SEC fans everywhere, we had the good, UK beat up on Louisville at the Yum! Center (sorry, that's just funny), and then on the other side of things, Mississippi State got leveled by McNeese State at home. It was another short week with the holidays, and we've got a little shake up at the top following a Florida road loss to Florida State, and the bottom, well the bottom stayed the bottom with Mizzou and State fighting to see who gets to be 14th.
In their final nonconferece game of the season Kentucky took on bitter rival (you can do that?!) Louisville in what was going to be their biggest test to date and they took care of business beating the Cardinals on their home floor. Kentucky was the team to beat this year, and now we'll see if anyone in the SEC can after the Cats undefeated non con season. Kentucky's "veterans" held strong in a defensive match up in a low scoring game that looked very very Big 10 for much of the first half. It's clearly time to start talking undefeated season which looks not only possible but probable at this point. Hide your kids, hide your wife, Kentucky' coming for you.
Coming in 2nd we've got a tie between LSU and Arkansas. Not really a new spot for the Hogs but LSU is slowly putting together a season of note that have them making a move to the top, a move many have been waiting the past few years for. As for Arkansas, they continue to win at home and really won't really know what's what until we see how they fare on the road to kick off the SEC season against Georgia. LSU has now won 7 in a row and are winning in dominant fashion. It's what makes the early season loss to Clemson and Old Dominion so confusing. With Florida's 5th loss of the season, a heart breaker by scoring on their own basket to at the buzzer handing the game to the Seminoles drops the Gators to 4th in our rankings. I'm not sure what we can take from the Gators who have either looked really good or really average. They close out the season with a visit from last year's Champions, the Huskies of UConn. A good showing tomorrow night and well I suppose the confusion will continue.
Georgia sits in 5th with South Carolina nipping at their heels with both teams remaining in their spots of the previous week. The Dawgs showed out well winning on the road against Kansas State on New Year's Eve in the "Octagon of Doom" in a low scoring affair that saw Georgia hold the Wildcats to 12 first half points...12!!! Our voters seem split on the value of South Carolina's non conference performance to date, with votes ranging from 4th all the way to 11th. The Cocks have a date with Iowa State tomorrow night in Brooklyn which should give our voters some valuable information on what to expect in the SEC season. No word on if Frank Martin will be sporting some glasses without prescription lenses, but we can only hope.
Sitting in the murky center lower caste of the SEC you have a mishmash of Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. Alabama got a nice win over UCLA at home, but at this point I'm not sure what our voters think of the victory. It's a good one to be sure, however the Bruins appear to have a been a bit of a paper tiger. Either way, it's a power 5 win and that's more than some SEC teams can boast. Tennessee and Texas A&M both got wins over the week and both now have beaten Mercer. But I imagine Mercer is still living high off that Duke upset from last year's tourney. A&M and UT are having quietly nice seasons and look to be solidly in control of the middle of the SEC.
In the bottom middle of the conference you've got Vanderbilt who got a win over Saint Louis University (though State beat them too, so take it for what it's worth), and showing what a Kevin Stallings lead team can do when he has more than 7 total players to choose from. Ole Miss who are tumbling in the rankings took a loss to Dayton who were without their best player and look to be taking up residence in the Baltic Avenue area of our rankings. Auburn meanwhile is winning games, taking out lesser teams from other conferences, but where they sit 2 months from now should be determined over the next couple weeks, with that Xavier win from a couple weeks ago still looking good.
Then we get to the bottom of the conference where our voters are unanimous, Mizzou sits at 13th and Mississippi State in 14th. Mizzou over their past two games has taken Oklahoma State to overtime and lost to Illinois at the buzzer in heartbreaking fashion. The young Tigers are figuring things out it seems and could possibly give some trouble to some of the other teams in the middle of the conference. State on the other hand just looks hapless, and sit exactly where they should after getting rolled by McNeese State. I mean, what more can you really say about that?
To the Rankings We Go!
