With four games in the books the SEC race is looking like it’ll be one that goes down to the wire. The league has caught a bad rap for some truly awful performances in the non-conference but for the most has shown that every team is vulnerable this year. So how do the rankings shake out so far? Here are my picks for the best teams in the conference through four games…
1. Florida 4-0
Florida has been playing like not just one of the best teams in the SEC but one of the best teams in the country. The Gators are on a six game win streak and have yet to be challenged by any team in conference. Look to Florida to continue to climb the rankings over the next 6 games before the Cats come rolling into town. With all the other teams falling off the Gators could be the Cat’s only team to provide a resume building win.
So where should this Kentucky team fall? After four games it’s hard to say. Are they the team that nearly blew things against Vandy? Or are they the team that just trounced Auburn last night? The Cats could be among the 4-0 teams left if not for a monster game from Elston Turner which statistically I say we can just throw out. Until Ole Miss proves that they are better on Jan 29th don’t expect them to leapfrog the Cats.
3. Ole Miss 4-0
Ole Miss has been the surprise of the SEC as they sit with just two losses on the year and are perfect so far in conference. Andy Kennedy’s team features high powered scoring ability in junior guard Marshall Henderson who is leading the league in scoring. His shot making ability has the Rebs ranked fourth in the nation in ppg and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mississippi climb into the top 25 after a couple of big wins this week. Still they needed overtime to beat Vandy and have lost to two bad teams in the non-conference. The jury is still out on Ole Miss being legitimate but they have been impressive so far.
4. Missouri 2-2
So Missouri is 2-2 which may make them look bad based on the eye test but those two losses come from SEC leaders Florida and Ole Miss. The Tigers have looked pretty strong at times this year and pretty bad in their two losses. There is little doubt though that they have performed better than the other eight teams in the conference, they have just played the tougher schedule so far.
Middle of the Pack:
5. Alabama 3-1
With football season over the Crimson Tide fans can now focus on basketball. Oh who am I kidding ‘Bama fans are more worried about signing day in a few weeks than their team off to a strong start in conference. The Cats head to Tuscaloosa to take on the Tide Tuesday. #alliteration
6. Texas A&M 2-2
The Aggies haven’t come close to resembling the team that came into Rupp last weekend and left with a win. Elston Turner apparently met his monthly quota as he has struggled to break into double figures since that day. Only two weeks until The Big Blue has a chance to avenge their only SEC loss this season.
7. Arkansas 2-2
Arkansas holds wins over Vandy and Auburn, not exactly murderers row. The razorbacks probably are wishing they could have landed Archie Gooodwin right about now but that’s why they are Arkansas and we’re Kentucky.
8. Miss St. 2-2
The Bulldogs started off the year as one of the worst teams but surprisingly started out 2-0 in conference. Since then they’ve lost two and I expect that number to grow and they slide back down among the bottom feeders.
At the bottom of the SEC is a muddled mess of some of the worst teams from the BCS leagues. We all saw Auburn’s ability last night but at least they have two wins. The other teams have managed to beat each other or LSU. Poor LSU, Johnny Jones clearly had his work cut out for him down in Baton Rogue.
9. Auburn 2-2
10. Tennessee 1-3
12. Georgia 1-3
13. South Carolina 1-3
14. LSU 0-4
What do you think about the SEC? Would you have ranked it differently? Do I have the Cats too high? Let me know with some comments or on twitter @ACassady_KSR