Auburn shocked the world and beat Alabama, and thus vaulted to the top of this week’s power rankings. But another minor surprise or two is in order — read on for more.
1. Auburn (11-1, 7-1 SEC): Thanks to back-to-back, last-second wins in two of the craziest fashion imaginable, it’s hard to deny the Tigers the top spot this week. I don’t know what preseason odds were for Auburn to beat Alabama, but if you took them, you’re a rich man today.
2. Alabama (11-1, 7-1): Coach Nick Saban’s brain cramps down the stretch on Saturday prove there’s a first time for everything.
3. Missouri (11-1, 7-1): You’ve got to give the poll nod to Auburn, but I’m not sure Missouri won’t win in Atlanta on Saturday — these Tigers have a better defense, and are far better in turnover margin, and those are two things that often decide ballgames.
4. South Carolina (10-2, 6-2): Up-and-down Gamecocks were predictably up in Saturday’s impressive whipping of arch-rival Clemson.
5. LSU (9-3, 5-3): Speaking of up-and-down, Tigers’ upside is big enough that they’re the only team to beat Auburn, and their downside is that, on a bad day, they’re capable of nearly losing to lowly Arkansas.
6. Georgia (8-4, 5-3): Instead of packing it in after heart-breaking losses to Vandy and Auburn, the Bulldogs have gone out and played pretty solid ball. Beating arch-rival Georgia Tech without quarterback Aaron Murray and other key players was big.
7. Texas A&M (8-4, 4-4): Aggies offense slowed for the second-straight week in Saturday’s loss at Missouri.
8. Ole Miss (7-5, 3-5): The Rebels’ season seems to have boiled down to the play of quarterback Bo Wallace, who fumbled away the Rebels’ hopes for victory in the end zone on Saturday. When Ole Miss has won this year, Wallace has thrown 12 touchdowns and two picks, but it its five losses, there were just five scores and seven interceptions. It wouldn’t have taken a lot for Ole Miss to have finished 10-2, but on the other hand, not much would have needed to change for 5-7.
9. Vanderbilt (8-4, 4-4): For the second-straight week, Vandy came from behind in the final minute to win a football game. I’m not sure the last time that happened, but I’d be surprised if the majority of people reading this were alive when it did.
10. Mississippi State (6-6, 3-5): Bulldogs are a hard team to rank: their only good win was over Ole Miss, but the six losses came to A&M, LSU, South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Alabama and Auburn. Only the Auburn game, though, was truly close.
11. Florida (4-8, 3-5): What do you think coach Will Muschamp would pay to get a do-over on this season with a healthy team?
12. Tennessee (4-8, 2-6): Vols finally get that feel-good moment they’ve needed for weeks with a season-ending road win at Kentucky.
13. Arkansas (3-8, 0-8): It doesn’t take much to stay out of the basement in these rankings, and Razorbacks did enough by putting a serious scare into LSU.
14. Kentucky (2-10, 0-8): Ouch! Wildcats were out-scored 291-118 in SEC games this year.