SEC power rankings: Surprising wins and disappointing losses shake things up

There were some surprising outcomes in Week 12, but none more shocking than South Carolina knocking off Tennessee in Williams-Brice Stadium. On the other hand, Arkansas was able to fend off Ole Miss. The win secured the Razorbacks a bowl bid.

Vanderbilt was able to move its winning streak to two games with a win over the Florida Gators. Meanwhile, Texas A&M battled the weather in College Station to get a hard-fought win over UMass.

Auburn struggled early on in the game but pulled through en route to a 24-point victory over Western Kentucky. Alabama, Missouri, LSU, and Mississippi State were also able to put their games away early, so the reserves could see some action prior to facing their rivals.

Georgia was not as effective on the offensive side of the ball as in weeks past. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs were able to knock off Kentucky on the road.

Roll Tide Wire takes a look at the conference power rankings heading into the final week of the 2022 regular season.

Texas A&M Aggies (4-7)

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Texas A&M has not had the season that many had expected. The Aggies have had their share of ups and downs from injuries to suspensions to production on the field. After suffering six losses in a row, the Aggies got back in the win column after knocking off UMass in Week 12. The Aggies’ opponent in Week 13 won’t be a walk in the park either as LSU will travel to College Station for the last game of the regular season for both programs.

Missouri Tigers (5-6)

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The Tigers have found ways to compete and really give the program hope for the future. Eliah Drinkwitz’s squad was able to knock off New Mexico State in Week 12 and will be challenged again in Week 13 against the Arkansas Razorbacks. In order to reach a bowl game, the Tigers must defeat the Razorbacks.

Florida Gators (6-5)

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It looked like Florida had gotten back on the right track after knocking off South Carolina in Week 11. However, that momentum did not carry over into the matchup against Vanderbilt in Week 12. The Gators lost the fifth game of the season but will have a prime opportunity to bounce back against Florida State. This game means a great deal to both programs as far as the rivalry goes as well as recruiting purposes. This will be a big game for the Gators.

Vanderbilt Commodores (5-6)

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The Commodores’ football program has struggled ever since James Franklin departed Happy Valley. However, the ‘Dores might actually be trending in the right direction under the leadership of second-year head coach Clark Lea. After all, he has knocked off Kentucky and Florida in back-to-back weeks. There is a belief that this program is on the rise in the SEC East.

Auburn Tigers (5-6)

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Things didn’t go the way that the Auburn faithful had hoped under the direction of former head coach Bryan Harsin. However, the program has since changed for the better under the leadership of interim head coach Carnell Williams. Whatever the case may be, the Tigers have won two games in a row against Texas A&M and Western Kentucky. The team has played with a lot of enthusiasm and intensity recently and will look to carry that into the Iron Bowl.

Kentucky Wildcats (6-5)

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This season has not been what either Mark Stoops or his players thought it would be. They certainly didn’t expect to be 6-5 after the first 11 games of the season. With one of the best quarterbacks in college football, many had the Wildcats making some noise in the SEC. That has not been the case and the Wildcats have proven that they are unable to knock off the top dogs this season. Despite an impressive showing from their defense, the Wildcats could not knock off Georgia in Week 12. Stoops’ squad will play host to Louisville in the final week of the regular season.

Arkansas Razorbacks (6-5)

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The Razorbacks saved their most impressive performance for Week 12 when they knocked off Ole Miss. Sam Pittman’s squad has played in many close games but has been unable to come away with the wins to show for it. The Razorbacks were able to get their starting quarterback KJ Jefferson back and several defensive players back from injuries. It will be interesting to see how the team performs against Missouri in their rivalry game.

Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-4)

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Mississippi State got back on the right track in Week 12 with a win over FCS opponent East Tennessee State. After losing a week prior to Georgia, Mike Leach’s squad put on a scoring clinic. They will be put to the test in the Egg Bowl against an Ole Miss team that will be looking to get back on the right track.

South Carolina Gamecocks (7-4)

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South Carolina was a three-touchdown underdog to Tennessee in Week 12. However, it didn’t look that way as Shane Beamer’s squad made a statement with a 63-38 victory. They will be put to the test once again against Clemson in Week 13. With a win, the program will have its first 8-win season since 2017 when they finished 9-4. That would be a huge step in the right direction for the Gamecocks.

Ole Miss Rebels (8-3)

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The Rebels had the possibility of potentially reaching the SEC Championship just two weeks ago. Since then, they have dropped two games in a row to Alabama and Arkansas. Lane Kiffin’s squad is at their lowest point of the season with a high-potent offense from Starkville coming to town to move to eight wins on the season. This game means a lot for both programs and will be played on Thanksgiving night in Oxford. All eyes will be on Kiffin vs. Leach on Thursday night.

Tennessee Volunteers (9-2)

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Tennessee saw its opportunity to reach the College Football Playoff come to an end after Week 12’s loss to South Carolina. Josh Heupel’s squad has exceeded the expectations of many this season. Despite losing two games this season, the Volunteers are still looking to reach the program’s first 10-win season since 2007. That would be quite an accomplishment for second-year head coach Josh Heupel.

Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1)

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This season is the first time that Alabama has lost two games in the regular season since 2010. That is a testament to what head coach Nick Saban has been able to accomplish in his time in Tuscaloosa. The Tide’s two losses likely put them out of the College Football Playoff barring something unexpected. Nonetheless, Saban’s squad will host Auburn for the Iron Bowl. It will be the first time that Saban has coached an Iron Bowl in Bryant-Denny Stadium since 2018.

LSU Tigers (9-2)

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LSU head coach Brian Kelly has already been able to establish the foundation of the program as well as put his team in a position to reach the College Football Playoff. That is if the Tigers can knock off Texas A&M and Georgia. Plus, that would have to be enough to sway the playoff committee. Regardless, this has been an incredible season for the Tigers with all of the coaching turnovers and players that departed for the NFL.

Georgia Bulldogs (11-0)

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The one SEC team that has run the table this season is Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs have shown strides of improvement from week to week and continue to find ways to win. After defeating Kentucky in Week 12, the Bulldogs will play host to Georgia Tech in Week 13. Then, they will collide with LSU in the SEC Championship game. For the third week in a row, the Bulldogs sit atop the conference power rankings after Week 12’s action.

Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire