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SEC Power Rankings: Week 2

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Basketball season is fully upon us and we've got movement! Kentucky is still sitting atop the good ol' SEC, but something's lurking behind the Cats, something with tusks and a foul temper...

In the vein of Denis Green's "they were who we thought they were" rant, the SEC is not really doing a great job of changing the preconceived notion that this is only a football conference where Kentucky and Florida spend their January through March basketball months.

At the top of the heap you have the teams most people expected to be sitting there, Kentucky (still unanimous!) and Florida sit at 1 and 3, but following a big road win over SMU Arkansas has moved into the second spot. Yes, SMU has looked shaky, but it's a Mike Anderson coached team winning on the road, so that's HUGE. The Gators already have three losses in the nonconference season, though two were nailbiters against Miami and Georgetown with another close loss to UNC, so not anything our voters could really penalize this team for.
After a stunning early season loss to Charleston Southern Ole Miss is surging(moving from 9th last week to 5th this week) having taken out the 23rd ranked Creighton and getting a solid win over Cincinnati. On the other side of that, you've got LSU taking a big tumble down the rankings (moving from 4th to 8th) after two bad losses to Old Dominion and Clemson in the not most impressive of fashions. Also sitting there quietly hoping no one really notices the good season they've put together is Texas A&M who only have a close loss to last year's NCAA tournament darling Dayton as the only blemish on their record.

The gooey center of the SEC power rankings is a bit of a jumble that sees Mississippi State (moving from 14th to 9th) and Vanderbilt (moving from 12th to 10th) moving up solely for the reason that they're taking care of business by beating the teams they should and while not looking unwatcheable in the losses they have been dealt this season.

Finally, we have the bottom where we find Auburn, Tennessee and Mizzou.  
Tennessee has a losing record, but at least their fans can say they've been to teams you've heard of and to be honest the Vols and their fans have other things on their minds, what with everyone associated with the program quitting for "personal reasons" or under an NCAA investigation.
Auburn was held to 35 total points by a Frank Haith led Tulsa squad...let that sink in. A Frank Haith led team held another major conference basketball team to 35. Total. Points. People, we've entered the bizarro world.
Then there's Mizzou. I love Mizzou, but what they did in Maui and have done in the early season has them fairly placed in last place. When the Tigers moved to the SEC, the idea was that Mizzou would help the SEC with it's basketball perception, adding another team to the big dance ticket and that happened in year 1, but since then, not so much. Not that that can't change, but for now Tiger fans, let's just focus on back to back trips to Atlanta for the SEC championship game and not really think about basketball. Hey, I guess Mizzou truly is SEC!

To the Rankings and Rationales!

Team Points Ranking Previous Ranking Change Highest Ranking Lowest Ranking
Kentucky 112 1st 1st None 1st 1st
Arkansas 104 2nd 3rd Up 1 Spot 2nd 2nd
Florida 95 3rd 2nd Down 1 Spot 3rd 4th
Alabama 85 4th 6th Up 2 Spots 4th 8th
Ole Miss 76 5th 9th Up 4 Spots 3rd 10th
Texas A&M 75 6th 7th Up 1 Spot 4th 10th
Georgia 63 7th 5th Down 2 Spots 6th 9th
LSU 58 8th 4th Down 4 Spots 5th 11th
Mississippi State 47 9th 14th Up 5 Spots 6th 12th
Vanderbilt 37 10th 12th Up 2 Spots 7th 14th
South Carolina 36 11th 8th Down 3 Spots 7th 14th
Auburn 22 12th (tied) 10th Down 2 Spots 9th 14th
Tennessee 22 12th (tied) 13th Up 1 Spot 11th 14th
Mizzou 18 14th 11th Down 3 Spots 11th 14th

Points were distributed 1st = 14, 2nd = 13, 3rd = 12, 4th = 11, 5th = 10, 6th = 9, 7th = 8, 8th = 7, 9th = 6, 10th = 5, 
11th = 4, 12th = 3, 13th = 2, and 14th = 1

Hung tight with #13 Iowa State and beat a decent Arizona State squad. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)

The Tide's only loss came in a competitive loss on a neutral site to #13 Iowa State. They followed that with a quality neutral site win over Arizona State the next day.(Roll Bama Roll)

A nice win over Arizona State early, although not much distinguishes them from the next 3-4 teams below them, and we still have a lot to learn. (Garnet and Black Attack)

Getting nice wins away from home? Who are they? (And the Valley Shook)

Just keep winning but they have a really tough test in Iowa State. (A Sea of Blue)

Bobby Portis is good. (Rock M Nation)

They scored 35 points against a Frank Haith defense. WORST IN THE SEC. (Rock M Nation)

