‘Bama still sits atop SEC Power Rankings

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.

4. LSU (8-2, 4-2)

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 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, a FCS team.