SEC Football Rankings And Reactions, Week 5

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There’s a massive shake-up in the SEC football rankings with Florida’s win over Ole Miss. Now, the Gators have to be ranked over Ole Miss, who has to be ranked over Alabama. Texas A&M is creeping up, and LSU is within range, but this is going to change week after week.

SEC Player of the Week

Florida QB Will Grier completed 24-of-29 passes for 271 yards and four scores in the win over Ole Miss.

Week 5 SEC Football Rankings

1. Florida (5-0)

W, Ole Miss 38-10: If Will Grier can keep throwing like he has over the last few weeks, all of a sudden, Florida might be the real deal. The defense was frothing at the mouth against the Ole Miss running game and didn’t let it breathe, but it was the offense that took the game away with Grier once again doing an excellent job on the money downs. The biggest key turned out to be the mistakes – Florida didn’t really make any. The Gators were +4 in turnover margin, and while the six penalties were a little much, it didn’t matter in the blowout.

2. Ole Miss (4-1)

L, at Florida 38-10: Buzzsaw. Sometimes in the SEC, a team comes out in its hostile home environment and has the right gameplan and the right attitude on the right day. This wouldn’t be all that bad if it wasn’t coming off a poor performance against Vanderbilt. Chad Kelly was fine, but he didn’t get any help from the running game and he couldn’t find any open receivers – the Gator corners all but shut down the Rebel receivers, especially on key plays. More than anything else, though, Ole Miss killed itself with turnovers. Go +5 against Alabama a few weeks ago – win. Go -4 on the road in the SEC against a good team – lose.

3. Alabama (4-1)

W, at Georgia 38-10: Now that’s the Alabama everyone was expecting. That was the team with all the firepower with the running game, and all the talent on defense, to look like a real, live national title contender. For all the talk about the problems at quarterback, Jake Coker stepped up in awful conditions and produced, completing 11-of-16 passes for 190 yards and a score doing just enough to complement the huge day from Derrick Henry and the ground game. The O line dominated, the pass defense was suffocating, and everything worked in the type of statement moment needed. The swagger is back.

4. Texas A&M (5-0)

W, Mississippi State 30-17: This is just a solid, consistent team. The fireworks might not be there, and it’s not necessarily flashy, but the Aggies keep doing what they need to do. Kyle Allen didn’t throw any picks and he spread the ball around well. Josh Reynolds showed why he’s still receiver No. 1 – or No. 1A next to Christian Kirk – and Tra Carson ran for 110 yards. Dak Prescott is going to be Dak Prescott, and he had a nice day, but the Aggies closed down everything else. With Alabama up next, now we get to see just how real A&M really is.

5. LSU (4-0)

W, Eastern Michigan 44-22: Whatever. It’s Eastern Michigan, so there’s no reason to get too fired up about any part of the win – even with Mr. Fournette taking off for big run after big run for 233 yards and three scores. However, there’s reason to be worried about the passing game that still isn’t there. Brandon Harris can’t go 4-of-15 for 80 yards with a pick. That’s fine against EMU, but Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Texas A&M are still on the slate, and at least two of those defenses are going to stuff Fournette. Harris has to be better in a big hurry.

6. Georgia (4-1)

L, Alabama 38-10: Blow this off and move on to Tennessee. It might have been an emasculating performance, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter as long as the Bulldogs can take care of business in the East. Outside of one big run, Nick Chubb and the running game couldn’t do enough when the game mattered, and all of a sudden, Greyson Lambert became Greyson Lambert again. It was a huge positive that Brice Ramsey came in and was even worse – hitting one of six passes for 20 yards and two picks. Now there’s no question mark who the quarterback is. It was a bad day – all the goals are still there for the taking, including the SEC East, the SEC title, and a playoff spot. There are still two months to get sharper.

7. Mississippi State (3-2)

L, at Texas A&M 30-17: Fred Ross had a big day catching 11 passes for 103 yards, and Dak Prescott did what he could to carry the attack, but once again, there just aren’t enough pieces. The defense has improved – even if it didn’t look like it against the balanced Texas A&M attack – and Prescott continues to be fantastic, but the overall weapons just aren’t there. -2 in turnover margin, and struggling to come up with third down stops, it wasn’t the near-perfect performance needed to get out with an upset.

