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SEC Power Rankings after Week 9 of the college basketball season

Winter break is over and the SEC basketball schedule has finally started.

The first week of conference games brought some major excitement with upsets, close games, and most importantly, some early context into how well-off each squad is at this point in the season.

Although each team just started their conference schedule, the early results led to a shakeup in our SEC Power Rankings.

Here is where each team stands after the first week of conference play.

Vanderbilt

© Mark Zaleski / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK
© Mark Zaleski / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last Week: 1-1

Regular Season: 5-9

Vanderbilt lost by 3 at home against Alabama to open the SEC schedule.

Guards Ezra Manjon and Tyrin Lawrence combined for nearly half of the Commodores points on 12/30 from the field.

Vandy can shock some teams when those two shoot well, but they’ll lose almost every game that Manjon or Lawrence aren’t efficient in.

Missouri

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 1-1

Regular Season: 8-6

There was a point in time I believed Missouri had enough firepower to make another run at the NCAA Tournament.

That time has past.

Sean East II, Nick Honor, and Noah Carter are still an electric trio of scorers, but the Tigers inability to defend the perimeter just caused them to lose a home game to Georgia.

No offense to UGA, but if the Tigers couldn’t stop them, they’ll have even bigger issues against most teams in the conference.

LSU

Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 2-0

Regular Season: 9-5

LSU picked up a massive road win to open up their SEC season against Texas A&M this week.

While the win is nice for the Tigers, the game told us a little more about the Aggies struggles than it did LSU’s sucsess.

A&M shot an absolutely awful 25.4% from the field and 17% from 3-point range in the game.

LSU gets credit for winning by double-digits, but the Tigers will need to pick up a few more SEC wins before moving up the rankings.

Texas A&M

 Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 1-1

Regular Season: 9-5

Wade Taylor IV and Henry Coleman III should end up on one of the All-SEC teams by the end of the season.

Besides those two, the Aggies have an abundance of problems on the offensive end.

Texas A&M is an elite defensive team but we’ve seen Buzz Williams’ squad struggle to score over 60 points multiple times this season.

In a talented SEC, that could spell disaster.

Alabama

© Mark Zaleski / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK
© Mark Zaleski / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last Week: 2-0

Regular Season: 9-5

Nate Oats and the Alabama Crimson Tide have as much talent as any team in the SEC.

The issue is they’ve yet to completely put it together. If they do, Alabama can compete for an SEC title. If they don’t, we’ll see them struggle all season long.

Mark Sears and company had to claw their way to a road win over a bad Vanderbilt team to open the SEC schedule. That’s not exactly inspiring for fans hoping to see this team make another deep run in March.

Arkansas

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

Last Week: 1-1

Regular Season: 9-5

Arkansas had a rough go of it in the non-conference portion of the season but had the chance to begin righting the ship when they hosted Auburn on Saturday.

The Razorbacks went on to suffer the worst loss in Bud Walton Arena history. Like Alabama, this team has all the talent in the world but looks lost on the court right now.

Trevon Mark, Khalif Battle, and Keyon Menifield Jr. are good enough to lead Eric Musselman’s squad to the NCAA Tournament, but it’s getting increasingly difficult with every hiccup.

Georgia

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 2-0

Regular Season: 11-3

The Georgia Bulldogs are a good basketball team.

Guard Noah Thomasson has shown an elite scoring ability early on in the season. If he can keep that up, Georgia may be able to surprise some people.

UGA’s upcoming stretch against Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky will tell us a lot about how good they can actually be.

Mississippi State

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

Last Week: 1-1

Regular Season: 11-3

Mississippi State had an exceptional start to the season, but the Bulldogs scoring issues may be catching up with them.

The Bulldogs lack of elite scoring killed them in their SEC opener against South Carolina, and it could carry into the next three games against Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky.

Someone needs to step up to help carry the load behind forward Tolu Smith and guard Josh Hubbard.

Ole Miss

© Hannah Mattix/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK
© Hannah Mattix/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last Week: 1-1

Regular Season: 13-1

The Ole Miss Rebels were one of the more impressive stories in the early college basketball season, but the clock may be striking zero for Chris Beard’s Cinderellas.

Ole Miss played an extremely soft out of conference schedule and it showed in their SEC opener against Tennessee.

The Rebels were outclassed and outgunned in Knoxville, suffering a 26-point defeat in a game that was never close.

Florida

Doug Engle/Ocala Star Banner
Doug Engle/Ocala Star Banner

Last Week: 1-1

Regular Season: 10-4

Florida’s six-game win streak was snapped this week after they lost a heartbreaker to Kentucky in the Swamp.

Still, Mark Clayton Jr. and the rest of the Gators have an uncanny ability to score the basketball at will. That strength is going to keep Florida in any game they play.

South Carolina

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

Last Week: 2-0

Regular Season: 13-1

Like Ole Miss, South Carolina came into SEC play with a great record following a soft non-conference schedule.

Unlike Ole Miss, the Gamecocks were able to win their SEC opener.

South Carolina is going to go as far as guard Meechie Johnson and his 18.2 points per game take them.

It’s still hard to tell if this team is for real, but they are for now.

Auburn

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

Last Week: 2-0

Regular Season: 12-2

The national media is finally starting to pay attention to the Auburn Tigers.

Bruce Pearl’s team could easily be a top 10 team in the Coaches Poll if not for a weird early-season road loss to Appalachian State in North Carolina.

The Tigers are deep, talented, battle tested, and they’ve won their last seven games by 15 or more points.

Auburn is trending in the right direction.

Kentucky

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

Last Week: 2-0

Regular Season: 11-2

John Calipari is coaching the best offensive team in the SEC, and maybe college basketball.

The Wildcats have scored at least 80 points in all but one game this season, and should be favored in every game on their schedule until a February 2nd road matchup with Tennessee.

Tennessee

Eakin Howard/Getty Images
Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Last Week: 2-0

Regular Season: 11-3

Tennessee just dismantled Ole Miss to open the SEC season.

The Volunteers can score and defend at elite levels, making them a legitimate threat to make a run at the Final Four.

They can only hope Rick Barnes can get over his second-weekend NCAA Tournament troubles.

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire