There’s only one undefeated team remaining in the Southeastern Conference, but are they truly playing better than anybody else in the league right now? That’s a real debate after last weekend. Who all is a threat to win the title? We break all of that down here in our SEC Power Rankings following Week 10 of the 2023 college football season.
Welcome to the most clear-cut ranking. The Commodores lost 31-15 to the Auburn Tigers this past weekend, as Clark Lea’s team didn’t even cover the spread despite being universally recognized as the worst program in the league. Construction on the stadium or not, this team has shown no improvement over last year.
13. South Carolina
Vegas knew something, as in a matchup of Gamecocks, South Carolina wasn’t even a three-score game against Jacksonville State. Indeed, they had to fight to pull out a 38-28 win. However, they get Vanderbilt and the Kentucky Wildcats at home over the next two games, so Shane Beamer and Spencer Rattler could fight back to 6-6 on the year.
How did the Vols lose to this team? The Gators reshuffled the SEC Power Rankings by suffering a horrendous home loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Billy Napier’s team is now 5-4, and up next are the LSU Tigers on the road, Missouri Tigers on the road and Florida State Seminoles at home. Simply put, missing out on a bowl is a strong possibility.
11. Mississippi State
Zach Arnett and the Bulldogs had a great chance for a big home win against the Kentucky Wildcats to move up to above .500 and really position themselves to make a bowl game. They failed miserably. MSU got blown out, and with visits to the Texas A&M Aggies and then a home matchup with the Ole Miss Rebels, it’ll be hard for them to finish bowl eligible now.
Sam Pittman and the Razorbacks fired offensive coordinator Dan Enos, and finally the offense found its rhythm. K.J. Jefferson and the Hogs pulled off a huge noon win in The Swamp, and with their final three games at home, there’s an outside chance this program could rebound and back into a bowl game. The mood has shifted dramatically in Fayetteville, Ark., after that game.
Hugh Freeze keeps winning ugly with Auburn. A win over Vanderbilt wasn’t going to do anything to move the needle for them in our SEC Power Rankings, and things other teams did force them to drop a spot. However, Auburn is now one win away from a bowl game in Freeze’s first season, which is a good step in terms of where they’re trying to go.
Mark Stoops and the Wildcats aren’t flukes after all! We were all in on a November collapse, but they proved us wrong by blowing out Mississippi State on the road. That’s enough to move them up a spot, but MSU isn’t good enough for us to tout this win too much. Still, UK is 6-3, and with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Louisville Cardinals and a road game to South Carolina left, this was needed.
7. Texas A&M
Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies continue to come up short when they are facing elite competition. However, they still put up a fight on the road against one of the three best teams in the league right now. As a result, they belong in the top half of our SEC Power Rankings, even if they are middle of the pack. Now, at 5-4, will they collapse and quit in November or finish strong? We find out soon enough
Brian Kelly and the Tigers once again paid for their lack of defense. They turned Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe into a Heisman candidate, and while Jayden Daniels was hurt at times in the game, it’s clear Bama was better. As a result, with three losses and no title to speak of, LSU had to fall back to close to middle of the pack in the league.
Mizzou came off a bye and put up a fight against the Dawgs. However, Kirby Smart’s team was at home and simply had way more talent. Eli Drinkwitz’s team can’t win the East now, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a strong finish to the season. Should they beat the Vols on Saturday, 10-2 becomes the likely outcome for the Tigers.
Right now, Vol fans have to be furious at their loss to Florida. If not for that, they’d control their own destiny in the SEC and CFP race. Joe Milton III has found his groove, and the offense is humming. At 7-2, though, they now get their two biggest tests back to back, a trip to Mizzou and then what could turn out to be a HUGE home game against the Georgia Bulldogs.
3. Ole Miss
How about Lane Kiffin and the Rebels! They are 8-1 after a huge win at Texas A&M, and while the West is likely out of play, a trip to the College Football Playoff is very much on the table. Now they have a trip to Georgia, and if they manage to beat the Dawgs on Saturday, Ole Miss will have quietly played themselves into potentially a top five team, so watch out.
Ironically, the Bulldogs fell a spot in our SEC Power Rankings after getting their best win of the year. They probably don’t care about that, as a win is a win, and they remain the only undefeated team left in the league, but struggling with a Mizzou team at home that’s not as great as its record suggests was certainly questionable in some respects.
Blowing out LSU shows that the Crimson Tide are playing better than anybody in the league right now, which is why they belong atop the SEC Power Rankings despite having a loss. That was a non-conference loss to a top 10 team, by the way, and UGA has played no top 10 teams. Nick Saban and Bama are super dangerous right now.