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MrSEC.com’s Power Rankings – 9/11/12

Week Two is behind us and we’re starting to get a bit better feel for which teams belong in each of our four categories.  As always, we base our rankings on how well teams are currently playing, what we’ve seen from them to date, and what we believe their ceilings to be.

Your Week Two rankings are as follows…

 

National Title Contender

Alabama (2-0) –  The Crimson Tide didn’t look quite as good against Western Kentucky as it did against Michigan, but that was to be expected.  The media refused to help build up Bama’s foe and UA’s players weren’t focused.

LSU (2-0) –  LSU just keeps on rolling.  The Tigers drubbed a decent Washington squad on Saturday night.  After seeing Southern Cal give up points and yards galore to Syracuse over the weekend, I wouldn’t rule out another potential Alabama-LSU BCS Championship Game just yet.

Georgia (2-0) –  Yep, we’re bumping the Dawgs up a category after a gritty win at pumped up Missouri Saturday night.  Minus four starters, Todd Grantham’s defense held high-flying Mizzou to 20 points.  Keep that up and Mark Richt’s team will be in the national title picture at year’s end.

 

Top 25 Contender

Arkansas (1-1) –  The Hogs’ defense hasn’t looked good against Jacksonville State or Louisiana-Monroe.  And the offense only looked good with Tyler Wilson running the show.  Still, we’ll leave them in the Top 25 zone for now.  But if the Razorbacks lose to Alabama on Saturday — with or without Wilson — the wheels could start to come off John L. Smith’s bus.

Florida (2-0) –  Well, they ain’t your daddy’s Gators.  After a sloppy win over Bowling Green, UF went into College Station and proceeded to grind out a win over the Aggies.  That was enough to move them up a category this week.  But Florida’s losing bodies on a weekly basis and that’s not good.  This weekend’s game in Knoxville will tell us a lot more about Will Muschamp’s second squad.

Mississippi State (2-0) –  Dan Mullen and his Bulldogs finally got their breakthrough win.  Now they just need to build on it.  If Tyler Russell and State’s defense keep doing what they’ve been doing… they will.

Missouri (1-1) –  Not a bad showing for SEC Game #1.  The Tigers hung with Top 10 Georgia for about 52 minutes before the flood gates opened on them.  Their depth and size in the trenches is worrisome, but James Franklin can make up for a lot of shortcomings elsewhere on the roster.

South Carolina (2-0) –  If we had a “Top 10 Contender” category, that’s where the Gamecocks would be.  The defense looks good, but how much — and what kind of — offense will USC generate on a weekly basis?  Is this Marcus Lattimore’s team?  Connor Shaw’s?  Will it become Dylan Thompson’s?  Very, very good but we’ve not seen greatness just yet.

Tennessee (2-0) –  Tyler Bray has gone from being a gunslinger to being a passer.  With Florida coming to Neyland Stadium on Saturday, he’ll need to keep making big plays and avoiding bad turnovers.  Also, through two games, it’s been a smoother transition into Sal Sunseri’s 3-4 defense than expected.

 

Bowl Game Contender

Auburn (0-2) –  Very, very, very close to landing in the next category down, we decided to drop the Tigers just one category instead of two.  Two weeks into the season, this appears to be a team without a quarterback and without the ability to tackle.  The Tigers are on the ropes and their legs are wobbly.

Texas A&M (0-1) –  First time out against the big boys of the SEC, the Aggies and first-time starting quarterback Johnny Manziel acquitted themselves nicely.  Take care of business outside the SEC and the Aggies could/should be bowl material come December… and that’d be a good first step for Kevin Sumlin.

 

Basement Contender

Kentucky (1-1) –  Well, the Wildcats have rediscovered the air-raid style offense that brought them a few seasons of success in recent years.  That’s the positive.  The negative is on the defensive side of there UK can’t stop anyone on the ground.  Not Louisville.  Not even Kent State.  Maxwell Smith will have to pass the Cats out of the basement if they’re to emerge in 2012.

Ole Miss (2-0) –  Feel good story of the year in the SEC so far?  Hugh Freeze’s work in Oxford.  The Rebel roster in paper thin, but as long as Bo Wallace stays healthy, UM can survive.  Depending on the next couple of weeks, it wouldn’t be a stretch for us to flip-flop Ole Miss and Auburn in terms of their categories.  An impressive start for Freeze and his juco QB.

Vanderbilt (0-2) –  Oh, well.  Back to the ground floor for the Commodores after a bowl-hope-crushing loss at Northwestern on Saturday.  Perhaps VU can pull an upset along the way and reignite their pilot light, but for now, it looks like James Franklin’s most important work will be done on the recruiting front.  Vandy just flat needs more players.

