I'll be posting SEC Basketball Power Rankings once a week from here on out. I'll try to make it every Tuesday. Please don't yell if you disagree. You can always read my blog at DorePosts.com.
1. Kentucky (13-0)
Since my last set of rankings, the Wildcats have chalked up three more victories. Their win against Long Beach State was a little too close for comfort. However, the 49ers had played a ridiculously tough schedule, so they were used to superior competition. Both John Wall and Patrick Patterson are averaging over 17 points a game to lead the way.
The kids from Lexington should chalk up an easy win tonight against Hartford, and then a challenge against in-state rival Louisville this weekend.
2. Mississippi (10-2)
I moved Mississippi up to second because of the quality of their loss. Tennessee and Florida both suffered defeats to teams they should have beaten. Ole Miss had a chance to make a statement on a national stage. They couldn't take advantage and lost to No. 6 West Virginia 76-66.
The Rebels only trailed by three at the half, but couldn't stay within six points for most of the second. Mississippi should be 12-2 when they open up conference play next week.
3. Tennessee (9-2)
One thing I really love about sports is when you see a score update and it makes no sense at all. For example, seeing that BYU completely destroyed Oregon State in what should have been a close Las Vegas Bowl. I felt the same thing when I saw that Tennessee was trailing USC by 20 in the second half.
I knew that USC was getting Mike Gerrity on the floor for the first time this season, but who would have thought he could have that much of an impact. UT will play Memphis on New Year's Eve, in what should be a very fun matchup.
4. Mississippi State (11-2)
The Bulldogs' loss against Richmond looks a lot better now. The Spiders took down Florida to officially become the SEC Killers. Since the last rankings, they took down Houston, Centenary, and Mississippi Valley State. They would be higher in the rankings, but they haven't beaten anybody of note.
The Bulldogs get their chance this week. They have a road game against San Diego, who has beaten Stanford and Oklahoma. Then is off to Western Kentucky, who took down Vanderbilt a few weeks ago.
5. Florida (9-3)
I had mentioned last week that Florida would be facing two solid teams in Richmond and South Florida. I would never have thought this Gator team would lose to both. The team rebounded with a 16-point win over American University.
This week they will face Presbyterian and an 8-3 North Carolina State squad that isn't as good as their record indicates. Both games will be overshadowed by the Urban Meyer fiasco and upcoming Sugar Bowl appearance for their football team.
6. Vanderbilt (8-3)
The Commodores have played well in their last two games, easily beating Tennessee State (84-71) and Mercer (99-59). They should handle Manhattan tomorrow night, then face Southern Miss on Saturday. The Golden Eagles have two really good results: losing by two at Ole Miss, and knocking off South Alabama on the road.
The contest will be a good measuring stick for Vandy.
7. Alabama (8-4)
After a near defeat of No. 4 Purdue, the Crimson Tide followed that up with a loss to No. 12 Kansas State and a victory over Mercer. They are led by Mikhail Torrance and JaMychal Green, who are both nearing 16 points a game. Bama has two very winnable games this week against Tennessee State and Toledo.
Both will be ignored as the excitement continues to build for the BCS Championship Game against Texas.
8. Georgia (6-4)
I gave the Bulldogs a big bump in the rankings. How can the same team that lost to Wofford at home, beat Illinois a few weeks later? The Fighting Illini looked very impressive in their win against Vanderbilt. Georgia followed that up with a win against over matched Florida Atlantic.
They will try to build on their recent success, with games against Pepperdine and Missouri this week. To be blunt, I would be shocked if they won either contest. Let's see how good this team is.
9. LSU (8-3)
Basically the same as before. Decent wins against Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Indiana State. Three losses against really good teams: Connecticut, Arizona State, and most recently Washington State. The Tigers have a nice road test tonight against Xavier.
10. Arkansas (7-5)
I had Arkansas dead last in the previous rankings. The Razorbacks have recovered from a horrible start, winning their last five.They host Baylor and UAB this week, then have a chance to shock the world against Texas on Jan. 5. I guess the rule of thumb is that when Rotnei Clarke is on the floor, they have a shot against anybody.
11. South Carolina (8-3)
As soon as the Gamecocks gave Darrin Horn a new contract, they went out and lost to Wofford. Good thing he had that signed before. Even though Wofford played Pitt and Michigan State close, its a very bad loss for South Carolina's tournament resume. They can try to make up for it this week with games against Boston College and Baylor.
12a + 12b. Richmond and Wofford
This is of course a joke, but these two teams have embarrassed a couple decent SEC squads. Richmond has taken down Mississippi State and Florida. Wofford has beaten South Carolina and Georgia. Both teams deserve credit for what they have accomplished. I really do believe that both teams could easily beat...
13. Auburn (6-6)
I know that Sam Houston State shot the lights out, but anytime you lose by nearly 20 on your home court to a team from the Southland Conference, things are not going well.