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MrSEC.com Power Rankings – 11/13/12

Week Eleven is in the books and there’s been a little bit of shuffling up and down our Power Rankings’ chart.  Matter of fact, now that we’re nearing the season’s end, we’ve added two more categories to our breakdown.

As usual, we’ve placed each of the SEC’s 14 teams into one of those different categories.  Inside those categories, we list the teams alphabetically.  This isn’t the simple 1-14 list that everyone else does.  We like to be a little different.

Our rankings are based upon how well teams are currently playing, what they’ve accomplished to date, and what we believe each squad’s ceiling to be at this moment.

 

So without further ado, here are this week’s MrSEC.com Power Rankings:

 

National Title Contender

None -- Sorry, SEC fans, but any conference team hoping to reach the BCS Championship Game will need a lot of outside help.  They might wind up getting it, but there’s no debating the fact that they definitely need it.  Your national title contenders right now are the three unbeatens at the top of the BCS standings: Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame.

 

Longshot National Title Contender

Alabama (9-1, 6-1) – The Tide’s loss to Texas A&M only dropped Nick Saban’s squad to #4 in the BCS and that’s the positive.  The negative is that Kirby Smart’s defense has had its share of troubles in the secondary the past few weeks.  The four highest passing totals against Bama all season have come in UA’s last four games (203 yards for Tennessee, 209 yards for Mississippi State, 296 yards for LSU and 253 yards for Texas A&M).  Both LSU (435) and Texas A&M (418) became the first two Alabama foes all year to roll up more than 282 yards of total offense.  Right now, there’s no guarantee if this Bama defense even got to the BCS title game that it could shut down a high-scoring offense as so many previous SEC/BCS champs have done.

Florida (9-1, 7-1) – The Gators are the longest long shot still on our board.  First, UF’s offense isn’t improving.  Second, QB Jeff Driskel is now banged up.  Third, the Gators not only need outside help but they’ll have to beat Florida State with a passing game that’s been pretty much nonexistent for much of the season.  Fourth, well, did you see the Houdini act Will Muschamp’s gang had to pull to escape Louisiana-Lafayette in the Swamp on Saturday?  Sorry, but Florida’s not playing like a BCS title contender at the moment.

Georgia (9-1, 7-1) — The Bulldogs’ defense is getting better as the year goes on, but they’re doing so against offenses that have been average-to-bad in SEC play (Florida, Ole Miss, and Auburn).  And if there are doubts about Alabama’s ability to shutdown Oregon, for example, if the two met, can you picture Georgia slowing the Ducks?  Plus, if the Tide needs help to reach Miami, Georgia needs help and it would have to beat Alabama — a team that was undefeated until last Saturday — head-to-head in Atlanta to punch a ticket to BCS title game.  There are lot of hoops left for UGA to jump through.

 

Top 25 Contender

LSU (8-2, 4-2) – Now that Tiger QB Zach Mettenberger is playing like the quarterback most expected him to become, LSU is looking pretty darn strong.  It’s too little, too late in terms of the national title hunt, but Les Miles squad can still finish off a very good season in a very good bowl game with an offensive attack that is finally, mercifully two-pronged.

South Carolina (8-2, 6-2) – Well, it’s not what Steve Spurrier and Gamecock fans were hoping for in terms of a follow-up to last year’s breakthrough campaign, but it’ll do.  Even if Carolina falls to in-state rival Clemson to end the regular season, there can be no debate over the fact that the Ol’ Ball Coach has changed the course of USC football history.  Never again will a Carolina AD have to convince a coach that he can win in Columbia.  He can just point to what Spurrier’s done.

Texas A&M (8-2, 5-2) – And the SEC Coach of the Year Award goes to (dramatic pause) Kevin Sumlin.  Barring a late-season stumble, Sumlin and the Aggies should rack up a whole slew of postseason awards and honors.  As is the case with Georgia above, A&M seems to be getting better as the year rolls on.  And no one’s come up with a sure-fire plan to stop QB Johnny Manziel on a week-in, week-out basis.  Now, about possibly costing the SEC a shot at its seventh consecutive BCS title…

 

Bowl Game Contender

Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3) – How quickly can a good season turn bad?  Pretty dang quick.  MSU hosts Arkansas on Saturday before ending the season at Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.  Win both and Dan Mullen will once again be hailed as a hero.  Lose one (or both) and he’ll hear a whole lot of complaints from Dog fans who got their hopes up after State’s 7-0 start.  It’s all about the placement of the cupcakes, of course.  Better to start 1-4 and finish 8-4 on a seven-game winning streak than to start 7-0 and finish 8-4 with a 1-4 stretch run.  Ask Vandy’s James Franklin who’s schedule has gotten easier down the stretch.

