SEC Power Rankings: The Final Edition

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SEC Power Rankings: The Final Edition

Post by rebeljim » Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:46 pm

The SEC season is now over, one final rankings is therefore in order.

Well it's done, there will be no more SEC on SEC action, barring a Texas A&M vs Kentucky NCAA Tournament Final, and honestly, I've seen that game enough this season. Though how mad would the rest of the college basketball loving world be if that went down? Scratch my earlier thought, let's all hope that happens.

Going into the SEC tournament, the conference felt confident that it could get 4 teams into the big dance, and potentially five if Florida had a good showing. Well that all went poof on Friday when Vandy succumbed to Tennessee (sometimes it helps to have shorter fingers) and South Carolina lost to Georgia putting their places in the dance in doubt. As we saw on Sunday, Vandy was rewarded with a trip to Dayton to play Wichita State (spoiler alert, they did not win) and South Carolina was sent packing to the NIT. So here we are, two teams dancing, a bunch in the NIT and then the dregs looking to next season (roster issues not withstanding at Mizzou).




Tier 1

The difference between our top teams and the rest of the conference became even more apparent this week as Tier 1 now only contains Kentucky and Texas A&M. For the past few weeks, this is as it had been and in a conference in a down year, these two teams were the best. The game they gave us in College Station and Nashville were both classics, in the SEC sense of the word, and should show out well in the Tournament. And sure Cal was not happy being seeded a spot lower than A&M after just having beat them in the finals a few hours before which made for great TV and really just rolled off pretty much every non Kentucky fans backs I assume.

Tier 2

Tier 2 is where the teams that should have done more all year live. South Carolina had their bubble burst in much the same way Texas A&M did last year at this time. The strength of schedule hurt them, as did their play in the SEC both season and tournament. Frankly you can't lose to Mizzou in February and hope to play in the March tourney that matters.

Vanderbilt, even after losing early in the day on Friday snuck into the first four despite looking mostly just ok all year. Let that be a lesson to you Frank Martin and Mike Anderson (and Kim Anderson next year) if you don't challenge yourself in the non con you will be punished. The Commodores had the game close in the early parts of the second half and then the wheels fell completely off. Where this leaves the Fancy Pirates next year, we'll see but the exodus could be on and we'll be left wondering what could have been for this star studded and talented group that just couldn't put it together.

Finally, Georgia who finished the season in very strong fashion but ran into Big Blue and Kentucky and all 20,000 of their fans took them down in overtime. Mark Fox like Vandy could lose a lot of his team, and like Vandy that should have done more this season, so what the future holds is still up in the air.

Tier 3

Tier 3 man, Tier 3 is where teams had nice moments during the season but then had big collapses, or in the case of Ole Miss, everyone got hurt and Stefan Moody literally had to do it all by himself.




Florida picked the wrong time to get really cold, and that's the way it closed out its season with only getting a win at Mizzou to close out their season. But the team could play defense, so there's always next year when Mike White will have his own recruits in and can take over the SEC as I continue to predict just because I like him so much. Don't make me look foolish Mike!

Then we've got LSU. What happened to them against A&M was brutal. But when you've got Johnny Jones leading a team what would you expect? The man just wasted a generational talent's one year at school and there will be no one shining moment for Ben Simmons. In the words of the Knight from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" he chose poorly. As long as Jones is coaching this team, I'm just gonna sit back and watch the chaos.

Ole Miss as noted above had trouble all season with injuries, and even with all that still managed 20 wins, so maybe Andy Kennedy knows what he's doing, maybe he's not just a guy who can't buy a suit that fits. They did have a tough time against Bama in Nashville, however that avoided them getting embarrassed by Kentucky, so SILVER LINNING. What the future holds I have no idea, all I know is that Moody is gone and that building still has that new smell to it, so it's not all bad.

Rounding out Tier 3 are the Tide of Alabama who in Avery Johnson's first year did not do so bad considering what they were working with. Hell, midway through February they looked just like an NCAA tournament team, and then like Florida the wheels came off a little bit. They did make some noise in the tourney getting to play UK after the aforementioned Ole Miss victory, but I'm betting the less said about that the better. Looking to the future, Bama has a strong recruiting class coming in, even with the apparent de-committing of Terrence Ferguson.

Tier 4

In this Tier we have the building and re-building. Not so much sadness but disappointment. Arkansas leads Tier 4 and in a surprise to no one, couldn't get a win in Nashville because as we all know, Nashville is not in Fayettville. Mike Anderson has some work ahead of him, and the fans are getting restless so it's time to step up, or as always, find that new dream job. I hear Mizzou may be hiring...

