Right, for the first time in this blog’s history, we’re doing a SEC bowl performance power rankings from top to bottom.

It’s inspired by the performances by UCF or UCLA (“Who did you think did really well in the bowls?”) as well as Michigan or Miami (“Who did you think really didn’t do that well in the bowls”).

WARNING: Some of the teams may come in two parts.

1)  Auburn: OK, so we know that Cinderella didn’t get her glass slipper. But by God did she have a go at getting it! The Tigers ran out to a huge lead, lost it, grabbed a lead with a minute left….and lost it to the Drive Of The Season. Tre Mason showed why he was in New York for a Heisman Trophy, while Auburn’s secondary – who we thought would be slaughtered all day and all night, played out of their skin. Well done (and bad luck), Gus Malzahn….well done and bad luck.

2) South Carolina: One point underdogs against a power running game and down 17-13 early in the third quarter, Connor Shaw turns on the jets and the Gamecocks run out 10-point winners. Steve Spurrier announces that the Gamecocks are Bowl National Champions. We think he’s still furious that he once again didn’t see the ‘Cocks go to Atlanta, despite once again beating the SEC East representative (This seems to happen every year).

3) Missouri: A 41-31 Cotton Bowl victory looked more comfortable than it actually was in an IMMENSE game in Dallas, with Shane Ray picking up Michael Sam’s sack with OSU driving to the Mizzou 26-yard line, and taking the ball back 74 yards to celebration. But this was a great game with both offense and defense sticking together in a performance to be proud of.

4) Mississippi State: You probably think we’re still drunk from Monday having Clanga Clanga this high, but listen to us. Vegas only had MSU as seven-point favourites. Rice looked OK in giving Texas A&M everything it could handle. But the Owls were overpowered by Mississippi State, who put up 44 points, 533 yards, and Dak Prescott put in an incredible performance. The Bulldogs’ defense was immense too…. only 145 yards and 7 points all night. And yes, we KNOW that people will say: “It was only Rice”, but here’s our answer: “We could see Mississippi State screw a game like this up. And if you couldn’t, then you’re lying.”

5) Ole Miss: Ole Miss never trailed in its game with Georgia Tech (winning 25-17 eventually), and came up with a key game-ending safety with four minutes to go with the Tech in with the chance of tying the game up after a missed field goal. Great work. This team will be good next year, too. 

6) Vanderbilt: Took a comfortable lead, then choked it, then hit the accelerator and won out comfortably 41-24 for everyone to say: “What was the fuss all about?” But it wasn’t comfortable all the way through. But hasn’t that been Vandy all over for the last few years?

7) Texas A&M: With A&M down 38-17 and pretty much out, Johnny Football rallied the troops and got them within three with five minutes left. Then game the game-winning interception, but if anyone starts praising A&M’s defense, they should probably ask: “How did the game end 52-48 if the D played so well?” And we’d say: We agree. Don’t get us wrong, it was a great game, but 52-48 in the general scheme of things over Duke isn’t too much to be proud of (FIRE MARK SNYDER, PLEASE KEVIN SUMLIN!).  Still, A&M went 2-0 in bowl games with Johnny as quarterback. That’s football, Johnny.

8) LSU: The big question: Did LSU care going into this game? They certainly knew how to win AND sleepwalk all the way through this one. They won. Yay. Tigers running back Jeremy Hill was the only one out of the offense who really came out with any credit, putting up a gigantic 216 yards and 2 TDs on a pretty proud Iowa defence.

9) Georgia: We know Georgia had the injuries – especially to quarterback Aaron Murray – but Georgia was dreadful all game. It encapsulated their season. There were drops, there was bad defensive play (FIRE TODD GRANTHAM, PLEASE MARK RICHT!), and bad special teams (HIRE A SPECIAL TEAMS COACH, MARK RICHT!) and bad quarterbacking. And they couldn’t finish a drive. And although Todd Gurley did his best (87 yards rushing, 97 receiving, 1 TD), this was disappointing.

10) Alabama: Alabama’s weaknesses wasn’t only the fact that their cornerbacks were exposed all night long, or that Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight looked like the second coming of Sam Bradford, or their offensive line who was exposed almost all day long, or the poor quarterbacking efforts of AJ McCarron, it was actually that you got a sense that Alabama didn’t seem to care. It was in the team’s body language. They just didn’t seem motivated. Sorry. Nick Saban did everything to motivate his team, but it didn’t seem to work. And Saban, in not giving the ball to his Man-Giant running back Derrick Henry every play when The Kid With The Incredible Receding Hairline was doing a great job, failed too. A poor performance, and the Crimson Tide deserved to lose 45-31.

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