Missouri (5-5, 2-5) – Gary Pinkel’s crew fought back from a 14-point deficit twice last weekend before finally winning in overtime at Tennessee.  It was a big win.  The Tigers have dates with Syracuse (at home) and Texas A&M (on the road) remaining.  A win over the Aggies appears unlikely, so Mizzou’s bowl hopes will likely come down to this weekend’s game with Syracuse.

Vanderbilt (6-4, 4-3) – Already bowl eligible, the Commodores can now start working their way into our Top 25 Contender category with a win on Saturday over Tennessee.  Interestingly, VU has been bowl eligible three times since 2008 while UT has only gone bowling just twice in that span.  When VU’s been eligible, UT hasn’t been and vice versa.  If that trend holds — and since Vandy’s already bowl eligible — it looks to be good news for the Commodores on Saturday.

 

Bottom Floor Contender

Arkansas (4-6, 2-4) – To reach a bowl game this year the Hogs will need to win at Mississippi State and then upset LSU at home on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  No, we don’t see that happening.  But thanks to Auburn’s complete collapse this season, at least the Razorbacks won’t be SEC cellar-dwellers in 2012.

Ole Miss (5-5, 2-4) – Hugh Freeze has done a darn good job with a Swiss cheese roster, but it’s hard to picture him and the Rebels collecting that one last win to achieve bowl eligibility.  Saturday they’re at LSU.  Then they close out the season with the Egg Bowl at home.  Another win is possible, but now down to just 59 scholarship players (out of a maximum 85), these Rebs have something in common with the old Confederate army — both ran out of bodies in the end.

 

Basement Contender

Auburn (2-8, 0-7) – The Tigers are winless in the SEC and are 2.5 games behind Arkansas and Ole Miss in the West Division.  Auburn’s already clinched the West’s basement (as well as Gene Chizik’s walking papers in all likelihood).

Kentucky (1-9, 0-7) – The Wildcats are still winless in SEC play and their coach has already been canned.  Whether or not they finish in the East basement will depend on UK’s regular-season finale with Tennessee.

Tennessee (4-6, 0-6) – The Volunteers could still technically reach a bowl but after finding a way to open SEC play 0-6 for the second consecutive year, it’s hard to picture the Vols winning both of their last two games.  It’s also hard to imagine Derek Dooley returning to Knoxville next season.

 


13 comments
frankyfish220
frankyfish220

National Title contenders don't beat Missouri by 7 at home and come withing 1 minute of losing to Louisiana-Lafayette at home.  I know you are putting them up there because they only have 1 loss, but lets be real, you can drop the Gators down a line.  Even if the Gators do beat FSU (and that's a huge if given they probably wont score at all in that game), they would still be behind 1 loss Alabama or UGA.  So essentially Florida would need the remaining undefeated teams to lose and then hope the votes rank them high enough for an SEC rematch again in the title?  Not happening, 1 loss KSU or 1 loss Oregon stays ahead of them.  This UF team simply has no shot at the natl. title because they arent playing in the SEC champ game and natl. poll voters wont let the all SEC title happen again I dont think. 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @frankyfish220 

 

It appears that you just looked at the name Florida and didn't read what we actually wrote about the Gators and their chances:

 

"The Gators are the longest long shot still on our board.  First, UF’s offense isn’t improving.  Second, QB Jeff Driskel is now banged up.  Third, the Gators not only need outside help but they’ll have to beat Florida State with a passing game that’s been pretty much nonexistent for much of the season.  Fourth, well, did you see the Houdini act Will Muschamp’s gang had to pull to escape Louisiana-Lafayette in the Swamp on Saturday?  Sorry, but Florida’s not playing like a BCS title contender at the moment."

 

Thanks for visiting the site,

John

 

frankyfish220
frankyfish220

 @John at MrSEC I know I read it.  I just hate the gators and wish we could just banish them to the outback bowl where this sorry team belongs. How UF has made it this long with only 1 loss infuriates me. 

