By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
Post-Week 7 SEC Power Rankings
Check out all of our college football rankings.
1. Alabama (7-0) – The Crimson Tide’s march to an undefeated season and a spot in the national title game continued with a 52-7 blowout win over Ole Miss. The Alabama defense allowed a touchdown on the opening drive to the Rebels, but allowed virtually nothing else the rest of the game. Running back Trent Richardson posted a season-high of 183 yards and four touchdowns against the Rebels, pushing him just 88 yards short of 1,000. The Crimson Tide has one more game (Tennessee) before facing off against LSU in one of college football's most-anticipated matchups this year.
2. LSU (7-0) – Tennessee hung around in the first quarter, but the Tigers simply had too much talent and depth and pulled away for a 38-7 win. The LSU defense has held four opponents to seven or less points this season and no team has scored more than 27. The Tigers host Auburn this Saturday, which is their final test before playing Alabama on Nov. 5. Although LSU can’t look past Auburn, it would be a major surprise if it isn’t 8-0 going into a bye and the Nov. 5 showdown against Alabama.
3. Arkansas (5-1) – The Razorbacks had a bye in Week 6 and will return to action this Saturday at Ole Miss. Arkansas still has a shot to win the SEC West, but it needs a lot of help. Quarterback Tyler Wilson ranks second in the SEC with 297.5 yards per game, while receiver Jarius Wright leads all receivers from the conference with an average of 6.6 catches per game.
4. South Carolina (6-1) – Saturday’s 14-12 win over Mississippi State made the Gamecocks bowl eligible, but it came at a heavy price. Running back Marcus Lattimore suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Bulldogs, which is a huge loss for South Carolina and their chances to repeat as SEC East champs. The Gamecocks have a bye this Saturday and hits the road for their next game on Oct. 29 at Tennessee.
5. Georgia (5-2) – The Bulldogs nearly let a victory slip against Vanderbilt on Saturday, but held on for a 33-28 win. Georgia had a punt blocked with less than 10 seconds to go and had to survive two Vanderbilt passes to win its fifth straight game this season. The Bulldogs are off this Saturday, before matching up against Florida in the annual battle in Jacksonville. With South Carolina losing running back Marcus Lattimore for the season, the matchup between the Bulldogs and Gators will play a big role in deciding the SEC East champ.
6. Auburn (5-2) – It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Tigers posted a 17-6 victory over Florida to move to 5-2 on the season. Auburn’s offense has not scored more than 17 points in each of its last three games. Quarterback play has been a question mark for head coach Gene Chizik and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, as three players saw snaps against Florida. Clint Moseley came off the bench and completed 4 of 7 throws for 90 yards, while Kiehl Frazier gave Auburn a boost on the ground, rushing for 41 yards on eight attempts. Barrett Trotter has started every game this year, but could soon find his way out of the lineup with Moseley and Frazier providing a spark.
7. Florida (4-3) – After three consecutive losses, the Gators are reeling going into a bye week. There’s no shame in any of the losses (Alabama, LSU and Auburn), but Florida expected to compete for a SEC East title this season. An injury to quarterback John Brantley has certainly been a setback for the offense, especially with two true freshman getting snaps in his place. The schedule isn’t going to get any easier, as Florida is on bye this week, before playing Georgia in Jacksonville on Oct. 29.
8. Mississippi State (3-4) – The Bulldogs are still searching for their first win in SEC play after Saturday’s 14-12 loss to South Carolina. Tyler Russell made his first start at quarterback and completed 11 of 29 throws for 165 yards, one touchdown and two picks. Although coach Dan Mullen likely won’t name a starter for the Oct. 29 game against Kentucky, expect Russell to get the call under center. The Bulldogs need three wins to get bowl eligible, but with Kentucky, Ole Miss and Tennessee-Martin, they should be able to finish with at least six victories.
9. Tennessee (3-3) – As expected, life without quarterback Tyler Bray is going to be very difficult for the Volunteers. Matt Simms filled in for Bray in Saturday’s loss to LSU and completed only 6 of 20 throws. The rushing attack did show some signs of life, with Tauren Poole posting 70 yards on 19 attempts. Tennessee won’t get any breaks in the schedule the next two weeks, as it travels to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama this Saturday, followed by a home date against South Carolina in Week 9.
10. Vanderbilt (3-3) – The record sits at 3-3, but it’s clear the Commodores are a much-improved team in coach James Franklin’s first season. Vanderbilt had a chance to win late, but two pass attempts with less than 10 seconds remaining deep in Georgia territory fell incomplete. The Commodores step out of conference for a difficult matchup against Army this Saturday. If Vanderbilt wants to make a bowl game, beating the Black Knights is a must.
11. Ole Miss (2-4) – The Rebels showed some signs of life in the opening drive of Saturday’s game against Alabama, but it was all downhill from there. Ole Miss jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but the Crimson Tide scored 52 unanswered and dropped the Rebels’ record to 2-4. If Ole Miss wants to make a bowl, its backs are against the wall the next few weeks. The Rebels host Arkansas this Saturday, before playing at Auburn on Oct. 29.
12. Kentucky (2-4) – The Kentucky coaching staff hopes a bye week is the perfect medicine for an awful start to the season. The Wildcats are dealing with a four-game losing streak and have yet to earn their first win in SEC play. Kentucky hosts FCS foe Jacksonville State this Saturday. The Gamecocks are 5-1, averaging 31.3 points a game on offense and defeated Ole Miss in the season opener last year. Former Georgia running back Washaun Ealey is one of Jacksonville State's key offensive weapons. The Wildcats should win, but the as past history has shown, the Gamecocks are a dangerous team and shouldn't be taken lightly.