When Auburn goes cold shooting, they go arctic cold. They got a nice win against Oregon State in Las Vegas after scoring only 35 against Tulsa. (College and Magnolia)

Bruce Pearl learns what Frank Martin learned: just because you’re a good coach, that doesn’t mean you can show up and win in year one. (Garnet and Black Attack)

This (3rd) is by default. (And the Valley Shook)

I know the Gators are 3-3, and have looked ugly doing it, but this is still a Billy Donovan-coached team, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. Plus, they are still riding a 20-something game win streak against the SEC, so how can you really put anybody other then Kentucky and Arkansas ahead of them? (Roll Bama Roll)

Despite the lack of any significant wins, their three losses have come against teams with a combined 16-3 record. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)

Playing good teams close, but failing to close the deal. (A Sea of Blue)

Georgia has three losses, but they are to Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, and Minnesota. Expecting a little more from the Bulldogs moving forward. (College and Magnolia)

The Bulldogs have beaten three bad teams and have losses to three quality teams. In other words, the resume is still basically blank. (Roll Bama Roll)

Kentucky is boring. I'm bored with Kentucky. LOSE ALREADY THIS IS BORING. (Rock M Nation)

Holding opponents to sub-20-point halves. (A Sea of Blue)

It can't get any more obvious. (And the Valley Shook)


LSU

Probably don't deserve to be this high based on season results so far, but I like their talent. (A Sea of Blue)

At least they beat Texas Tech. (And the Valley Shook)

Too many losses they shouldn’t have (Clemson, Old Dominion at neutral sites), and too many close games at home against weaker opposition. (Garnet and Black Attack)

Yes, the Bulldogs are middle-of-the-road in the SEC right now. At 5-1, they have beaten every team they have played handily with the exception of the loss to an undefeated TCU team. (Roll Bama Roll)

After rushing out to a 5-0 start and crushing St. Louis, the team fell flat on their face against TCU. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)

Lost their first real contest against TCU, but a blowout neutral win over St. Louis is still impressive. (Garnet and Black Attack)

Blown out by Purdue and the loss against the Kangaroos is not going away anytime soon. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)

Thrilling win over Chaminade makes Mizzou fans forget previous two games. (Rock M Nation)

I expected better than 20-point drubbings against good competition. (A Sea of Blue)

The loss to Charleston Southern to start the year continues to confound, but back-to-back wins over Creighton and Cincinnati warrant this spot. (Garnet and Black Attack)

Picked up nice wins at Creighton and against Cincinnati. (College and Magnolia)

Back-to-back quality wins against Creighton and Cincinnati have my full attention. (A Sea of Blue)

They're not the worst team in the SEC. (Rock M Nation)

Some tough close losses, but dominant in the rest of their games. Plus, it’s hard to reward the teams below them for simply not playing the tougher games to bolster their record. (Garnet and Black Attack)

Has lost to Akron and Charlotte this season and doesn't really have a quality win. Ouch. (College and Magnolia)

The only team in the SEC with a losing record. To their credit they have played some decent teams and don't have an ugly loss to a garbage team, but they also were blown out against the two good teams they played and Marquette hasn't been a very good team themselves, so that wasn't exactly an inspiring loss. (Roll Bama Roll)

Has the league's worst record, but has played a very tough schedule. Losses to VCU, Kansas and Marquette are nothing to be disappointed in. They continue to challenge themselves, as their next three games are against Kansas State, Butler, and at NC State. (College and Magnolia)

The wheels are coming off a bit, it will be interesting to see what happens on the court. (Rock M Nation)

Getting Danuel House eligible is going to be huge for this team. (Rock M Nation)

They've looked exceedingly OK this year, which is more than you can say about most of the league. (And the Valley Shook)

Solid win over New Mexico, only loss is to a good Dayton team. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)

A Note from Anchor of Gold: This year, there are no truly bad teams in the league. The league's worst teams this season are going to be tough outs at home, which couldn't be said for the league the past couple of years when one or two teams would not have been safe bets to win the SWAC

Is 5-1 but without a real quality win. They get Baylor, Purdue and Georgia Tech before conference play begins so we will learn more about the Dores. (College and Magnolia)

Weak team, weak schedule; beat Baylor and I'll care. (A Sea of Blue)

Probably better than this but you can't lose to Rutgers. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)

And there it is, another week of the SEC's SB Nation Blog Power Rankings. As the season continues on we're clearly seeing some separation from the teams, some teams are getting better, some worse and some just making up that delightful middle that should keep you interested just long enough. 
Grab some bourbon, tune into SEC Network + and let the SECBASKETBALLFEVER wash over you and thank us in the morning.