The SEC slate of games was somewhat lackluster this week, with several teams on a bye. This weekend did, however, give us some insight as to how the divisions might shake out. There are now only two undefeated teams in the SEC, both in the East. So, let’s take a look at where they all land in the power rankings for Week 8:
14. Vanderbilt (Lost to Missouri 17-14)
Vanderbilt actually had a chance in this one. The Commodores had the ball in the fourth quarter, with a chance to win, but quarterback Mike Wright, on in relief of A.J. Swann, could not manufacture a game tying or winning drive, as the Commodores turned the ball over on downs in the final minutes. Swann had only 115 yards passing and Wright added 127 and a touchdown. However, Vanderbilt only managed 299 yards of total offense against the Tigers. Gamarion Carter led the receivers with 80 yards and a touchdown on one reception. Ray Davis again led the ground attack for the ‘Dores, with 28 yards on the ground.
13. Missouri (Won against Vanderbilt 17-14)
Missouri won a close battle against Vanderbilt, with quarterback Brady Cook throwing for 211 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. Cody Schrader led the Tigers in rushing, with 84 yards, while Luther Burden III added a rushing touchdown. Burden also led the Tigers receiving corps with four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. The Tiger defense forced a turnover on downs in the final minutes to secure the win, their first SEC win of the year.
12. Texas A&M (Lost to South Carolina 30-24)
The Aggies decided to spot the Gamecocks 17 points before deciding to participate in the game. A&M allowed an opening kickoff to be returned 100 yards, a field goal and another touchdown after a fumbled snap in the first 5:09 of the first quarter. Quarterback Haynes King looked mediocre, throwing for 178 yards and a touchdown, to go with one interception. He was injured and gave way to highly touted freshman Conner Weigman. Devon Achane led the Aggies with 99 yards and a rushing touchdown.
11. Auburn (BYE)
The Tigers were on a bye this week, meaning Bryan Harsin is still employed. For now…
10. Arkansas (BYE)
The Razorbacks also enjoyed a bye week, giving them the chance to get healthy.
9. Florida (BYE)
Florida used their bye week to prepare for the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” against Georgia.
8. Mississippi State (Lost to #6 Alabama 30-6)
Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers struggled to figure out the Alabama defense, much like the previous week, and had another poor performance. Rogers had only 231 yards, with no touchdowns. Jo’Quavious Marks led the Bulldogs in rushing, with 53 yards and a late touchdown. RaRa Thomas led Mississippi State in receiving, with 73 yards on eight catches. The Bulldogs could never muster an offensive rhythm against the Alabama defense.
7. South Carolina (Won against Texas A&M 30-24)
The Gamecocks jumped out early and never looked back. Xavier Legette returned the opening kickoff 100 yards and gave South Carolina a lead that was never relinquished. A field goal and a Christian Beal-Smith touchdown gave the Gamecocks a 17 point lead and that was enough to secure their first ever win against Texas A&M. Spencer Rattler was average again, throwing for 168 yards. MarShawn Lloyd added 92 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Austin Stogner led the Gamecocks with three catches for 46 yards.
6. Ole Miss (Lost to LSU)
Jaxson Dart had a rough day for the Rebels, throwing for 284 yards, but no touchdowns and one interception. Ole Miss also struggled to get anyone not named Quinshon Judkins going on the ground. Judkins had 111 of the Rebels 116 rushing yards. He also had the only two touchdowns on the day for Ole Miss. Malik Heath had eight catches for 145 yards and Jonathan Mingo added 69 yards on four receptions.
5. LSU (Won against #7 Ole Miss)
Jayden Daniels led the Tigers to a huge victory over Ole Miss. Daniels threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for three more touchdowns, against a good Ole Miss defense. Jaray Jenkins was the leading receiver for the Tigers, with two receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. Daniels continues to distribute the football well, with eight receivers catching passes for LSU. Daniels was also the leading rusher for the Tigers, with 121 yards on 23 carries. Brian Kelly’s team has won six of their eight games under their new head coach.
4. Kentucky (BYE)
Kentucky quarterback Will Levis and the rest of the Wildcats will enjoy the off week, in preparation to play the “low down, dirty snitches” in Knoxville next week.
3. Alabama (Won against Mississippi State 30-6)
The Crimson Tide were dominant defensively against the Bulldogs. Bryce Young looked good, throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Jahmyr Gibbs added 37 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Ja’Corey Brooks led the Crimson Tide with three catches for 73 yards. The story of the game might be the redemption of kicker Will Reichard, who added three field goals, including one of 50 yards.
2. Tennessee (Won against UT-Martin 65-24)
Tennessee looked dominant again, but they should have playing against an FCS team in UT-Martin. Josh Heupel’s high powered offense was again on full display, with Hendon Hooker throwing for 276 yards and three touchdowns in limited action. Jalin Hyatt had another big game, with 173 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions. With a 52-7 lead at the half, Heupel elected to play multiple strings, allowing his starters to rest for their matchup against their rival Wildcats next week in Knoxville.
Georgia enjoyed their bye week, with the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” against Florida coming next week.