Alabama fell, but does that mean its no longer atop our SEC Power Rankings?
By ANDY JOHNSTONFS South
Alabama's perfect season came to an end at the hands of Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. Was it enough to end the Crimson Tide's run atop this poll? Here are this week's SEC Power Rankings:
1. Alabama (9-1, 6-1)
The mighty have fallen, which damages the SEC's chances for its seventh straight national title. Alabama couldn't deflate Johnny Football and didn't slow Texas A&M's offense until the
Aggies led 20-0. An uncharacteristic three turnovers — including AJ McCarron's first two interceptions in more than a year — doomed the Tide.
2. Georgia (9-1, 7-1)
Finally, a complete game from the Bulldogs. They had been impressive at times, but put everything together against hapless
Auburn. They didn't have a turnover, shut out the
Tigers, had only three penalties, two backs rushed for more than 100 yards and could have named the score. The result: UGA is headed to the ATL for the SEC title game.
3. Texas A&M (8-2, 5-2)
Most folks had the Aggies written off as another one of Alabama's victories, but Texas A&M did what it needed to do to upset the No. 1 team in the land. Johnny Manziel, although a redshirt freshman, continues to prove that he’s one of the nation's top players by throwing for two TDs and running for 92 yards in the huge win.
The defense that allowed the late, game-winning TD in the loss to Alabama wasn't about to do the same against Mississippi State. The Tigers held up and have a faint hope of returning to the SEC Championship Game, but need a near-impossible event to happen: Auburn must beat Alabama for LSU to have a chance.
5. Florida (9-1, 7-1)
Florida needs to figure out its offensive issues against Jacksonville State before it plays the high-flying Seminoles on Nov. 24. Jeff Driskel sprained his right ankle in the Gators' last-minute win over Louisiana-Lafayette, but he has tweeted he'll be fine. Does that help or hinder Florida's offense? Backup Jacoby Brissett played well late.
6. South Carolina (8-2, 6-2)
The Gamecocks struggled on the ground in their first game since star RB Marcus Lattimore injured his leg, but they managed to score 38 points against Arkansas. Then again, who doesn't score 38 against the Razorbacks? Like other SEC teams playing FCS opponents this week, the Gamecocks should be able to work out their problems against Wofford.
7. Vanderbilt (6-4, 4-3)
With four straight wins, including the come-from-behind bowl-clincher at Ole Miss, the Commodores are one of the three hottest teams in the SEC. James Franklin — the coach — has turned the program around in less than two years, taking the Commodores to bowls in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history.
8. Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3)
The Bulldogs have shown they're not ready to be included among the top tier of SEC teams. They've lost three straight games and have tumbled from the AP Top 25. Their defense has been picked apart by Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU and now must prepare for Arkansas' Tyler Wilson.
9. Missouri (5-5, 2-5)
James Franklin — the QB — has done his best James Brown impersonation. Remember when Brown would collapse on stage from apparent exhaustion and a guy would walk up and put a cape on him before Brown would shake it off and start singing again? Franklin has come back from shoulder injuries and missed starts and rallied the Tigers past Tennessee with his best game of the year.
10. Ole Miss (5-5, 2-4)
Forgotten is the huge win at Arkansas just a little more than two weeks ago. The Rebels have lost two straight and their defense collapsed in crunch time against Vanderbilt. Ole Miss fans won’t be saying Olé if the Rebels don’t find a way to win one of their final two games against LSU and Mississippi State and reach a bowl.
11. Arkansas (4-6, 2-4)
The Razorbacks can still salvage their season with wins at Mississippi State and against LSU, but they haven't been able to figure out how to stop anybody in the SEC. Arkansas is thought to be looking at TCU's Gary Patterson to replace interim John L. Smith, who replaced Bobby Petrino.
12. Tennessee (4-6, 0-6)
The big number being floated around Big Orange Nation these days is $5 million. That's Derek Dooley's buyout, and a price some boosters and fans are ready to pay after they shed more Volun-tears on Saturday. The Vols are 0-6 in the SEC this fall and 1-13 the past two seasons.
13. Auburn (2-8, 0-7)
Gene Chizik would like to make another change at QB, but Cam Newton left nearly two years ago. Georgia simply embarrassed the Tigers, leading 38-0 before the end of the third quarter. Alabama A&M, this week's opponent, probably won’t put up too much resistance, which is good for the Tigers, because 'Bama is next.
14. Kentucky (1-9, 0-7)
All that matters in Kentucky is that the basketball team has already equaled the football team's one victory heading into Tuesday night's game vs. Duke. Oh, back to football. There’s no guaranteed victory this Saturday, even though the opponent is Samford, an FCS team.