|Team||Points||Ranking||Previous Ranking||Change||Highest Ranking||Lowest Ranking|
|LSU||73||2nd (Tied)||4th||Up 2||2nd||4th|
|Arkansas||73||2nd (Tied)||3rd||Up 1||2nd||6th|
|Tennessee||40||8th (Tied)||9th (Tied)||Up 1||4th||11th|
|Texas A&M||40||8th (Tied)||9th (Tied)||Up 1||7th||9th|
|Vanderbilt||33||10th||9th (Tied)||Down 1||7th||11th|
|Ole Miss||27||11th||8th||Down 3||8th||12th|
|Mississippi State||6||14th||13th||Down 1||14th||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
A nice win over UCLA but I am concerned that Kentucky may have killed any sense of team spirit the Bruins may have had. Either way this team should finish in the upper tier of the league. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
UCLA ain't what they used to be, but any time you beat a blue-blood program it isn't insignificant. (Roll Bama Roll)
A good win over UCLA, no bad losses at this point. Yet both BPI and KenPom aren't big fans. I think Alabama will probably win some they shouldn't, but probably not enough to get them into the NCAAs. (Rock M Nation)
They'll be 11-2, but without particularly impressive wins going into SEC play. (Dawg Sports)
As high as they can get until they play an opponent in the top 100. (A Sea of Blue)
Dropped a hundred on Northwestern State, for whatever that's worth. (Roll Bama Roll)
7-5 and on a winning run, but a January 5th game against the other Tigers (no, not those Tigers.) will help decide 12/13. (Dawg Sports)
A solid win over a not terrible Mid Tennessee squad was a good thing for this team. They'll be tougher in conference play than most think. (Rock M Nation)
Finished the non conference schedule with a winning record, I guess that is an accomplishment. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
I'm not feeling Florida; as talented as they are, they haven't beaten anybody good. (A Sea of Blue)
Even Florida has been infected with #SECBASKETBALLFEVER now. Nobody is safe. (Roll Bama Roll)
Are we putting them here out of respect for the past? Their resume isn't that good, particularly after the FSU loss and another potential L against UConn. (Dawg Sports)
Five game winning streak and a win over a Big 12 team? This is a team on the rise, with their biggest loss coming by only 12 points to Gonazaga. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
(Prior to playing at Kansas St) Not bad, but nothing special. The game tonight in Manhattan and if they can get to or over 10 SEC wins determines post season fate. (Dawg Sports)
It's almost scary that the third best team in the SEC needed 3 Overtimes to beat Mercer at home. (Rock M Nation)
Submitted after they played Louisville, a top 5 team, that they beat soundly. Kentucky is good. (Rock M Nation)
Disposed of Louisville on the road, but can they get to the SEC Tournament unblemished? (A Sea of Blue)
They will remain here the rest of the year, there is not one team in the SEC that can beat them. If they destroy everyone, could the SEC be a one bid league? (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
Quietly ripped off seven in a row, and have two more beatable teams before it gets tougher. (A Sea of Blue)
Taking care of business and blowing out bad teams. (Roll Bama Roll)
Hard to ignore a seven game winning streak. Congrats to the Tigers for being one of the few SEC teams to actually beat bad teams.(For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
Burn the whole thing down. Honestly, I'm only disappointed that our esteemed group of voters somehow didn't rank State 14th last week. (Roll Bama Roll)
If they play like they did against McNeese St you can expect to see the Bulldogs at the bottom of this poll for a while. Gross. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
A 19 point loss to McNeese State is downright embarrassing. The season started with so much promise, and tanked quickly. It will be interesting to watch State try to navigate through the conference. (Rock M Nation)
Probably won't reach .500 again this season. (Dawg Sports)
Another close loss is enough to keep Mizzou in place for now. But this team could easily move up in conference play if they keep improving like they have over the past few weeks. (Rock M Nation)
Lost a game they should've won against Oklahoma St.; young team, but there is some talent there. (A Sea of Blue)
Battled for the best team in Mississippi for football, but Mississippi State and Ole Miss fans can only argue about which team is the worst this basketball season. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
Dayton loss and I'm not big on Andy Kennedy puts them here. I suspect they'll be an NIT bubble team. (Dawg Sports)
Lost a close one on the road to Dayton, and if they could show well against Kentucky, who knows? (A Sea of Blue)
Won at Marshall, and at home against Oklahoma St and Clemson. A neutral site game vs Iowa St is the only thing between them and the beginning of the SEC schedule. (Dawg Sports)
The Gamecocks have a really high ceiling, it looks like Frank Martin finally has them on the verge of something significant. (Roll Bama Roll)
Big test coming up vs. Iowa State, but South Carolina has been doing something nobody outside of Kentucky has been doing and that's blowing teams out. Not the toughest schedule, but if you play a bad team, you should beat them badly, and SC has done that.(Rock M Nation)
They keep squeaking out wins over pretty bad opponents, but at least they're winning. (Rock M Nation)
Nice response since the loss to NC State, but the wins over KSU and Butler have lost some luster. (For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
Not buying them yet; they have to win one on the road. (A Sea of Blue)
The only SEC team to play Kansas State and lose. However, the Aggies look like a pretty solid team that will be a tough out for anybody (except Kentucky). (Roll Bama Roll)
They beat Mercer pretty soundly, but this team needs to do something to be better than they are. And by that, I don't mean wait for their good recruiting class to come in next year. (Rock M Nation)
Ehhhh, I still don't know a lot about this team. They lost to Kansas State, which looks like a bad loss right now, and have no big wins on the resume.(For Whom the Cowbell Tolls)
KenPom likes them, BPI likes them, RPI hates them. I'm in the middle. They're certainly better than I expected, I don't think they're a top 50 team, but certainly a top 75. (Rock M Nation)
Beating St. Louis used to be a solid mid-major win. Unfortunately for Dores fans, even Mississippi State was able to beat the Billikens. (Roll Bama Roll)
Vanderbilt is beating who they should beat, and playing better teams tough; St. Louis on the road isn't a great win, but it's a good one. (A Sea of Blue)
There you have it, another week another bout of the SECBASKETBALLFEVER, let's hope as the calendar turns to 2015 we get a chance to see some quality basketball and that the SEC gets it's act together. It's gonna be fun so let's enjoy this...in any way we can!