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Power Rankings – Week 5: The West Dominates

Well, we knew that once the conference schedule started up things would shake up. One thing I will remind you of as you go through these rankings, there are razor width sheets of paper separating 1-9 to be completely honest, so these rankings will jumble up as the season goes along. It will be Western dominate at the top as the West went 13-2 against Eastern opponents this weekend. There were also four sweeps in the conference in what was an exciting weekend across the southeast!

#1 Mississippi State – LW 9 – (18-2)

  • @ Florida, FRI – 6-5 W, SAT G1 - 10-5 W, SAT G2 – 4-2 L

This was a monster series win for State. Anytime you can get a road series win in the conference its massive but to do it in Gainesville its all the more impressive. Between the pitching of Ethan Small, JT Ginn, the rest of the State pitching staff along with the hitting of Mangum, MacNamee, Allen and Foscue, this is a very dangerous ballclub. Especially when they can pop like this…

#2 Arkansas – LW 4 – (17-2)

  • vs Missouri, FRI – 2-0 W, SAT – 4-3 W, SUN – 3-2 W

You look at these scores and think…wow, that’s a lot closer than I thought it would be and you would be right to a point. The past couple of games, Mizzou has started to put things together and that’s not good for teams in the SEC. However, Arkansas got through the weekend and that’s all that matters. The beautiful thing about college baseball is that a team can win games by a combined 4 runs and it’s a dominant series sweep. Just win, and this Hogs team is good at it. Now, to see how they look on the road.

#3 Vanderbilt – LW 1 – (15-5)

  • @ Texas A&M, FRI – 7-4 W, SAT – 8-7 L, SUN – 7-0 L

Remember, this is a power ranking. Though Vanderbilt lost a heart breaker on Saturday night and got smashed on Sunday, I’m not dropping them farther than right here…for now. This weekend however is going to be something to watch if you get tired of Tournament basketball as two wounded teams face off on West End when the Gators come callin’ against the Dores for a Thursday-Saturday series (YAY THURSDAY NIGHT BASEBALL!!)

#4 Auburn – LW 5 – (18-2)

  • vs Tennessee, FRI – 2-0 W, SAT – 5-2 W, SUN – 5-3 W

13 game win streak leaving the weekend is exactly what the doctor ordered for the toughest remaining schedule in the SEC. If you are an Auburn fan, you don’t have to pull for series sweeps, just don’t get swept and win series when you can. The RPI will be good enough for the Tigers to host if they can get to 15 wins or better in the conference, and after this weekend, they only need 12 more in 27 tries.

#5 Texas A&M – LW 7 – (17-5)

  • vs Vanderbilt, FRI – 7-4 L, SAT – 8-7 W, SUN – 7-0 W

This is the first of a couple of tough luck teams in the rankings. A&M has had a great preseason with wins over Baylor, TCU and now a series win over what many considered the number 1 team in the country, while also dropping questionable games to Incarnate Word among others. The only reason why they aren’t higher is because Vandy is still really good, Auburn has won 13 in a row and State (in my mind) would take a series with them right now (we will find out in May). That said it was a great series win over a Dores team that will definitely make noise this spring. In other news, the Aggies can hit…

#6 Florida – LW 3 – (15-7)

  • vs Mississippi State, FRI – 6-5 W, SAT G1 – 10-5 L, SAT G2 – 4-2 W

What a deflating weekend for the Gators. Coming in riding high after a 20-7 beat down of FSU, most figured this would be a weekend that the Gators announced that they were still the king of the conference on the diamond. Well if it weren’t for rain coming in to the Gainesville area on Sunday and there wasn’t a need to play 2 on Saturday, I have a feeling State would have swept. Rough weekend but at least the Gators were able to salvage a win Saturday night. Now they have to take to the road and right things against Vandy…woof.

#7 LSU – LW 6 – (15-5)

  • vs Kentucky, SAT G1 – 2-1 W/12, SAT G2 – 16-4 W, SUN – 7-2 W

LSU did what it needed to do here and did it loud after game 1.

#8 Ole Miss – LW 2 – (14-6)

  • vs Alabama, FRI - 1-0 W, SAT – 8-6 L, SUN – 12-2 W

This was a rough week for Ole Miss when you look at the whole. First, they drop 2 on the road to Louisville in the midweek, then they struggle to hold off Alabama in game 1, drop game 2 before opening it up on Sunday to win the series. I’m not pressing the panic button just yet on the Rebs, cause they can still do this to anyone.

#9 Georgia – LW 11 – (18-2)

  • @ South Carolina, FRI - 6-1 W, SAT – 8-7 W, SUN – 4-2 W

This is another tough luck spot for a team in the rankings. Georgia arguably had the best or second best weekend of anyone by sweeping in Columbia but I just can’t put them ahead of the teams above them because of the resume. There are only 2 losses but that loss to LIU-Brooklyn really hurts right now and this was really the first or second big series win the Dawgs have to their credit. Don’t worry though, LSU comes to Athens this weekend in what should be a top series around the country.

#10 South Carolina – LW 8 - (14-6)

  • vs Georgia, FRI – 6-1 L, SAT – 8-7 L, SUN – 4-2 L

What a difference 2 weeks make. Remember the beginning of March? Carolina was getting set to pound Clemson into the mat and take the series over the Tigers. Fast forward to Georgia finishing off the Gamecocks on their home field. It wasn’t just that it was a home sweep, it was how Georgia did it. Remember a few weeks back when we talked about how Auburn had struck out Cincinnati batters 35 times over the weekend? Well, Georgia pitching struck out Gamecock bats 41 times.....IN ONLY 27 INNINGS! Ouuuuch. Now you have to go on the road and face an angry bunch of Vols that feel they should have gotten at least one in Auburn this past weekend.

#11 Alabama – LW 12 – (17-4)

  • @ Ole Miss, FRI – 1-0 L, SAT – 8-6 W, SUN – 12-2 L

Sure, it was a series loss, but Alabama did exactly what they needed to do in Oxford this weekend, they got a win. Now the other side of that coin is you must defend the home front and get 2 wins. That is a tall task when confronted with the Arkansas Razorbacks.

#12 Tennessee – LW 10 – (17-4)

  • @ Auburn, FRI – 2-0 L, SAT – 5-2 L, SUN – 5-3 L

In 2017, I went to Knoxville and watched Auburn take on Tennessee. Sure it was two years ago, but to see the dynamic shift in the mind set of that Tennessee club to this one is evident and powerful. I am not worried about Tennessee after watching 27 innings with Coach T at the helm. This is a solid ballclub that will make noise.

#13 Kentucky – LW 13 – (13-7)

  • @ LSU, SAT G1 – 2-1 L/12. SAT G2 – 16-4 L, SUN – 7-2 L

The Bat Cats are a tough team to figure out but after looking at everyone, I have a sinking feeling the Cats are going to be the odd team out of Hoover with Missouri once all is said and done. The Cats had me rethinking that position during a game one where they went punch for punch with LSU in the Box but came out punchless in both games 2 and 3. With the Aggies coming in for a 3 game set this weekend, we will find out quick fast and in a hurry about Kentucky.

#14 Missouri – LW 14 – (11-8)

  • @ Arkansas, FRI – 2-0 L, SAT – 4-3 L, SUN – 3-2 L

Close but no cigar for the Tigers. If they give this kind of effort for the rest of the season, they will affect seedings in Hoover for sure.

Where do We Stand (SEC Standings after this weekend’s action)

These are my best guess tiebreakers but it will get sorted out as we go