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Home | Sports | College / NCAA |

2012 SEC Power Rankings, Week 13: No. 14 – No. 8


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Is it time to kick these coaches since they're down?

Is it time to kick these coaches since they're down?
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

That is never nice, but fans of several of the SEC's bottom-feeding programs probably wouldn't mind at least the idea of it.

As it were, when the college football season kicked off, few would have guessed that several teams in the nation's strongest conference would, well, stink so badly.

Kentucky let go of its head coach ages ago, and Tennessee has followed suit after its most recent drubbing, this time at the hands of Vanderbilt (more on that a little later).

What else have the the No.'s 14-8 teams been up to? Who is trending up and who is crashing and burning?

Ladies and gentlemen, there is only one way to find out.

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14. Kentucky Wildcats (Last Week: 14)

14. Kentucky Wildcats (Last Week: 14)
Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

You know that awkward moment when you realize the only teams you have beaten on the season are Kent State and Samford?

Yup, like Jerry Seinfeld before them, those awkward moments are the ones the Kentucky Wildcats choose to celebrate. Such is the state of this program at the moment: No talent, no head coach and very little to look forward to.

Hey, if you're going to go down with the ship, might as well celebrate, right?

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13. Tennessee Volunteers (LW: 12)

13. Tennessee Volunteers (LW: 12)
Randy Sartin-US PRESSWIRE

As always, we begin any summation of the Vols' 2012 football team by describing exactly how talented the program is. Tyler Bray is a 6-foot-6 gunslinger with arguably the conference's strongest arm and pocket presence. His two wide receivers, Cordarelle Patterson and Justin Hunter, are both headed to an early round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Yet, as always, we finish talking about their uber-talented stars and start talking about another loss.

After looking at least competitive in a quadruple overtime home loss at the hands of Mizzou a week ago, there was no such appearance of life in a 41-18 road loss to Vanderbilt.

The school's administrators would seem to be inclined to agree. Especially considering the fact that in an emergency Sunday press conference they fired coach Derek Dooley, effective immediately.

This bad-to-worse season drops the Vols from 12 to 13 on our latest Power Rankings, not mention in the official standings.

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12. Auburn Tigers (LW: 13)

12. Auburn Tigers (LW: 13)
John Reed-US PRESSWIRE

Who'd'a thunk it?

Having crushed Alabama A&M and New Mexico State with an only mildly embarrassing 38-0 loss to Georgia squished in between, War Eagle is practically on a hot streak.

Apparently, such dominant wins over the class of the SWAC is enough to cool down coach Gene Chizik's hot seat long enough to at least finish out the season.

With the firing of Derek Dooley over at Tennessee, Chizik has outlasted two of the SEC's 14 coaches in 2012.

With an 0-7 conference mark, who'd'a thunk that?

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11. Arkansas Razorbacks (LW: 10)

11. Arkansas Razorbacks (LW: 10)
Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Will Auburn's Chizik make it longer as a coach in the SEC than Arky's John L. Smith? At this rate, what does it matter?

All Razorbacks fans care about is the fact that Smith, barring a decision both insane and totally unforeseen from the athletic department, is done as the football team's head coach after next Saturday.

After opening the season ranked at No. 8 nationally, seemingly nothing has gone right besides working over Kentucky and Auburn, which we all know is like popping into a 7-11 and buying greasy food: So easy anyone can do it.

Saturday's performance against a free-falling Mississippi State was borderline embarrassing. At least, that is how it must have felt to quarterback Tyler Wilson, a senior leader who had expected bigger things out of himself and his team in 2012.

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10. Missouri Tigers (LW: 9)

10. Missouri Tigers (LW: 9)
Dak Dillon-US PRESSWIRE

After jumping out to a 3-0 start to the 2012 football season, Mizzou had to actually play conference games. When it came time to actually share the field with SEC teams for the first time, the Tigers looked over-matched against nearly everyone.

Now after beating Kentucky and Tennessee, the Tigers' futility finally spread beyond simply in-conference play. Minus leading tackler Sheldon Richardson, who was suspended for the game, the Missouri defense gave up 21 fourth-quarter points to Syracuse to lose its home finale, 31-27.

Having limped to a 5-6 overall record, the Tigers now must win its season finale, against fellow SEC newcomer Texas A&M.

It is only fitting that the team that will most likely keep Missouri from becoming bowl-eligible is the team they joined the new conference with.

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No. 9 Ole Miss Rebels (LW: 11)

No. 9 Ole Miss Rebels (LW: 11)
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Very rarely do moral victories count for much, but after the Rebels' 41-35 loss in Death Valley, one could not help but feel as if coach Hugh Freeze's squad had begun to realize its potential.

Starting quarterback Bo Wallace had another huge day under center in such a rowdy road environment in Baton Rouge. After tossing for 403 yards in a one-point loss to Vanderbilt, Wallace posted another 310 and two scores.

However, his three interceptions were a small indication of how the team has performed all season long: Quite well, but not quite well enough to win.

However, after winning just two a season ago, the fact that Ole Miss can still earn a bowl invite with a win against in-state rival Mississippi State should have fans pumped for now and ecstatic over the future of their program.

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8. Mississippi State Bulldogs (LW: 8)

8. Mississippi State Bulldogs (LW: 8)
Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

One would assume a 45-14 win over a fellow SEC foe would generally serve as a cause for a rapid ascent through the Rankings.

When that win comes at home against a garbage Arkansas squad?

Not so much.

That being said, it was nice for cowbell fans to see some signs of life out of their program, after suffering three consecutive beat-downs at the hands of the SEC's big boys.

Tyler Russell finally decided it was time to air it out at the level to which he is capable, tossing for 274 yards and four touchdowns, and the same goes for running back Ladarius Perkins.

Formerly a dark horse Heisman candidate, Perkins compiled 131 all-purpose yards after spinning his wheels like the rest of his team over the last month.

The Bulldogs take on Ole Miss next week for a chance to win nine games and finish the season in the top 25.

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