I'll be posting SEC Basketball Power Rankings once a week from now on. I'll try to make it every Tuesday. Please don't yell if you disagree. I'll be sending updates on my Twitter page. Click here to follow.
1. Kentucky (15-0)
I'm not sure what I'm more impressed by: Kentucky rolling off 15 straight with a decent performance over in-state rival Louisville, or this video of John Wall jumping two rows of cheerleaders against Hartford. The Wildcats begin SEC play this Saturday with a home game against Georgia.
2. Mississippi (11-2)
The Rebels took care of an overmatched Jacksonville State team 90-75. Ole Miss looks really dangerous on paper, with five players averaging in double figures. The team is lead by the guard combo of Chris Warren and Terrico White. If both players are on, this is a very difficult team to beat. Mississippi plays Central Florida tonight, then opens league play against Mississippi State on Saturday.
3. Florida (11-3)
The Miracle at North Carolina State . That's what this week was about for Florida. The Gators have a rough stretch in front of them. They travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt this week, then have a quick turnaround to host Kentucky. Billy Donovan's squad has lost to some teams that it shouldn't have. We'll be able to tell a lot by how they play against the Commodores.
4. Vanderbilt (11-3)
The switch turned on for the 'Dores after the loss to Western Kentucky. Since losing to the Hilltoppers, Vandy has rolled off five consecutive victories of 13, 40, 38, 36, and 20. Sure it was against inferior competition, but the team showed improved in the areas in needed to: defense and limiting turnovers. The showdown against Florida could be a key to their entire season.
5. Tennessee (10-2)
No, UT didn't lose this week. But everybody knows why I dropped them in the rankings. Bruce Pearl suspended four big contributors after they were arrested on gun/drug charges . That incident cost the Vols 40 ppg. Who is going to step up and take over that scoring load?
I think both Florida and Vanderbilt would easily handle the current UT team. In reality, a lot of SEC schools could handle the Vols right now. Tennessee has a warm up contest against Charlotte tomorrow night. Then the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks come to town. This whole situation will tell us a lot about Pearl and how the UT athletic department.
6. Mississippi State (12-3)
The Bulldogs' nine-game win streak came to an end last time by the hands of Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers have now beaten two SEC schools (Vanderbilt). For Mississippi State, the road loss isn't the worse thing in the world. Earlier this week, the took care of a solid San Diego team. It is important for the Bulldogs to rebound against Ole Miss this weekend.
7. Alabama (10-4)
Two mediocre wins for the Crimson Tide this past week: Tennessee State and Toledo. It's hard to get a good vibe on the team. They play top teams really well (Purdue and Kansas State), but haven't been able to get over the hump. Although the win against 11-1 Baylor is looking better and better. The Bears took down both South Carolina and Arkansas last week.
8. Auburn (8-6) The final five teams in this poll will likely flip-flop every week. It seems like each team can't get on any sort of roll. That's why I'm giving the Tigers the 8th spot. They have three-straight wins against poor teams. At least they're winning.
9. Georgia (7-5)
My bad. Pepperdine was really bad. I thought it would be a good test for Georgia last week . Whoops. So in their only real test last week, the Bulldogs got hammered by Missouri 89-61. How in the world did this team beat Illinois?
10. LSU (9-5)
Bad road performance against Xavier, falling 89-65. The Tigers followed that up with a home loss to Utah. The Utes rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to win. LSU can't beat a good team. The WKU win looks better, but that's about it.
11. Arkansas (7-7)
Two losses last week. The Razorbacks are rewarded with a date with No. 2 Texas tonight. Their loss against 12-2 UAB was a heart breaker. The Baylor loss was horrible. Arkansas only trailed by three at halftime, but were outscored 36-16 in the second half. Bad times.
12. South Carolina (8-5)
Losses to Boston College and Baylor this past week. They have a chance to go 2-0 in league play, opening up with Auburn and LSU. Getting off to a fast start like that is the team's only chance to get a whiff of postseason play.