Two weeks into the SEC conference season and we still have a great deal of movement among our teams. It seems as if all it takes is one loss or victory for a team to jump around the rankings, with the middle of the pack continuing to be a giant mess. It seems as if the nonconference season didn't do too much in the way of preparing the SEC for what it would face once it started conference play, with teams feasting on each other and in some cases invalidating the goodwill they had created during nonconference play. In the end what this means is we have a jumbled SEC and an argument for those that say the SEC is just a football conference with a slight case of the basketballitis.
The top of our rankings contains the same four teams as las week though with a flip and a flop of the team in second place and third.
Texas A&M continues to lead as they continue to win. The Aggies remain undefeated in league play while taking care of business against the teams they've played, while not having been exactly tested to date. The Aggies doe have an interesting game at Georgia this weekend, though the real test could be how they handle Ben Simmons and LSU next week.
Taking over the second place spot is Kentucky, who probably find this all very unsettling not sitting atop the rankings for the second week in a row. The Wildcats rebounded well from their loss to LSU last week with a clean sweep of State and Alabama this past week. A date with Auburn tomorrow does not appear to be too daunting, though the matchup in Bud Walton Arena next Thursday night should be a must watch for SEC basketball fans.
In third, South Carolina has dropped a spot after dropping their first game of the season on the road to Alabama this past Wednesday night. SC is still a strong team and are getting recognition from our voters, however a visit from Mizzou tomorrow won't wash Wednesday night off their resume. A trip to the Pavillion on Tuesday night should give us a better idea of what the loss to Alabama does mean in the grand scheme of things.
Rounding out Tier 1 is LSU who did LSU things and fell at Florida over the weekend, but managed to come back and beat Ole Miss on Wednesday night. This shouldn't surprise anyone, I mean this is still a Johnny Jones coached team, and you never know what's going to happen from one moment to the next.
Tier 2 has shrunk a little bit since last week, containing the three teams our voters seem to think are in the upper crust of the fluffy middle of the SEC, with Ole Miss, Florida and Alabama taking up residence here.
Ole Miss continues to win against the lesser competition of the conference but struggled to close out LSU this past Wednesday night, losing a chance at a nice win that could have moved them a bit further in our rankings. Games with Florida and South Carolina will prove to be challenging and if they are going to attempt to be in the March conversation will have to be wins in both cases.
Florida almost had a great week after beating LSU at home and then just getting daggered by Texas A&M on the road. The Gators are clearly experiencing the growing pains one would expect to see in a team adjusting to a new coach, but they do look better than last year's squad so there's clearly progress being made.
Finally, closing out Tier 2 are the Crimson Tide who took down the only unbeaten team in the conference. Alabama went nuts from outside and buried the Cocks from three, securing a 23 point win and boosting their status in the conference. The Tide have looked quite competent in conference and get a big chance to solidify their status when they visit Vanderbilt tomorrow and the sorcery that is Memorial Magic.
Tier 3 has ballooned a bit, now housing Georgia, Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Tennessee, all teams going in different directions and are potentially being punished for some earlier losses in the nonconference that could be ignored if some weren't so head scratching.
The Dawgs have split their season sitting at 2-2 with losses to Florida and a heartbreaker to Ole Miss, coupled with wins over Mizzou and Tennessee and it appears that in the eyes of our voters that the wins are worth less than the losses. Lucky for them, they matchup with Texas A&M tomorrow at home, so if they're going to make some hay, tomorrow would be the time to do it.
Arkansas sits in Tier 3 and are clearly still feeling the effects of the Akron and Mercer losses, though a spanking of Mizzou on the road won't do much for voters to be fair. To date, aside from the Mizzou win, Arkansas has managed to beat Vanderbilt and State at home, with a lone loss to A&M that wasn't very close. Tomorrow they have a date with LSU which could mean something come March for both teams.
The Commodores got their first win of the conference season this past week and seem to have a healthy Luke Kornet back in the lineup, throwing up a triple double on lowly Auburn at home. Going forward, Vandy faces Alabama tomorrow followed with a game against the Vols, so if they are to get back to winning and being the team many expected, two wins this coming week would go a long way.
Bringing up the rear in Tier 3 are the Volunteers of Tennessee and I don't think our voters have any idea what to make of them. The win over Florida is most likely what's keeping them out of Tier 4 but how they got that win continues to be a mystery. Games against State and Vandy in the next week will clarify what we can make of the Vols because right now, you're guess is as good as mine.
Tier 4 welcomes a new member to the group and a new last place team, with State taking Mizzou's spot in the bottom, while Mizzou and Auburn remain tied at 12th. State is 0 for the conference and Auburn has a loss to Missouri on its record, which is almost as damning as no wins. Mizzou meanwhile is getting hammered on the court and off, and the less said, perhaps the better for them...