8. Arkansas (2-3)

W, at Tennessee 24-20: It got sort of lost in the shuffle of all the big things happening on Saturday night, but this was a really, really big win. At the very least, it showed that Arkansas really is okay and Bret Bielema really is a decent head coach who has hardly lost control of the ship. Unlike the last few weeks, this time, the Arkansas style worked. Brandon Allen threw effectively for big plays, but he only completed 11-of-24 passes – this was about the ground game. Alex Collins ran for 154 yards and two scores, Rawleigh Williams ran for 100 yards, and the Hogs had the ball for over 35 minutes and won the turnover and penalty battle. Winner.

9. Tennessee (2-3)

L, Arkansas 24-20: Can the Vols get a timeout on the entire season? All of a sudden, the hot young team with the hot young talent is in massive trouble and in danger of going 2-4 with an angry Georgia up next. Arkansas is going to win the ball control battle against everyone, but the Vols did their part offensively at times, at least early on. But once again, the team isn’t adjusting, and that’s on the coaching staff. Once again, Tennessee came up big early, and once again, the offense fizzled late with just six points in the final three quarters.

10. Kentucky (4-1)

W, Eastern Kentucky 34-27 OT: The Wildcats avoided disaster with a late rally and the playmakers coming through when absolutely needed, but this was a bad, bad game against an okay FCS team. Patrick Towles got the win, and he threw for 329 yards to get out alive, but the offensive line didn’t generate any sort of a push. UK ran 36 times for 55 yards with the longest run just nine yards.

11. Missouri (4-1)

W, South Carolina 24-10: Welcome to the Drew Lock era … maybe. Gary Pinkel has said that Maty Mauk is still going to be The Guy when he returns, but Lock provided something that Mauk didn’t – a completed pass on a regular basis. To be fair, Mizzou didn’t exactly open things up, only letting Lock hit short to midrange passes averaging just 4.9 yards per play, but he hit 21-of-28 passes and didn’t turn the ball over. The O only came up with 299 yards, but the team was +3 in turnover margin and let South Carolina do the imploding. This might not be the type of team that can win the East again, but it’s surviving.

12. South Carolina (2-3)

L, at Missouri 24-10: The offense continues to flounder and sputter. The Gamecocks did fine defensively – Missouri came up with just 299 yards and didn’t do anything big – but the offense turned it over three times with Lorenzo Nunez making too many mistakes. He can’t be the main runner, but he is, especially if he has to bomb away to try to keep up the pace. Where there were a few okay moments, the three picks turned out to be a killer. The O just needs more playmakers besides Pharoh Cooper – or the D has to come up with more big plays and a few key takeaways.

13. Auburn (3-2)

W, San Jose State 35-21: Sean White didn’t throw any picks, but the ball wasn’t really in his hands completing just 6-of-10 passes for 108 yards. This was about Peyton Barber, running for 147 yards and four scores to hold off a pesky San Jose State team. Tiger fans might be going insane over the problems with the run D, but Tyler Ervin is on first – his 160 yards and a score are par for the course. The +4 turnover margin turned out to be the difference, and at this point, just getting a win and moving on is all that matters. It’s time to beat a team its own size – taking down Kentucky on the road is a must for the season to have any real hope.

14. Vanderbilt (2-3)

W, at Middle Tennessee 17-13: It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but considering Vanderbilt was down 13-3 with seven minutes to play, taking the win and getting out is all that matters. The three turnovers were a problem, but the offense just didn’t move until it absolutely had to in the clutch late. Ralph Webb turned into the saving grace running the ball, and the run defense did its job, keeping the Blue Raiders to 34 yards on 23 carries, but it was still a rough day on both sides of the ball. Even so, if the turnovers stop, the Commodores should be able to hang with South Carolina and Missouri over the next two weeks.

MORE: Week 5 College Football Rankings, No. 1 -128