Now that teams have played 2-3 SEC games, it’s time to take a look at where the SEC teams stand so far. We’ve had some surprising starts with both Ole Miss and South Carolina at 3-0 in the league and not so surprising starts, Tennessee, with the same SEC record. Here’s where I have everyone as of now:
Team of the Week: Ole Miss Rebels
Clearly, Ole Miss had the best week out of everyone in the SEC. They beat not one, but 2 Top 15 opponents and now rightfully sit in the Top 25 of the polls. They jump from 10 all the way up to 2 in my list this week. If the Rebels continue to play the way they have so far, this team has many characteristics last year’s Auburn team did.
1. #3 Tennessee: 14-1 (3-0)
Last Ranking: 1
Last Week: Beat Missouri 87-63, Beat Florida 78-67
This Week: Tonight vs. Arkansas, Saturday vs. Alabama
The Vols remain the class of the SEC at the moment. The Vols had a slow start in Columbia, Missouri pulling away late in the first half and coasting to a blowout win in Columbia. On Saturday, they fending off a game Gators team in Gainesville thanks to clutch offensive rebounding late in the game. While Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield struggled against Mizzou, it was Kyle Alexander stepping up scoring 14 points, and had 17 rebounds. Off the bench, Jordan Bowden scored 20 against Mizzou and 17, including 12 straight over a 2 minute stretch, against Florida But this is what most folks are talking about right now instead of the team.
Tennessee beats Florida and Grant Williams gives the Gator chomp. Vols are good and have swag. MAN, do I enjoy watching this team pic.twitter.com/gDsh6zQg1L— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) January 13, 2019
Honestly, if you’re a fanbase that’s going to call guys on opposing teams “inhumane” names and then have a problem with what Tennessee did here, then bottom line, don’t call them inhumane names. I see nothing wrong with what Tennessee did here.
2. #18 Ole Miss: 13-2 (3-0)
Last Ranking: 10
Last Week: Beat #11 Auburn 82-67, Beat #14 Mississippi State 81-77
This Week: Tonight vs. Arkansas, Saturday vs. Alabama
Welp. So much for my 10th place prediction for these guys. As impressive as their win over Auburn was, it was more impressive to see them back it up going to Starkville and knocking off the Bulldogs. Freshmen Blake Hinson scored a career high 26 points on Saturday and Terence Davis was SEC Player of the Week on the heels of a 27 point, 12 rebound performance against Auburn. The Rebels have gone from last place prediction to Top 25 ranking in a remarkably short amount of time. Kermit Davis is definitely a candidate for Coach of the Year at this point.
3. #14 Auburn: 12-3 (1-1)
Last Ranking: 2
Last Week: Lost to Ole Miss 82-67, Beat Georgia 93-78
This Week: Wednesday at Texas A&M, Saturday vs. #12 Kentucky
A nice bounce back game at home against Georgia puts the Tigers at 1-1 in the league. The biggest question now is can Auburn go on the road and play up to their capabilities? Auburn really needs to take care of business Wednesday before coming home for one of the biggest home games of the year Saturday against Kentucky.
4. #12 Kentucky: 12-3 (2-1)
Last Ranking: 3
Last Week: Beat Texas A&M 85-74, Beat Vanderbilt 56-47
This Week: Tonight at Georgia, Saturday at #14 Auburn
The Wildcats didn’t look super impressive this week against 2 of the bottom teams in the league at home. We'll see what they do on the road this week. If you’re an Auburn fan, you have to hope they take care of business in Athens tonight but I have a gut feeling that Coach Cal will have his guys ready to play one of their best games of the year Saturday in Auburn.
5. LSU: 12-3 (2-0)
Last Ranking: 5
Last Week: Beat Alabama 88-79, Beat Arkansas 94-88 (OT)
This Week: Tonight at #18 Ole Miss, Saturday vs. South Carolina
There’s a couple intriguing games tonight but this one is the most intriguing to me. How will Tremont Waters and LSU fare against the backcourt of Ole Miss? Can Naz Reid do damage against the frontcourt Auburn struggled against? We’ll see what the Bayou Bengals are made of this week.
