In what seems like the blink of an eye, the 2013 college football season has nearly reached its halfway mark.
Week six featured a heavy dose of SEC clashes, and the new power rankings show significant changes from last week’s poll. In addition, the weekly stock report has mostly “buys” and “sells” at this point, as the true contenders begin to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
1. Alabama (5-0, 2-0)
2. Georgia (4-1, 3-0)
3. LSU (5-1, 2-1)
4. Florida (4-1, 3-0)
5. Texas A&M (4-1, 1-1)
6. Auburn (4-1, 2-1)
7. South Carolina (4-1, 2-1)
8. Missouri (5-0, 1-0)
9. Ole Miss (3-2, 1-2)
10. Tennessee (3-3, 0-2)
11. Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-3)
12. Mississippi State (2-3, 0-2)
13. Arkansas (3-3, 0-2)
14. Kentucky (1-4, 0-2)
The Crimson Tide shot out of the gates to a 38-0 halftime lead over lowly Georgia State, and breezed through the second half for a 45-3 win. Quarterback AJ McCarron continued his stellar play, and Alabama was able to rest its starters for a good portion of the contest. The nation’s top-ranked team will likely be on cruise control for the next several weeks, until LSU comes calling on Nov. 9.
Coming off an emotionally-draining shootout last week, the Bulldogs were ripe for the taking in a road contest at Tennessee. But thanks in part to a controversial touchback call in overtime, they survived the test, and returned to Athens with their SEC record still unblemished. Georgia has now navigated through the most difficult part of its challenging schedule, with tough contests against Missouri, Florida, and Georgia Tech on the horizon.
The Tigers bounced back from their loss to Georgia with a 59-26 road victory over Mississippi State. The high-flying LSU offense is approaching juggernaut status, and 59 points on the road in the SEC is always impressive. On the other side of the ball, the struggling LSU defense picked up right where it left off last week, yielding 23 first half points to the Bulldogs. On the bright side, defensive coordinator John Chavis made numerous halftime adjustments, and his unit surrendered only three points in the second half.
Quarterback Tyler Murphy made the most of his first home start as Florida blew past Arkansas, 30-10. Murphy looked comfortable in the pocket all game, as he carved up the Razorbacks for 240 passing yards and three touchdowns. The speedy Florida defense was again dominant, and limited Arkansas running back Alex Collins to just 54 yards on the ground. Florida is a “buy” once again, and Will Muschamp’s Gators can now focus on this week’s trip to Baton Rouge.
For the first time all season, Johnny Manziel didn’t embarrass anyone’s defense. But that’s only due to the fact that Texas A&M had an open date. Manziel is still considered by many to be the front runner for this year’s Heisman Trophy, as his performance has been nothing short of spectacular in 2013. A&M is still a “buy.”
With a 30-22 Saturday night home victory, Auburn pulled off an upset of a potent Ole Miss squad. Quarterback Nick Marshall led the way, churning out 140 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the night. Gus Malzahn’s Tigers have already exceeded last season’s win total, and they’re a definite “buy” this week.
This isn’t the first week we’re buying on the Tigers. For the first time since their arrival in the league two years ago, however, Missouri has the SEC’s full attention. Gary Pinkel’s squad lit up home-standing Vanderbilt to the tune of 51-28 on Saturday, and ran its record to a perfect 5-0. The going gets tougher this week, however, as the Tigers visit Georgia.
South Carolina raced out to a 21-0 lead over cellar-dwelling Kentucky on Saturday, and held on for a 35-28 win. But much of the post-game attention was centered around star defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney held himself out of the game due to bruised ribs, and drew some pointed comments from his coach, Steve Spurrier. South Carolina is winning, but struggling against subpar competition. As a result, they’re the SEC’s only “hold” this week.
A lot can change in two weeks, and the Ole Miss Rebels can attest to that with sincerity. Hugh Freeze’s young squad got off to a hot start, but consecutive losses to Alabama and Auburn have brought them back down to Earth with a thud. Things don’t get any easier this week, as Texas A&M is next on the schedule.
Rocky Top was abuzz this past Saturday, as the Volunteers broke out their gray uniforms. Tennessee put forth a valiant effort against Georgia, but it wasn’t quite enough. The Vols are still winless in the SEC, and they’re still a “sell.”
After consecutive bowl appearances in the two previous seasons, Vanderbilt is looking like Vanderbilt once again. The Commodores were blown out at home this past Saturday, and coach James Franklin is at a loss for answers. Vanderbilt is a definite “sell.”
Saturday marked the Razorbacks’ third consecutive loss, which doesn’t sit well at any SEC school. Arkansas has a capable running game, but they’re still a long way from earning a “buy.”
Coach Dan Mullen’s spread offense showed promise in the first half against LSU on Saturday, but the Bulldogs still don’t have the horses to compete with a top 10 opponent for 60 minutes.
The Wildcats showed some life in a competitive contest with South Carolina, but their 1-4 overall record speaks for itself. Kentucky is still at the bottom of the barrel in the SEC.