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SEC Power Rankings after Week 11: Title game set; Jimbo Fisher, Zach Arnett fired

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There was very little drama on the field in the Southeastern Conference this past weekend, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of headlines as we get set to deliver our SEC Power Rankings following Week 11 of the 2023 season. The championship game is set, and two firings have already happened. Let’s dive in with how this impacts every team.

14. Vanderbilt

As sure as the top two teams are in the league, the bottom team is clear-cut. The Commodores suffered a humiliating blowout loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks and have now fallen to 2-9 and 0-7 in the league. Clark Lea’s team is now worse than they were last year, and there seems to be no hope.

13. Mississippi State

There was a chance the Bulldogs could make a bowl by beating the Kentucky Wildcats and a reeling Texas A&M Aggies team. Both blew them out. Now, they have since fired head coach Zach Arnett. As a result, the whole state of the program is near rock bottom, so they’re near the bottom of our SEC Power Rankings.

12. Florida

Billy Napier’s Gators put up a fight against the LSU Tigers for a while, but they allowed LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels to turn in a Heisman performance. Now they are 5-5, and there’s a very good chance they miss out on a bowl game with the Missouri Tigers and Florida State Seminoles up next.

11. Arkansas

Beating Florida was all about how bad they were and how reinvigorated the Hogs were after firing their offensive coordinator. Sam Pittman’s team could’ve used that for momentum, but instead, they got blown out by the Auburn Tigers, so they really only had enough juju for one week, and they used it all.

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10. South Carolina

Don’t look now, but after a horrendous start, the Gamecocks are now 4-6 and have a legitimate chance to reach a bowl game after blowing out Vanderbilt. They still belong near the bottom of our SEC Power Rankings, but with the Kentucky Wildcats and Clemson Tigers coming to town to close out the season, Shane Beamer could have a big rebound.

9. Kentucky

UK generated a lot of hype by shockingly blowing out Mississippi State on the road two Saturdays ago, but then they faced an Alabama Crimson Tide team on a mission and got blown out. Mark Stoops’ Wildcats are exactly what they have been every year under him, which is still extremely good given what’s possible there.

8. Texas A&M

Jimbo Fisher is gone despite a dominating win. The Aggies didn’t get their money’s worth. They are a solid team after blowing out MSU but not a title contender. Now, A&M is on the hook for a record $78 million buyout. We can talk about what this means for the future, but what does this mean about their final two games? A top 25 finish is still possible at all 6-4.

7. Tennessee

Is this an overreaction? It could be, but the Vols didn’t just lose to Missouri. They got blown out. With their best win coming by a touchdown over the Aggies, who are No. 8 in our SEC Power Rankings, we have to put Josh Heupel’s team at No. 7. UT is horrible on the road, and they now have some things they have to work out.

6. Auburn

Hugh Freeze’s system finally came together. Sure, it was at Arkansas, but that team just beat Florida, and the Tigers proved with this dominating win that they are indeed on another level. Now at 6-4, Auburn has a seventh win clinched this week, and hey, the Iron Bowl is at home, so don’t count them out there.

5. LSU

If Jayden Daniels had a defense, he’d be the Heisman frontrunner. The guy threw for over 300 yards and ran for over 200 yards on Saturday in a historic performance, beating Florida 52-35. Brian Kelly’s team is where Heupel’s team is. They have three losses, but a top 10 finish is possible, and the program is still going in the right direction.

4. Ole Miss

Reality set in for Lane Kiffin and the Rebels, as they got blown out 52-17 by the Dawgs. Kiffin has still maximized what’s possible for this program, and he’s done a great job, but Ole Miss just doesn’t havge the talent to compete for one of the top teams in the league, so a playoff appearance was always a pipe dream. They’re still very good.

3. Missouri

Just when it was time to write off Mizzou, they go and blow out the Vols at home. Sure, they lost to LSU, who is No. 5 in our SEC Power Rankings, but the Cody Schrader and Brady Cook show can’t be ignored. Now, 10-2 looks likely for this team, and a top 10 finish is on the table, so Eli Drinkwitz looks like he’s finally got his program where it needs to be.

2. Alabama

Everybody has been ignoring for a month the fact that the Crimson Tide look like the best team in college football and Jalen Milroe looks like a Heisman candidate. For another week, Milroe put on a clinic. Despite being just an 11-point favorite on the road, Nick Saban’s team TORCHED UK. They have now clinched the West two weeks early as a result.

1. Georgia

Everybody thought Ole Miss had a shot to give Georgia a game. They didn’t. Is anybody ready to question the Dawgs anymore? They went from playing one of the easiest schedules to beating two elite teams in back to back weeks. Kirby Smart’s team belongs atop these SEC Power Rankings, and they remain on a roll they’ve been on for three years.

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