As we get closer and closer to the end of the month, the SEC has continued to take steps to solidify its pecking order and as a result, position itself for a great day on Selection Sunday, with as many as 6 - 8 teams still in the conversation of a tourney invite. For most power conferences, this would not be something to get excited about, but when you only have put in 3 each over the past two post expansion years, that would be a helluva jump and nothing to sneeze at. Though if you are sneezing, that's not allergies, that's...the fever, get yourself to quarantine before you end up like those people in 28 Days Later.
Kentucky, you are our basketball overlords, it's just that simple. After a close win over LSU last week, Big Blue has been taking care of business with a curb stomping of South Carolina and then a road win at Tennessee. While the Tennessee game was close, this seems to have been Kentucky's M.O. with good defensive teams on the road, keep it tight in the first half, and then crush some opposing fans dreams in the second, and potentially take out a cheerleader or two.
Really, outside of a date with Arkansas next week, I think it's safe to assume Kentucky's not losing again until MAYBE the SEC tournament and who knows how likely that is. Kentucky, you bore us!
In second we've got Arkansas who have finally gotten over their road woes of the past few years, this week going to Oxford and exacting a little revenge over Ole Miss for an earlier home beating they suffered. This pretty much follows the Mike Anderson script we're all used to. Get job, have team respectable quickly drawing fans in, win at home, not the road where foul calls are different, never win on the road for a few years, then get all the pieces in place and win everywhere and make noise in the NCAAs. Then Jimmy Sexton blackmails your AD into a pay raise and extension, or dream job comes open. It's coming Hog fans, you've been warned.
Sliding in at 3rd we've got the Rebels of Ole Miss who lost on Valentines Day to Arkansas, and squeaked out a win over in state rival Mississippi State last night on the road. Stefan Moody is cold blooded, and he will stab your fans in the heart with a three pointer (or three in a row on the same play) and kill any shot at an upset. This sticks Ole Miss comfortably in third and should keep the debate about whose better, them or Arkansas until next week when both play teams of differing skill sets.
Texas A&M makes a move up to 4th this week after getting two quality home wins over Florida and LSU. These wins will look good on their March resume and while A&M is not a sexy choice for a dance bid, they haven't embarrassed themselves with any terrible losses but haven't really had any great wins, until now. If you can consider Florida and LSU great wins. They're name wins, and sometimes that's all that matters.
In 5th and 6th we've got two teams who have been a bit maddening this season, with Georgia and LSU filling out these spots respectively. Georgia has started to fall apart with back to back home losses to bottom of the rankings members Auburn and South Carolina; a South Carolina squad who was 10 players after suspending two. LSU meanwhile followed up their good showing against Kentucky from a week ago with a whooping over Turn Down for Tennessee proving that maybe they had everything together, but then losing at A&M in a defensive struggle they were leading at halftime (which seems to happen when you play A&M it turns out.) Now losing at A&M isn't a bad loss, but it does take the shine off the bloom a bit of what LSU had accomplished of late. LSU, get it together, we're all really, really confused!
Coming into the middle of the pack we've got the troika of Florida, Tennessee and Alabama who are all kind of the same at this point dependent on your point of view. All are flawed and coming off of difficult weeks. Florida snuck by Vandy after another close loss at A&M, Bama beat Auburn in the Iron Bowl no one really cared about and lost at home to Vandy, and Tennessee took on the big boys of the conference in LSU and Kentucky and dropped two home wins that could have done wonders for any March dreams Vols fans had at the moment. Both Florida and Tennessee appear on the brink of potential potentially as early as next year and Bama, well that's all gonna depend on what they do following the season. Do they keep Grant for another go round or move on and let Nick Saban coach the team?
Mississippi State continues to be the team our voters just can't agree on. It doesn't appear they can be forgiven their earlier sins, but having looked more respectable of late hasn't really done much for their position, receiving votes as high as 9th and as low as 13th. Where they end, well hell I have no idea, but missing out on a home win over Ole Miss didn't really change much in our voters eyes. Sliding in at 11th just behind State is South Carolina, who have decided to take the "Kim Anderson suspend everyone" pill and teach some kids to grow up. However, unlike Mizzou, South Carolina still has some horses to compete and after taking the beating at Kentucky that everyone this year takes, took down Georgia on the road, just to ensure that the SEC remained a little bonkers this week. The SEC is going to SEC people, it's part of it's DNA. Right behind the Cocks you've got Vandy who beat Alabama on the road and then lost another close one at Florida when the Dores couldn't lock down the game late. Vandy's young and leaning to win, that's pretty much it. Keep doing you Kevin Stallings.
At the bottom of the pecking order this week we've got familiar faces Auburn and Mizzou, though both teams are not playing exactly the same. Auburn got a nice road road win at Georgia on Saturday, but then lost on the road to Bama in the Iron Bowl, basketball style. They've got a date with Kentucky and LSU next so, yeah I'd expect them to kind of stay where they are. Finally, we've got Mizzou who haven't won a game since January and in that time had everyone suspended. Hell, Kim Anderson suspended me for a half last game. But the young Tigers are playing better, and like Vandy just don't really know how to win after a close loss at home to State and a closer than would have been imagined loss to Arkansas in the Battle Line Rivalry sponsored by VerizonChipotleExxon.
