Texas A&M stuns Bama; Vanderbilt reaches bowl-eligiblity
There was a huge upset in the SEC over the weekend, but not a lot changes in our power rankings. Alabama held on to its No. 1 spot — even after losing at home to Texas A&M — due to its body of work throughout the 2012 season. Vanderbilt and Ole Miss switched spots after the Commodores beat the Rebels in Oxford, and Missouri jumped Tennessee following its four OT win in Knoxville.
Post-Week 11 Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M — Manziel was terrific in Texas A&M’s thrilling 29–24 win over No. 1 Alabama. The redshirt freshman completed 24-of-31 for 253 yards and two touchdowns and added 92 yards on the ground. Manziel leads the SEC in rushing and total offense and ranks fourth in passing efficiency.
2. AJ McCarron, Alabama — McCarron’s status on the this list is in jeopardy. The junior quarterback threw for a season-high 309 yards on Saturday, but he was intercepted twice as the Crimson Tide lost at home to Texas A&M. He has 2,158 yards with 20 touchdowns and two interceptions for the season.
3. Aaron Murray, Georgia — Murray has been solid throughout his junior season. He has thrown for 2,656 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions, and he leads the league with 9.7 yards per attempt.
Post-Week 11 Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina — Clowney’s productivity has been down a bit of late due to nagging injuries, but he is still the best defensive player in the league. He had two tackles and one sack in the Gamecocks’ win over Arkansas on Saturday. For the season, the sophomore defensive end has 42 total tackles (17 for a loss) with 9.5 sacks.
2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia — Jones continues to shine for the Bulldogs. He had four tackles with two sacks on Saturday against Auburn and now has 17 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks for the season.
3. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M — The junior defensive end recorded five tackles and one sack in the Aggies’ win at Alabama. He continues to lead the SEC in tackles for a loss with 20.0 and sacks with 12.5.
Post-Week 11 Coach of the Year Standings
1. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M — It helps to have one of the most electric players in college football running the show, but Sumlin deserves a ton of credit for the Aggies’ 5–2 SEC record. They have two close losses at home to top-10 teams (Florida and LSU) and on Saturday knocked off a No. 1 team for only the second time in school history.
2. James Franklin, Vanderbilt — The Commodores are bowl-eligible for the second straight season for the first time in school history. Vanderbilt rallied from 17 down in the second half to beat Ole Miss 27–26 for its fourth straight win overall and its fourth SEC win of the season.
3. Will Muschamp, Florida — The Gators aren’t exactly playing their best ball of late, but Muschamp has this program back among the nation’s elite. Last year, in his first on the job, Florida went 3–5 in the SEC. This year, the Gators went 7–1.
Post-Week 11 SEC Power Rankings
1. Alabama (9–1, 6–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 1
Week 10 result: Lost to Texas A&M 29–24
Alabama’s hopes for a second straight national title took a huge hit Saturday afternoon with a 29–24 loss at home to surging Texas A&M. The Aggies jumped on the Tide early, scoring three first quarter touchdowns — on drives of 87, 41 and 80 yards — against a defense that had surrendered a total of 10 touchdowns in its first nine games. Alabama has now given up a total of 853 yards in its last two games — a win at LSU and a loss to Texas A&M — after not allowing more than 300 yards in any of its first eight games. The Tide also have lost the turnover battle in the past two games, 2-to-0 to LSU and 3-to-0 to A&M on Saturday. Quarterback AJ McCarron, who did not throw a pick in the first nine games, was intercepted twice by the Aggies. The junior quarterback has dropped from first to seventh nationally in passing efficiency in the past two weeks. Alabama must now beat Auburn in two weeks to wrap up the SEC West title.
Next week: Western Carolina
2. Georgia (9–1, 7–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 2
Week 10 result: Beat Auburn 38–0
Georgia clinched a spot in the SEC Championship Game for a second straight season and kept alive its slim national title hopes with a 38–0 win at Auburn. The Bulldogs’ offense operated at high efficiency, with Aaron Murray completing 18-of-24 for 208 yards and three touchdowns, and both Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall rushing for more than 100 yards. The Georgia defense shut down Auburn’s running game, allowing a net of 57 yards rushing on 27 attempts. Georgia, which hosts Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech in the next two weeks, is 14–2 in the SEC over the last two seasons. The Dawgs, ranked No. xx in the latest BCS standings, need to beat Alabama (the likely opponent) in the SEC title game and hope that two of the three undefeated teams lose in the next two weeks.
