The SEC made history in Week 8's AP Poll, becoming the first league ever to rank eight teams among America's Top 25.
Per Associated Press writer Ralph Russo:
SEC becomes first league to have 8 teams ranked in a regular season poll: http://t.co/I1pWakoXIL— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) October 13, 2013
The ranked teams are:
- (1) Alabama
- (6) LSU
- (7) Texas A&M
- (11) South Carolina
- (14) Missouri
- (15) Georgia
- (22) Florida
- (24) Auburn
Auburn was the surprise inclusion that helped break the record, moving up to No. 24 on Sunday for the first time all season. The Tigers are 5-1 with two SEC wins, and their only loss came against No. 6 LSU.
Two of the other inclusions—Florida and Georgia—are also coming off losses in Week 7, but they stay in the rankings because of competition. The Gators and Bulldogs have lost four combined games this year, but those losses came against the Nos. 3, 6, 10 and 14 teams in the current poll.
Some have argued that the SEC—which has famously produced the last seven BCS national champions—is having a "down" year, pointing to the fact that it had six top-12 teams in the preseason AP poll and now only has four.
But that "struggle" is just a sign of its parity. The SEC teams that have dropped below No. 12, like Florida and Georgia, have only lost to teams that are also ranked highly in the poll.
When you play in the SEC, it's impossible to avoid that type of competition. Missouri, for example, gets no rest after beating Georgia. This coming Saturday, Florida comes to town.
"After tonight, this game goes to history," said Tigers defense end Shane Ray after the win, per GeorgiaDogs.com. "Tomorrow we are going to come in and start preparing. Florida is a good football team so we are going to get ready for those guys."
The Pac-12 might be "deeper" this year—whatever that means—and it doesn't feature occasional walkovers like Kentucky, which has led contrarians to argue that it's America's top conference.
People who live outside the Southeast want the SEC's reign to be over.
Good luck with that.
Note: Auburn was unranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll.