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SEC Power Rankings Week 8

We have a new #1

Alabama v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

For the first time in the history of these power rankings we have a #1 team that is not Alabama or Georgia.

The Tennessee Volunteers, 6-0 and fresh off their first victory over Alabama in 15 years of trying, top the rankings as they become just the second team in the last two years to defeat either Alabama or Georgia (besides the Tide and Bulldogs beating each other of course).

Now, they try to see if they can stay at the top, because after this Saturday’s FCS game, they face Kentucky and Georgia in back-to-back weeks. Also, next week, three more teams will be eliminated from the power rankings for poor performance and one will be added, trimming our rankings down to ten.

Will Auburn or South Carolina find an opportunity to climb back in, or will they remain locked in the cellar? Only time will tell.

They’ve played the games and the grades are in—here are your SEC Power Rankings before Week 8:

1. Tennessee Volunteers

Rocky Top is indeed on top, after scoring the most points against Alabama since Sewanee in 1907. Pretty good blueprint for beating the Tide, playing first to 52. This is definitely quite a high for the program. Can they turn it into an SEC championship? Grade: A+

2. Georgia Bulldogs

7-0, just squashed Vanderbilt, and still control the path to the SEC East and the CFP. If Tennessee or Kentucky is going to take it from them, they have to go through the Bulldogs in the coming weeks. Grade: A+

3. Alabama Crimson Tide

After a couple of close calls, the Tide finally became human and lost a game on the road against a great team. It happens, and after lucking out against Texas and Texas A&M a valiant squad with a lot of firepower managed to land the last punch in a great game. Knowing Nick Saban, they’ll probably take the loss, move on, finish 11-1, win the SEC championship, and return to the playoff like clockwork. Grade: B

4. Ole Miss

Still undefeated. Hasn’t been the most difficult schedule yet, but being undefeated this late in the year is a huge accomplishment. Great job taking care of business against a desperate Auburn team. Grade: B

5. Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky’s still the same team that beat Florida on the road and almost started 5-0, and they showed it in a 10-point win against top-20 Mississippi State in a game where the defense only allowed 10 points. Now that’s a bounce-back. In two weeks they get a showdown with #1 Tennessee in Knoxville. Can they do what Alabama couldn’t? Grade: B+

6. Mississippi State

The last four times the Bulldogs have come to Lexington they’ve lost every time, but the last four times they’ve hosted Kentucky in Starkville they’ve won easily. Homefield advantage sure is something sometimes. If road games faze this team they’ll have a tall order ahead of them with a trip to Tuscaloosa this Saturday. Grade: C

7. Arkansas Razorbacks

Can’t lose to BYU, even if it’s on the road, but guess what? They didn’t! Big victory for the Hogs in a loaded schedule. Grade: A

8. LSU Tigers

Road win for the Tigers! Not many teams hang 45 on the Gators in The Swamp. Grade: A

9. Texas A&M Aggies

The Aggies were off this week as they prepare for South Carolina. Grade: n/a

10. Florida Gators

Can’t lose at home by double-digits, even to good SEC West teams. Grade: C-

11. Missouri Tigers

The Tigers were off this week, which played a significant factor in them not losing again. Grade: n/a

12. Vanderbilt Commodores

I guess the team is just trying to conserve all their firepower for the Missouri game next week. Grade: F

Eliminated: South Carolina Gamecocks and Auburn Tigers