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SEC power rankings and grades after Week 8

Ole Miss rose while most of the league was off.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 23 LSU at Ole Miss Photo by Kevin Langley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 8 was one of the most wild and entertaining weeks of the 2021 season, but not in the Southeastern Conference, where most of the teams were hidden in underground bunkers to avoid the waves of chaos that washed away Penn State, Oklahoma State, and Coastal Carolina while putting a scare into Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Oregon, and others.

When you hit a week where Kansas comes a few plays away from beating Oklahoma, you don’t want to be playing. Bad football for the favorites and good football for the underdogs seems almost contagious some weeks.

All the SEC favorites that did play this week won handily, though, and received good grades. All in all this was a very ho-hum five-game week in the SEC that didn’t shake up anything. Next week we’ll only have four games, but they’ll all be close, exciting ones between mostly well-rested teams fresh off a bye.

They’ve played the games so let’s pass out the grades—this is your Week 8 SEC Report:

1. Georgia Bulldogs

The Bulldogs were off last Saturday as they prepare to defend their spot at the top in the annual Jacksonville game with Florida, which they lost last year. Grade: N/A

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

The Tide were in a fight with Tennessee for a while, only leading by seven going into the fourth quarter, but managed to pull away with 28 fourth quarter points to win 52-24. Not the prettiest of performances, but they still won big. Grade: B+

3. Ole Miss (Win of the Week)

The Rebels continue to ascend with a 31-17 home win over LSU to get to 6-1. Like Texas A&M, they only need one more Alabama loss to challenge for the West crown, but they will have to avoid 6-2 next week against Auburn. Grade: A

4. Kentucky Wildcats

The Wildcats got a much-needed bye as they rest up for a road test against Mississippi State, who they squashed 24-2 last year in Lexington. The Bulldogs will be eager to avoid that happening again. Grade: N/A

5. Texas A&M Aggies

The Alabama win seems to have gotten the Aggies back on track, though it’s too little too late for the SEC West and CFP hopes they had initially. Still, winning is winning and they dominated the Gamecocks at home for an ‘A+’. Grade: A+

6. Auburn Tigers

The Tigers were off this week as they prepare for a big West showdown against Ole Miss. Grade: N/A

7. Florida Gators

The Gators were off this week as they prepare to face Georgia in Jacksonville, a win that would turn their season around and make them the best three loss team in the country. Grade: N/A

8. Arkansas Razorbacks

It must feel good to win again, because after a red-hot start and an ice-cold stretch, the Hogs put another one in the win column with a 45-3 crushing of FCS AR-Pine Bluff. While the competition was putrid, it’s always nice to go into a bye with a win. Grade: A+

9. Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Bulldogs are movin’ up because while LSU and South Carolina were getting bruised on the road against top-20 teams, Cowbell got to have their turn on the Vandy punching bag, scoring a 39 point win on the pinball machine of Nashville. Not quite Georgia’s high score, but word is their performance won Mike Leach 39 bags of candy corn!

10. LSU Tigers

A tough loss on the road to a tough team sinks this boat a little more, but even though the Tigers have fallen to 4-4 all they have to do next week is replicate their last trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium and everything will turn around. Grade: C

11. Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee continues to look good by fighting hard against good teams and obliterating bad ones. The most annoying team in college football played a three-quarter game against Alabama and gets a ‘B’. Grade: B

12. South Carolina Gamecocks

Y’know I just realized that this year South Carolina might actually be able to beat Clemson! Who would’ve predicted that in the preseason! While they got blasted again by A&M, if they can win one of their final three conference games they will have a chance to go bowling with a win over Dabo Swinney in Williams-Brice Stadium. This season ain’t over yet. Grade: D

13. Missouri Tigers

The Tigers were off last week as they get ready for a trip to Nashville to have their turn on the Vandy punching bag, except that with the way they’ve been playing this game probably won’t be the cakewalk it’s been for everyone else. Just ask South Carolina. Grade: N/A

14. Vanderbilt Commodores

You were looking ahead to the Missouri game last Saturday, weren’t you? Well I don’t blame you. Grade: F