Power Rankings Week Eight: LSU is for real, the Bulldogs stumble

LSU’s marquee win and Georgia’s shocking upset shake up this week’s power rankings.


Brent Szklaruk

Vanderbilt falls to LSU 66-38 on September 21, 2019.

Alyssa Muir, Senior Writer

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

The top-ranked Crimson Tide rolled over #24 Texas A&M 47-28 on Saturday and improved to 6-0. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for four touchdowns and running back Najee Harris rushed for 114 yards. The Crimson Tide host the Tennessee Volunteers this weekend as the college football world patiently awaits the November showdown between Alabama and LSU. 

2. LSU Tigers

LSU defeated Florida 42-28 in front of a raucous crowd in Death Valley. The Tigers averaged over 10 yards a play, and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. After completing 87.5 percent of his passes and throwing for three touchdowns, quarterback Joe Burrow continues to solidify his spot as the Heisman Trophy front-runner. 

3. Florida Gators

With leading edge rushers Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga hampered by injuries, the usually spectacular Gator defense failed to offer any resistance against a potent LSU offense. Quarterback Kyle Trask was solid in leading the Gator offense with 310 yards and three scores, but he threw a costly interception late in the game that doomed Florida. The Gators will look to get back on track this week when they travel to South Carolina. 

4. Georgia Bulldogs

Head coach Kirby Smart’s squad suffered a big blow to their playoff hopes as they were upset by South Carolina in double overtime by a score of 20-17 after kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed a game-tying field goal. The Bulldogs were not able to get anything going offensively, and quarterback Jake Fromm threw three interceptions after not throwing a single one all year. Georgia will need to win out the rest of the way to keep its playoff hopes intact, and that starts this weekend when it hosts Kentucky. 

5. Auburn Tigers 

Quarterback Bo Nix and Auburn were off last week as they regrouped from a tough loss to Florida. This week should be a good opportunity for the Tigers to get back on track as they host Arkansas, who is winless in conference play. 

6. Missouri Tigers

After an unexpected opening week loss to Wyoming, the Tigers have bounced back in a big way and have won each of their past five games. Quarterback Kelly Bryant has been nearly unstoppable, and he had another impressive performance last week against Ole Miss, throwing for 329 yards. The Tigers travel to Nashville this week to face the reeling Vanderbilt Commodores. 

7. South Carolina Gamecocks

Head coach Will Muschamp’s team pulled off a shocking upset this weekend against Georgia. Quarterback Ryan Hilinski was forced to exit the game with a knee injury but backup quarterback Dakereon Joyner was able to do just enough to propel the team to victory. The Gamecock defense was outstanding all game and held a Georgia offense with lots of weapons to only 17 points. South Carolina hosts Florida on Saturday, looking to pull off upsets in back-to-back weekends. 

8. Texas A&M Aggies

The Aggies were able to hang around against Alabama on Saturday, but the Crimson Tide offense was ultimately too much for them to handle in a 47-28 loss. Texas A&M travels to Oxford this weekend, looking to bounce back.

9. Ole Miss Rebels

The Rebels were defeated 38-27 by the Missouri Tigers on Saturday. The Rebels were constantly shuffling between quarterbacks Matt Corral and John Rhys Plumlee but neither one was overly successful. Ole Miss hosts Texas A&M this weekend.

10. Tennessee Volunteers 

The Volunteers got a big SEC victory against Mississippi State on Saturday despite only completing 10 passes. The Tennessee defense came up with three interceptions and led the team to a low-scoring 20-10 victory. The Volunteers have continued to improve after an abysmal start to the season, but they will have the nearly impossible task of playing Alabama this weekend.

11. Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Bulldogs played both Tommy Stevens and Garett Shrader at quarterback against Tennessee, but neither was able to get the offense into any sort of rhythm. This is the second loss in a row for Mississippi State, and it just gets more challenging this week when it hosts the LSU Tigers. 

12. Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky narrowly edged Arkansas 24-20 to earn its first SEC win of the season. Wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. was forced to play quarterback because starting quarterback Sawyer Smith was unable to play due to injury. Bowden Jr. was very successful, accounting for 274 total yards and three touchdowns. 

13. Arkansas Razorbacks

The Razorbacks dropped a close one to Kentucky and are still without a win in conference play. Both Ben Hicks and Nick Starkel saw time at quarterback, but both were ineffective. Running back Rakeem Boyd kept Arkansas in the game with 134 yards on the ground and two scores, but the lack of passing game was too much for the Razorbacks to overcome.

14. Vanderbilt Commodores 

Things have gone from bad to worse for the Commodores as they were embarrassed by a UNLV team that had only won one game prior to Saturday. Vanderbilt was unable to execute on either side of the ball in the 34-10 loss. Neither starting quarterback Riley Neal nor backup quarterback Deuce Wallace were able to lead the offense on long drives, and the Commodore defense allowed UNLV to do whatever it wanted all game long. It does not get any easier for head coach Derek Mason and his team as a red-hot Missouri team led by quarterback Kelly Bryant comes to Nashville this weekend.