clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

SEC Basketball Power Rankings: Steve Goodman Edition

Do they still play the blues in Auburn, when basketball season rolls around?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the latest issue of basketball power rankings!  Booked a trip to Chicago today.  Soon I'll be in the Windy City for a friend's wedding and I'll get to catch some Cubs baseball in town.  Chicago puts me in a Steve Goodman state of mind so that's what you're getting for a theme.

1) Kentucky 29-0, 16-0 (#1 AP, #1 Coaches Poll projected #1 Seed per ESPN)

Kentucky continues to be hot, stomping a mudhole in Arkansas and Miss State.  Only one more week stands between them and regular season perfection.  My research indicates that no major conference team has entered tournament play undefeated since 1976 Indiana. They are a trip to Georgia and visit from Florida away.  Kentucky's offense is rolling and their defense has always been great but this week will challenge them.

Kentucky's the only SEC team most people outside the conference have heard of so here's where you've heard of Steve Goodman from:

2) Arkansas 23-6, 12-4 (#18 AP, #18 Coaches Poll projected #5 seed per ESPN)

Arkansas got a huge win over Texas A&M before running into the Kentucky buzzsaw.  If they win one of their two games (at South Carolina, home v. LSU) they will lock down a double bye in the tournament.  They may have it anyway depending on the tie breakers.

Let's hope Arkansas isn't moving backwards.

3) Texas A&M 20-8, 11-5 (#31 AP, #33 Coaches Poll projected #9 seed per ESPN)

Texas A&M lost to Arkansas and beat Auburn.  They sit with a game lead on the other competitors for the double bye in the SEC tournament.  This week, they travel to Florida and host Alabama for the chance to wrap seal the deal.  Finishing third is important.  Drop to 4th, and you face Kentucky in the semifinal.

Texas A&M isn't a basketball power so they better get it while they can:

4) Georgia 19-9, 10-6 (projected #9 seed per ESPN)

Georgia won both games last week including a critical win against Ole Miss.  This week, they host Kentucky and travel to Auburn.  Georgia lost competitive games to both earlier in the season.  Here's a tip:

Better not go 0-2 this week.  A lot riding on it.  And Georgia would like to learn to dance:

5) LSU 21-8, 10-6 (AP #37, #40 Coaches Poll, projected #10 seed per ESPN)

Last week, LSU took care of business, getting revenge on Auburn from the home loss earlier this season and beating Ole Miss.  This week, LSU closes the season with a visit from Tennessee and a trip to Arkansas.

There's only one logical choice for LSU:

6) Ole Miss 19-10, 10-6 (#45 Coaches Poll projected #9 seed per ESPN)

Ole Miss had great position for the double bye before losing last week to Georgia and LSU.  They have the easiest path of the six loss teams vying for the last double bye slot as they travel to Alabama and host Vandy. I have them ranked sixth now but see them sweeping the week, finishing fourth, and getting the extra rest in the tournament.

It's always seemed like Ole Miss is a few good or bad breaks from becoming a Banana Republic:

7) Vandy 17-12, 7-9

Vandy is hot now.  Vandy opened conference play 1-7 before winning 6 of their last 8.  They've won 3 in a row including tilts last week against Tennessee and Alabama.  They close the season with the Magnolia special, Miss State and Ole Miss.  Their RPI is a little low but if they sweep this week and win a couple of games in the SEC tournament, they would deserve consideration for the NCAA tournament.

But even if things fall apart for the Dores at the end of the season, baseball season is just around the corner:

8) Alabama 17-12, 7-9

Anthony Grant is likely on the way out.  Last week they split, losing to Vandy and beating South Carolina.  Things don't get easier this week as they host Ole Miss and travel to Texas A&M.  Texas A&M is not the same team Alabama embarrassed in week one.

It took Anthony Grant years, to get those souvenirs, and I don't know how they slipped away from him:

9) Florida 14-15, 7-9

Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.  Florida lost to Missouri last week.

Florida has the I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm Going Nowhere in a Hurry Blues:

10) Tennessee 14-14, 6-10

Tennessee has dropped 7 of their last 8 including games last week against Vandy and Florida.  This week, they travel to LSU and host South Carolina.  At best, they split.

Last years tournament team is gone and Tennessee is left with these Chicken Cordon Blues.

11) South Carolina 14-14, 5-11

South Carolina is improving and is .500 over the last three weeks.  Too little, too late although they could split again this week against Arkansas and Tennessee.

South Carolina's season is like this bizarre Steve Goodman song medley.  It started out awesome then turned into one tragedy after another:

12) Miss State 12-17, 5-11

The 2015 Mississippi State basketball team is Charley Gordon of Flowers for Algernon in basketball form.

Miss State gets something special.  One of the finest shaggy dog stories ever committed to music:

13) Auburn 12-17, 4-12

Bad news for slumping Auburn.  Antoine Mason is likely out for the rest of the regular season due to his father's death.  We struggled this season despite his best efforts, we aren't getting better without him.  Good news, we travel to Missouri and host Georgia.  We're 4-12 in conference but 2-0 against these teams.  Come get some.

I'm a big Cubs fan and this song speaks to my Cubs and Auburn basketball fandom because they raise up a young man's hopes and then crush 'em like so many paper beer cups, year after year after year after year after year:

14) Missouri 8-21, 2-14

Missouri loves company.  This week, watch the movable object meet the resistible force as Missouri tries to score against Auburn's defense.

Missouri gets a sweet, sad song about someone who's best days are behind them:

Pay attention this week because next week there will be a quiz as we all fill out our SEC tournament brackets.