After a week like this, it’s almost like nothing makes sense in these rankings, and they’re completely arbitrary. Maybe I should just start over.
At the same time though, It’s hard to move teams around too much at this point in the season.
1) Florida (18-5, 8-2, RPI: 8) - After dropping two games, Florida has won its last four games by an average 32 points, including only beating Kentucky by 22 on Saturday. The Gators later told the media they were trying to win by 30. They have a top 10 RPI so we’re putting them at #1 for now. However the top three are very fluid and nearly interchangeable.
2) South Carolina (19-4, 9-1, RPI: 19) - South Carolina is back in first place in the SEC, but nearly didn’t get there. The win over Georgia was a close one. According to Head Coach Frank Martin, every game between Georgia and South Carolina seems to come down to the final possession.
3) Kentucky (18-5, 8-2, RPI: 7) - Kentucky used overtime to beat Georgia and prevent what would be a 4-game losing streak. The loss to Florida on the road is not a shock, but losing by 22 is a real head-scratcher. The Wildcats are clearly not playing their best basketball and need to get straightened out sooner rather than later.
4) Arkansas (17-6, 6-4, RPI: 36) - I want to drop the Hogs, I really do. I want to put the Hogs at dead last in this ranking. When you look around though, Georgia lost twice, Tennessee lost to Miss. St., and Alabama lost twice. The Hogs being at number 4 after losing to Mizzou is a travesty, but if the season ends today, they’re still in 4th place in the league and get two byes in the SEC tournament. We’re all upset, but the Hogs have put themselves in a place where a road loss to Mizzou doesn’t tank the season, yet - but it could.
5) Tennessee (13-10, 5-5, RPI: 35) - The Vols led by as much as 22 against Auburn and looked to continue to roll with that Kentucky momentum, but that momentum was derailed in Starkville. The Bulldogs were down by 19 points, but battled back to take the lead with about 4 minutes left in the game. The recap reads similar to Arkansas at Mizzou, but I’m willling to bet the referees helped the hometown Bulldogs a little bit more than the Hogs got help on the road in Columbia.
6) Georgia (13-10, 5-6, RPI: 50) - I’m kind of pre-dropping Georgia right now. They are supposed to lose to Kentucky and South Carolina, but they are 2-5 in their last 7 games, and I’m not going to be shocked if they stretch the current losing streak to 6. All of that being said, no one wants to play them in the SEC Tournament. I want to be as far away from Georgia as possible when that thing gets seeded. Georgia will continue to drop over the next two weeks, but its simply because they have the worst schedule in the SEC.
7) Ole Miss (14-9, 5-5, RPI: 54) - The Rebels notched two nice wins this week. Andy Kennedy still has them in a mix for a bye or two in the SEC Tournament. Arkansas plays the Rebels in two weeks, and I’m not looking forward to it, because the Rebels are getting to the free throw line a LOT.
8) Auburn (15-8, 4-6, RPI: 65) - Auburn may have put the final nail in Alabama’s coffin this week. The Tigers looked pretty bad losing at home to Tennessee, but they really turned it on in Tuscaloosa scoring 45 points from beyond the arc allowing them to win a game where they got out-rebounded by 17!
9) Alabama (13-9, 6-4, RPI: 73) - The Crimson Tide might be going out with a whimper. They played their best ball of the season in a 8-2 run over 10 games that really made up for some of their early non-conference stumbles, but outside of a win over Georgia there were really not a lot of quality teams in that run. With two losses to Auburn, the Tide are at a distinct low point in the season.
10) Mississippi State (14-8, 5-5, RPI: 109) - Ben Howland may never win the SEC, but he’s going to make some better teams look really bad at least a few times. The Bulldog win over Tennessee especially after the Vols led by so much won’t get you a contract extension, but when the Bulldogs get to play their way, it can be very painful to be on the other end of it. While it’s unfortunate the Hogs couldn’t get a win against the Bulldogs, I’m kind of glad we don’t have to make a return trip.
11) Vanderbilt (11-12, 4-6, RPI: 56) - I mentioned a ton of free throw for the Rebels in their win over Vanderbilt, but the ‘Dores only shot 3 free throws in their win over Texas A&M. Vanderbilt is a weird team.
12) Texas A&M (12-10, 4-6, RPI: 81) - The Aggies beat LSU, but lost to Vandy. That’s why you’re 12th in the SEC.
13) LSU (9-13, 1-9, RPI: 132) - 9 game losing streak. LSU was never in it against the Gamecocks. They shot the ball very well, but turned the ball over 17 times against the Aggies. All of that being said, even LSU beat Mizzou on 88-77 in Columbia
14) Missouri (6-16, 1-9, RPI: 236) - Arkansas failed to add to the 13 game losing streak. Mizzou got a win that might allow Kim Anderson to keep his job... maybe? In a game where Mizzou just hit every single shot, you have to wonder how much extra motivation teams get in these games where they are playing for fallen former players and coaches like OK State or a coach’s daughter with cancer. If I find out Arkansas has to play another team playing with extra motivation like that, I might not watch next time.