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

 @frankyfish220  @John at MrSEC Well, happy we could help make your day more interesting. I always find it amusing that the word "hate" is used so freely on sports blogs. I'm a Gator, and I respect Georgia and FSU. Both very good schools, wih a lot of great people working hard to make them better. My best friend from HS went to FSU and a cousin went to UGA. We have a great time busting each others chops from Friday to midnight Saturday. Then we goose each other abou the next week. Its fun. Its a rivalry. I can't think of a single Bulldog or Seminole I even come close to disliking. That's why I read this site. Its the closest website I can find where the authors and the fans mostly just take it as a game. And I am looking forward to this years game with FSU. They are up for it, and that is a good thing for a rivalry.

 

Given the choice of respecting or hating the opponent, I'd much rather go with the former. UGA whupped us fair and square this year, and congrats to all the Dawgs out there. It was fun, and hear's to the beginning fo basketball season!

rogun
rogun

I think you should switch Ole Miss and Missouri. I have no dog in the race, but I think Ole Miss upsets MSU and Missouri gets beat by Syracuse. I'm tempted to say something cocky just so you'll remember this post after it happens. 

historyphdguy
historyphdguy like.author.displayName 1 Like

I love my Vols but the past 4 years have been the worst in program history. Coach Dolley gets my thanks for coming into a difficult situation when Kiffin bolted in the middle of the night for USC. Dooley cleaned up the toxic atmosphere Kiffin left behind and he has been a man of character. The problem has been that nice guys finish last in the SEC. (See Joker Phillips) So this Saturday I will cheer for Vandy because they are having a fantastic season (by their standards) and I would love to see them finish 8-4 and go to the Chik-fil-a Bowl (or another decent bowl game) because it would mean a lot to their program and their fans. After the debacle against Mizzou I am just ready to move on with a new coach and staff. Coach Dooley will get a nice buyout and won't suffer in his future professional choices in coaching or in law. Now the question is who will the enigmatic AD Dave Hart bring to Rockty Top to return the program to being competitive in the SEC. Time will tell.

TheN8tureBoy
TheN8tureBoy

 @historyphdguy Fans never cheer against their teams.

historyphdguy
historyphdguy

 @TheN8tureBoy  @historyphdguy You are entitled to your opinion but by cheering for Vandy to win this one game I am cheering for the long-term good of the Tennessee football program. I am old enough to comprehend the bigger picture than just this one game or this one season. If the Vols happen to defeat Vandy and UK and make it to the Music City Bowl, Liberty Bowl or Independence Bowl and won that we would be a scintillating 7-6 in this best case scenario. AD Hart may be lulled into thinking he can save $$$ and keep Dooley and staff another season. This would simply delay the inevitable change that must occurr on Rocky Top. Nothing against Coach Dooley as a person but it is clear he is not the right person to lead the Vols back to being competitive in the SEC. So I believe the Vols win in the long run by losing to Vandy this Saturday by ending talk of a bowl game or having a winning season. Think of it as a mercy euthanasia of this coaching staff so we can move forward with a new coach. a fresh start would be quite welcome by Big Orange Nation.

TheN8tureBoy
TheN8tureBoy

 @historyphdguy Thank you for letting me know that you're older and wiser. Silly me, I thought Tennessee football started in 1998. I can't even name the quarterback before Tee Martin.

 

I pull for my team every game. If Dooley is the coach next season, I will be rooting for the Vols. I won't pout when the Vols win just because I think the coach is an abject failure, which I currently do.

kelticreid
kelticreid

Georgia is benefiting from playing against average to bad defenses (Florida, Ole Miss and Auburn)?  What?  Florida has a bad to average defense in SEC Play?  Really?  Are you sure about that?

 

National Rankings Total Defense

Auburn - 90th

Ole Miss - 55th

UF - 5th

 

SEC Rankings Total Defense

Auburn - 13th

Ole Miss - 10th

UF - 3rd

 

Which of these things is not like the other?

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @kelticreid 

 

I was talking about Georgia's defense, so I meant to write opposing offenses.  Obviously other teams' defenses would have no impact on Georgia's.

 

But my mistype.  Everyday I type more words than any other person on the planet and the bane of existence is misspelling one or flip-flopping two words as I hurriedly type.  Frustrating.

 

My bad, it's been corrected.

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

mb6783
mb6783

 @kelticreid I think he meant UGA's defense has benefited from playing bad or average offense's.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

 @kelticreid I think he meant to say Georgia's defensive progress is benefiting from average to bad offenses.



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