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SEC Power Rankings Week 4

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Is Middle Tennessee State the best team in the SEC?

It’s power ranking time and while we’re a day off schedule that does not make the numbers and takes any less accurate and frankly, perfect. The SEC (and college basketball on the whole) is about to go into that part of the schedule where finals and vacations kind of muck up the calendar. At this point if we’re getting a good game more than once per week we should consider ourselves lucky.

This week in the SEC the mightiest fell and it looks like Middle Tennessee State would have a shot at taking a top four spot in the conference. Let’s check out where our voters placed our teams and what they did this week.

Tier 1

Tier 1 has not changed from last week the usual suspects are the usual suspects for a reason. Kentucky took their first loss of the season to UCLA at home this past Saturday and still got every first place vote in our poll. This speaks not only to the quality of the loss, but the general confidence in the rest of the conference. Meanwhile, South Carolina remains undefeated but have suspended their best player, Sindarius Thornwell for…something. We’re not sure what it is, what we know is he’ll be suspended for some games and then in true college fashion be reinstated just in time for an important game. Finally, Florida rounds out Tier 1 after suffering a completely understandable loss to Duke on Tuesday, that they made a bit closer in the second half. Duke might be the best team in the country so no shame in that.

Tier 2

Tier 2 is still home to three teams, Auburn, Arkansas and Texas A&M. No team suffered a loss on the week, though Auburn did have a scare at UAB in a game that they were losing at the half. I’m betting if Arkansas had played UAB the results may not have been the same. Speaking of the Razorbacks they pulled a nice win at home (where else?!) over Houston but won’t truly be tested until they take on Texas at the end of next week. Rounding out Tier 2 are the Aggies who beat two buy games handily this week, which is more than can be said of the teams that populate the bottom of this poll, so job done!

Tier 3

In the middle of the conference we have two teams staying in one place and another who’s moving in the wrong direction. Georgia “leads” the Tier 3 teams in terms of points, but they did their chances for March consideration great harm by losing at home to Marquette, ensuring the chance for a good nonconference win has now come and gone. As noted in this same space last week, the SEC isn’t going to help anyone’s chances at building a resume so Dawgs, get it together and stop wasting Maten. LSU didn’t play a game this week, so what we know of them is what we knew last week. Johnny Jones is still their coach and that makes them a wildcard. Rounding out Tier 3 is Ole Miss who bounced back from their loss to Middle Tennessee State by beating Memphis over the weekend. Though don’t feel bad Rebels, losing to MTSU is the new losing to UMKC from last season.

Tier 4

Welcome to the incredible shrinking Tier 4. We’re down to two teams and somehow they don’t really seem to fit together. Both could be ranked a bit higher but neither are doing anything spectacular. Bama had a tough road loss to Texas last week, a game in which they were winning and had they been able to hit a shot early in the second half could have made a run at the win. Meanwhile, State got Quinndary Weatherspoon back last week and they haven’t lost since. Mind you they’ve played two directional gimmie games, but, when you see what’s happening in Tier 5, that deserves the highest of praise at this point.

Tier 5

Welcome to the bottom my friends, things are getting warm in here. Tier 5 welcomes the most recent victim of Middle Tennessee State, Vanderbilt who got run out the gym by last year’s tournament darling. MTSU has now taken out Vandy and Ole Miss and could be someone to watch come March. Luckily for the rest of the conference, no one made the mistake of scheduling them. The Vols took a step off the last place rung with a nice win over Georgia Tech last weekend and then a complete dismantling of Presbyterian. The Vols will take on UNC this Sunday, so expect some turnabout. Finally, rounding out the poll are the Missouri Tigers. The Tigers after losing to North Carolina Central last week, tried their best to lose to Western Kentucky on Saturday, but then followed that up with a nice comfortable victory over Miami of Ohio. Tomorrow they face Arizona, so have them in your thoughts.

Team Points Ranking Ranking Last Week Change Highest Pick Lowest Pick
Kentucky 112 1st 1st None 1st 1st
South Carolina 99 2nd (Tied) 2nd None 2nd 3rd
Florida 99 2nd (Tied) 3rd Up 1 2nd 5th
Arkansas 79 4th 6th Up 2 3rd 8th
Texas A&M 76 5th 4th Down 1 4th 8th
Auburn 73 6th 7th Up 1 4th 10th
Georgia 63 7th 5th Down 2 5th 10th
LSU 53 8th 8th None 5th 12th
Ole Miss 50 9th 9th None 6th 13th
Alabama 38 10th 10th None 9th 13th
Mississippi State 37 11th 12th Up 1 7th 13th
Vanderbilt 23 12th 11th Down 1 6th 14th
Tennessee 22 13th 14th (Tied) Up 1 11th 14th
Mizzou 16 14th 14th (Tied) None 11th 14th

Points were distributed as follows: 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

Alabama hasn't beaten a team with a pulse yet but I think they've got a run in them. (College and Magnolia)

