In August, I published the offseason power rankings for the SEC. Now we are three weeks into the season and it worth taking a look into how the teams now stack up four to five games into the young season.
1. Kentucky (August: 1st)
Kentucky will be the clear-cut favorite to win the SEC when conference play begins on January 2nd. Kentucky is currently ranked #1 in the country with a 7-0 record that includes a victory over #6 Duke in Chicago.
Kentucky' December games to watch:
- December 3 - @ UCLA
- December 12 - Arizona State
- December 19 - vs Ohio State (Brooklyn)
- December 26 - #24 Louisville
2. Vanderbilt (3rd)
Vanderbilt is not too far behind Kentucky. The Dores have the pieces to make a good run in March with outstanding shooters and an inside presence. Vandy was the runner-up at the Maui Invitational, losing to #3 Kansas in the championship game. The Dores are currently 6-1 and are ranked #16 in the country.
Vanderbilt's December games to watch:
- December 6 - @ #25 Baylor
- December 9 - Dayton
- December 22 - @ #11 Purdue
3. Texas A&M (2nd)
Texas A&M made a statement over Thanksgiving week with a victory over #9 Gonzaga in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Aggies were the runner-up at the Battle 4 Atlantis, losing to Syracuse in the championship game. The Aggies are currently 6-1 and ranked #18 in the country.
Texas A&M's December games to watch:
- December 5 - @ Arizona State
- December 12 - Kansas State
- December 19 - #25 Baylor
4. South Carolina (9th)
South Carolina is a surprise so far in the early season. Frank Martin currently has the Gamecocks at 7-0 and receiving votes in both polls. The Gamecocks won the Paradise Jam Tournament in the Virgin Islands. The Gamecocks could be a big surprise this year if they keep it up.
South Carolina's December games to watch:
- December 18 - @ Clemson
- December 22 - vs St. John's (Uncasville)
5. Florida (6th)
Florida looks to be much improved from their 15-15 2015 season, but the throttling they got from #11 Purdue didn't help. However, the Gators will have a chance to prove themselves with a tough slate in December. First year head coach Mike White has the Gators sitting at 6-1.
Florida's December games to watch:
- December 8 - @ #21 Miami (FL)
- December 12 - @ #3 Michigan State
- December 19 - vs Oklahoma State (Sunrise)
- December 29 - Florida State
6. Alabama (7th)
Alabama has started on a roller coaster ride with first-year head coach Avery Johnson. They were embarrassed against Xavier and Dayton early, but reeled off two big wins against Notre Dame and Wichita State at the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando last week. The Tide are currently 4-2.
Alabama's December games to watch:
- December 13 - @ Clemson
- December 21 - vs #15 Oregon (Birmingham)
7. Georgia (5th)
Georgia is coming off an NCAA Tournament berth from last season, but isn't doing itself any favors to get back there. The Dawgs are currently 3-2 with losses to Seton Hall and Chattanooga. They need to win a lot of games in the SEC to make up for their non-conference schedule.
Georgia's December games to watch:
- December 4 - Kansas State
- December 19 - Georgia Tech
- December 22 - Clemson
8. Auburn (8th)
Auburn is off to a decent start to the year with a 4-1 record. Their lone loss was to Colorado at home. The Tigers are much improved from last season, but it remains to see how much they can move up in the SEC.
Auburn's December games to watch:
- December 19 - @ #12 Xavier
- December 22 - vs New Mexico (Diamond Head Classic)
9. LSU (4th)
LSU has all of the talent in the world, but can't seem to capitalize on it. They have arguably the most talented player in the country in Ben Simmons, yet are losing to Marquette and Charleston. Currently the Tigers are 4-3 and should be 5-1 at the worst. The Tigers need to turn it on now if they want to reach the NCAA Tournament.
LSU's December games to watch:
- December 29 - Wake Forest
10. Tennessee (13th)
Tennessee is fighting a big uphill battle with their current stable of talent. First year head coach Rick Barnes has his work cut out for him in SEC play. The Vols are currently 4-3 and will likely duplicate their 16-16 record from 2015.
Tennessee's December games to watch:
- December 12 - @ Butler
- December 19 - vs. #13 Gonzaga (Seattle)
11. Ole Miss (12th)
Ole Miss is better than their 5-2 record indicates, but they just can't seem to find any consistency. The Rebels are due to move up these power rankings as the season moves along, but they haven't shown any reason to move them up yet.
Ole Miss' December games to watch:
- December 15 - Louisiana Tech
- December 18 - @ Memphis
12. Arkansas (11th)
Arkansas has really tumbled from their outstanding 2015 campaign. The Hawgs have lost to (gulp) Akron and Georgia Tech on the early season. It won't be pretty for Arkansas once SEC play begins/
Arkansas' December games to watch:
- December 4 - @ Wake Forest
- December 8 - Evansville
- December 30 - @ Dayton
13. Mississippi State (10th)
Mississippi State is...um...yeah. They do have one of the most talented freshman in Malik Newman, but they still lost to Southern. Not a good start for first year head coach Ben Howland. The Bulldogs are currently 4-3.
Mississippi State's December games to watch:
- December 16 - @ Florida State
14. Missouri (14th)
Missouri is one of the worst teams in the power 5. Granted, they've all of their three losses have been to power 5 opponents, but they still are not very good. Kansas State ran them off the floor 66-42.
Missouri's December games to watch:
- December 13 - @ #19 Arizona
- December 19 - NC State
- December 23 - vs. Illinois (St. Louis)