SEC Football Rankings And Reactions, Week 7

    Week 7 SEC rankings and reactions: Alabama made a statement against Texas A&M, LSU got through the Florida battle, and Ole Miss and Missouri clunked in a big way.

    October 18, 2015

    SEC Football Rankings And Reactions, Week 7

    Week 7 SEC rankings and reactions: Alabama made a statement against Texas A&M, LSU got through the Florida battle, and Ole Miss and Missouri clunked in a big way.

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    SEC Player of the Week

    Alabama RB Derrick Henry ran 32 times for 236 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Texas A&M

    Week 7 SEC Football Rankings

    1. LSU (6-0)

    W, Florida 35-28: It’s a little disconcerting that LSU’s offense couldn’t get on the board in the second half outside of the trick play, but there’s no arguing with the defensive performance against the Florida running game or the way the team was able to grind its way to a win. Leonard Fournette might have been Leonard Fournette, but it was a steady 180 yards more than spectacular, while Brandon Harris had one of his most effective games with 202 passing yards and two scores with no big mistakes. This was the game the Tigers needed to win with so many big battles yet to deal with, but they got it. They proved they can get physical with anyone, but now they have to deal with a dangerous WKU passing game in the ultimate sandwich date before Alabama.

    2. Florida (6-1)

    L, at LSU 35-28: Treon Harris did just fine. He completed 17-of-32 passes for 271 yards and two scores, but he wasn’t able to get free against the LSU defense and wasn’t able to use his legs outside of a few decent plays. More than anything else, he used his mobility to buy himself from time, and most importantly, he didn’t screw up. There weren’t any turnovers, and while Florida was just 6-of-16 on third downs, and 2-of-4 on fourth downs, he wasn’t the reason for the loss. The Gators simply lost a good battle to a strong team on the road. In the overall scheme of things, the loss doesn’t matter. Beating Georgia on Halloween is far more important, because that all but seals up the East title. Everything is still on the table, including the SEC championship and a playoff run.

    3. Ole Miss (5-2)

    L, at Memphis 37-24: Memphis might be really good, but where was the defense? This was supposed to be the type of game that the supposed Landshark D takes over when it has to and control things, and it did that against the run, just not against Paxton Lynch. The biggest problem was a running game that couldn’t generate any sort of a push, relying too much on Chad Kelly, Laquon Treadwell, and a huge day from the passing game. The Rebels ran for just 40 yards on 24 carries, and couldn’t maintain any sort of control on the game with Memphis holding the ball for over 37 minutes. But here’s the crazy part – it doesn’t matter. It’s just a bad non-conference loss, and if the Rebels beat Texas &M next week, and then Auburn, and then Arkansas, then the LSU game might be for the SEC West title.

    4. Alabama (6-1)

    W, Texas A&M 41-23: It’s awfully nice to be able to rely on a brutish running game to take a crowd and a good team out of the game. It wasn’t that hard a formula – rattle the A&M quarterbacks, run Derrick Henry. The Crimson Tide secondary will get overshadowed by the Henry highlights, but they dominated the Aggie NFL receiving corps and owned the day with the three pick-sixes. Having Henry to take all the pressure off of Jake Coker and the passing game helps – and now Coker is starting to look and play more and more confidently. Coker got his cage rattled a bit thanks to the Aggie pass rush, but he kept on battling and didn’t make any mistakes. It wasn’t a huge day for the passing game, but it didn’t need to be.

    5. Texas A&M (5-1)

    L, Alabama 41-23: Don’t read too much into this. Alabama might be the best team in the country, and when properly motivated on the road, it’s going to do that to just about everyone. However, this was the home game that was supposed to showcase what A&M could do and what it could become. Derrick Henry and the Crimson Tide ground game might have dominated, but the real problem was Kyle Allen’s three picks, the four interceptions as a team, and the three interception returns for scores. The Aggies were never able to get the running game going, it was all on Allen, and the results were awful. As bad as this loss was, A&M has to get over it in a hurry with a trip to Ole Miss up next. Win that, and with South Carolina, Auburn and Vanderbilt up next, the SEC West title – at least a piece of it – is still on the table going into the regular season finale against LSU.

