SEC Football Power Rankings After Week 5

The SEC may have taken a little step back as a whole, but there are still so many teams capable of making a run at the College Football Playoff. The conference has been bashed the first couple weeks of this season because of some of the top teams losing some early games. The SEC still has three undefeated teams, Georgia, Kentucky, and Missouri, and many other one-loss teams.

The SEC race is wide open and literally any team can still find a way to make it to Atlanta. There are so many games in the next couple of weeks that will determine the outlook of the race. Since we are five weeks into the college football season, I think it is time we take a look at how I think these SEC teams rank among each other. 

SEC Football Power Rankings After Week 5

14. Vanderbilt 2-4 (0-2)

AP Ranking: NR
Best Win: Hawaii 35-28
Next Week: @ Florida

Vanderbilt had high expectations after their 5-7 season a year ago, but this season has not started the way they had hoped. The Commodores have not looked great this season and lost a couple of tricky games so far, but they have the athletes to compete. I can tell a difference in this year’s Vanderbilt team from the teams in the past just by the amount of depth and talent. It does not look like Vanderbilt will be fighting for a bowl game like last year, but I could be wrong if they could upset some teams like they did a year ago. We will see if the Commodores can end their four-game skid and beat Florida in back-to-back years.

13. Mississippi State 2-3 (0-3)

AP Ranking: NR
Best Win: Arizona 31-24 (OT)
Next Week: vs Western Michigan

Mississippi State has been borderline awful so far this season. Outside of the concerning lack of effort for the Bulldogs, the most shocking thing has been the play of Will Rogers. I had so much faith in Rogers and his veteran presence would be huge for this team, but so far I have been very wrong. I do not have an answer for what Mississippi State needs to do to turn things around, but the Bulldogs have a chance to fix some things this Saturday against Western Michigan.

12. Arkansas 2-3 (0-2)

AP Ranking: NR
Best Win: Kent State 28-6
Next Week: @ #16 Ole Miss

Arkansas is probably the most disappointing team in the SEC so far. The Razorbacks are in the middle of what I think is the toughest scratch of games any team will have to play all season. They have been so close to winning, but let the game slip at the end. The season is not over for Arkansas, but if you want to save your season you have to win this weekend in Oxford. Arkansas is at a crossroads of their season, you can either run off the tracks and derail your season, or get a huge win that turns your season around.

11. South Carolina 2-3 (1-2)

AP Ranking: NR
Best Win: Mississippi State 37-30
Next Week: BYE

The Gamecocks have played an absolute gauntlet of a schedule so far, which is one of the toughest in the country. South Carolina has tons of talent offensively starting with Spencer Rattler. The Gamecocks’ lack of depth defensively has been the biggest problem so far this season. This South Carolina team is a lot better than their record and I expect them to upset some teams down the stretch.

10. Auburn 3-2 (0-2)

AP Ranking: NR
Best Win: @ Cal 14-10
Next Week: BYE

Auburn looked lifeless a couple of weeks ago, but last week they battled the No. 1 team in the country as they nearly pulled off the upset over Georgia. Hugh Freeze is getting everything out of his players, but the lack of talent and depth will hurt the Tigers all season. It will be interesting to see how the Tigers fare the rest of the season after last week’s impressive performance.

9. Florida 3-2 (1-1)     

AP Ranking: NR
Best Win: #11 Tennessee 29-16
Next Week: vs Vanderbilt

The Gators are not off to the start they wanted, but it could have been worse. Florida has been dominated twice on the road already, but they also beat No. 11 Tennessee in a very impressive showing. I can not figure this team out yet, maybe that Tennessee win was a fluke, or the Gators have just had a tough schedule. Either way, Florida has to respond well this weekend at home against Vanderbilt and try to turn their season around.

8. LSU 3-2 (1-1)     

AP Ranking: #23
Best Win: Arkansas 34-31

Next Week: @ #21 Missouri

LSU has been very disappointing to start this season, to say the least. The Tigers had college football playoff aspirations and they already have two losses in the month of September. LSU has an elite offense, but they have some serious problems on the defensive side of the ball. The Tigers lost a heartbreaker last week on the road at Ole Miss, but they’re not dead in the SEC West race. All of LSU’s goals of winning the SEC are still in play, starting with a huge test this week on the road at undefeated Missouri.

7. Tennessee 4-1 (1-1)     

AP Ranking: #22
Best Win: South Carolina 41-20

Next Week: BYE

The Vols have had their ups and downs to start this season, but maybe they got things turned around. This Tennessee offense is not what it was a year ago, however, this year’s offense is still putting up plenty of points and it is led by their ground game. Their defense has been phenomenal so far this season, outside of one quarter in the Swamp, and when the Vols’ defense is playing well and the offense is clicking, they can beat anybody in the country. With that being said, the loss at Florida is just head-scratching to think about and it will continue to hurt the Vols down the road.

6. Ole Miss 4-1 (1-1)   

AP Ranking: #16
Best Win: #13 LSU 55-49

Next Week: vs Arkansas

The Rebels have all the pieces to win the SEC West and they showed that Saturday night against No. 13 LSU. After laying an egg offensively against Alabama, Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin’s offense was unstoppable last week. The Rebels offense has looked great all season, and if they can get things figured out on the defensive side of the ball, watch out for the Rebs.

5. Kentucky 5-0 (2-0)     

AP Ranking: #20
Best Win: #22 Florida 33-14
Next Week: @ #1 Georgia

Kentucky always seems to fly under the radar at the beginning of the season, yet they continue to have fast starts to the season. The Wildcats have quietly been really solid this season, and after last weekend everyone is paying attention to the Cats. They have played a very weak schedule up to this point, however, what the Wildcats did to Florida on Saturday made everybody look at them differently. Kentucky played their way into one of the biggest games in their program’s history on Saturday night when they travel to No. 1 Georgia. 

4. Missouri 5-0 (1-0)     

AP Ranking: #21
Best Win: #15 Kansas State 30-27

Next Week: vs #23 LSU

Missouri is the most surprising team in the SEC so far in my opinion. The Tigers are undefeated and have looked the part of a top-tier team in the SEC, however, they have not played a very tough schedule. After five weeks, I still have a lot of questions about the Tigers even though they are still undefeated. With that being said, we will know a lot more about Missouri after this week as the Tigers of LSU travel to Missouri this Saturday. If Missouri wins Saturday everybody needs to take them seriously as SEC title contenders. 

3. Alabama 4-1 (2-0)   

AP Ranking: #11
Best Win: #15 Ole Miss 24-10
Next Week: @ Texas A&M

Alabama has had a very rocky road to start this season. The Crimson Tide have had serious quarterback problems, however, I think that they have figured that out and they are back to playing Alabama football. The defense has still been solid all season and the quarterback play has been getting progressively better. The Crimson Tide and still the frontrunner in the SEC West race and controls their own destiny in the College Football Playoff race. Alabama has a very tough schedule this season and Saturday will be a huge test yet again.

2. Texas A&M 4-1 (2-0)     

AP Ranking: NR
Best Win: Arkansas 34-22

Next Week: vs #11 Alabama

The Aggies are a very confusing team and I can not figure them out. Texas A&M, outside of the loss at Miami, have played to how they are capable of playing. The Aggies roster is loaded all across the board, the problem was getting the players to play how they are capable of playing and they have done that so far this season. Texas A&M has been dominant ever since that loss at Miami, and at this point of the season, they might have the best defense in the SEC. Losing Conner Weigman was a huge loss at quarterback, however, Max Johnson has stepped into that role and filled that void perfectly. The Aggies look like a completely different team and we will find out how good they are on Saturday when No. 11 Alabama comes to town.

1. Georgia 5-0 (2-0)     

AP Ranking: #1
Best Win: @ Auburn 27-20
Next Week: #20 Kentucky

Georgia is the two-time defending National Champions, but so far in 2023, the Bulldogs have been shaky, to say the least. Georgia survived a scare on the road at Auburn on Saturday, which was a huge win for this team in a hostile environment. The Bulldogs have been challenged in both SEC games this season, and so far they have not looked like the Georgia we have seen the last couple of seasons. The Bulldogs have a huge game this weekend as No. 20 Kentucky heads to Athens to battle for the upper hand in the SEC East race. The Bulldogs have definitely looked beatable and the Wildcats are looking to knock off the top-ranked dogs. 

Week 6 Schedule:

#20 Kentucky @ #1 Georgia, 7:00 ET ESPN
#23 LSU @ #21 Missouri, 12:00 ET ESPN
#11 Alabama @ Texas A&M, 3:30 ET CBS
Arkansas @ #16 Ole Miss, 7:30 ET SECN
Vanderbilt @ Florida, 4:00 ET SECN
Western Michigan @ Mississippi State, 12:00 SECN

Main Image:  Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

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