SEC power rankings: LSU and Georgia set to decide conference supremacy

Last week we said 'Bama is back. 

We were wrong. 

Alabama is not back. Well, 'Bama is back to losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl. And the Crimson Tide will miss the College Football Playoff for the first time since it started in 2014. 

The SEC is fine, though. The conference could still get two teams into the playoff if Georgia upsets LSU in the title game this weekend. Either way, the league will be well represented. It's a testament to the way the teams at the top battled each other all year. 

1. LSU (12-0, 8-0 SEC)

Last week: No. 1.

LSU has all but locked up a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Tigers are playing for an SEC title and potentially the top spot overall. There's a really good chance they get both. 

Up next: Saturday vs. Georgia, 4 p.m. ET, CBS.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron celebrates with his players after defeating Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium. (Photo: Stephen Lew, USA TODAY Sports)

2. Georgia (11-1, 7-1 SEC)

Last week: No. 3.

On paper, there's no way Georgia keeps up with LSU in Atlanta this weekend. But the game isn't played on paper. The Bulldogs have a chance to pull the upset and solidify their spot in the semifinals. 

Up next: Saturday vs. LSU, 4 p.m., CBS. 

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3. Alabama (10-2, 6-2 SEC)

Last week: No. 2.

If not for a couple pick sixes thrown by Mac Jones and a controversial Auburn field goal just before halftime, Alabama would be riding high after a big road win in a rivalry game. Instead, the Crimson Tide has two regular season losses for the first time since 2010. It'll be OK, Bama fans. 

Up next: Bowl game.

4. Florida (10-2, 6-2 SEC)

Last week: No. 4.

Back-to-back 10-win seasons for Dan Mullen. Florida is looking for its first 11-win season since 2012. Will Muschamp was the head coach back then. Feels like forever ago. 

Up next: Bowl game. 

5. Auburn (9-3, 5-3 SEC)

Last week: No. 5.

Gus Malzahn has gotten the best of Nick Saban in two of the last three years. That'll satisfy the folks in Auburn for a while. It should, at least. 

Up next: Bowl game. 

6. Tennessee (7-5, 5-3 SEC)

Last week: No. 7.

Starting 1-4 means no shot of a successful season, right? Wrong. The Volunteers came back from the dead to finish 7-5. They also secured a winning record in conference play for just the second time since the end of the Phillip Fulmer era. 

Up next: Bowl game 

7. Kentucky (7-5, 3-5 SEC)

Last week: No. 8.

If Jeremy Pruitt doesn't win SEC coach of the year, maybe Mark Stoops should for resurrecting Kentucky's season with a wide receiver playing quarterback. What a run for Lynn Bowden.  

Up next: Bowl game. 

8. Texas A&M (7-5, 4-4 SEC)

Last week: No. 6.

The Aggies weren't even competitive against LSU. Texas A&M didn't break through with a big upset this year despite many chances to do so. When will the $75 million man Jimbo Fisher be held accountable for not doing enough in College Station? 

Up next: Bowl game. 

9. Mississippi State (6-6, 3-5 SEC)

Last week: No. 10.

Joe Moorhead saved his job with Ole Miss' missed extra point with four seconds remaining in the Egg Bowl. The Bulldogs hung on by one point, and Moorhead subsequently held onto his job. He still has to be pressed to make sure Missouri's offense operates much better than it has in the first two years of his tenure. 

Up next: Bowl game. 

10. Mississippi (4-8, 2-6 SEC)

Last week: No. 9.

Matt Luke, meanwhile, did not save his job. Ole Miss let go of him Sunday evening. In the last few months, the Rebels have had to replace a chancellor, an athletic director and a head football coach. Talk about turbulence. 

Up next: Hire a coach.  

11. Missouri (6-6, 3-5 SEC)

Last week: No. 12.

Ah, another head coach who didn't survive the season. So long, Barry Odom. Rocky road ahead for Missouri. 

Up next: Hire a coach. 

12. South Carolina (4-8, 3-5 SEC)

Last week: No. 11.

Will Muschamp is still around because South Carolina had a really tough schedule. But you are what your record says you are, and South Carolina's record sure isn't good. 

Up next: End of season. 

13. Vanderbilt (3-9, 1-7 SEC)

Last week: No. 13.

Speaking of records that aren't any good; 3-9 is worse than 4-8 and 1-7 is worse than 3-5. Vanderbilt truly had an abysmal year. Derek Mason has to be running out of time. 

Up next: End of season. 

14. Arkansas (2-10, 0-8 SEC)

Last week: No. 14.

Back-to-back winless seasons in conference play. Oof. What else can you say? 

Up next: Hire a coach. 

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