    6. Mississippi State (5-2)

    W, Louisiana Tech 45-20: It stinks that Dak Prescott isn’t anywhere near the Heisman race. He hasn’t had his big moment on the national stage needed to be in the hunt, and he might not be as flashy as some of the high-octane passers like TCU’s Trevone Boykin, but he’s carrying this team – there might not be more of an MVP in college football. He threw for 347 yards and a score, bailing out a lost running game that couldn’t seem to get free. He also led the team in rushing, with the Bulldog backs failing to find any room. This was a more dangerous Louisiana Tech team than it might appear to be, and MSU got out with a blowout win. With winnable games against Kentucky and Missouri up next, there’s a chance to generate a bit of a buzz before hosting Alabama.

    7. Arkansas (2-4)

    UP NEXT: Auburn

    8. Tennessee (3-3)

    UP NEXT: at Alabama

    9. Georgia (5-2)

    W, Missouri 9-6: Just say thank you and go on your way. Georgia might have been brutal against the Missouri defense, but it didn’t matter. The Bulldogs swarmed all over the Missouri running game, forced too many third-and-long chances, and weren’t really threatened even though it was 6-6 in the fourth quarter – as crazy as that might seem. Sony Michel didn’t get much room to run, but he still pounded out 87 tough yards, and Greyson Lambert wasn’t miserable, despite throwing one pick, but this was all about the defense. At the very least, the win stopped the slide, and now there’s a chance to dive right back in and take control of the East with a win over Florida.

    10. Auburn (4-2)

    W, at Kentucky 30-27: Baby steps. It wasn’t the explosive Auburn offense everyone wants, but Sean White came up with a good performance in what turned out to be a steadier, better win than the team will get credit for. The defense had its problems with the UK top skill guys, but Auburn’s ability to grind out a few drives here and there – converting 11-of-18 third down chances – was a huge key. No turnovers, a few big plays, and a win. As bad as things have been, the Tigers are on a two-game winning streak with a chance to make a decent move with a date at Arkansas up next.

    11. Kentucky (4-2)

    L, Auburn 30-27: This one hurts. Kentucky got the big day out of Patrick Towles it needed to have, and it got the right running day out of Boom Williams to balance things out, but there wasn’t a win. The D did a nice job of not breaking in the first half – forcing three second quarter field goals off of decent Auburn drives – but the offense couldn’t muster enough and had too much work to do. The Cats will beat Vanderbilt and Charlotte to go bowling, but now the pressure is on to get a win in a hurry to keep out thoughts of a second straight second half collapse.

    12. Missouri (4-3)

    L, at Georgia 9-6: The hard part is that the D is doing its job. The Tigers aren’t going to win the SEC East again, but it’s not because of a defense that’s doing everything it can to try carrying the woeful offense. Georgia might have a good defense, and it might have been dominant against the run, but Drew Lock isn’t able to get anything going down the field. The Tigers only got six first downs, 143 passing yards, finished with 21 rushing yards on 22 carries, and yet they were still in the game late. With the way the O is playing, the road game at Vandy next week suddenly becomes dangerous. It’s going to be really, really hard to get two wins just to get bowl eligible if Lock can’t start moving the chains.

    13. South Carolina (3-4)

    W, Vanderbilt 19-10: Okay, yeah, South Carolina fought through the adversity of its head ball coach quitting on the team, and just getting Shawn Elliott his first victory is all that matters, but this should’ve been a blowout. The defense forced five Vanderbilt turnovers, Perry Orth threw well, Brandon Wilds ran for 119 yards, and Pharoh Cooper had a huge catch and a big day, and it was still a 19-10 struggle. Why? The Gamecocks couldn’t convert on third down chances and settled for field goals instead of touchdowns on three drives. There’s still time to make something out of the season, but the offense has to figure out how to keep the chains moving against Texas A&M next week.

    14. Vanderbilt (2-4)

    L, at South Carolina 19-10: The Gamecocks were jacked up after all the Spurrier drama, and the Commodores held up well early. It was a good fight, and the defense did a terrific job on third downs, but the offense just couldn’t seem to generate any sort of consistent production – and, oh yeah, there were the five turnovers. With Johnny McCrary’s three interceptions thrown, and with all the mistakes, it’s a miracle Vandy was able to stay alive as long as it did. The team will have to be perfect at some point to come up with a win the rest of the way – if it doesn’t win at home against a punchless Missouri, or in a few weeks against an okay Kentucky, the two wins against Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee will be it for the season.


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