Week nine provided perhaps the most entertaining game thus far in the 2013 college football season. The SEC East showdown between previously unbeaten Missouri and upset-minded South Carolina went into double overtime, with the Gamecocks prevailing in a come-from-behind thriller.
Elsewhere in the SEC, Texas A&M blew past Vanderbilt, Mississippi State broke into the conference win column, and the Tide continued to roll.
Here’s a look at the newly-adjusted SEC Power Rankings, followed by the Wall Street-inspired Stock Report.
1. Alabama (8-0, 5-0)
2. Auburn (7-1, 3-1)
3. South Carolina (6-2, 4-2)
4. Missouri (7-1, 3-1)
5. Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2)
6. LSU (7-2, 3-2)
7. Ole Miss (5-3, 2-3)
8. Georgia (4-3, 3-2)
9. Florida (4-3, 3-2)
10. Tennessee (4-4, 1-3)
11. Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-4)
12. Mississippi State (4-3, 1-2)
13. Arkansas (3-5, 1-4)
14. Kentucky (1-6, 0-4)
Alabama is dominating in all phases of the game right now. The nation’s top-ranked team has outscored its last four opponents by a combined score of 171-17. This includes Saturday’s 45-10 whitewashing of Tennessee. Nick Saban’s defense appears to have caught up to the high-flying Alabama offense, and the two-time defending national champions are clicking on all cylinders.
The Tigers made quick work of Florida Atlantic this past Saturday, and ran their record to 7-1 on the season with a 45-10 win. Backup quarterback Jeremy Johnson didn’t skip a beat when starter Nick Marshall went down with a shoulder injury. The freshmen completed 10-of-16 passes for 192 yards and two scores. If Auburn can avoid any slip-ups down the stretch, the Tigers’ annual Iron Bowl clash with Alabama will have huge national and conference implications.
South Carolina erased a 17-0 fourth quarter deficit on the road, and toppled division-leading Missouri 27-24 in double overtime last Saturday. Quarterback Connor Shaw relieved ineffective starter Dylan Thompson in the third quarter. Shaw was brilliant in the crucial moments of the game. The Gamecocks are now back in contention for a berth in the SEC Championship Game, and they’re definitely a “buy” this week.
The Aggies of Texas A&M rebounded from their home loss to Auburn with a 56-24 whipping of Vanderbilt. Johnny Manziel was again electrifying with 300 yards passing and four touchdowns in less than three quarters of action. A&M coach Kevin Sumlin wasn’t sure if Manziel, who was nursing a shoulder injury, would be able to play until just before kickoff. But Manziel did play, and after a week of holding, the Aggies are once again a “buy.”
There was no letdown for Ole Miss following the big win over LSU. Hugh Freeze’s squad rolled over Idaho, 59-14. With key contests remaining against Missouri and Mississippi State, the Rebels could find themselves in a New Year’s Day bowl game if they win out. Granted, Ole Miss already has three losses within the division, but quarterback Bo Wallace has a hot hand right now, and you always buy a hot hand.
The Missouri Tigers were one quarter away from pulling the sweep on Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. In the game’s final period, however, they collapsed like a house of cards against Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks. Missouri can still play for the conference title in Atlanta, but must bounce back from the heartbreaking loss to Carolina before becoming a “buy” again. We’re holding on the Tigers this week.
Florida has dropped two straight games on the road to quality ball clubs. Coach Will Muschamp most likely used last week’s open date to rally his squad in preparation for a key matchup with Georgia. The Florida defense is undeniably elite, but the offense hasn’t performed with any consistency the last two games. A win against the hated Bulldogs would possibly save the season for Florida, while a loss could be devastating. As for now, the Gators are a “hold.”
Like Florida, Georgia had an open date this week following two tough losses. Quarterback Aaron Murray didn’t perform up to standards last game against Vanderbilt, while trying to make do without a number of injured playmakers. The Dawgs hope to be healthier this week, as the huge matchup with Florida looms. Until further notice, we’re holding on Georgia.
After a shocking loss at Ole Miss, Les Miles’ Tigers muddled through a 48-16 win over Furman on Saturday. LSU appeared to be sleepwalking for much of the game, which isn’t surprising after what took place the previous weekend in Oxford. The Tigers’ next opponent is No. 1 Alabama in two weeks. We’ll be holding on LSU until then.
Mississippi State cracked the SEC win column last Thursday night, and despite the fact that the opponent was Kentucky, the Bulldogs are no longer a “sell.” Dan Mullen’s squad is 4-3 on the season now, and if the shaky State defense can continue to improve, the Bulldogs may be in contention for a bowl game.
Butch Jones’ young squad had built some momentum following a near upset of Georgia and a big win over South Carolina. Then, they ran into Alabama. The Tide crushed Tennessee, 45-10, on Saturday, dropping the Vols to 1-3 in conference play, and making them a definite “sell.”
Just like Tennessee, Vanderbilt was also one week removed from a big upset victory, but was unable to keep up with Manziel and A&M. There was a silver lining for the Commodores on Saturday, however, as Jordan Matthews became the SEC’s all-time leader in career receiving yards.
Arkansas avoided a sixth consecutive loss on Saturday – the Razorbacks enjoyed a bye week. After a 3-0 start, Bret Bielema’s season abruptly went south, culminating with a 52-0 blanking at the hands of Alabama in the Hogs’ last outing. Despite the open date, Arkansas is an easy “sell,” once again.
Each week brings more disappointment for Kentucky coach Mark Stoops. His Wildcats experienced a new low last Thursday with a loss to Mississippi State. The good news for Kentucky, however, is that basketball season is right around the corner.