And now...to the numbers part of the rankings!
|Team||Points||Ranking||Last Week's Ranking||Change||Highest Ranking||Lowest Ranking|
|Texas A&M||121||4th||5th||Up 1||3rd||5th|
|South Carolina||38||11th||12th||Up 1||10th||13th|
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
The question is not whether Grant makes it to next season, but whether he makes it to the end of this one.(Anchor of Gold)
The players really seemed to rally around Grant's impending doom. Maybe we finally get that run the Tide has been teasing us with.(Roll Bama Roll)
Anthony Grant is on the Tommy Tuberville plan: sweep your rival, go to a mid-tier postseason destination, stay employed forever. Roll Tide.(College and Magnolia)
We could kind of use a sweet 16 run here to get some respect back for the conference.(Dawg Sports)
I can't wait for the Arkansas/Kentucky clash. It's going to be the SEC game of the year. (Good Bull Hunting)
If anybody beats Kentucky this season Arkansas just might be long and athletic enough to do it. (Red Cup Rebellion)
The Tigers have pulled a couple of nice upsets in the past few weeks, getting better toward the end of Bruce Pearl's first year like I expected.(And the Valley Shook)
I like trucks. (Dawg Sports)
Who didn't beat Georgia last week?(Rock M Nation)
How many close losses can the Gators suffer before people start thinking they're cursed? (Red Cup Rebellion)
Billy Donovan has lost his magic with this group. (A Sea of Blue)
I can't shake the feeling that they're going to be an extremely tough out in Nashville. (Good Bull Hunting)
The season grind is taking its toll. Back to back losses at home to weak teams is a major concern considering their remaining schedule.(A Sea of Blue)
/Walks to edge of bridge //looks down ///GERONIMO! (Dawg Sports)
Ugly week after a huge win at A&M. They're in a danger zone right now with road games at Alabama (who also needs a win) and Ole Miss coming up. (Rock M Nation)
Wake them up when the SEC Tournament starts. (Roll Bama Roll)
Down the stretch they come in UK's bid for a perfect regular season. (A Sea of Blue)
"B" game is good enough to beat most teams. (Good Bull Hunting)
The lack of depth and inconsistent guard play will prevent this team from making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, but there isn't a chance on Earth I'd like to see Jordan Mickey and Jarrell Martin if I'm a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament. (Roll Bama Roll)
In way tougher shape than they should be right now, but there's a chance the talent could get hot at the right time. From what we've seen, just don't count on it. (And the Valley Shook)
The Tigahs have a few easy ones left on their schedule, but they need to win their games at home against Ole Miss and @Arky to boost their somewhat lacking resume. (Red Cup Rebellion)
Is better than Auburn and Mizzou, at least.(Anchor of Gold)
The Bulldogs are back to earth after a nice few weeks, and a spot in the top 10 of the league isn't implausible by season's end. (And the Valley Shook)
Rick Ray is just living the Costanza dream, ensconced in velvet. (Rock M Nation)
Once upon a time, Mizzou was 1-0 in conference. (College and Magnolia)
They're still playing hard, just not playing very well. (Rock M Nation)
Seriously, where did we put that reciept? Check in the sock drawer. I know it's around here somewhere. "Will help improve conference basketball quality" my left...(Roll Bama Roll)
Well on their way to an NCAA Tournament bid with a manageable schedule remaining.(A Sea of Blue)
Jarvis Summers' lack of production is becoming a big concern for the Rebels, it could be a health issue, but either way he just simply isn't the same player. However, Moody is playing lights out and they are very deep. They'll be dancing here in about a month. (Unless they totally pull an Ole Miss and mess it up, which is very possible). (Red Cup Rebellion)
I would not want to see this team in my pod in March (Good Bull Hunting)
If only they could play Georgia every night... (Anchor of Gold)
They are better than Georgia. (Dawg Sports)
It doesn't matter how much better Georgia is, the Dawgs just can't figure South Carolina out this academic year. (Roll Bama Roll)
Playing Kentucky close-ish doesn't exactly distinguish you from the field, especially after a home loss to LSU where the Vols trailed by 27 at halftime. (And the Valley Shook)
Losing 6 of the last 8 took a season from promising to problems. (Dawg Sports)
The team we saw last week was the one we thought we'd see in the preseason. (Anchor of Gold)
A season sweep of LSU is the bright spot on a resume that otherwise consists of beating the teams they're supposed to. (And the Valley Shook)
Had to have that LSU home win, but still needs to close strong. (Good Bull Hunting)
Big victories at home over Florida and LSU shows this team knows how to win close, tough conference games. (A Sea of Blue)
I'm starting to think Kevin Stallings has lost whatever he had going up there with his third consecutive year of not good. (Dawg Sports)
Looked like they figured out how to close out games at Alabama. And then the Florida game happened.(Anchor of Gold)
Yay for baseball season! (Red Cup Rebellion)
And that will do it for this week in SEC Power Rankings. The SEC is getting it together, now let's sit back and wait for the carnage that is just around the next bend, you know it's there...
Until next week!