College football never disappoints and Week 12 was no exception. None of the top teams across the country looked strong. No. 5 Tennessee was blown out in South Carolina. No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan, and No. 4 TCU all earned fight wins.
So as we gear up for Rivalry Week — the final games of the regular season for all teams — how have the surprise results of Week 12 affected things in the SEC?
Here are our updated power rankings as of the end of the regular season:
14. Texas A&M (4-7 overall, 1-6 in SEC)
Previous placement: 14
In this week: 20-3 W above UMass
The Aggies won. At least they did that on Saturday in front of a sparse home crowd at Kyle Field. But it wasn’t a great performance offensively as the Aggies led 10-3 at halftime and had just 2 touchdowns against a UMass team that went into the game with a 1-9 aggregate record. This season can’t end fast enough for Jimbo Fisher and company.
13. Maroon (5-6, 2-5)
Previous placement: 12
In this week: 41-17 W over western Kentucky
The Tigers play strong football under interim coach Cadillac Williams. Is it enough to give him a strong consideration for the full-time gig? That remains to be seen, but the rushing attack has been fun for the last 3 weeks. Auburn, meanwhile, was tied 17-17 with the Hilltoppers so we’re not overreacting to that win, but at least the Tigers are playing with a constant effort these days.
12.Vanderbilt (5-6, 2-5)
Previous placement: 13
In this week: 31-24W over Florida
Clark Lea has brought hope to this program for the first time in a long time! After beating Kentucky away last week and beating Florida at home (the Commodores’ first win over Florida in Nashville since 1988, by the way), the momentum has been absolutely tremendous. The Commodores now have a chance to qualify for the Bowl if they can shock Tennessee next weekend. Even at 5-7, the Commodores’ beefy APR score might still get them into a bowl game.
11.Mizzou (5-6, 2-5)
Previous placement: 10
In this week: 45-14 W over the state of New Mexico
The Tigers handled the deal against the state of New Mexico. Brady Cook played perhaps his best game, throwing for 251 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Luther Burden twice found the end zone. The Tigers still have a chance to secure a bowl spot. But to do that, they have to beat Arkansas on Friday. We’ll see if they’re up to the task! The additional training would be a big deal for Eli Drinkwitz’s young team.
10 Florida (6-5, 3-5)
Previous placement: 6
In this week: 31-24 liters to Vanderbilt
After a big win against South Carolina, this isn’t what the Gators wanted or needed. This is a terrible loss for a program that just last week looked like it was about to take a turn. Now it’s back to the drawing board for Billy Napier’s crew. When QB Anthony Richardson isn’t a threat with his legs, it severely hampers the other things this offense wants to do.
9. Kentucky (6-5, 3-5)
Previous placement: 9
In this week: 16-6 L to No. 1 Georgia
The defense played really well against Georgia, forcing 3 field goals, allowing only 1 touchdown and forcing a turnover on downs at the 1 yard line. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the offense was horrific. They were only able to score in the subsequent 99-yard drive after the goal-line stand. Will Levis is clearly not 100% about injury management. The offensive line has big problems. We’ll see if the Wildcats can end the regular season on a high with a win over rival Louisville.
8.South Carolina (7-4, 4-4)
Previous placement: 11
In this week: 63-38 W over No. 5 Tennessee
Wow. If you tell me you predicted the Gamecocks would hang 63 points on the Vols, I’ll call you a liar. Nobody saw this coming. What an effort for the much-maligned combination of QB Spencer Rattler and OC Marcus Satterfield. A week after being blown out in Florida, the Gamecocks come out and do this. When South Carolina is at its best, it can beat anyone. If it plays its worst, it can lose to anyone. We’ll see which team shows up against Clemson next week.
7. Arkansas (6-5, 3-4)
Previous placement: 8th
In this week: 42-27 W over No. 14 Ole Miss
There were 3 (yes, 3!) 200-yard rushers in Saturday’s win against the Rebels. But Ole Miss RB didn’t have as many as Rocket Sanders’ 232 yards on the ground. He also scored 3 touchdowns – more than Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans combined. KJ Jefferson is such a difference maker for this team. It was nice to see him again and make an important contribution after missing out on last week’s loss to LSU.
6. Mississippi State (7-4, 3-4)
Previous placement: 7
In this week: 56-7W via ETSU
The Bulldogs used their pre-Egg Bowl voting and dominated ETSU to host a key showdown against Ole Miss on Thursday night. Will Rogers threw for 301 yards and 5 touchdowns to end the Bulldogs’ home game slate. Now they will head to Oxford on Thanksgiving night for Mike Leach’s first win in the heated rivalry. Rogers needs to be back at his best to do that.
5. Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3)
Previous placement: 5
In this week: 42-27L to Arkansas
Both Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans rushed for 200+ yards in that game. The rushing attack worked. Jaxson Dart also moved the ball through the air. But the rebels have shot themselves in the foot far too many times to win. Several costly turnovers and penalties that deprived the board of points injured Ole Miss on a cold night in Fayetteville. We’ll see if Lane Kiffin can get the Rebels back on track ahead of Thursday night’s Egg Bowl.
4. Alabama (9-2, 5-2)
Previous placement: 4
In this week: 34-0 W over Austin Peay
Not much to say about the tide this week. They received an FCS opponent, struggled a bit early but managed to knock out the Governors and grab an easy win. The starters played well into the fourth quarter, so it wasn’t as big of a rest week as Alabama usually is. But the tide seems poised to roll into next week’s Iron Bowl rivalry game against Auburn.
3. Tennessee (9-2, 5-2)
Previous placement: 2
In this week: 63-38L to South Carolina
whoops What a terrible performance from the Vols defence. Yes, they were without LB Jeremy Banks, one of their leaders on this side of the ball, but giving up 63 points against a Gamecocks team that scored 6 points in a loss to Florida last weekend is unacceptable. The offense played pretty well, but the defense couldn’t get any stops. This is still a talented team but attention is now turning to QB Hendon Hooker, who left in the second half with a knee injury. Hope he’s okay in the end.
2nd LSU (9-2, 6-1)
Previous placement: 3
In this week: 41-10W via UAB
LSU faced a lesser opponent and did not downplay the competition. That boded well as the Tigers need to continue gaining momentum ahead of a showdown in the SEC championship game against Georgia in December. Jayden Daniels continues to play like a superstar. Noah Cain found the end zone on the floor 3 times. Impressive performance all round. Now the Tigers just need to avoid an upset loss at Texas A&M next weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive en route to the SEC title game.
1. Georgia (11-0, 8-0)
Previous placement: 1
In this week: 16-6 W over Kentucky
It was an ugly win. The attack didn’t look good. The red zone play calling was suspicious. But it doesn’t matter. The Bulldogs won away in the SEC and finished a second perfect year in a row against SEC competition in the regular season. As we saw with many top teams on Saturday, it’s all about winning by any means necessary. The Dawgs did that and deserve to be commended for it.