And so, it’s set up. After a glorious bat-crap crazy Saturday in which Auburn beat Alabama to a place at a National Championship Game with a 106-yard field goal return for a TD, Missouri earned its spot in Atlanta by beating Texas A&M in Columbia by 7 in a tough, tough game, Georgia came back from 20 to beat Georgia Tech in two overtimes (we see you, Todd Gurley), Mississippi State won the Egg Bowl because Bo Wallace slipped over and fumbled on route to the end zone, LSU beat Arkansas with a fling with 40 seconds left with their replacement quarterback, Aaron Jennings (who we hadn’t heard of until now), and South Carolina won the Palmetto War against Clemson (Clemson Clemson’d their way to SIX turnovers) and Vanderbilt just got by Wake Forest (we see you, Jordan Matthews), we can say this: SEC, it’s been a hell of a run this year.

(And yes, we did notice that Florida was eviscerated by Florida State at home and Tennessee got by Kentucky because of UK’s lack of offense).

So here’s our SEC Power Rankings after the, sniff, sniff, regular season of the SEC.

1. AUBURN: It’s doesn’t matter that they won the game in the craziest Iron Bowl you and I will ever see, or the fact that Alabama missed three field goals, or the fact that Nick Marshall missed two easy TD throws, because you know what? THEY WON THE IRON BOWL. They are the best out West, yo. Auburn will really, really regret the loss at LSU now, particularly bearing in mind LSU’s struggles this week with Arkansas. and loss to Ole Miss.

2. ALABAMA: Losing in the heartbreaking-circumstances-that-should-never-have-happened-if-Cade-Foster-had-hit-three-field-goals is no disgrace, Alabama. You’re still one of the best teams in the country in my book.

3. MISSOURI: Great defensive job on Johnny Manziel, limiting Mr Football’s options and throws. Giving up 21 is pretty good. We also liked SOME of James Franklin’s throws to L’Damian Washington and Dorial Green-Beckham. We will say this: Franklin missed some pretty open shots, too. But the defense? Oh my gosh. When you give Johnny Manziel only 21 rushing yards, you’ve done something good.

4. SOUTH CAROLINA: Ruined Clemson’s day by causing the Tigers to cough up not one, not two, but SIX turnovers. They caused three fumbles and three interceptions. That’s pretty good work. Scored two TDs in the fourth quarter to ensure fifth straight win over Clemson. Spurrier can go back to trolling Dabo, the SEC (they beat Missouri this year and STILL aren’t going to the SEC East title game), and college football now….as well as rootin’ for Duke.

5. LSU: Excellent performance against Texas A&M ruined by a poor performance at home to Arkansas, where they couldn’t get anything really right. Anthony Jennings’ prayer to Travin Duval with 1.15 left was more an Arkansas safety gone on Thanksgiving Vacation than great positioning. The ‘Vaunted Tiger Defense’ was about as Vaunted as the Atlanta Falcons D is in the NFL. Sure, they’ll be pretty good with Jeremy Hill coming back, but without Jarvis Landry (who made some circus catches), Odell Beckham (who got injured early), and Zach Mettenberger (who got injured late), this might not be a good BOWL team, people. Oh, and Anthony ‘The Freak’ Johnson? We prefer Anthony ‘Let-Down’ Johnson. Stay in school for another year, son.

6. TEXAS A&M: The slide of Texas A&M continued when their offense was stymied to ‘just’ 21 points and 379 yards. Johnny Manziel was good if not great, and his usual great receivers were completely suffocated. The defense’s better play this week was more because of the inane talent of Missouri QB James Franklin to miss wide-open receivers than anything else. Sorry, Mark Snyder, you have to go.

7. GEORGIA: Went 20 points down against Georgia Tech, and we thought: “Go, Georgia fans. Go to The Cheetah and at least watch the rest of the game while having a bit of fun”, but then they came back. They came back great. They tied it up at 27 with 4 to go in the 4th quarter, and Todd Gurley took over the overtime bit. And then the defense picked up. Maybe that’s why Mark Richt decided not to fire Todd Grantham, because of the way the team’s defense performed in the second half of the Georgia Tech game. We really hope this wasn’t a snap decision. For your sake, Mark. Oh, and it would have been interesting to see what Georgia was like IF THEY HAD STAYED HEALTHY ALL YEAR LONG.

8. MISSISSIPPI STATE: They jumped up to (nearly) tie with Ole Miss because despite the fact they were obviously less talented than the Rebels, their defense played out of their mind and it was Dak Prescott at the end (his legs, anyway), that took the Egg Bowl to Starkville. You own this state (for now), Bulldogs!

9. OLE MISS: Lost laughably to Mississippi State. The bit where we laughed was Bo Wallace tripping over THE GHOST OF ARCHIE MANNING and fumbling the ball in the end-zone while on route to the game-tying overtime touchdown. The funny news? Wallace’s fumble in the scheme of the nuttiness we saw in college football all weekend long seemed actually quite sane. This team’s going to be good in 2014 or 2015, yo.

10. VANDERBILT: Jordan Matthews is one of the best receivers the SEC has ever seen. There is no doubt about that. However, we DO doubt about struggling with Wake Forest. At home.

11. FLORIDA: Fired OC Brent Pease today after the Gators joke of an offense was throttled by the Seminoles on Saturday afternoon. The offense had been horrible all season long, too. Pease was deservedly fired. Would have been interesting to see what Florida was like IF THEY HAD STAYED HEALTHY ALL YEAR LONG (a few injuries we get, but what happened to the Gators was beyond a joke, God).

12. TENNESSEE: Beat Kentucky to confirm that…..er…..they can beat Kentucky. Still, the Vols are (still) riding high on their upset of South Carolina and (near) upset of Georgia. Butch Jones has some green shoots.

13. ARKANSAS: Bret Bielema looked wiped out after the loss to LSU. And it’s not surprising. Arkansas, for almost the first time in the SEC since their first half of their loss to Florida, out-played and out-passioned a lifeless LSU in Tiger Stadium on Friday, but then their safety went to sleep, and the Razorbacks lost. You could say: “Well, that summed up a season”, but the offense was actually better than it had been all season.

14. KENTUCKY: We feel sorry for the Kentucky fan who hates basketball. There is one, right?

 

 

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