bad. Florida looks worse struggling against the Kentucky Wildcats now, and they had issues putting Vanderbilt away on Saturday. Sure, they’re 4-2 on the year, but 8-4 appears to be another likely scenario. Still, another Kentucky loss puts them in control of their own destiny in the East.
To be fair, Mark Stoops and co. caught the Georgia Bulldogs at the worst time. Still, after the Auburn Tigers put up a fight against them a week ago, it’s hard to ignore them losing 51-13, even if they were on the road. While UGA was likely to cover, couldn’t they have at least kept it within 30? Doing what they did forced us to drop them.
Auburn playing Georgia close, and Kentucky getting blown out, was enough for us to move Hugh Freeze’s team ahead of the ‘Cats in our SEC Power Rankings. Now, a lot of other factors went into that, but Auburn still earned the spot here, and to this point, neither of their losses are that bad.
Kentucky’s drop is what helped keep the Volunteers in the top half of our SEC Power Rankings, but they still have plenty of things they have to prove. Josh Heupel’s team is in a good situation coming off a bye, but that’s contingent on them not having the same issues they had the first five games of the year.
A 5-0 start for the Missouri Tigers came with a lot of questions, and they showed a lot more in their most recent loss to the LSU Tigers than any of their wins, including against the Kansas State Wildcats. LSU covered only thanks to a pick-six at the end, but Eli Drinkwitz’s team is clearly tough to beat, so they moved up in a loss.
5. Texas A&M
You can get all your Jimbo Fisher jokes in, and he deserves it, but he did lose to Alabama by less than a touchdown. As a team, Texas A&M has been playing relatively well ever since that bad loss to the Miami Hurricanes, and what happened this past weekend alone isn’t going to be enough for us to change that.
Okay, so they struggled to put away Mizzou on the road, and their defense is an issue. Still, Brian Kelly’s team is 5-2 against one of the toughest schedules in the nation to this point, and technically, they could still win the West. As a result, nobody should count them out of any race just yet despite the start.
3. Ole Miss
Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss may have struggled with Arkansas, but their only loss is to Alabama, and that win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is looking better now after last weekend. As a one-loss team, they belong near the top of our SEC Power Rankings for now, but whether or not it lasts is a huge question.
After losing at home to the Texas Longhorns, Alabama has scored huge wins over Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Nick Saban’s team is back in control of its own destiny to win the SEC West, the only team that can say that to this point. Jalen Milroe has issues, but the defense is loaded, and they’re figuring out how to use him.
Order is restored in our SEC Power Rankings. Worrying about Georgia struggling with Auburn was stupid from the start. That’s a rivalry game on the road against a well-coached team. Of course UGA would struggle! Righting the ship the way they did against Kentucky, though, cements them back at No. 1 in the league for right now.