The Daily Mississippian sports editors Dylan Rubino and Collin Brister rank the 14 Southeastern Conference teams in week nine. The Ole Miss Rebels hit the road this Saturday to face Auburn. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
1. LSU- Leonard Fournette rushed for 150 yards against Western Kentucky in their 48-20 win Saturday. The Tigers are now 7-0 going into their bye week. The Tigers will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide the next week in a matchup that will heavily influence the SEC West.
2. Alabama- In the third Saturday of October, Alabama squeaked by their rival Tennessee at home and won 19-14. Junior running back Derrick Henry had another stellar game, getting 28 carries with 143 yards and two touchdowns. The Crimson Tide won the game in time of possession, controlling the ball for a total of 35:39, compared to Tennessee’s 24:21. Alabama has a bye week before they face SEC West rival LSU.
3. Florida- Florida is coming off a bye week and will face Georgia this week. The Gators are 6-1 (4-1) and have a chance to clinch the SEC East this weekend with a win over the Bulldogs. Florida will be going into their second game without the services of Will Grier, but Treon Harris led the Gators in their upset win over the Bulldogs last year in Jacksonville and will be looking to do the same this week.
4. Ole Miss- The Rebels got back on track after losing two of their last three games by defeating Texas A&M 23-3. The “Landshark” defense regained their swagger by holding the Aggies to only three points on only 192 total yards of offense. Even with four turnovers on offense, Ole Miss had enough offensive output to cruise to a victory at home. The Rebels hit the road to face Auburn Saturday morning.
5. Mississippi State- Mississippi State has proven to be pretty good over the course of the past few weeks. Dak Prescott accounted for six touchdowns last week in the Bulldogs’ 42-16 win over Kentucky. The Bulldogs also had a big night from senior running back Brandon Holloway, who had five receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. The Bulldogs will have a bye week before taking on Missouri next Thursday night.
6. Georgia- The bye week came at the right time for the Bulldogs after they struggled nightly on offense win their 9-6 overtime win over Missouri two weeks ago. The Bulldogs out gained Missouri by over 100 yards on offense and gained 19 first downs, but struggled to put up points. The Bulldogs will need a better effort on offense as they rivalry game with Florida in Jacksonville is next.
7. Texas A&M- Things have taken a turn for the worse in College Station. Coming off two straight losses, and a horrid performance from Kyle Allen, Kevin Sumlin has opened up the quarterback competition again. The Aggies lost in Oxford and will look to rebound with whomever is at quarterback against a struggling, Spurrier-less South Carolina team.
8. Arkansas- It was an offensive showdown between Arkansas and Auburn last Saturday, in which the Razorbacks won a game for the ages in four overtimes 54-46 in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks scored 30 points in the overtime periods, which is more than their 24 points scored in regulation. In the end, Arkansas played a more complete game on offense to win the ballgame. Arkansas returns home to face Tennessee-Martin this Saturday.
9. Tennessee- Tennessee was close to winning a big game again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Alabama erased a late deficit in the fourth quarter to fight off Tennessee. Tennessee’s quarterback Josh Dobbs had a decent performance, completing over 50 percent of his passes and throwing a touchdown. The Volunteers will look to rebound in Lexington against Kentucky.
10. Auburn- Auburn got the short end of the stick in their showdown against Arkansas in Fayetteville last Saturday. Auburn can keep up with anyone on offense, but their defense can’t stop a nosebleed, especially to an Arkansas team that isn’t known for hammering the scoreboard. They’ll need to regroup fast with Ole Miss coming to the plains Saturday.
11. Kentucky- There was a point in time that I thought Kentucky was good at football. Over the past two weeks Kentucky has done their part in making sure I regret that. Kentucky lost to Auburn 30-27 two weeks ago and the next week laid a proverbial egg in Starkville as Mississippi State beat Kentucky 42-16. Patrick Towles threw two interceptions putting the Wildcat defense in bad positions. Kentucky will look to rebound at home against Tennessee.
12. Vanderbilt- This is probably the highest ranking Vanderbilt has received in the last two years of The Daily Mississippian SEC power poll. The Commodores got the signature SEC win that they needed in their 10-3 victory over Missouri. With a tough schedule the rest of the way, Vanderbilt will need to continue their stellar play on defense to keep them in ballgames.
13. Missouri- The last time that Missouri scored a touchdown Steve Spurrier was still the coach at South Carolina, Ole Miss and Georgia were still undefeated, Will Grier was still eligible to play, and Steve Sarkisian still had a job. The good news for Missouri is that they won’t lose this week, as they play BYE. However, they still won’t score a touchdown.
14. South Carolina- Welcome back to the bottom, South Carolina! The Gamecocks didn’t even play and they moved down a spot. First Steve Spurrier announces his retirement and now they’re back in rock bottom in our power poll. Does it get much worse than that?