It’s time for a new week of SEC Power Rankings, Volume V, but I’m going to do something a bit different this week. I want to hear from the readers! I’ll post my rankings per usual but I’m really curious about your thoughts on the SEC.
In addition, 10 of the 14 SEC teams will only play 1 conference game this week as Saturday marks the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. As we’ve documented before, Auburn will not participate this year but will rejoin the rotation next year. Ironically, 3 of the 4 SEC teams NOT playing in the Challenge Saturday are currently ranked in the Top 25: Auburn, LSU, and Mississippi State. (Missouri is the other)
1. Tennessee: 16-1 (5-0) - Last Week: 1
Last Week: Defeated Arkansas 106-87, Defeated Alabama 71-68
This Week: Wednesday at Vanderbilt, Saturday vs. West Virginia
The Vols are the new #1 team in the AP Poll after narrowly escaping against Alabama. Some guy named Bruce Pearl was the coach there the last time the Vols reached that plateau. That was back in 2008 and their first game with that #1 ranking was at Vanderbilt and... they lost. (Looks at calendar and sees their next game is.... at Vanderbilt.) Oh the irony.
2. Kentucky: 14-3 (4-1) - Last Week: 4
Last Week: Defeated Georgia 69-49, Defeated #14 Auburn 82-80
This Week: Tonight vs. #22 Mississippi State, Saturday vs. #9 Kansas
Ranked 8th in the AP Poll, the Cats are in the midst of 3 straight games against Top 25 teams. If Kentucky plays as well and are as engaged as they were here on Saturday, they’re going to be extremely tough to beat.
3. LSU: 14-3 (4-0) - Last Week: 5
Last Week: Defeated #18 Ole Miss 83-69, Defeated South Carolina 89-67
This Week: Wednesday vs. Georgia, Saturday at Missouri
Now ranked #25 in the AP Poll, this is the team in the SEC nobody is talking about. The Bayou Bengals are on a 7 game winning streak after destroying previously undefeated SEC team South Carolina on Saturday.
4. Auburn: 13-4 (2-2) - Last Week: 3
Last Week: Defeated Texas A&M 85-66, Lost to #12 Kentucky 82-80
This Week: Tonight at South Carolina, Saturday at #22 Mississippi State
Ranked #16 in the AP Poll this week but it’s worth noting that Auburn’s 4 losses are against their best 4 opponents of the year. They could really use a Q1 win and they get that chance Saturday in Starkville.
5. Ole Miss: 14-3 (4-1) - Last Week: 2
Last Week: Lost to LSU 83-69, Defeated Arkansas 84-67
This Week: Tonight at Alabama, Saturday vs. #24 Iowa State
Their 10 game win streak was snapped at home against a hot LSU team but fell to just #20 in the AP Poll. Sneaky good game on Saturday morning in Oxford against the Cyclones.
6. Mississippi State: 14-3 (2-2) - Last Week: 6
Last Week: Defeated Florida 71-68, Defeated Vanderbilt 71-55
This Week: Tonight at #8 Kentucky, Saturday vs. #16 Auburn
After dropping their opening 2 SEC games, the Bulldogs bounced back with 2 wins last week. The 22nd ranked Bulldogs face a pair of huge tests this week starting with a hot Kentucky team tonight at Rupp Arena and then Auburn comes calling on Saturday night.
7. Alabama: 11-6 (2-3) - Last Week: 8
Last Week: Defeated Missouri 70-60, Lost to #3 Tennessee 71-68
This Week: Tonight vs. #20 Ole Miss, Saturday at Baylor
A valiant effort in Knoxville came up 3 points short as John Petty scored 30 in the defeat. Tide get another shot at a quality win tonight at home.
8. South Carolina: 9-8 (4-1) - Last Week: 7
Last Week: Defeated Vanderbilt 74-71, Lost to LSU 89-67
This Week: Tonight vs. #16 Auburn, Saturday at Oklahoma State
The league’s surprising team finally saw their perfect SEC run hit a brick wall in Baton Rouge. Frank Martin’s group will be a tough test for Auburn tonight after the Tigers tough loss to Kentucky on Saturday.
9. Florida: 10-7 (2-3) - Last Week: 9
Last Week: Lost to #24 Mississippi State 71-68, Defeated Georgia 62-52
This Week: Tonight vs. Texas A&M, Saturday at TCU
Gators picked up a must-win over Georgia on Saturday. They should be able to take care of business against A&M and then defeating TCU would be a start to try and build a tournament resume.
10. Missouri: 10-6 (1-3) - Last Week: 13
Last Week: Lost to Alabama 70-60, Defeated Texas A&M 66-43
This Week: Wednesday at Arkansas, Saturday vs. #25 LSU
The bottom 5 of this league is honestly a toss-up but Mizzou did score a 23 point road win, thus why I moved them up this week.
11. Georgia: 9-8 (1-4) - Last Week: 10
Last Week: Lost to #12 Kentucky 69-49, Lost to Florida 62-52
This Week: Wednesday at #25 LSU, Saturday vs. Texas
It doesn’t get any easier for the Bulldogs this week.
12. Arkansas: 10-7 (1-4) - Last Week: 11
Last Week: Lost to #3 Tennessee 106-87, Lost to #18 Ole Miss 84-67
This Week: Wednesday vs. Missouri, Saturday at #14 Texas Tech
Hogs started off the season well but SEC play has been a struggle for them.
13. Vanderbilt: 9-8 (0-5) - Last Week: 14
Last Week: Lost to South Carolina 74-71, Lost to #24 Mississippi State 71-55
This Week: Wednesday vs. #1 Tennessee, Saturday at Oklahoma
How does Vandy move up without a conference win? Because right now, they’re putting forth a better effort than the team now below them and an untimely technical foul was critical in the Dores late against South Carolina on Wednesday. They led by 5 with about 1:30 left when that happened.
14. Texas A&M: 7-9 (1-4) - Last Week: 12
Last Week: Lost to #14 Auburn 85-66, Lost to Missouri 66-43
This Week: Tonight at Florida, Saturday vs. Kansas State
How did this team beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa? The Aggies looked listless in both games last week, with the bottom falling off just scoring 43 at home against Mizzou. Bryce Brown had an interesting post-game quote following the game last Wednesday.
Auburn's Bryce Brown, who had 20 of his 22 points in first half, critical of Aggies' effort. Said he expected more 'fire' from A&M defensively when a ranked opponent comes on to Aggies' home court -- 'They probably could have played a little harder'— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) January 17, 2019
Let me know what you think! War Eagle!