Advertisement

SEC Power Rankings: Alabama back on top after Week 5; Hogs, Tigers, ‘Dores battling for cellar

Alabama and South Carolina weren’t supposed to be this good. Arkansas and Kentucky weren’t supposed to be this bad.

Otherwise, the 2024 SEC basketball season has been a pretty standard one. The Crimson Tide are leading the league at the halfway point, trailed closely by two expected contenders. A whole slew of teams make up the mushy middle, itching for a signature win to bolster their NCAA Tournament resume and hoping like the dickens to avoid a devastating loss. Then three teams, per usual bring up the rear.

At this point of the season, it’s easy to have a handle on everybody. Well, just about everybody. Sorry, Texas A&M, we still don’t know what to do with you. But putting them in an exact order for the SEC power rankings it’s a difficult task. The cannibalism has been standard and there are no signs of it slowing.

It’s made for a fun year for prognosticators, though. With races for the top, the final NCAA Tournament spots and the cellar, there’s plenty to like about the SEC through five weeks.

Here is our best stab at the power ranings at the midpoint.

1. Alabama (last week 2)

The Tennessean
The Tennessean

So much for the small step back Alabama was supposed to take. Nine games into the SEC season and the Crimson Tide are alone in first-place with just one loss. Their 32-point against Mississippi State was a statement.

2. Tennessee (1)

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

You can’t say Tennessee stubbed its toe against South Carolina this week, the Gamecocks are too legitimate. But the loss dropped the Volunteers with Auburn and South Carolina just behind Alabama in the standings.

3. South Carolina (5)

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

If you thought South Carolina was a fluke, think again. What Lamont Paris has done this year is extraordinary and wins over Kentucky and Tennessee are ample evidence the Gamecocks can run with anyone.

4. Auburn (4)

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn needed to flush the winless week and did so by dispatching Ole Miss and Missouri. Not glimmering victories considering the competition, but enough bring back positive vibes.

5. Kentucky (2)

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Things are rough in Lexington right now. Kentucky didn’t just lose both games – to Florida and Tennessee – this week but lost them both at home. The Wildcats are now tied with the Gators and Ole Miss at 5-4. Yikes.

6. Ole Miss (6)

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss largely beats the teams it should, LSU notwithstanding, but falls to the teams a cut above. The Rebels beat Mississippi State and lost to Auburn this week to keep such a status.

7. Texas A&M (8)

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Texas A&M may only be 3-2 in its last five games, but those two losses came by one point and three points. If the Aggies figure it out, they’re one of the best four teams in the SEC. A big if.

8. Florida (9)

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Florida was a borderline NCAA Tournament team before beating Kentucky. The Gators may not be completely out of the woods, especially they followed that win with a loss to Texas A&M, but things are looking up.

9. LSU (11)

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

We wouldn’t have thought LSU would get out of double-digits in the power rankings this year. And maybe the Tigers won’t finish here, but in a week in which Georgia and Mississippi State both lost both games, the Tigers climb.

10. Mississippi State (7)

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

If Mississippi State wants to stay in the NCAA Tournament picture – the Bulldogs are just 3-6 – a winning streak is a must. A chance is there this week and next as the next four opponents are Missouri, Ole Miss, Arkansas and LSU.

11. Georgia (10)

Shreveport Times
Shreveport Times

With a three-game skid and losses in four of its last five, Georgia is tumbling. But, c’mon. Who expected the Bulldogs to be this close to .500 (4-5) this late into the year?

12. Arkansas (12)

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas looked closer to preseason expectation against Missouri early in the week, then came out and looked like maybe the SEC’s worst team against LSU. A rough year that appears to have no turnaround.

13. Vanderbilt (14)

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt badly needed that win against Missouri on Saturday. The Commodores were winless in league play.

14. Missouri (13)

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri played the two worst teams in the SEC last week not named Missouri and lost to them both. Yeah, the Tigers are dead last.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire