Arkansas Razorbacks

2016 SEC Rankings


By: Kipp Branch news services

Now that college football season is over and we must wait another 9 months for the joy of fall to arrive back in God’s Country also known as the SEC. Here are my final 2016 SEC power rankings.

14. Missouri: The Tigers finished the season with the worst overall record in the SEC, but closed with a big win over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Mizzou will always be decent on defense, but must find a way to score points in 2017.

13. Ole Miss: Yes, the soon to be NCAA poster child for sanctions finished at 5-7 with all of that talent. The Bears/Rebels will bounce back hopefully in next 5 years after sanctions beat them to a pulp.

12. South Carolina: The Gamecocks will get better under Muschamp. The Ole Ball Coach left a mess behind for will to clean up. A loss to a directional Florida school during the bowl season lands South Carolina here.

11. Mississippi State: Tough year in Stark Vegas, but a bowl win and winning the Egg Bowl helped the Bulldogs stay out of the number 13 spot in these rankings.

10. Vanderbilt: Wins over UGA and Tennessee and a trip to Shreveport made the season one to remember in Nashville. I like Derek Mason and think he will continue to do a fine job in the Music City.

9. Arkansas: How do you blow a 24-point lead at the half in a bowl game? Well the Piggies did, and this team is hard to figure so they land here.

8. Kentucky: The season was a success for the Wildcats. The Cats made a bowl. Now just go do your job its basketball season.

7. Texas A&M: Start fast and finish slow is the Aggie blueprint. Top 5 in October and unranked in the final polls. Kevin Sumlin’s seat is red hot going into 2017.

6. Auburn: You finish the season with a loss to UGA, Alabama, and Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl a place you had no business being at. Florida should have received the Sugar Bowl bid.

5. Georgia: A nice win over TCU in the Liberty Bowl. But 8-5 with home losses to UT, Vandy, and GT just will not cut it moving forward Kirby. Help is on the way with this monster recruiting class. This is a team on the rise.

4. Tennessee: Who did less with more than the Vols in 2016? The jury is out on Butch Jones. 2017 will be a make or break year for Butch.

3. LSU: Coach O turned it around down the stretch and the Tigers looked great in their bowl game in Orlando. A team to watch in 2017. I like the Coach O hire.

2. Florida: Back to back East titles and a nice win in Tampa during Bowl season. I think the Gators drop back a little next year.

1. Alabama: The gold standard of the SEC. The Tide just keeps on winning. The title game loss to Clemson which I predicted in the preseason by the way does not tarnish a great season. Alabama is not going anywhere soon. The rest of the Sec must catch up.

The SEC was down in football in 2016. It was Alabama and the 11 Dwarfs. The rest of the SEC must pick up its game in 2017.

The ACC from top to bottom was the best football conference in America in 2016. Ouch!!!!

SEC Bowling

By: JJ Lanier news services

For anyone who is not a fan of SEC football, this year has been pretty satisfying.

People have been coming from all over the place to pile on the misfortunes of college football’s most prominent league. That doesn’t mean the SEC won’t have a chance to get the last laugh though, and shut up all those critics with a successful bowl season. The question is whether or not they’ll be able to do it.

Miami, OH. vs. Mississippi State: Why are the Bulldogs even allowed to play in this game? I mean, technically I know why they’re playing, but has there ever been a more defining moment for “everybody gets a trophy” than MSU making a bowl game. They’re probably the better team, but out of sheer principle I can’t pick them to win. Bowl Record Prediction: 0-1.

NC State vs. Vanderbilt: Living in North Carolina you become familiar with NC State’s ability to be their own worst enemy, because for some reason they just aren’t allowed to have nice things. I think Vanderbilt is much better than their record shows, especially with the way they’ve been playing of late. Also, I think the Commodores are just the better team. BRP: 1-1.

Texas A&M vs. Kansas State: A month ago I would’ve gone with A&M and not thought twice about it. Now, not so much. To be honest, I haven’t really paid much attention to Kansas State this year, but I trust Bill Snyder more than Kevin Sumlin. BRP: 1-2.

Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech: I’m going with Virginia Tech on this one, but I feel about comfortable with that as I do anytime I choose a new Chinese restaurant to visit. BRP: 1-3.

Georgia vs. TCU: This game will closer than what I assume most people probably think. It’s been a rough year for the Athens faithful, but a win here will help salvage a rather unforgettable season. BRP: 2-3.

Nebraska vs. Tennessee: This is more or less a de facto home game for the Vols. They’d better hope it treats them like that since 3 of their 4 losses this year were on the road. I don’t know which Vols team will show up, but I’m going to guess the one that does will be good enough to win. BRP: 3-3.

LSU vs. Louisville: I’ll be flipping back and forth between watching the game when Louisville’s Off./LSU’s Def. are on the field and watching the new season of Fuller House when their counterparts are playing. Heisman winning QB’s seem to struggle after winning and LSU players love playing for Orgeron. I want the Cardinals to win, but I’m going with LSU. I hope I’m wrong. BRP: 4-3

Auburn vs. Oklahoma: I have a feeling this one isn’t going to be all that close. Auburn has been much better than I thought they’d be when the season started and I have a lot of respect for what that coaching staff has done, but Oklahoma is too talented to lose…. Wait, you mean Bob Stoops is still the Sooners coach? Nevermind, I’ll take the Tigers. BRP: 5-3.

Alabama vs. Washington: Alabama wins this one going away (BRP: 6-3), with a similar result in the National Championship game. BRP: 7-3.

If the SEC is able to finish their bowl games with a 7-3 record, it would difficult to be too critical of the conference and their season as a whole, especially if Alabama wins it all.

Unfortunately for SEC fans, considering how my predictions have gone this year, I wouldn’t count on any of it happening.