Following the Hogs are Ben Howland's Bulldogs who outside of a couple bad December games showed out pretty well this season, never looking like a bad team that had no idea what they were doing as some first year teams do. They failed to get a win in Nashville, and are now focused on seeing if Malik Newman will be back for year 2.

Completing Tier 4 is steady eddy Tennessee. The Vols really just kind of hung around the 11/12 spot and didn't really move forward at any point. They did well in Nashville however getting two wins in two days, beating Auburn and Vandy before getting beaten by LSU, which I can only imagine is very sad. Going forward, we'll see if Rick Barnes is truly re-energized as he said, or if he goes back to the old ways of not really doing much of anything.

Tier 5

Tier 5 is home (as it has been for quite some time now) to Auburn and Mizzou. Both teams looked bad for almost the entire SEC season, tough Auburn was able to sneak some big wins in here and there. Both teams had players defect early, Mizzou continues to do so, and appear headed in two different directions. Auburn has a nice class coming in, a strong freshman group, and for Mizzou well let's just hope they have 5 players ready to suit up on day one in October.



Team Points Ranking Ranking Last Week Change Highest Pick Lowest Pick
Kentucky 97 1st 1st None 1st 2nd
Texas A&M 92 2nd 2nd None 1st 2nd
Vanderbilt 79 3rd 3rd None 3rd 5th
South Carolina 78 4th 4th None 3rd 5th
Georgia 66 5th 6th (Tied) Up 1 3rd 7th
Florida 59 6th 8th Up 2 5th 8th
LSU 57 7th 5th Down 2 4th 9th
Ole Miss 54 8th 9th Up 1 5th 9th
Alabama 48 9th 10th Up 1 6th 9th
Arkansas 34 10th 6th (Tied) Down 4 10th 11th
Mississippi State 27 11th 11th None 10th 12th
Tennessee 23 12th 12th None 11th 12th
Auburn 12 13th 13th None 13th 14th
Mizzou 8 14th 14th None 13th 14th

Points were distributed 1st = 14, 2nd = 13, 3rd = 12, 4th = 11, 5th = 10, 6th = 9, 7th = 8, 8th = 7, 9th = 6, 10th = 5, 11th = 4, 12th = 3, 13th = 2, and 14th = 1



Alabama

It was probably them or Ole Miss for that last NIT slot, and they won. Not a bad end to a #fever filled season for the Tide in Avery Johnson's first. (Dawg Sports)

Avery got things moving a little quicker than I expected. Their 8-10 conference record doesn't really reflect how dangerous they were. Consistency is the next step, and I think we see it next year. (Good Bull Hunting)

Avery Johnson did a fine job this year, even if he hasn't figured out how not to get blown out by Kentucky. (Anchor of Gold)





Arkansas

It's put up or shut up time for Mike Anderson, another bad year and he could be out of a job. (Rock M Nation)

The hogs' insane home court advantage will only let them fall so far, but this was a team not up to Arkansas standards. (Good Bull Hunting)

They're an interesting team to watch next year because of all the JUCOs coming in. (Anchor of Gold)



Auburn



They went from 9-9 to 11-20. Not good Bruce, not good at all. (Dawg Sports)

How many next years do we need at Auburn anyway? (College and Magnolia)White is laying a good foundation at Florida. They are going to be really good. Soon. (Good Bull Hunting)

They way they've played lately, a loss to the Ospreys of North Florida, let alone Ohio St in round 2 of the NIT, wouldn't be a shock. (Dawg Sports)

For some reason they have to play a "road" game in the first round of the NIT. But it's in Jacksonville so it'll be like 90 percent Gator fans anyway (Anchor of Gold)

Next year I want to see Trey Tate running the point, it would be a fun next step after Bowers. (Rock M Nation)



Florida

White is laying a good foundation at Florida. They are going to be really good. Soon. (Good Bull Hunting)

They way they've played lately, a loss to the Ospreys of North Florida, let alone Ohio St in round 2 of the NIT, wouldn't be a shock. (Dawg Sports)

For some reason they have to play a "road" game in the first round of the NIT. But it's in Jacksonville so it'll be like 90 percent Gator fans anyway (Anchor of Gold)



Georgia



Can Maten be the Mann next year? Sorry I couldn't help it. (Rock M Nation)

They seem to be warming up at the right time, but Belmont is an upset waiting to happen Wednesday night on ESPN 2, what with their style of play and experience and knowing how to shoot and all. (Dawg Sports)

