The division races are all over in the SEC as LSU will return to Atlanta for the first time since 2019 to take on Georgia in the SEC Championship.
The Tigers’ win over Arkansas (plus an Alabama win at Ole Miss) locked in the West, while UGA’s road beating against Mississippi State ended things up. the other side in week 11.
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However, that doesn’t mean LSU doesn’t have a lot at stake in the final two weeks of the regular season. This team remains in the playoff conversation, but they can’t afford another loss the rest of the way to keep things that way.
As conference play winds down and we head into Rivalry Week, here’s how things are going in our SEC Power Rankings after Week 11.
Commodores Vanderbilt (4-6, 1-5 SEC)
Previous ranking: 14
Result of week 11: W 24-21 in Kentucky
The Lean: I feel bad. I’ve said all season that I’ll take Vandy out of last place when he gets his first SEC win under coach Clark Lea. That’s exactly what the Commodores did on Saturday, knocking out a ranked Kentucky team on the road to snap an incredible 26-game SEC losing streak that stretched back to October 2019. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. Still, credit to Vanderbilt for a huge win. Upset an improving Florida team at home next week and we can talk again.
Texas A&M Aggies (3-7, 1-6 SEC)
Previous ranking: ten
Result of week 11: L 13-10 in Auburn
Lean: Texas A&M couldn’t do anything offensively in a road loss to an Auburn team led by an interim coach at Cadillac Williams. The Aggies have now lost six straight, their worst losing streak since 1972, and they will miss a bowling game despite having one of the most talented rosters and most accomplished (and highest paid) coaches. That should end the losing streak against UMass next week, but it looks like TAMU has to beat LSU to salvage any optimism going forward.
South Carolina Gamecocks (6-4, 3-4 SEC)
Previous ranking: 11
Result of week 11: L 38-6 in Florida
Lean: It’s hard to believe that South Carolina was ranked just a few weeks ago. The Gamecocks were absolutely embarrassed in the Swamp on Saturday, losing explosively in a game that was uncompetitive from the opening kick. This team closes things out with Tennessee and Clemson, and a .500 finish seems like the most likely scenario, certainly a little disappointing for the second year of the Shane Beamer era.
Auburn Tigers (4-6, 2-5 SEC)
Previous ranking: 13
Result of week 11: W 13-10 at Texas A&M
Lean: There’s no denying that Auburn looks like a totally different team under Williams in terms of intensity and effort. After an impressive comeback bid failed against Mississippi State last week, the Tigers earned their first win since September on Saturday, heightening anxiety in College Station. They’re an intriguing team all of a sudden, and if they can get past an explosive Western Kentucky team this weekend, they’ll likely enter the Iron Bowl looking for an upset with bowl eligibility. stakes.
Missouri Tigers (4-6, 2-5 SEC)
Previous ranking: 12
Result of week 11: L 66-24 in Tennessee
Lean: The Tigers were in this one at Neyland Stadium until they weren’t. It was a 28-24 game at one point in the third quarter, but Missouri ultimately lacked the Athletes to follow the Vols’ passing offense as Tennessee finally pulled away. This team’s hopes of bowling in Year 3 under the newly extended (and elevated) Eli Drinkwitz likely hinge on a home game against Arkansas to close out the season.
Arkansas Razorbacks (5-5, 2-4 SEC)
Previous ranking: 9
Result of week 11: L 13-10 against LSU
Lean: Arkansas did much better than I expected in this game, especially defensively. The unit struggled this season, but they fired Jayden Daniels seven times and forced turnovers twice. However, the Hogs struggled to get most things done offensively without KJ Jefferson available, although Cade Fortin fired a touchdown when he came on in the second half. Arkansas needs to win one of its last two games against Ole Miss and Missouri to bowl in 3rd grade under Sam Pittman.
Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-4, 3-4 SEC)
Previous ranking: seven
Result of week 11: L 45-19 vs Georgia
Lean: I didn’t expect the Bulldogs to fare much better than they did with the nation’s No. 1 team coming to town, and this one got a little out of control in the second period. Still, it’s worth noting how outmatched coach Mike Leach’s air raid offense is against the SEC’s most talented teams. The Bulldogs have a tune-up next weekend against East Tennessee State ahead of the Egg Bowl.
Kentucky Wildcats (6-4, 3-4 SEC)
Previous ranking: 6
Result of week 11: L 24-21 against Vanderbilt
Lean: Kentucky earned a accolade no one wants on Saturday, dropping one at home against Vanderbilt to snap a 26-game SEC losing streak against the Commodores. It was another tough game for Will Levis and the Wildcats passing offense, and another big ground game from Chris Rodriguez Jr. wasn’t enough. The ‘Cats just don’t have the physicality that Mark Stoops’ old teams have, and it’s turning into a pretty disappointing year at Lexington, considering the potential.
Florida Gators (6-4, 3-4 SEC)
Previous ranking: 8
Result of week 11: W 38-6 vs. South Carolina
Lean: I’m starting to feel like the Gators have turned a corner under Billy Napier. They fought to the end against Georgia and had convincing wins over Texas A&M and South Carolina over the past two seasons. The running game comes into its own, Anthony Richardson has gone four games without a turnover and the defense seems to be improving. An 8-4 finish is on the table if the Gators take care of business against Vanderbilt and can pull off an upset against Florida State in Tallahassee.
Ole Miss Rebels (8-2, 4-2 SEC)
Previous ranking: 5
Result of week 11: L 30-24 against Alabama
Lean: Ole Miss acquitted herself well and avoided the beating we tend to expect from despised Alabama teams that just lost. The Rebels had a chance for an upset in the end, but narrowly missed, ending their outside hopes of an SEC West title. Still, 10 wins remain on the table, and it would be hard to complain about that at Oxford.
Alabama Crimson Tide (8-2, 5-2 SEC)
Previous ranking: 4
Result of week 11: W 30-24 at Ole Miss
Lean: The Crimson Tide once again struggled in this game, but they avoided losing a third game of the season. Still, any remaining hopes of going to Atlanta ended with LSU winning, and by defeating the Rebels, Alabama secured the division for the Tigers. This team is probably still headed for the New Year’s Six, barring an Iron Bowl miss against Auburn, but it’s been Saban’s weakest team in a while.
LSU Tigers (8-2, 5-2 SEC)
Previous ranking: 3
Result of week 11: W 13-10 in Arkansas
Lean: LSU had all sorts of problems in their win over Arkansas, and it was the sloppiest performance we’ve seen from the team during their current winning streak. Still, the Tigers head to Atlanta in Year 1 under Brian Kelly, a massive accomplishment for this program. LSU is playing with house money at this point, but this team will need to improve a lot if they have any hope of bringing down Georgia.
Tennessee Volunteers (9-1, 5-1 SEC)
Previous ranking: 2
Result of week 11: W 66-24 against Missouri
Lean: Tennessee played with their food for a half and changed before exploding for a school-record 724 yards of offense in a 66-point outing. The Vols certainly remain in the college football playoff conversation despite Georgia’s victory over the East, though they likely need LSU to lose another game.
Georgia Bulldogs (10-0, 7-0 SEC)
Previous ranking: 1
Result of week 11: W 45-19 to Mississippi State
Lean: An MSU punt return touchdown made this one a little interesting, but it was never really in doubt for the Kirby Smart team. The Bulldogs have contests remaining against Kentucky and Georgia Tech, and they will be heavily favored in both. This team is expected to be 12-0 when they face LSU, and their CFP spot can be locked in regardless of the outcome of that game.