SEC Power Rankings: Florida down a spot after Week 9 loss to Georgia

·8 min read

Six more teams were on bye this weekend in the Southeastern Conference, but two upsets made for some good action in Week 9.

The 99th edition of the Florida-Georgia game started off hot but fell apart just before halftime in favor of the Bulldogs. Freshman Anthony Richardson got his first start at quarterback for Florida, but Dan Mullen‘s earlier assessment of him being too inexperienced to start seemed to hold true in this one.

Mississippi State beat its second-ranked team of the year in Kentucky, which eliminates the possibility of what could have been a one-loss season for Mark Stoops and the Wildcats. Auburn continued its hot streak with a win over tenth-ranked Ole Miss, ending Heisman candidate Matt Corral’s streak of consecutive games with a touchdown at 19 games.

Missouri and Vanderbilt rounded things out with a battle to see who will go without a conference win this season, and Vandebilt looks well on its way to a goose egg in the SEC this year.

With all that in mind let’s take a look at this week’s SEC power rankings.

Vanderbilt (2-7, 0-5 SEC)

Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 14

This week’s game: Missouri 37, Vanderbilt 28

Next week: Bye

Missouri was Vanderbilt’s last chance to get out of last place in the conference power rankings, but the Commodores fell short of an SEC victory once again. Vandy only trailed by two points with 3:11 left to play, but a Tigers touchdown and Mike Wright interception sealed the game for Mizzou.

Kentucky, Ole Miss and Tennessee aren’t likely to bend enough for the Vandy to pick up a win after a bye next week.

South Carolina ( 4-4,1-4 SEC)

Jeff Blake/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 13

This week’s game: Bye

Next week: Florida (4-4, 2-4 SEC)

South Carolina hasn’t played well enough this year to warrant any special treatment during a bye week, so the Gamecocks stay at No. 13 despite a poor performance from Missouri. SCAR came the closest of any SEC team to losing to Vanderbilt, winning by just one point. The Gators should have no trouble getting back above .500 against this team next week.

Missouri (4-4, 1-3 SEC)

Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 12

This week’s game: Missouri 37, Vanderbilt 28

Next week: No. 1 Georgia (8-0, 6-0 SEC)

Tyler Badie took over the SEC lead for rushing yards with a career-high 254 yards against Vanderbilt on Saturday. His play might be the only thing that separates Missouri from the bottom of the conference this year, and he sealed the game for the Tigers with a 77-yard run that put them on the Vanderbilt 2-yard line.

Tennessee (4-4, 2-3 SEC)

Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 10

This week’s game: Bye

Next week: No. 18 Kentucky (6-2, 4-2 SEC)

Tennessee falls one spot this week because of Mississippi State’s upset win over Kentucky. The Volunteers have been trending upwards in their last few games, so a win of their own against the Wildcats could be in store.

LSU (4-4, 2-3 SEC)

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 9

This week’s game: Bye

Next week: No. 3 Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC)

LSU is in the same spot as Tennessee this week being on bye and not that impressive this season (except for in the Florida game). The Tigers have too many injuries to be considered a threat to the Crimson Tide this week, and a loss would put the club back under .500 on the year.

Florida (4-4, 2-4 SEC)

Stephen B. Morton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

Last week’s rank: 8

This week’s game: No. 1 Georgia 34, Florida 7

Next week: No. 1 Georgia (7-0, 5-0 SEC)

Maybe the Gators should be lower on this list, but where would they go? It’s hard to say that Florida is as bad as Missouri or Vanderbilt, and LSU has too many injuries to be ranked ahead of the Gators despite beating them this year. The loss to Georgia was ugly, but it really was the final 2:30 of the first half that did Florida in. Up until that point, things were competitive. And Georgia only outscored Florida by three points in the second half.

Florida shoots itself in the foot too often, but I’m not ready to call them a bad team just yet. Anything other than four wins to close out the year will have the Gators dropping further down this list.

