Somehow we're back to where we started, Big Blue is back on top of the Power Rankings. How did they get here? Well, all they did was win the games they were supposed to, which is apparently far more complicated for some of our other contenders for the Power Rankings crown. But looking from top to bottom the rankings are starting to shake out like we would have thought they might at this time of the year, with that South Carolina exception who just aren't going away.
Let's take a look at the Tiers, which are starting to pan out in a way that you can see where the potential March dancers line gets cut off, though keep your eye on suddenly hot Alabama.
Tier 1 has expanded to add a 5th team because it's quite possible one may not belong here at this point. Sitting atop the heap of the best we've got the Kentucky Wildcats. SURPRISE! Kentucky since their improbable loss to Tennessee, the Cats handled Florida with ease and then destroyed Georgia. Looming is a date with our second team in the rankings, South Carolina, on the road tomorrow at Noon eastern.
Speaking of SC, they sputtered on the road in Athens, but then followed that up with a big win at Texas A&M, which could mean something, or nothing. What the Aggies are doing is head scratching. The Cocks also took care of LSU at home and have found their footing of late, pointing that perhaps the Georgia game was an outlier, a bad game that all teams have. But as stated above, the Cocks have a home date with Kentucky that should be must see tv.
Coming in third we have a tie between aforementioned LSU and Texas A&M. Let's discuss the Aggies first. Texas A&M had been leading these rankings for some time and now, all of a sudden are losers of three straight games. The first two were understandablish, the loss at Vandy was big (but people don't win on that demon court), and the loss to South Carolina, again, was close but nothing to get upset about; but then there was Bama. Bama has been playing well of late to be sure, but this was a game A&M should have won and just didn't. Does this spell midseason doom for A&M, harkening back to last season's collapse? Tomorrow they head to Baton Rouge to take on LSU which should clear up the tie between them. Speaking of the Tigers, LSU, took a loss to South Carolina on the road this week, but did manage to beat Mississippi State at home. This seems typical for the type of team LSU is, win at home, lose to the better teams on the road, compete with the middle of the conference teams the rest of the time.
Finally, rounding out the top Tier are the Florida Gators. Florida is just hanging around the top of the conference and at this point look to have a legitimate shot at being around in March. This past week they took the aforementioned beating at the hands of Kentucky but then rebounded well with a home win over Ole Miss who had Saiz back. Aside from the final game of the season at Mizzou, starting tomorrow, the Gators take on the class of the conference over the final three weeks. That stretch will decide what kind of dance they're invited to, the big one or the sad one that you don't even rent an awkward tux for, you just wear your older brother's oddly smelling blazer.
Tier 2 continues to be an exclusive club with only two members. Both Georgia and Vanderbilt had expectations coming into this year, Vandy's higher than Georgia's but still both teams were expected to compete for the top of the conference. Vandy got a win over Mizzou at home and then couldn't figure out the road in their trip to Ole Miss. This team is still exceedingly talented, and they'll have to show it over the last month of the season when their schedule gets a bit more challenging. Georgia for their part took that embarrassing loss to Kentucky, but beat Auburn so they split the week. The schedule does ramp up a bit but not so much that they should have too much trouble picking up wins and hovering around .500 for the rest of the conference season.
Tier 3, like Tier 2 is a small group, holding only two teams, the suddenly surging Crimson Tide, and the now healthy Ole Miss. Bama has won three games in a row, with a big win over Texas A&M this week to really solidify the idea that Avery Johnson has things going in the right direction in Tuscaloosa. They also beat Mizzou, but I mean, does that truly mean anything? Ole Miss for their part, got a nice win at home over Vandy, and then took a respectable loss to Florida on the road. Like Georgia, Ole Miss has a decent schedule to better themselves over the rest of the season, while Alabama has a tough games the rest of the way, and a game against Auburn as a little break.
Tier 4, the guys who just aren't really awful grows to three this week with the addition of Mississippi State to go along with Tennessee, who's been here a while, and other new arrival Arkansas. The wheels seem to be falling off for the Hogs who have started losing on the road again and took a solid beating at the hands of Mississippi State. State for their part put that beating on Arkansas, and then have hung tough in the rest of their games. Progress is there and can been seen. Meanwhile Tennessee is still living off of that nice win over Kentucky, and a recent destruction of Auburn. So Kevin Punter goes, so goes the Vols.
To the bottom! In Tier 5 we welcome Auburn this week where things have gone bonkers. Kareem Canty has been suspended (and since declared for the draft) and Cinmeon Bowers a 250 lb ma is running the point. Things are not going well for Bruce Pearl in year 2. Speaking of a coach in year 2 where noting is working, hello Kim Anderson and the Missouri Tigers. Mizzou continues to lose at a pace similar to last year and outside of a home game with Tennessee tomorrow, probably won't beat anyone else this year.
|Ranking Last Week
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
Avery Johnson is the new Tommy Tuberville. Decent with average talent, every game a nailbiter, invincible in big games, crap in games he should win. (College and Magnolia)
On a three game winning streak, Avery Johnson is giving Bama fans a reason to lift their heads from recruiting websites. (Dawg Sports)
If Bama keeps it going, Riley Norris is going to become the Tide's JJ Reddick, all he'll need is to write his own book of poetry or terrible awful lyrics for his first album. (Rock M Nation)
Seriously, guys? I know it was on the road and you just don't do that, but Mississippi State? By 32?!! (Anchor of Gold)
A Mike Anderson team not winning on the road? Color me shocked. (Rock M Nation)
Losing by 30 to Mississippi St has to make some Hawgs start questioning Mike Anderson's job, doesn't it? (Dawg Sports)
The season continues to exist after one beats Kentucky. They know that... right? Right? (Good Bull Hunting)
Cinmeon Bowers is running point and I hate my life. (College and Magnolia)
Playing Cinmeon Bowers at the point is the kind of thing you only do if you're tanking for the NBA Draft lottery. (Anchor of Gold)
For the most part, their only conference losses are road games at top-half squads. That's a recipe for a top four seed in conference. (Good Bull Hunting)
For the most part they win the games they're supposed to. I just don't see them winning a game in the NCAA Tournament. (Anchor of Gold)
If they're going to be a factor in March the rest of the season will tell us all we need to know...well not the Mizzou game, that won't tell us anything we're all not fully aware of at this point. (Rock M Nation)
Georgia's Mark Fox is the nicest man in the league. He only beat Auburn by 10 when he could have won by 30 in what Bruce Pearl described as a "mercy killing." (College and Magnolia)
They beat South Carolina to raise my hopes before the trip to Kentucky dashed them quite expertly. Bravo, sirs! (Dawg Sports)
With three of the next four on the road, they can't let that Kentucky drubbing beat them twice. (Good Bull Hunting)
The Wildcats tried to open the door... and nobody walked in. (Good Bull Hunting)
Kentucky's freshmen are coming together at the right time. I'd be surprised if they didn't win the regular season crown. (College and Magnolia)
Seriously though, how did they lose to Auburn? (Anchor of Gold)
Oh right, that's why people were high on Antonio Blakeney. (Anchor of Gold)
A win over A&M should lock in their bid. They'll go as far as Simmons can take them this March. (Dawg Sports)
I so hope LSU makes the tournament so Bruce Hornsby makes an appearance, awkwardly sitting there in the stands in either his son's jersey or some overly purple shirt...screaming his face off when Johnny Jones forgets to send five players out for the tip...that's one shining moment for sure. (Rock M Nation)
Mississippi State is improving and could be the Auburn of this year's SEC Tournament when that bad luck finally breaks. (College and Magnolia)
They've outscored opponents in SEC play... and somehow, they're 3-8. (Anchor of Gold)
Arkansas walked into a massacre. That was an impressive win. (Good Bull Hunting)
So, about baseball season....(Dawg Sports)
If Kim Anderson could just never start his sophomores out of spite I bet he would. (Rock M Nation)
Oh, Mizzou. Sweet, sweet Mizzou. How did it come to this. (Good Bull Hunting)
Stopped the bleeding by winning three of five, and now Sebastian Saiz is back in the lineup. (Anchor of Gold)
You got to admire the consistency of Andy Kennedy team's inconsistency. (Dawg Sports)
Listen Saiz, if you've got to wear Rec Specs, go full Chris Sabo or don't bother. (Rock M Nation)
South Carolina got two huge wins over A&M and LSU and they play Kentucky in Columbia Saturday, which should be the game of the weekend. (Fox Sports Knoxville)
I've been predicting South Carolina's demise for a while. I'm done. They beat LSU and Aggie last week. They are legitimately good. (College and Magnolia)
Bounced back strong with wins over A&M and LSU after the ugly game vs. Georgia. Gotta love the fever. (Dawg Sports)
No, I'm not impressed with blowing out Auburn right now. (Anchor of Gold)
It'll be interesting to see what Barnes can do next year once Punter and Moore graduate. (Dawg Sports)
Beat Kentucky and Florida, lost to Auburn, makes total sense...(Rock M Nation)
#secbasketballfever, they gots a case of it bad, and a trip to Red Stick tomorrow is not likely gonna be their cure. (Dawg Sports)
Sixteen days ago, we wrote an article entitled "Texas A&M moves to #5 in both polls." That feels like a different team entirely. (Good Bull Hunting)
Right now they're Quality Win Santa: handing them out like gifts. (Anchor of Gold)
Another 1-7 road team. Vandy appears to be confused by concepts like "benches in the proper position" and "basketball courts not awkwardly raised." Having said that, I think they have enough to handle this week with minimal fuss (@Auburn, @MSU). (Good Bull Hunting)
We thought they turned a corner with the A&M win, but the last two games just haven't been impressive. (Anchor of Gold)
The Commodores have had the #fever all year long. Maybe Stallings will be able to keep Jones and Kornet one more season for another shot at this. (Dawg Sports)
And that will put a wrap on this week's Power Rankings in the SEC. There are some great games this weekend so check em out, because honestly, anything can and probably will happen.
Enjoy the Fever!