Next week: Georgia Southern
3. Florida (9–1, 7–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 4
Week 10 result: Beat UL Lafayette 27–20
Florida averted disaster with a huge play on special teams in the final seconds. The Gators broke a 20–20 tie when Jelani Jenkins returned a blocked punt 36 yards for a touchdown with 13 seconds remaining the game. Once again, the Florida offense struggled. The Gators managed only 311 total yards and two offensive touchdowns against a ULL defense that gave up 50 points two weeks ago against Arkansas State and 65 points to Oklahoma State in a Week 3 loss. Quarterback Jeff Driskel was having a solid game (13-of-16 for 98 yards, 76 yards rushing) before leaving with a sprained ankle in the third quarter. Jacoby Brissett came on in relief and completed 6-of-8 for 64 yards. Florida, ranked No. X in the BCS standings, ends the season with non-conference games against Jacksonville State and Florida State.
Next week: Jacksonville State
4. LSU (8–2, 4–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 4
Week 10 result: Beat Mississippi State 37–17
LSU broke open a close game in the second half to beat Mississippi State for the 11th-straight time in Baton Rouge. MSU cut what was a 10-point lead at the half to three with a touchdown on its first drive of the third quarter, but LSU scored the game’s final 17 points. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger was sharp for the second straight game, completing 19-of-30 passes for 273 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Tigers rushed for 119 yards on 38 attempts, spreading the carries between Jeremy Hill (15), Russell Shepard (eight), Kenny Hilliard (five) and Spencer Ware (five). Hill, who had 48 yards, had his streak of 100-yard games snapped at three. The LSU defense gave up a season-high 304 yards passing but did not allow State to get much going on the ground. Nick Griffin led the Bulldogs with 38 yards on 11 attempts.
Next week: Ole Miss
5. Texas A&M (8–2, 5–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 6
Week 10 result: Beat Alabama 29–24
Playing on the biggest stage of his young career, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel delivered a performance that will go down in Aggie lore. The redshirt freshman completed 24-of-31 passes for 253 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and added 92 yards rushing to lead A&M to a stunning 29–24 win over No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Aggies stormed out to a 20–0 lead in the first quarter on the strength of three long touchdown drives. Their offense stalled for much of the second half, but they came up with a huge defensive stop inside the 5-yard line late in the fourth quarter to preserve one of the biggest wins in school history. With Manziel running the show, Texas A&M is averaging an astounding 531.9 yards in SEC play — and that includes games against three of the top-five defensive teams in the nation (Alabama, LSU and Florida).
Next week: Sam Houston State
6. South Carolina (8–2, 6–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 5
Week 10 result: Beat Arkansas 38–10
South Carolina completed its second straight SEC season with a 6–2 record by snapping a three-game losing streak to Arkansas. Playing for the first time without injured tailback Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecocks struggled to run the ball with consistency. Mike Davis was solid, averaging 4.1 yards on his 13 carries, but Carolina’s other ball-carriers netted only 58 yards on 28 carries. Connor Shaw was productive in the passing game, throwing for 272 yards on only 22 attempts with two touchdowns and one interception. The total yards were close (383 for South Carolina to 360 for Arkansas), but the Gamecocks won the turnover battle 3-to-1 and were far more efficient on third down (7-of-13).
Next week: Wofford
7. Mississippi State (7–3, 3–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 7
Week 10 result: Lost to LSU 37–17
Mississippi State dropped its third straight game — all against ranked opponents — to fall to .500 in SEC play. The Bulldog offense, which scored 27 points or more in its seven wins, has now scored 17 points or fewer in each of the last three games. State had success throwing the ball for most of the night, recording 304 yards on 27 completions, but the running game stalled. Starting tailback LaDarius Perkins missed his first career game after straining a quad during practice earlier in the week. Nick Griffin stepped in as the primary ball-carrier and rushed for 38 yards on 11 carries. The Bulldogs have now lost 13 straight to LSU, though they did hold a lead (7–0) for the first time in Tiger Stadium since 1994.
Next week: Arkansas
8. Vanderbilt (6–4, 4–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 9
Week 10 result: Beat Ole Miss 27–26
Vanderbilt rallied from 17 points down in the second half to beat Ole Miss 27–26 Saturday night in Oxford. The Commodores have now won four straight games overall and are bowl-eligible for the second straight season — for the first time in school history. Vanderbilt was forced to play the majority of the game without senior tailback Zac Stacy, who went down with a knee injury on the first possession. Quarterback Jordan Rodgers overcame a slow start and ended the night with 267 yards and two touchdowns. He hit sophomore wide receiver Chris Boyd on a 26-yard pass down the sideline to give the Dores their first lead with 1:09 to play. Jordan Matthews, the other half of the SEC’s most productive wide receiving duo, caught nine passes for 153 yards and now has 1,003 yards for the season. Vanderbilt has won three straight and six of the past eight against Ole Miss.