 


13 comments
Bread lee
Bread lee

The Hogs’ defense hasn’t looked good against Jacksonville State or Louisiana-Monroe.  And the offense only looked good with Tyler Wilson running the show.  Still, we’ll leave them in the Top 25 zone for now.  But if the Razorbacks lose to Alabama on Saturday — with or without Wilson — the wheels could start to come off John L. Smith’s bus.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

 @Bread lee Not too much pressure on Arkansas huh --- if they lose to Alabama the wheels could start to come off the bus. I'm not sure losing to the #1 team in the world would destroy a season.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @MoKelly1  @Bread lee 

 

MoKelly1...

 

For someone who claims to like this site, you seem to get disagree with every word written. 

 

I don't know why Bread lee above just re-wrote what I posted, but I stand by it.  If the Hogs start 1-2 with yet another loss to one of the two SEC West giants they'd come into the season hoping to finally leapfrog, yes, the team could very well stop believing in John L. Smith and start looking to next year.  That type of thing happens every year.  

 

And it's also a danger of going the interim coach route.

 

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @MoKelly1 

 

No one has to agree with everything written here.  We sure don't expect that.  And civil disagreements are always fine.  They're rare, but fine. 

 

But when I've gone out of my way to answer so many of your questions over the past few months, it would be nice to see one story that didn't come back with some sort of dig from MoKelly1 regarding my opinions. 

 

In other words, if someone's nice enough to take the time to answer me, I'm probably not going to try to find things to disagree with him about whenever I can.  But that's just me.  I've never left a single negative comment under any writer's story on any other site.  So I'm not the typical comment boxer by any stretch.  And you're correct, for some reason comment boxes everywhere have become an area for negative responses from people who disagree.  People who agree just tend to read and move along.  I don't know why that is, but it's true at every site I look at.

 

As always, thanks for reading,

John 

 

 

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

 @John at MrSEC  Now my feelings are hurt. :) I do like this site and read it almost every day. I appreciated your support for Missouri joining the SEC(you were one of few) and I appreciate your commentary and opinions. But, I do not always agree. Perhaps I need to post when I agree with the site just so it balances out but, like most people, I tend to post when I have an alternate opinion. In any case, I try to be civil and just give my opinion. I am not attacking the site just because I disagree. That is why, it seems to me, they are called opinions. I get enough agreement when I go to Church. In any case, I do like the site and you all do a very nice job.

BillRauhuff
BillRauhuff

I feel like this is Tennessee year and I believe they will beat

 

 Florida but will probably lose to Alabama and Georgia. South Carolina and Mississippi State are away games that they could possibly lose or win. 8-4 and a Gator Bowl bid would be a good start back in the right direction. They should beat Missouri and Kentucky at home and Vanderbilt on the road. 

bvkv09
bvkv09 like.author.displayName 1 Like

James Franklin certainly needs to recruit some better players. He is getting a lot of hype for not doing much of anything. His 6 wins last year were against teams with a combined winning percentage of 26-46. He didn't beat a single team with a winning record, and counted a win over division 2 Elon in that 6 win total. I think some of the praise he has been getting is undeserved. He had people talking about Vandy, but so did Bobby Johnson. It seems that Bobby did it the right way. Early on Franklin seems to want to spout off and stir the pot. If you are going to go that route, then you better produce. 

sec_fan
sec_fan

He is recruiting better players. They are getting 4 star players and competing with Georgia Tennessee and Alabama for recruits. They do't have the number of them the others do, and Jordan Rogers is going to have to calm down. He fumbled the ball several times in 3 games. Remember this is Franklin's second year and his players are Freshmen and Sophomores. He may never win the SEC, but he should be able to compete and go to bowl games.

bvkv09
bvkv09

sorry that shoudl be winning record not "winning percentage"

VolGuest
VolGuest

This week will give us a better idea of where the Vols are in the Dooley era.  If it is yet another big loss to Florida, you can expect the wheels to start to come off on the season.  If you can't handle a middle of the road SEC East team, there is no way you're going to survive Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia in the coming weeks.  Dooley needs a win against stronger opponents to show he's up for the job. 

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

You continue to show respect to Mizzou --- very much appreciated if not 100% earned yet. We will see what Mizzou is made of this Saturday. Arizona State beat Illinois and Mizzou should beat Arizona State. But should and will are 2 different things sometimes. I hope very much for 2 things --- (a) no let down after the very emotional game with Georgia and (b) Franklin can keep his helmet on the entire game. Go Mizzou!

Tusk
Tusk

 @MoKelly1

 MoKelly1, interested to know what you thought about Pinkel's fake punt attempt on 4th and 11 early in the 4t qtr. with the score just 24-20.   It looked slow and doomed from the start, and seemed to really open the floodgate for UGA.  Still scratching my head on that one, good luck this Saturday against the Sun Devils.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

 @Tusk Yep --- I shook my head on that one for sure. Not like Coach to try that sort of stuff when we are still in the game. I didn't like it at all. Seemed desperate when things were still under control. Thank for the good wishes.

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