SEC Football Power Rankings: Week 12

The Vanderbilt football team is defeated by the University of Kentucky on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Photo by Claire Barnett.

It was a topsy-turvy, wild week in the SEC, and with this week’s games set to be barn-burners, here’s our power rankings for this week:

  1. Alabama

If you thought the Crimson Tide would lose to Mississippi State this past week, you’re crazy. However, if you thought the Bulldogs would give them a close ballgame, you’re crazy smart. Not many people thought that Alabama would be the ones playing catch-up in Starkville this past week. In the end, Alabama may have pulled away with the victory, but they won by only one touchdown scored in the final thirty seconds of the game. The Crimson Tide’s stout defense was shaky for most of the game, making Alabama fans hold their breath. To these Alabama fans that were uneasy last Saturday: don’t fret, you’re still the best team in the nation.

  1. Auburn

In two weeks from now, the Auburn Tigers will face the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl. Assuming they don’t lose in upset fashion to Louisiana-Monroe before then, the Tigers showed the nation they’re ready for the task at hand. This week, they played the Georgia Bulldogs, previously ranked first in the College Football Playoff rankings. The result was an absolutely fantastic performance by the Tigers, as they steamrolled through Georgia en route to a 40-17 victory. While the scoreboard dictated that Auburn’s offense was the story of the game, their defense and special teams deserve just as much credit. In fact, they held the best run game in the SEC to only 46 yards. The Iron Bowl is sure to be an amazing game; if the Tigers can pull away with a victory, they just might get a rematch with the Bulldogs.

  1. Georgia

Plain and simple, the Bulldogs should not have lost that game to Auburn. Luckily, Georgia has the blessing of being the SEC East, meaning their season is far from over. Assuming they can protect their quarterback Jake Fromm better than this past week, they’ll be playing in Atlanta against either Alabama or Auburn for a chance at the SEC title game. That is, barring any major setbacks.

  1. Mississippi State

It seems counterintuitive for the Mississippi State Bulldogs to blow a game and remain in the top four of our power rankings, but then again, it was Alabama. There were countless positive takeaways for the Bulldogs: Nick Fitzgerald did what he does best, throwing for over 150 yards on 13 of 24 passes to go along with 66 rushing yards and a touchdown, Aeris Williams rushed for two touchdowns, and until the very end they had their way with the Alabama defense. Surely they’ll bounce back next week against Arkansas, right?

  1. LSU

What once looked like a hopeless season for LSU has come around. They beat Arkansas 33-10, and quarterback Danny Etling looked like a deadly duo alongside running back Derrius Guice. While Guice ran for 147 yards and three touchdowns, Etling kept the LSU defense guessing with 217 passing yards and two touchdowns. When this LSU team plays to its full potential, they’re a fun team to watch. LSU has only Tennessee and Texas A&M left in SEC play, and with two wins they could prove their dominance.

  1. South Carolina

The Gamecocks are still second in the SEC East, yet the power dynamic is so prevalent that they are still as low as six in our power rankings. They beat an atrocious Florida team by eight points and played mistake-ridden football, as quarterback Jake Bentley threw for three interceptions and no touchdowns. At the very least, the Gamecocks will now finish with a winning record. At the very most, the Gamecocks will finish with a winning record. Not much more they can do to boost their rank.

  1. Kentucky

Unfortunately, the Wildcats demolished the Commodores this week without any setbacks. On offense, running back Benny Snell Jr. finished with 116 yards and 3 touchdowns, while their defense figured out Vanderbilt’s flawless game plan: throw the ball, if that doesn’t work, try again, and if all else fails, do it once more before you punt. The result was the Kentucky defense sneaking away with four interceptions on Kyle Shurmur. Next up, they’ve got the Georgia Bulldogs, who will certainly put an end to their fun.

  1. Texas A&M

The Aggies cruised to a 55-14 win this week and snapped their two-game losing streak. Quarterback Nick Starkel had a great day, throwing for a whopping 400+ yards and 4 touchdowns. Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, they only allowed two touchdowns all game to go along with one interception. What’s even more crazy is that they only allowed seven completions all game, for a total of 24 passing yards. So, what gives? Are the Aggies the real deal? Nope, they played New Mexico.

  1. Missouri

Missouri crushed Tennessee this weekend in what seemed like an offensive showcase for them. Quarterback Drew Lock threw for over 200 yards and 4 touchdowns, all while they had two running backs tally 155 and 216 yards respectively, each with a touchdown. Up next, Missouri will be playing the Commodores in a match that will tell us whether they’re decent or Tennessee is just really bad.

  1. Mississippi

Much like Texas A&M, Ole Miss played a great game this week, winning by a score of 50-22. Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu threw for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns while running back Jordan Wilkins ran for 124 yards and a touchdown. In the grand scheme of things, this win means very little coming against the unranked Louisiana-Lafayette Rajun Cajuns. Ironically, Ole Miss will play Texas A&M next week.

  1. Vanderbilt

The Commodores got crushed this week by the Kentucky Wildcats. Nothing went right; Kyle Shurmur was forced to throw the ball over forty times, tallying four interceptions. However, until Tennessee proves us otherwise, Vanderbilt is still the best team in the state. Look for Vanderbilt to bounce back at home vs. Missouri this week.

  1. Arkansas

Derrius Guice absolutely ran over the Razorback defense this week en route to 147 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Razorbacks are losing hope, despite having the chance to show that they mean business: beating LSU this week would’ve skyrocketed their ranking, but they were clearly not ready. Next week, Arkansas plays a very good Mississippi State team–if they have any hopes of giving their season a chance, they have to come out on top.

  1. Tennessee

RIP Butch Jones. Moving on.

  1. Florida

Hey Gators fans, at least basketball season is kicking off.

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