Sometimes when the critics (those who can't do) and the talking heads start questioning you, you can either make excuses or you can go out and obliterate the next opponent on your schedule and re-assert yourself as the boss...Well Kentucky chose option 2 giving the young Tigers of Mizzou a beating they will not soon forget. After being taken to overtime twice in the first week of SEC play the Wildcats shut everyone up with a severe beating and remain unanimously atop our poll. Honestly, if the Kentucky we saw show up Tuesday night comes out like that against their remaining opponents, undefeated is not only possible but likely. I guess we'll just have to wait and see if they can mentally get up for the non name opponents the rest of the way.
In second, Arkansas remains but the Gators are nipping at their heels after having another solid week of beating the teams that were scheduled for them, in this case State (everyone gets a turn!) and Auburn, who looked just a bit different on the road than they did at home. On the other hand, Arkansas did Arkansas things and lost their first SEC road game, falling in Knoxville in a close contest, after last week having gone to Columbia (SC) and sneaking away with a road win. Our voters did not overly punish the Hogs for this loss, but the narrative that Mike Anderson's teams can't win on the road may be getting ready to make a re-appearance.
Coming in at 4th you've got the LSU Tigers who drop a spot after an overtime loss last week to Mizzou, followed up with a double overtime win over Georgia (if it's Saturday in the SEC,it's Double Overtime day) and a road win at Ole Miss where the Rebels are having trouble with the electricity. But all this is immaterial, because as a result of that win over Georgia, we got this! Isn't she glorious? In 5th, the Tide are moving up the polls following a nice road win at Tennessee, and a close lose in Columbia (SC). Rounding out the upper tier of the SEC you've got preseason darling Georgia who sit at 6th after the aforementioned double overtime loss to LSU and a win at Ole Miss, where again, the power went out. It's just like the Super Bowl, but more interesting. Their game tomorrow against A&M should give our voters a better idea of what the center of the SEC really looks like.
Our teams that come in at 7 - 9 are all separated by a mere three points, it's close in the lower middle it seems. South Carolina is this week's team to drop the furthest falling three spots from fourth and barely hanging onto 7th at that after a rough loss at Ole Miss and a close win over Alabama at home. Somebody check Frank Martin's rage level as it can only be moving into the red, and you wouldn't like Frank in the red. Following closely behind the Cocks are the Vols of Tennessee who got a big home win over Arkansas following a curious home loss to Alabama where they only managed to score 38 points. Tyndall for what, indeed! Coming in 9th sits Ole Miss who put a scare into Kentucky last week, beat up South Carolina at home and then lost a close game to LSU. The middle of the SEC is inconsistent, and until some of these teams start putting in some 2-0 weeks, I expect we'll continue to see the volatility in the rankings we've seen from this group so far this season.
Vandy is situated in the 10 spot, dropping two spots after dropping two games this past week, at Arkansas (where the Hogs don't lose) and at home to Georgia (which is also uncommon). Vandy has been having a quietly nice season, let's see how it plays out, but this feels right to me. Settling in at 11 are the Aggies of A&M who participated in one of last Saturday's double overtime affairs losing to Kentucky but following that up with a closer than expected win over State.
Finally rounding out the bottom we have the same three characters we've had all season and seemingly will for a while. Auburn comes in at 12th after a home win over Mizzou and a road loss to Florida, showing out as one would expect a young team to do, all Jekyll and Hyde like. Coming in at 13th is Mizzou who lost two games on the road, one close and one that was a beating the likes of which hadn't witnessed before. This was a Super Bowl 24 level beating. What Kentucky did to the Tigers was something else...Finally, in 14th we have State, and well it's almost baseball season so there's that.
To the rankings!