|Team||Points||Ranking||Ranking Last Week||Change||Highest Rank||Lowest Rank|
|South Carolina||68||3rd||2nd||Down 1||3rd||5th|
|Ole Miss||53||5th||8th||Up 3||4th||10th|
|Florida||52||6th||5th (Tied)||Down 1||4th||9th|
|Alabama||46||7th||5th (Tied)||Down 2||6th||9th|
|Vanderbilt||38||10th||5th (Tied)||Down 5||4th||11th|
|Auburn||13||12th (Tied)||10th||Down 2||11th||14th|
|Mizzou||13||12th (Tied)||14th||Up 2||12th||14th|
|Mississippi State||11||14th||13th||Down 1||12th||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
Starting to look like your perennial "team that's not very good but gets in the tournament anyway, because RPI." (Anchor of Gold)
They beat South Carolina, and look like a team capable of remaining on the bubble. (Dawg Sports)
I'll have to double check, but I think Alabama owns the state of South Carolina now. (Good Bull Hunting)
Gotta give them a little respect for a three game winning streak. But only a little since it was Vandy, Miss St, and Mizzou, with two of the three at home. (Dawg Sports)
Looks like Moses Kingsley is leading his people to the promised land after the unpleasantness of the non conference season. (Rock M Nation)
I messed up. I placed the hogs on the lowest tier early, and they are clearly better than that. We'll find out exactly how much better over the next two weeks (@LSU; Kentucky; @Georgia; A&M). (Good Bull Hunting)
The facts are clear, they're hurt and living with a "bench" but Auburn, you still lost to Mizzou and that right there means you're on the bottom. (Rock M Nation)
That win against Tennessee feels like it happened a lifetime ago. (Good Bull Hunting)
It's gotten so bad, they're using a walkon as their backup PG. (Anchor of Gold)
Not bad, but not really that good. But Michael White's press can play, and they should improve as he does over time. (Dawg Sports)
They have to win with defense, because the offense isn't going to do it. (Anchor of Gold)
Outside of the insane loss to Tennessee Florida looks about what you'd expect from a team with a new coach in a rebuild. (Rock M Nation)
Georgia is solid. Unspectacular, but solid. They'll hang around the top half of the conference for the entire year, and they might bite somebody. (Good Bull Hunting)
If they want to keep NCAA dreams alive, a win over Texas A&M is almost a must. But moving freshman big man Derek Ogbeide into the starting lineup greatly improves the team defensively and on the glass. (Dawg Sports)
Seems like a perfect candidate to finish 9-9 in the conference, right? Right. (Anchor of Gold)
They're 13-3 with wins over Duke and Louisville but have a loss to OSU who only managed 18 pts in the first half against Indiana on Saturday....SECBASKETBALLFEVER thy name is Big Blue. (Rock M Nation)
How many teams can be viewed as a potential Final Four team while barely beating Mississippi State at home? (Anchor of Gold)
The Wildcats are very, very good... but they are flawed. One of three or four teams capable of winning this conference. (Good Bull Hunting)
So. Much. Talent. Basketball isn't a hard game to win when you have the overwhelmingly most talented person on the floor. (Dawg Sports)
You just know that inexplicable loss is coming at some point. (Anchor of Gold)
LSU might have the highest ceiling in the conference. The uninspired performances are fewer and farther between. (Good Bull Hunting)
Their three losses in conference look better than Auburn or Mizzou's wins. (Rock M Nation)
They get a chance to prove they aren't the worst when Tennessee comes to Starkville this weekend. (Dawg Sports)
Something tells me they're going to hurt someone's NCAA Tournament chances. Probably LSU. (Anchor of Gold)
Who cares about results? RMN was explicitly referenced on an SECN broadcast, and that shit is awesome. (Good Bull Hunting)
Well it looks like Mizzou will not be pedal pubbing their way through Nashville in March. (Rock M Nation)
Don't worry, Mizzou fans. The self-imposed sanctions aren't keeping you out of the NCAA Tournament; your record is. (Anchor of Gold)
Just waiting on the eventual collapse. Like a flan in a cupboard, it just needs time...(Dawg Sports)
Moody might be the most fun player to watch in the SEC. Simmons is more fluid, but Moody is just so dang explosive. They could very well end up with a double bye in the conference tourney. (Good Bull Hunting)
Stefan Moody can only do so much. (Anchor of Gold)
The one troubling thing for the Cocks, they can't seem to guard the three point line, which could mean trouble if they face a directional mid major in the NCAAs. (Rock M Nation)
Hold your heads high, SC. That was a hell of a streak. Sometimes it all goes south on the road. (Good Bull Hunting)
And now, here come the skeptics after one loss. One ugly, horrible loss. (Anchor of Gold)
Winnable games at Miss St and home vs. Vandy could bump them up a notch. Or they lose both and drop to the bottom. (Dawg Sports)
So does anyone else think maybe UT beat Florida because the Gators had been poisoned or something? (Rock M Nation)
That was a straight-up implosion against A&M on Saturday. (Anchor of Gold)
Road teams are 6-20 in SEC play, yet the Aggies are 2-0 on the road. (Anchor of Gold)
Recent performances have been juuuuuuuust good enough, but a tough week in Athens and home for LSU beckons. It's by far the toughest piece of the conference slate to date. (Good Bull Hunting)
After Simmons, House and Jones are both in the discussion for the best player in the conference. Thus in any game that doesn't involve LSU, there's a decent chance they have the two best players on the floor. That'll win you a lot of games. (Dawg Sports)
Based on talent, they should be a lot higher. But the record is what they are, and 1-3 including one at home and another at Arkansas leaves doubts on whether they can meet preseason promise. (Dawg Sports)
Just needed to get the first win out of the way. (Anchor of Gold)
Can they use the Auburn win to right the ship? They'd better, because the schedule gets awfully tricky after this upcoming week. (Good Bull Hunting)
There you have it, your rankings, your commentary, your education on all things SEC! Come back next week where I can only imagine what the SEC will have done to itself.
Enjoy the games everyone!