They have 3 losses, but Texas, Valpo, and Dayton aren't exactly bad losses. (Dawg Sports)

That's a surprisingly bad Texas team. What seemed like an opportunity for a marquee win might get tagged as a bad loss. (Good Bull Hunting)

Arkansas shoots it well and that's going to be a problem for everyone. (Red Cup Rebellion)

Strange year. Their defense isn't turning people over at a high rate, but their offense is effective. (Anchor of Gold)

Mike Anderson is doing that thing again where he makes a guy come off the bench, but tells him he’s a starter in his mind…so you know, lying. (Rock M Nation)

Took care of business against a C-USA team, which is more than you can say for Ole Miss or Vanderbilt. (Anchor of Gold)

If the rumors are true and 5 star center Austin Wiley transfers in next week, Auburn may move from an NIT caliber team to a bubble team. (College and Magnolia)

Tricky road win at UAB. Kudos to the AD for scheduling that game on the road. (Good Bull Hunting)

Florida got a decent win over Miami and looked good in a close loss to Gonzaga. (Orange and White Report)

"Florida only lost to duke at MSG by 10" sounds like a great resume header for a 4 seed. (Red Cup Rebellion)

The Fun 'n Gun is back in Gainesville, just how it's supposed to be. (Dawg Sports)

"They need to pick up some quality wins in SEC play" is something you never, ever want to be saying in mid-December. (Anchor of Gold)

Missed a good chance to get a resume builder against Marquette. There is talent here, but some systemic flaws that need fixing if the team is going to do better than the NIT. (Dawg Sports)

Georgia better hope Texas figures their season out because it’s their last chance to do anything that’s going to impress the selection committee. (Rock M Nation)

Despite losing to UCLA, Kentucky is still the best team in the SEC. (Orange and White Report)

Kentucky can drop a game like UCLA occasionally and still be tops in the league. (College and Magnolia)

That Saturday game made me feel pretty dang good about A&M’s tight loss UCLA. (Good Bull Hunting)


LSU

They say we only use 10% of our brains, so what percentage would you say Johnny Jones actually uses on basketball and how much on soup? (Rock M Nation)

They scheduled an impressive two week long break. As a fan of sloth, I respect that. (Good Bull Hunting)

It would be crass to joke about LSU needing two weeks off for finals week. (Anchor of Gold)

Mississippi State blew Georgia State out? Did not see that coming. (College and Magnolia)

Quinndary Weatherspoon is back but I hope it's because he's healthy and not because Ben Howland is an a**hole. (Red Cup Rebellion)

Losing home games to Lehigh and Central Florida is not what the Bulldogs expected when they hired a Final Four coach. (Dawg Sports)

Kim Anderson had a chat with Woody Widenhofer, who told him you don't really NEED an offense. (Anchor of Gold)

That OT loss to Xavier is looking less and less impressive as the weeks go on. (Rock M Nation)

Western Kentucky is a nice win now that they have Stansbury. But North Carolina Central. (Dawg Sports)

Solid work against Memphis. Not a bad response after the home drubbing mid-week. (Good Bull Hunting)

So ole miss has an entire week to prepare for Virginia Tech, this should go well, right? Right. (Red Cup Rebellion)

If you put Ole Miss’ offense and Missouri’s defense together, you’d have a competent basketball team right there. (Rock M Nation)

South Carolina had a couple of good wins over Michigan and Syracuse so they're a clear number two to the Wildcats. (Orange and White Report)

South Carolina's schedule is week but they're the last undefeated in the SEC so . . . congrats! (College and Magnolia)

Oh, hey, South Carolina is for real and frank martin will stare a hole through your forehead if you don't agree. (Red Cup Rebellion)

Now we see why Josh Pastner refused to schedule them all of those years. (Anchor of Gold)

They curbstomped a bad Georgia Tech team. And Sunday, North Carolina gets to avenge that game for the ACC. There will be blood. (Dawg Sports)

Getting Georgia Tech before UNC is like that first shot on your birthday, goes down smooth and you’re feeling good, then the next one shows up and you’re throwing up blood for two days. (Rock M Nation)

I still don't have a good read on this team. Seems like they could be good, but I'm not totally convinced yet. (Anchor of Gold)

We're gonna be fine this year, as long as nobody gets tired or hurt. Do people get tired or hurt playing basketball? (Good Bull Hunting)

Mizzou will provide you with the blue print on how not to play Arizona, you can send us an edible arrangement at your earliest convenience. (Rock M Nation)

Safe to say MTSU is the best team in Tennessee. (Red Cup Rebellion)

I didn't watch Vanderbilt play Minnesota or MTSU so as far as I'm concerned, those games never happened. (Anchor of Gold)

Who will be the last team to get more SEC wins than Middle Tennessee State? (Dawg Sports)


Come back next week to see who goes down in a terribly embarrassing fashion in the SEC next time!