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SEC POWER Rankings: Bama Better By Far; Kentucky, Vandy Finish Strong

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There’s only one team in the conference with more than eight wins! It was a down year to say the least.

Auburn v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
  1. Alabama (12-0, 8-0)- Yet again... there is no one that can touch the Tide in this conference or the country for that matter.
  2. Auburn (8-4, 5-3)- The score (30-12) versus Alabama was generous to Auburn, the losing team, but about what was expected. The Gus Bus had a nice defensive ride this season, but if he can’t figure out the quarterback situation, his cheeks could still be toasty next season.
  3. LSU (7-4, 5-3)- A big-time road win gave Coach O a full-time job. Fun Coach O stat: he has more wins as an interim coach than a real coach. This experiment may be short-lived in Baton Rouge, but good on him for landing his “dream job.”
  4. Florida (8-3, 6-2)- It’s a tough sell to a bowl committee when you are blown out in your final regular season game against an in-state rival (Florida State) and then get destroyed in a conference championship game. It should be a great quarterback recruiting opportunity for Jim McElwain because any transfer or high school senior could play right away.
  5. Texas A&M (8-4, 4-4)- I have no clue what to tell about the Aggies... They make no sense, and I am not sure if Kevin Sumlin needs to be fired.
  6. Tennessee (8-4, 4-4)- And speaking of no clue what to think. Coach Butch Jones will get one more year, but beating Vandy and being assured a Sugar Bowl berth definitely would have helped his case next year if he’s fighting for his job.
  7. Georgia (7-5, 4-4)- Mark Richt was 13-2 against Georgia Tech. Kirby Smart is already 0-1.
  8. Kentucky (7-5, 4-4)- Well done Mike Stoops. For the first time in six years the Wildcats are bowling and beat their biggest rival, who was ranked No. 11, in the process. That should be enough for a statue outside of Commonwealth Stadium in my book.
  9. Arkansas (7-5, 3-5)- With a historically bad defense, like all-time terrible compared to some of the conference’s worst, the final record is not too surprising. Laying an egg against Missouri was just the sort of disappointing cherry on this season in which Arkansas never managed back-to-back wins.
  10. Vanderbilt (6-6, 3-5)- Their win over Tennessee was Vanderbilt’s best win in the Derek Mason era, roaring back from being down at halftime. Vandy was in the freaking “Victory Formation” to close a game!
  11. Mississippi State (5-7, 3-5)- There was no chance at a bowl game for the Bulldogs, but ruining their in-state rival’s postseason plans was good enough. As I’ve said a few times this year, State could be in a good spot going forward if quarterback Nick Fitzgerald progresses along the same trend line over the next few years.
  12. South Carolina (6-6, 3-5)- No one gave the Gamecocks a chance against Clemson this weekend. However, it was hard to see a 55-7 demolishing in the cards either. It was still a nice 4-2 close to the season for coach Will Muschamp.
  13. Ole Miss (5-7, 2-6)- The good news is that the Rebels can’t lose again until September 2017! The bad news is that is a long time between now and then for boosters and fans to stew over one of the most disappointing seasons in school history.
  14. Missouri (4-8, 2-6)- Coach Barry Odom had a rough welcome to the SEC in his first year. That said, something he’s doing is working and his players are listening to come back down 24-7 at the half in a meaningless game.