Did you believe what your eyes were seeing?
Almost certain to be banished from the rankings in our first elimination week, the last-place Missouri Tigers faced off against the seemingly unbeatable and defending national champions from Athens, Georgia as 29 point underdogs.
After one quarter, Mizzou led 3-0. Wow, slow start for Georgia.
After two quarters, Mizzou led 16-6. Say what now? A double-digit lead?
After three quarters, I thought the whole Power 5 was about to explode. Mizzou led 22-12 with 14:09 left in the 4th quarter!
Alas! It could not be sustained to the end. Georgia got their act together just enough to squeeze out a 26-22 win, but what an insane stand by the Tigers! The nobody fighter from Philly just went 15 rounds with the heavyweight champion of the world—and just in time to leap from the basement of the rankings before the floor opened up underneath them! That’s right, Missouri earned the greatest ‘B+’ for a loss any team’s ever gotten in these rankings and jumps to 11th, making them immune for the 2-team elimination this week as they are no longer in the bottom four! Auburn, Vanderbilt, Florida, and South Carolina got sent to the dean’s office and two of them flunked out. Who got sent packing? Read on to find out:
They’ve played the games and the grades are in—here are your SEC Power Rankings before Week 6:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tide were unfazed on the road this time around, running away with a 49-26 win after Arkansas used 16 straight points in the 3rd to make it interesting for a bit. They’ve improved since the Texas game, and now reclaim the top spot thanks to Georgia’s near disaster against Missouri. Grade: A
2. Georgia Bulldogs
Now that was a Georgia team I haven’t seen in a long time—one that actually gave up touchdowns and needed to come from behind. What a near disaster in Colombia for the defending champions, and poor enough to be dethroned from the #1 spot they almost always hold here. Now the Dawgs will probably destroy Auburn 43-3. Grade: D
3. Tennessee Volunteers
The Vols took the week off to prep for a road trip to Death Valley. Grade: N/A
4. Ole Miss
The only 5-0 team in the SEC West besides Alabama is now #4 after barely holding on against Kentucky in a game they were extremely lucky to win, taking advantage of several Wildcat mistakes and getting away with a big targeting no-call. Great win, but I have to give a ‘C’ because of how hard they tried to let UK win. Grade: C
4. Kentucky Wildcats
Well that’s one game that’ll provide some film to review. Swinging wildly back and forth between getting run out of Oxford and taking control of the game, Kentucky botched extra points, landed huge haymaker plays, gave up a safety, fumbled, drove down field...and got strip sacked. Incredible that they overcame so much to almost win, but also unfathomable that they made so many mistakes. All in all a game to throw in the wastebasket. Grade: C-
6. LSU Tigers
Sure showed Auburn a trick or two coming out of that 17-0 hole, eh? Four straight wins for the Bayou Bengals. Grade: B+
7. Mississippi State
These boys can play football, y’all. What a beatdown of the Aggies in front of the cowbells to surge ahead in these rankings and get full marks. Grade: A+
8. Arkansas Razorbacks
One of these years the Hogs will catch up to the Tide, but it wasn’t meant to be last Saturday. Great 3rd quarter to make things interesting though. Grade: B
9. Texas A&M Aggies
Bleah, that was terrible. Blowouts like that, even on the road, can be pretty damaging. Grade: F
10. Florida Gators
I’m not moving you up for beating Eastern Washington. Grade: B
11. Missouri Tigers
Looks like the Tigers are staying around a little longer! Keep that momentum rolling into The Swamp this Saturday and you might have an outside shot at a bowl. Grade: B+
12. Vanderbilt Commodores
It was a close call, but after careful comparison with South Carolina, the Commodores managed to stick around and avoid getting eliminated. The difference-makers were the road wins over Hawaii and Northern Illinois, which shined just a bit better than the Gamecocks’ cupcake home wins. This week they had a bye, which also probably saved them. Who could’ve seen Vandy in 12th this far in, or Mizzou in 11th for that matter? I also honestly though South Carolina would be better this year. They probably will improve, but that won’t matter for these power rankings. Grade: N/A