SEC football power rankings: Week 6

Ziyi+Liu

Ziyi Liu

Ziyi Liu

Jack Fader

The Hustler sports staff sat down Sunday night to discuss the action in the SEC this past weekend. While there were few upsets, this week is shaping up to be a good one (including a battle at the bottom).

  1. Alabama (Last week: 1)

Alabama overcame a relatively slow start against Kentucky. The defense managed to hold the Wildcat offense to just six points while putting up another defensive touchdown, while quarterback Jalen Hurts completed two third-quarter touchdown passes to receiver Calvin Ridley. The Tide remain the class of the entire country, as well as the SEC.  

2. Texas A&M (Last week: 2)

Texas A&M’s defense gave up a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage against South Carolina, then didn’t allow the Gamecocks within their 10 yard line for the rest of the game. The Aggies amassed 200 yards both through the air and on the ground, and quarterback Trevor Knight looked solid again. This makes three straight seasons the Aggies have started 5-0, and they will hope to avoid the October slump that has plagued the team in the past.

3. Tennessee (Last week: 3)

The Volunteers have still yet to play a competent first half this year, yet, through some luck and Georgia’s secondary, they are sitting pretty at 5-0. Tennessee rallied from its fourth double-digit deficit in five games against Georgia Saturday, coming back from a 17-0 hole to stun the Bulldogs with a 43-yard Hail Mary on the final play. We will learn if the Vols are for real in the next two weeks, as they travel to Texas A&M this weekend before hosting Alabama on October 15.

4. Ole Miss (Last week: 4)

Ole Miss jumped out to an early 14-0 lead on previously unbeaten Memphis at home Saturday, and unlike last year were able to build on the lead on its way to an emphatic 48-28 victory. The Rebels, who lost a 14-0 lead and the game to the Tigers last year, made sure that wouldn’t happen at home, amassing 624 yards of offense. Ole Miss has shown itself to be a very talented team so far this year, but until the Rebels can finish games against Top 25 opponents they will struggle to earn respect.

5. Arkansas (Last week: 5)

Arkansas did what it needed to do Saturday against FCS opponent Alcorn State, dominating them in every facet of the game. Razorback quarterback Austin Allen threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns, and the defense chipped in with its third pick-six of the year in defeating the Braves. Up next for the Razorbacks: a visit from No. 1 Alabama.  

6. Florida (Last week: 6)

The Gators squeaked by Vandy on the road, but there are major questions with their offense. Florida only mustered one touchdown against a Vandy defense that has been struggling thus far this year, but they were lifted by their defense. The bottom line is that Florida is sitting at 4-1 and sits in position to take the SEC East if Tennessee happens to falter.

7. Auburn (Last week: 7)

Auburn took care of business at home against Louisiana-Monroe this week, delivering a dominating 58-7 performance. Not much went wrong for the Tigers, who are gaining momentum after a big win over LSU last weekend. If they can figure out how to finish in the red zone against competent defenses, watch out. Auburn heads to Mississippi State next week to try and continue its winning streak.   

8. Georgia (Last week: 8)

If not for Tennessee’s miraculous finish, we would be talking about a season-defining win for the Bulldogs. Instead, Georgia finds itself at 3-2, coming off of back-to-back losses to SEC foes. The Bulldogs’ chances in the conference have taken a big hit, but there are some positives in the play of freshman quarterback Jacob Eason, who would have had the play of the week if not for what transpired 10 seconds of game time later.   

9. LSU (Last week: 9)

In the first game of the coach Ed Orgeron era for LSU, the Tigers steamrolled Missouri at home behind the strong performance of backup running back Derrius Guice. Guice, filling in for the injured Leonard Fournette, rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns. LSU came out ready to play for its new coach and could be a problem for the teams remaining on their schedule, especially if Fournette comes back as a force.

10. Mississippi State (Last week: 12)

Mississippi State did not play this week but was able to move up two places in the rankings due to the subpar performances of the teams above them. They can earn their higher ranking this week, as Auburn will make the trek to Starkville.  

11. Missouri (Last week: 10)

After winning big over an FCS opponent the week before, Missouri was absolutely dismantled by new-look LSU. The Tigers did not score until late in the fourth and only had the ball for 17 minutes. They were also outgained by almost 400 yards. Missouri gets a bye this week, when it will look to correct its problems.

12. South Carolina (Last week: 14)

South Carolina opened its game against Texas A&M with a bang: a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play. However, entering the fourth quarter, the Gamecocks’ punter had more yards passing than their starting quarterback, which is generally not ideal. Head coach Will Muschamp must figure out who he wants throwing the football before Georgia comes to town.

13. Vanderbilt (Last week: 11)

Vandy’s defense showed up in a big way on Saturday, but unfortunately for the Commodores, the offense did not. Even worse for Vanderbilt, quarterback Kyle Shurmur sustained an eye injury and might not be at his best this weekend at Kentucky. The Commodores get a big opportunity to pick up an SEC win this coming weekend against the Wildcats.

14. Kentucky (Last week: 13)

Kentucky turned in a decent first half against Alabama but just didn’t have the guns to stick around. The Wildcats only managed 161 yards of total offense in a resounding defeat. If Kentucky can’t pull out a win against Vanderbilt this weekend, it is unlikely to pick up a second SEC win this season. On the bright side, a little over two weeks until SEC basketball media days!