It was a wild week in the SEC though most of the action came off the field. The majority of the SEC’s teams didn’t play Saturday after positive COVID-19 cases and contact tracing wiped away four games off the schedule.
With minimal play on the field to evaluate, here is where the SEC teams rank after eight weeks.
14) Vanderbilt (Last week: No. 14)
The Commodores look destined for a winless season at this point. Vanderbilt played Kentucky tough, certainly better than it had been playing in recent weeks, but it still wasn’t enough. It won’t be as close this week against Florida.
13) South Carolina (No. 13)
South Carolina fired Will Muschamp after a disappointing 59-42 loss to Ole Miss dropped the Gamecocks to 2-5. South Carolina had an early important win over Auburn but it has been all downhill since. It’s never a good sign for a defensive-minded coach when your defense is consistently terrible.
RELATED: Top South Carolina candidates to replace Muschamp
12) Mississippi State (No: 12)
Mississippi State lost another good player last week (Marcus Murphy) and had its game against Auburn rescheduled. Mississippi State faces a difficult test in a Battle of the Bulldogs this weekend against Georgia.
11) Tennessee (Last week: No. 11)
Tennessee is desperate for a win but it won’t come easily this weekend against Auburn. Jeremy Pruitt really needs to stop the slump and avoid finishing the season 3-7 if he doesn’t want to be besieged with firing rumors.
10) LSU (Last week: No. 10)
Not much has gone well for LSU this season though potentially avoiding Alabama this season if that game can’t be rescheduled would be a positive. No one could have imagined a year ago LSU would be an underdog against Arkansas but the Razorbacks have proved to be one of the hardest-playing teams this season.
9) Missouri (Last week: No. 8)
Missouri gets one of the more interesting games of the week against a South Carolina team that just lost its head coach. Does South Carolina get a bump with a new interim coach in Mike Bobo? Or do the Gamecocks come out flat after an emotional week?
8) Kentucky (Last week: No. 9)
The Wildcats had an emotional win over Vanderbilt after losing beloved offensive line coach John Schlarman to cancer earlier in the week. Kentucky’s defense has been terrific this season but the ongoing offensive issues will be exposed against Alabama.
7) Ole Miss (Last week: No. 7)
Lane Kiffin’s Rebels were the final nail in Will Muschamp’s coffin. There are still real defensive issues with this team but the offense is a lot of fun to watch and can put up points on almost anyone. The Rebels will be idle this week after Texas A&M couldn’t play.
6) Arkansas (Last week: No. 5)
Arkansas couldn’t hang with Florida’s potent offense in a 63-35 loss over the weekend. Sam Pittman is already a leading candidate to win SEC Coach of the Year, and he can solidify that with a win over a diminished yet still talented LSU team on Saturday.
5) Auburn (Last week: No. 6)
Jeremy Pruitt’s biggest win in his three seasons at Tennessee was over Auburn. If Gus Malzahn wants to avoid the hot seat talk ratcheting up, he’ll make sure Pruitt can’t say he has two big wins over Auburn on Saturday night.
4) Georgia (Last week: No. 4)
Like the majority of the league last week, Georgia got an unexpected bye when Missouri was unable to play. It will be interesting to see what, if any, offensive changes we see this weekend after Kirby Smart and OC Todd Monken got an extra week to go under the hood and evaluate what is and isn’t working.
3) Texas A&M (Last week: Tied-No. 2)
The Aggies are off for the second week in a row after COVID-19 contact tracing knocked out a substantial amount of players. The long layoff comes at a bad time for a team that was cruising and looked like a real College Football Playoff contender.
2) Florida (Last week: Tied-No. 2)
The Gators took care of business against a solid Arkansas team. QB Kyle Trask has emerged as a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender as the leader of Florida’s high-powered offense. Florida has nothing to worry about this week against Vanderbilt.
1) Alabama (Last week: No. 1)
The clear top team in the SEC right now. Don’t expect this spot to change next week with an easy game against Kentucky coming up. Star receiver Jaylen Waddle having a chance to return this season could be huge.
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