Week seven was highly eventful in the Southeastern Conference, and called for numerous shake-ups in the Power Rankings and Stock Report.
The Missouri Tigers loudly announced their arrival as SEC contenders, but their big win over Georgia came at a steep price.
Elsewhere, LSU earned an important home win over Florida, while visiting Texas A&M outlasted Ole Miss in a Saturday night shootout.
As the 2013 college football season reaches its halfway mark, our weekly Power Rankings and Stock Report play out as follows:
1. Alabama (6-0, 3-0)
2. Missouri (6-0, 2-0)
3. LSU (6-1, 3-1)
4. Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1)
5. South Carolina (5-1, 3-1)
6. Auburn (5-1, 2-1)
7. Georgia (4-2, 3-1)
8. Florida (4-2, 3-1)
9. Ole Miss (3-3, 1-3)
10. Tennessee (3-3, 0-2)
11. Mississippi State (3-3, 0-2)
12. Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-3)
13. Arkansas (3-4, 0-3)
14. Kentucky (1-5, 0-3)
The drill is getting rather old in regards to Alabama, as the top-ranked Crimson Tide continue to roll. Home-standing Kentucky was completely overwhelmed in all phases of the game by Nick Saban’s squad on Saturday. The two-time defending national champions are, as usual, a definite “buy.”
Coach Gary Pinkel’s Tigers earned a signature SEC win Saturday afternoon against Georiga. All eyes in the conference were fixated on this showdown between the Hedges, and quarterback James Franklin didn’t disappoint in a 41-26 Tiger victory. Unfortunately, Franklin was lost for at least the next month with a shoulder injury. But at 6-0, with a win over a Top 10 opponent, the Tigers ascend to No. 2 in the Power Rankings, and are an obvious “buy.”
With Florida’s highly-rated defense keying on LSU’s potent passing game, Les Miles decided to go old school in Saturday’s 17-6 win over the Gators. The Tigers relied heavily upon their running game, as Jeremy Hill churned out 121 yards on the ground. The young LSU defense continued its steady improvement, as John Chavis’ unit kept Florida out of the end zone. LSU looks the part of a complete football team, capable of winning in a variety of ways, and the Tigers are a “buy” once again.
The Aggies of Texas A&M had to scratch and claw for it, but they escaped Oxford with a 41-38 win over a determined Ole Miss squad. Johnny Manziel did nothing to hurt his chances for a second straight Heisman Trophy, as he tallied 470 yards of total offense to go with two rushing touchdowns. The A&M defense still has some question marks, but with Manziel and the offense clicking the way it is, the Aggies are an easy “buy.”
Steve Spurrier endured strong media spotlight all last week regarding Jadeveon Clowney, as the Head Ball Coach repeatedly addressed questions about his star defensive lineman’s injury. Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks made a statement of their own on Saturday, however, as they blasted Arkansas on the road, 52-7. With Clowney’s rib injury front and center, the South Carolina offense stole the show in Fayetteville. The game was a popular upset pick for prognosticators, but the Gamecocks were having none of that on Saturday. They’re a solid “buy” this week.
Auburn continued to make its mark on the 2013 season with a 62-3 drubbing of lowly Western Carolina. First-year coach Gus Malzahn appears to be squeezing everything he can out of his first season on the Plains, and his squad continues to pass test after test. Auburn’s schedule has been manageable thus far, but upcoming contests with Georgia and Alabama will tell us a lot more about the Tigers. Auburn is a legitimate “buy” this week, though, and deserving of its Top 25 ranking.
Georgia has a couple of solid wins to its credit this season over LSU and South Carolina. The stock report, however, involves a strong what-have-you-done-for-me-lately element, and the Bulldogs just lost by 15 points at home. Granted, Georgia was without a host of key offensive playmakers, but injuries are a part of the game. The Bulldogs must adjust to these setbacks or get left behind in the race for the SEC crown. For the moment, the Dawgs are a “hold.”
The Florida pass defense was every bit as good as advertised in limiting LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger to only 152 passing yards on Saturday. However, the defensive front failed to contain Jeremy Hill when it mattered most. The Gators offense didn’t hold up its end of the bargain, either. On the bright side, the loss was Florida’s first in the SEC, and the Gators can still earn a trip to Atlanta. The first step in the process comes this week, as Florida travels to Missouri. For now, we’re holding on the Gators.
The Rebels battled hard on Saturday night, but lost on their home field to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. With three straight losses to divisional opponents, Ole Miss is reeling, and looks to be a far cry from the team that whipped Texas in Austin a month ago.
Following a heartbreaking loss at home to Georgia, Butch Jones’ Volunteers were able to lick their wounds this week. Tennessee enjoyed an open date, but the Vols’ winless SEC record remains intact. At present, they’re still a “sell.”
Mississippi State pulled out a 21-20 squeaker over Bowling Green squad on Saturday. The victory couldn’t come at a better time for the Bulldogs, who needed it badly. A one-point win over a team from the MAC, however, isn’t going to earn a “buy” for an SEC squad that hasn’t yet won a conference game.
Following an open date, Vanderbilt is a “sell” again. The Commodores are 0-3 in the SEC, and still seeking to find the form that led them to nine wins a season ago. With Georgia coming to town this weekend, Vanderbilt will continue to find the going tough in the SEC East.
With four straight losses, Arkansas is in a freefall. Unfortunately, a trip to Alabama looms this weekend, and the Razorbacks will need a supreme effort to avoid another embarrassing loss. Coach Bret Bielema has some pieces in place to build a solid program in Fayetteville, but lacks others, such as a capable defensive backfield.
Midnight Madness is only a few days away, and hopes are high for John Calipari’s Wildcats this year. As for football, Kentucky’s 48-7 home loss to Alabama showed just how far away the Wildcats truly are from being a contender in the SEC.