Georgia made an impressive surge in the SEC Tourney, beating South Carolina and nearly knocking off Kentucky, so, they unexpectedly slip in at #3. (Fox Sports Knoxville)



Kentucky



No matter how average Kentucky looked this season, we all knew they'd pull it together in time to win the conference title. I really kind of hate y'all right now (College and Magnolia)

If Kentucky's phenomenal back court has one off game, they could get bounced early. (Fox Sports Knoxville)

In the end, they were the best team in the SEC... if just barely. (Anchor of Gold)



LSU



LSU is a complete embarrassment. They looked like they may have somewhat gotten their act together against UT but they followed that game up with literally the worst performance by any team in college basketball this season. Like Kevin Stallings, Johnny Jones needs to take a hike. (Fox Sports Knoxville)

Simmons. It's Australian for "Best Individual Player to be Squeezed Out of Postseason Play Due to a Woefully Inadequate Surrounding Cast." (College and Magnolia)

This is the fourth, if not the third most talented team in the conference. Too bad non-talent issues held them back all year. Perhaps their post season refusal is a sign the Jones era is over? If so, the prime job of the spring is blooming. (Dawg Sports)



Mississippi State



Miss State showed tremendous improvement over the last 12 games. Getting rid of Ben Howland may turn out to be the worst mistake UCLA has made since they ran off Gene Bartow. (College and Magnolia)

Rick Ray could have gone 14-17 with that team, too. (Anchor of Gold)

We'll see better what to expect from Ben Howland in year 2, but year 1 wasn't impressive. (Dawg Sports)







Mizzou



Managed to look better than Auburn did at the SEC Tournament. (Anchor of Gold)

Just remember what has transpired is all Frank Haith, Mike Anderson, Mike Alden, and Quin Synder's fault, they are solely responsible for everything bad about Mizzou basketball. (Rock M Nation)

Just ‘cause y'all joined the SEC didn't mean you immediately had to become better at football than basketball, guys. Goodness gracious. (Dawg Sports)



Ole Miss



I'm just glad Moody is gone. That dude is a great scorer and a fierce competitor. And his hair matched well with school colors, which you have to be impressed by. (Good Bull Hunting)

Stefon Moody's last game, putting up 30+ in a losing effort, summed up his entire career at Ole Miss. He'll be missed. (College and Magnolia)

How'd they miss the NIT? (Anchor of Gold)





South Carolina



When 24 wins and an 11-7 conference record doesn't get South Carolina to the dance, I think we all need to take a moment and discuss the serious, life-altering side effects of #SECBasketballFever. (College and Magnolia)

Tough break for the Gamecocks - they had a weak non-con, but they did beat Tulsa. I think that road loss to Mizzou sunk them. (Good Bull Hunting)

I think Frank Martin took a bit too much of Bill Snyder's KSU scheduling philosophy with him toe South Carolina. (Rock M Nation)



Tennessee



I'd give them credit for beating Auburn and Vandy, but neither team looked all that interested. (Anchor of Gold)

Orange only looks good on fruit, folks. (Dawg Sports)

Won two games in Nashville, all without Kevin Punter. If there's one thing I will take from this season is that this Tennessee team made zero sense. (Rock M Nation)



Texas A&M



The Aggies look more like the team that could go the further in the NCAA Tournament because they're so balanced and experienced and have a far more favorable draw than the Wildcats. (Fox Sports Knoxville)

Well, we're the only #3 seed so that must mean we're the best team in the conference. Pass the salt, please. (Good Bull Hunting)

They could play Texas in the second round and Oklahoma in the Sweet 16. It'll be just like they never left the Big 12! (Anchor of Gold)



Vanderbilt



Kudos on a tourney invite. d***, we were really close to becoming a two-bid league. (Good Bull Hunting)

They made the NCAA Tournament, which is about the only positive thing I can say about the last week (but it's a big one.) (Anchor of Gold)

Vanderbilt should be higher on this list but they crumbled against a short-handed Tennessee team and went on to get waxed by Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament play-in game. If you ask me, it's time for Kevin Stallings to find a new place of employment. (Fox Sports Knoxville)



And that will do it for this season. I hope you've enjoyed your weekly rankings and your education on the week that was in the SEC. It's been a pleasure and I hope to see you next year unless Greg Tranghese decides I need to be changed out as well.
Enjoy the tourney everyone!

http://www.rockmnation.com/2016/3/16/11 ... 1407950321
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