Mississippi State (5-3, 3-2 SEC)

Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 11

This week’s game: Mississippi State 31, No. 18 Kentucky 17

Next week: Arkansas (5-3, 1-3 SEC)

Will Rogers was lights out for Mississippi State on Saturday throwing for 344 yards with a 92% completion percentage. The Bulldogs have now beaten a twelfth-ranked Kentucky team and a 15th-ranked Texas A&M team in the same year. Arkansas has the opposite luck against conference opponents, so it’ll be interesting to see how these two teams match up this week.

Arkansas (5-3, 1-3 SEC)

Marvin Gentry/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 7

This week’s game: Bye

Next week: Mississippi State (5-3, 3-2 SEC)

If Arkansas loses this game it will have lost all the momentum that made it a top-eight team in the first five weeks of the season. The Razorbacks looked like their normal selves against UAPB, but Mississippi State has been on a roll against conference opponents.

No. 18 Kentucky (6-2, 5-2 SEC)

Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 4

This week’s game: Mississippi State 31, No. 18 Kentucky 17

Next week: Tennessee (4-4, 2-3 SEC)

Kentucky had a clear path to a one-loss season after losing to Georgia two weeks ago, but Mississippi State played spoiler this weekend. Maybe the Bulldogs are that good, but Kentucky hurt itself with too many turnovers, too. The Wildcats should be able to close things out easily this season if they correct what went wrong this weekend.

No. 13 Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC)

Thomas Shea/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 5

This week’s game: Bye

Next week: No. 12 Auburn (6-2, 3-1 SEC)

The Aggies stay put this week at fifth in the power rankings partly because they were on a bye and partly because Kentucky technically lost to Mississippi State worse than Texas A&M did. It also puts them closer to Auburn, which should make the game between the two this weekend a bit more interesting. At least, that’s why the AP Poll has them next to each other.

Both teams are hot, and momentum goes a long way in college football. The SEC West isn’t quite settled like the East is, so this game also has championship implications.

No. 15 Ole Miss (5-2, 3-2 SEC)

John Reed/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 3

This week’s game: No. 18 Auburn 31, No. 10 Ole Miss 20

Next week: Liberty (7-2)

Matt Corral got hurt again in this week’s loss to Auburn, but he did finish the game. He threw his second interception of the season and no touchdowns but is still a clear Heisman candidate. Critical failures on fourth down left the Rebels without many points, and they drop appropriately in the rankings for the misstep.

No. 12 Auburn (6-2, 3-1 SEC)

John Reed/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 6

This week’s game: No. 18 Auburn 31, No. 10 Ole Miss 20

Next week: No. 13 Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC)

Auburn got a big win this week over Ole Miss and is now a real threat to challenge Alabama for the SEC West. The Tigers will still have to get through Texas A&M and Mississippi State before the Iron Bowl, but that game could have serious CFP implications if things go accordingly.

Whatever happened to Bo Nix after he got benched during a game changed him for the better. Auburn has been unstoppable since.

No. 3 Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC)

Gary Cosby/USA TODAY Sports

Last week’s rank: 2

This week’s game: Bye

Next week: LSU (4-4, 2-3 SEC)

It was a quiet bye week for the No. 3 team in the country. There’s no doubt the Tide are taking notice of Auburn’s recent success and planning for rivalry week. Head coach Nick Saban celebrated his 70th birthday over the bye week, so happy birthday to him.

No. 1 Georgia (8-0, 6-0 SEC)

Georgia running back James Cook (4) is tackled by Florida safety Rashad Torrence II (22) and linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, rear, after rushing for yardage during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner/USA Today Network

Last week’s rank: 1

This week’s game: No. 1 Georgia 34, Florida 7

Next week: Missouri (4-4, 1-3 SEC)

Georgia’s defense did its thing against Florida this week. Three late first-half turnovers were enough to put the game as Georgia turned all of them into touchdowns. The good news for other SEC teams is that Georgia will likely lose a ton of players to the draft this year, but the bad news is that they have a top-five recruiting class to replace the losses.

[vertical-gallery id=59098]

Follow us @GatorsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Florida Gators news, notes and opinions.

1

1

1

1

1

1