SEC football rankings heading into Week 11 of the 2016 season. Alabama survived its trip to LSU, but Texas A&M wasn’t so lucky in its road game.
So much for Texas A&M’s No. 4 spot in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. The Aggies lost quarterback Trevor Knight, then fell, 35-28, at Mississippi State for its second defeat of the season. Many were surprised when the CFP rankings were released, but they won’t be Tuesday when Texas A&M slips.
Alabama and LSU played three scoreless quarters before Jalen Hurts took over and scored the game’s only touchdown in the Crimson Tide’s 10-0 victory. As for Leonard Fournette? Well, last year’s game wasn’t a fluke.
Here’s a look at how the SEC teams rank heading into Week 11 of the season, now that the games have been decided.
Week 11 SEC Football Rankings
14. Missouri (Last Week – 14t)
Missouri waved goodbye to its chances to reach a bowl game with Saturday’s loss to South Carolina. It now has lost five straight, a skid that includes a home defeat at the hands of Middle Tennessee. The Tigers’ lone wins have come against Eastern Michigan and Delaware State.
13. Vanderbilt (12)
Vandy certainly gets credit for leading Auburn at halftime and before falling, 23-16, on the road Saturday. But the bottom line is that the Commodores are 1-4 in the SEC and 4-5 overall, with wins over Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky and Tennessee State. All of their conference losses have coming been by eight points or fewer.
12. Mississippi State (14t)
Well, that sure was unexpected. A Mississippi State team that lost to South Alabama to open the season just knocked off the College Football Playoff committee’s No. 4 team. Sure, Trevor Knight suffered an injury, but the Bulldogs didn’t build a 21-point just because of that. Nick Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams combined for 222 rushing yards and three touchdowns in nice efforts, but don’t expect that to happen again next week against Alabama.
11. South Carolina (11)
Suddenly, Will Muschamp’s team is one victory away from becoming bowl-eligible. The Gamecocks have won three straight – including last weeks win over then-No. 18 Tennessee – after beating Missouri, 31-21. Muschamp returns to Florida the opposing head coach for the first time next week, and South Carolina finishes its season against unbeaten Clemson. Its best chance to get that sixth victory will be in between those contests when it hosts Western Carolina.
10. Kentucky (9)
Kentucky missed a prime opportunity to take a one-half game lead over Florida in the SEC East. After the Gators fell earlier in the day, the Wildcats allowed Georgia to kick a 25-yard field goal as time expired that sent them to a 27-24 defeat. The loss also snapped Kentucky’s three-game winning streak and dropped them back to a half-game behind Florida.
9. Georgia (10)
Not much has gone right for Kirby Smart’s team in his first year. The Bulldogs had lost four of their previous five games and need a win badly. They’re hoping the thrilling win over Kentucky will give them some confidence moving forward. Georgia closes out its SEC slate next week when it hosts Auburn.
8. Ole Miss (8)
Ole Miss’ losses were nothing to sneeze at during its skid – Arkansas, LSU and Auburn. It seemingly was getting a layup this week against Georgia Southern, but the Rebels trailed by 11 two separate times before finally pulling out a 37-27 win. It’s tough to say whether blowing big leads against Florida State and Alabama early in the season demoralized Hugh Freeze’s team, but it sure seems that way. It likely won’t get any easier next week against a bitter Texas A&M team.
7. Tennessee (7)
Tennessee needed that. Its 55-0 win over Tennessee Tech isn’t anything to celebrate on paper, but it might help in the confidence department after a controversial week that saw Jalen Hurd elect to transfer. The Vols snapped a three-game skid that included last week’s loss to South Carolina and still very much remain in the SEC East race, especially with their win over Florida to give them a potential tiebreaker advantage.
6. Florida (5)
Remember that struggling Florida offense? Let this sink in: Arkansas outrushed the Gators 225-12, their fewest rushing yards since finishing with minus-19 in a loss to Georgia in 2011. They fell 31-10, with seven points coming on an interception return for a touchdown while the offense produced only a fourth-quarter field goal. Luke Del Rio completed just over 50 percent of his passes while throwing two picks. All of this against a Razorbacks defense that allowed 56 points to Auburn two weeks ago. Yikes. Luckily for Florida, the SEC East is so bad that it still has a chance to reach the conference title game.
5. Arkansas (6)
That bye week sure helped, eh? After getting run over by Auburn – literally – the Razorbacks shut down the Gators and picked up a much-needed victory. Their losses have come against Texas A&M, Alabama and the Tigers, all of which entered this week in the top nine of the initial College Football Playoff rankings. Another test awaits next week against LSU.
4. Texas A&M (2)
Suffering their second loss to arguably the SEC’s worst team after being ranked No. 4 by the College Football Playoff committee was bad enough, but the Aggies now have to worry about the health of their starting quarterback. Trevor Knight left with his arm in a sling against Mississippi State, and his status going forward is uncertain. Texas A&M likely won’t have a shot to reach the Playoff now, but a shot at a major bowl game also could be in jeopardy if Knight has to miss time.
3. LSU (4)
LSU did what it needed to do defensively against Alabama. The problem was that it couldn’t get its offense going. Leonard Fournette struggled against the Tide again, finishing with 35 yards and averaging 2.1 per carry. The tough defeat marks Ed Orgeron’s first since taking over for Les Miles, but the Tigers can’t afford to hang their heads. They travel to Arkansas next week.
2. Auburn (3)
Sean White didn’t start against Vanderbilt because of a shoulder injury, but he then pleaded with coach Gus Malzahn to play and finished 10 of 13 with a touchdown pass. He didn’t need to do much more with Kamryn Pettway continuing his strong play. Pettway ran for 173 yards, giving him at least 123 in six of the seven games he’s played for 7-2 Auburn. The Tigers are one of the hottest teams in the country and are setting the stage for a very meaningful Iron Bowl on Nov. 26.
1. Alabama (1)
Nick Saban was visibly upset at multiple points during Saturday’s win over LSU. Jalen Hurts helped him get past it, though, with 114 yards and a touchdown rushing. That was the Tide’s toughest test of the season, and they came away with a victory to keep themselves atop the SEC and College Football Playoff rankings.