|Team||Points||Ranking||Ranking Last Week||Change||Highest Rank||Lowest Rank|
|South Carolina||73||7th||4th||Down 3||6th||10th|
|Ole Miss||70||9th||8th (Tied)||Down 1||6th||11th|
|Vanderbilt||54||10th||8th (Tied)||Down 2||8th||11th|
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
Really intrigued by Saturday's opportunity against Kentucky, though I'm not sure playing great defense is the number one factor for beating UK. (Rocky Top Talk)
Imagine if Anthony Grant could develop an offense. (Roll Bama Roll)
The middle of the SEC is a complete mess, but we'll let the Tide slot in here since their only loss was by two points in Columbia. (Garnet and Black Attack)
Like LSU, a single road loss isn't much of a negative. And Portis plus their perimeter pieces make them a likely tourney lock. (Dawg Sports)
Allowed three of Tennessee's best players to shoot 20 of 26. If they clean that up, they're dancing easily.(Rocky Top Talk)
Winning on the road is so last week.(Rock M Nation)
Will steadily improve throughout the season. (And the Valley Shook)
Bruce Pearl's team was able to keep Missouri at bay for the #12 spot. (Roll Bama Roll)
The win over Missouri is a nice won for a team that will treasure every one they get in SEC play.(Garnet and Black Attack)
So what? Florida finds itself at 2-0 after beating the heck out of a miserable State team and we're supposed to think they're back? They get a bump in my poll this week but not too far until they prove they can sustain this revival. (College and Magnolia)
Gators have returned to their rightful place among the elite of the SEC. Can they win enough games to make the tourney? (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
As per usual, despite a slow start, Florida will probably end up 2nd in the league by the end. :/ (Rock M Nation)
They really should have won the game at LSU, and nearly found a way to lose at Vandy when they controlled the game for so long. I won't be surprised if they finish in the top 4 in the league, and all the rankings love them. (Rock M Nation)
Got a tough road win in Nashville, at an arena that still needs to be made legal like all others. Losing at home to Florida Saturday afternoon would make NCAA dreams very hard to reach. (Dawg Sports)
They're not going to overwhelm many teams and need Juwan Parker to get healthy, but they're going to make some noise in this conference. (And the Valley Shook)
The highlights for the Mizzou game should come with a parental advisory warning.(Rock M Nation)
Looked vulnerable against Ole Miss and TAMU, not so much against Mizzou. Still the class of the conference.(A Sea of Blue)
Double OT against A&M was not a great look. However, the domination of Mizzou was something special. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
I still think the second best in conference when they are on with good bigs and enough perimeter players.(Dawg Sports)
The Tigers bounced back from a demoralizing loss at Mizzou and appear to have the ship steadied. (And the Valley Shook)
This team should be better, and beating teams by more than they are.(A Sea of Blue)
When you lose all 3 of your SEC games, this is where you land. (A Sea of Blue)
The considerable lack of progress from last year to this year has to concern basketball fans in Starkville. (Garnet and Black Attack)
Yeah... (Roll Bama Roll)
Focus on the win over LSU, forget about everything that happened since then. (Garnet and Black Attack)
Thanks A LOT Rebs and Aggies, you just had to go and poke the bear didn't you?! (Rock M Nation)
Young team with talent, but losing two good rotation players is hurting them; that drubbing at Kentucky could've happened to anyone. (A Sea of Blue)
They may still show signs of inconsistency the rest of the way, but their ceiling is a lot higher than I thought. (Rocky Top Talk)
The good news: Ole Miss has played really well against the top of the SEC so far. The bad news: They have yet to play terribly against the bottom of the conference. (Roll Bama Roll)
A bit buoyed by their close loss to Kentucky and win over South Carolina, they blew a chance at home over LSU. I'm just not sure how good they are, if at all. (Rock M Nation)
Lose bad on the road to an average team, beat Alabama at home? South Carolina just encapsulated life in the middle tier of the 2015 SEC. (College and Magnolia)
A very close loss to Florida away from being the fourth-best team in the league, but a very close win against Alabama way from being 0-3. (Garnet and Black Attack)
A brutal 3 weeks await for the Gamecocks. (And the Valley Shook)
Big win over Arkansas. They still have some concerns, especially after getting dominated by Bama, but this team will only get better going forward. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
If Robert Hubbs does what he did against Arkansas with consistency, that changes a bunch of things for Tennessee's present and future. (Rocky Top Talk)
Who are you Tennessee? Alabama smothers you then you turn around and knock of Arkansas? (College and Magnolia)
Played Kentucky about as well as they did Mississippi State.(Roll Bama Roll)
I wouldn't be shocked if they drop to the bottom 3 in the next few weeks. Coaches named Kennedy need to update their resumes. (Dawg Sports)
They certainly gave Kentucky a run for their money, but they need more production out of their back court and a healthy Jalen Jones. (A Sea of Blue)
I like this bunch more than the ranking may indicate, it's just that I don't think this is the Dores year. (And the Valley Shook)
Vandy is a bit of a team to watch, as they basically played nobody in non-conference, and are now 1-2 after losing at home to Georgia. But both losses were close. I can see this team finishing with 10-11 wins or with 5. (Rock M Nation)
Not enough here to make a serious post-season run, but no one is going to look forward to their trip to Nashville this season. The SEC is on the upswing not so much because of the teams above the 'Dores, but because a team as good as Vanderbilt is only 9th in these power ratings.(Garnet and Black Attack)
And there you have it, rankings, commentary and a vine of my new favorite basketball personality. SEC fans, the gauntlet has been thrown. This weekend features a bunch of great games so instead of going outside and being productive, take a seat and let the SEC Basketball be your home away from home Saturday.