SEC Power Rankings-Storm The Floor Edition

Posted on January 27, 2010

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Well after two weeks, the SEC Power Rankings, which has been sponsored by my neighbours in Avery as well as the lovely ladies of Zeta Phi Beta, there’s a new #1 in the Power Rankings after what happened Tuesday night in Columbia.

That’s right for the first time in 103 seasons of South Carolina basketball, the Gamecocks took down #1, which came in the form of Kentucky in front of a rabid crowd last night in Columbia and sent some people like Blake Allen into some spiritual soul-searching, allowing Vanderbilt to move from #2 to #1 in the SEC Power Rankings as they remain the lone unbeaten in the SEC.

So without further ado, here we go:

1. Vanderbilt (15-3, 4-0)

The Commodores had to rally back from a first-half deficit to beat Auburn, who gave Kentucky a scare on January 16th, to move to 4-0 and their best start in SEC play in 44 years. This week, the Commodores have two tough games, both on the road, starting Wednesday against archrival Tennessee in Knoxville and Kentucky on Saturday. These two games will test the mettle of this Commodore squad, which has to be one of the most talented squads to play on 25th Avenue South, probably better than the Sweet 16 squads in the last decade. Let’s see if they can hang on to this spot come Feburary 3rd.

2. Kentucky (19-1, 4-1)

I’ve said all along that the Wildcats’ youth were going to be exposed sooner or later after their close calls with Georgia and Auburn. Finally on Tuesday night, John Wall and company showed me just that. A talented team that found a way to beat themselves.

3. Tennessee (15-3, 3-1)

The Vols’ loss to me against Georgia was a wake-up call. I know for sure that it was significant to beat the number #1 team on your floor with six players, however, you use that victory to build on what you can do against Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Florida. I’m sure if the Vols play with the same urgency in tonight’s game with Vanderbilt, there shouldn’t be any problems beating the ‘Dores. But then I digress. Tennessee is still a good team after their setback against Georgia and I believe that if Kentucky plays the way they played against South Carolina Tuesday, they’re capable of handing the Wildcats loss #2.

4. Mississippi State (15-4, 3-1)

Regardless of their loss to an average Alabama team, Mississippi State is the team to beat in the SEC West. This week, the Bulldogs have Arkansas on the road, a team they beat by two at the Hump and also a home matchup with LSU on Saturday. I expect the Bulldogs to win on Thursday against the Razorbacks, however, if history has shown the Bulldogs anything, an off night like they had in their first matchup with Arkansas or their come-from-behind win over Georgia could result in a loss if they don’t play like a team favored to win the SEC West.

5. Florida (14-5, 3-2)

Florida’s Chandler Parsons is the equivalent of what I was two weeks ago, when I hit four game-winning shots in two days, one that caused the Canale Arena lights to go out. Against South Carolina, Parsons had 10 points, including the buzzer-beater to give the Gators a much-needed win in Gainesville. This week, the Gators have Georgia at home followed by Tennessee on Sunday afternoon. I think the Gators-Bulldogs game is going to be a dogfight because of the way the Bulldogs have played against Tennessee and Kentucky, proving that this Georgia squad wasn’t the squad from last season.

6. Ole Miss (15-4, 3-2)

The #18 Rebels, which beat up on a helpless LSU team Saturday, has a matchup with Auburn on Thursday plus a home game against Arkansas. A few bounces of the ball in the Rebels’ favor and this team could be tied for the SEC West lead with Mississippi State. However, although this team is in 2nd in the West, the Rebels are still going to fight to bitter end for the SEC West crown. I have always been impressed with Chris Warren and he played exceptionally well in the second half against the Tigers on Saturday, scoring 14 points to make up for his cold shooting. I think he just needs a string of games in which he is on all cylinders. But with the supporting cast he has, he doesn’t need to do so much.

7. South Carolina (12-8, 3-3)

In 102 seasons of basketball in the Palmetto State, the Gamecocks had never beaten the #1 team in the country until Tuesday night. Devan Downey had 30 points for the Gamecocks, but still the Gamecocks rely too much on him, which is what I think cost them a bid in the NCAA Tournament last year. Downey was 9-for-29 from the field and the only other guy who had double figures was Brandis Raley-Ross, who scored 17 points for the Gamecocks. The third-leading scorer had 9. While this was a big win for the state’s flagship university, it still doesn’t change the fact that the Gamecocks are not going to be contending for nothing more than an NIT bid.

8. Alabama (12-7, 2-3)

The Crimson Tide bounced back from a tough loss against the Vols and defeated Mississippi State on last Saturday. This week the Tide face LSU at home plus a tilt with archrival Auburn on Saturday on the Plains. Alabama has some good players like Mikalli Torrance and JaMychal Green, who helped the Tide beat the Bulldogs on Saturday and the games the Tide have this week are for the most part winnable, however the Plainsmen are going to be up and ready for Saturday against Alabama.

9. Georgia (9-8, 1-3)

What better way to get your first win of the conference schedule against a nationally-ranked team on your home floor? That’s what Georgia did on last Saturday, beating Tennessee. There’s been talk of Mark Fox getting the SEC Coach of the Year, but unless he can pull of a miracle in Athens of huge proportions, the Coach of the Year in the SEC will be between Kevin Stallings, Bruce Pearl, Rick Stansbury, and Calipari.

10. Arkansas (8-11, 1-3)

Like I am with my own family, I have a dislike for going to see my family, unless if it’s during the holidays. Reason why well, I won’t go into that, but I think John Pelphrey must be feeling the same when he goes to Kentucky.

11. Auburn (10-10, 1-4)

Auburn faces their archrival in the last Alabama-Auburn game to be played in Beard-Eaves this weekend. Should be some extra motivation after how they blew that lead against Vanderbilt.

12. LSU (9-10, 0-5)

Somewhere, Caitlyn Donegan is scratching her head at this team.

Posted in: SEC Basketball