Next week: Tennessee
9. Ole Miss (5–5, 2–4 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 8
Week 10 result: Lost to Vanderbilt 27–26
Ole Miss is now 0-for-2 in its attempts to become bowl-eligible. The Rebels appeared to be in control Saturday night against Vanderbilt after taking a 23–6 lead early in the third quarter, but the Commodores stormed back to claim a 27–26 win on a touchdown with just over one minute to play. Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace threw for a career-high 403 yards — against a team that entered the game ranked third nationally in pass defense — but the Rebels’ offense repeatedly stalled in the Red Zone. Bryson Rose kicked four field goals, three from 28 yards or shorter. Four Ole Miss receivers caught at least five passes, with Ja-Mes Logan leading the way with career highs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (160). Ole Miss will have two more opportunities — at LSU and vs. Mississippi State — to pick up win No. 6.
Next week: at LSU
10. Arkansas (4–6, 2–4 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 11
Week 10 result: Lost to South Carolina 38–20
Arkansas recorded 360 total yards but scored only one offensive touchdown in the game’s first 59 minutes en route to their first loss against South Carolina since 2008. The Hogs, who dropped to 2–4 in the SEC, were undone by three turnovers — two picks thrown by Tyler Wilson and a fumble by tailback Dennis Johnson. Wilson, who threw for 277 yards, has been intercepted five times in the past three games. Tailback Knile Davis missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Arkansas, a preseason top-15 team, needs to win its final two games (at Mississippi State, vs. LSU) to become bowl-eligible.
Next week: at Mississippi State
11. Missouri (5–5, 2–5 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 12
Week 10 result: beat Tennessee 51–48 (4ot)
Missouri picked up its first SEC road win in dramatic fashion, outlasting Tennessee in four overtimes. The Tigers were completely dominated in first half — UT held a 383-to-64 advantage in total yards — but trailed by only 14 points at the break. Mizzou eventually tied the game late in the fourth quarter when James Franklin found Dorial Green-Beckham in the end zone on fourth down from the Tennessee 25-yard line. Missouri won the game in the fourth overtime on an Andrew Baggett a 35-yard field goal. Franklin completed only 2-of-8 for 18 yards in the first half but ended the game 19-of-32 with 226 yards and four touchdowns (three in overtime). Kendial Lawrence ran for 153 yards and two scores — a 77-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half and a 2-yard plunge late in the third quarter. Missouri needs to split its final two games — vs. Syracuse, at Texas A&M — to become bowl-eligible for the eighth straight season.
Next week: Syracuse
12. Tennessee (4–6, 0–6 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 10
Week 10 result: Lost to Missouri 51–48 (4ot)
Tennessee lost in SEC play for the 13th time in its last 14 games, falling at home in four overtimes to a Missouri team that had scored 10 points or fewer in four of its five previous league games. The Vols dominated the first half, outgaining Missouri 383-to-64, but were unable to build a lead larger than 14 points at anytime in the game. Quarterback Tyler Bray continues to shine in tough times for Tennessee. The junior threw for 404 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, and now has 1,302 yards in the last three games. The loss dropped Tennessee to 0–6 in the SEC and is a crippling blow for third-year head coach Derek Dooley. He is now 15–20 overall and 4–18 in SEC games at Tennessee.
Next week: at Vanderbilt
13. Auburn (2–8, 0–7 SEC)
Last week's rank: 13
Week 10 result: Lost to Georgia 38–0
Auburn put up little resistance in yet another lopsided loss in what has become a nightmare season for embattled coach Gene Chizik. The Tigers had only one drive that went for more than 50 yards and were outgained by more than 250 yards. There was one bright spot: Quarterback Jonathan Wallace, in his first start vs. an SEC opponent, completed 15-of-22 passes for 181 yards. Not bad for a true freshman who was used exclusively in Wildcat packages for the first half of the season. Auburn ranks 115th in the nation in total offense (298.5 ypg) and 90th in total defense (435.6 ypg) — stunning numbers for a program that won a national title two years ago. The Tigers figure to get back in the win column next week against Alabama A&M, but then close the season with a trip to Tuscaloosa.
Next week: Alabama A&M
14. Kentucky (1–9, 0–7 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 14
Week 10 result: Bye
The big news at Kentucky last week was the dismissal of Joker Phillips, who is 4–19 in his two-plus seasons as the head coach at his alma mater. Phillips will coach the final two games of the season, vs. Samford this weekend and at Tennessee on Nov. 24.
Next week: Samford