6. #24 Mississippi State: 12-3 (0-2)
Last Ranking: 4
Last Week: Lost to South Carolina 87-82 (OT), Lost to Ole Miss 81-77
This Week: Tonight vs. Florida, Saturday at Vanderbilt
Rough week for the Bulldogs to say the least. The OT loss to South Carolina was bad but just shows that anyone is capable of beating anyone in this league on any given night. They had the tough luck of then running into a hot Ole Miss team. I think the Bulldogs will be fine but they really need a win tonight to make me feel confident in that.
7. South Carolina: 8-7 (3-0)
Last Ranking: 14
Last Week: Beat #14 Mississippi State 87-82 (OT), Beat Missouri 85-75
This Week: Wednesday at Vanderbilt, Saturday at LSU
Of course we all expected the Gamecocks to be 3-0 to start SEC play, right? Right? Frank Martin’s got his guys playing well and we’ll see if that continues with a pair of road games this week.
8. Alabama: 10-5 (1-2)
Last Ranking: 7
Last Week: Lost to LSU 88-79, Lost to Texas A&M 81-80
This Week: Wednesday at Missouri, Saturday at #3 Tennessee
Yes, Alabama lost both games this week BUT they rank above the Gators based on their SEC win is over Kentucky while Florida’s is against Arkansas. And if not for a buzzer beater from T.J. Starks, they’re sitting at 2-1 right now in the league. That’s the second game this year Alabama has lost at home on a buzzer beater. They really need the win at Missouri before a daunting task in Knoxville on Saturday.
9. Florida: 9-6 (1-2)
Last Ranking: 6
Last Week: Beat Arkansas 57-51, Lost to #3 Tennessee 78-67
This Week: Tonight at #24 Mississippi State, Saturday at Georgia
One of the most baffling things from the Tennessee game for Florida was why KeVaughn Allen, who scored a team high 18 points Saturday, was on the bench down the stretch for Florida when they had a golden opportunity to knock off Tennessee. Why that is unclear, what is clear is that the Gators need to get it together if they want to hear their name called on Selection Sunday.
10. Georgia: 9-6 (1-2)
Last Ranking: 12
Last Week: Beat Vanderbilt 82-63, Lost to #11 Auburn 93-78
This Week: Tonight vs. #12 Kentucky, Saturday vs. Florida
Tom Crean has made this Georgia team better and it will be interesting to see how they look when Auburn goes to Athens at the end of February. Georgia hosts 2 of their traditional rivals at home this week.
11. Arkansas: 10-5 (1-2)
Last Ranking: 10
Last Week: Lost to Florida 57-51, Lost to LSU 94-88 (OT)
This Week: Tonight at #3 Tennessee, Saturday at #18 Ole Miss
Coming off two tough losses at home and seeing their schedule for this week, there’s really only two words I can say to Arkansas: Good luck.
12. Texas A&M: 7-7 (1-2)
Last Ranking: 13
Last Week: Lost to #18 Kentucky 85-74, Beat Alabama 81-80
This Week: Wednesday vs. #14 Auburn, Saturday vs. Missouri
After splitting a pair of road games last week, the Aggies get 5 of their next 6 games in College Station. That starts with a tilt against Auburn tomorrow evening. Auburn better be ready to play as the Aggies come in on a high of winning in Tuscaloosa on a buzzer beating 3-pointer.
13. Missouri: 9-5 (0-2)
Last Ranking: 11
Last Week: Lost to #3 Tennessee 87-63, Lost to South Carolina 85-75
This Week: Wednesday vs. Alabama, Saturday at Texas A&M
Missouri played Tennessee tough for about 15 minutes before the Vols established their will and took the game over. Then the Tigers became the 3rd victim of South Carolina’s surprise SEC run in a game played 24 hours later than scheduled due to a winter storm. Their game against Alabama looks like a must win for Mizzou.
14. Vanderbilt: 9-6 (0-3)
Last Ranking: 8
Last Week: Lost to Georgia 82-63, Lost to #18 Kentucky 56-47
This Week: Wednesday vs. South Carolina, Saturday vs. #24 Mississippi State
Vandy’s back in a spot they sat in for the majority of last season. Losing by 19 to a team coming off a 46 point loss is not a good look. We’ll see if Vandy is able to bounce back with a pair of home games this week.