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SEC Power Poll, Week 8: Mississippi State Is No. 1, If They Really Want It; Missouri Falls

The Bulldogs take first for the first time ever -- though claiming the title has not always been the best luck this year. Ole Miss clocks in at second while Auburn drops to third. Missouri plummets four places after getting shut out by Georgia

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports


1. Mississippi St. Bulldogs, 180.5 points (11.5 first-place votes)
2. Ole Miss Rebels, 170.5 (1.5)
3. Auburn Tigers, 155
4. Alabama Crimson Tide, 140
5. Georgia Bulldogs, 134
6. Texas A&M Aggies, 105
7. Arkansas Razorbacks, 98
8. LSU Tigers, 97
9. Kentucky Wildcats, 82
10. Florida Gators, 59
11. Missouri Tigers, 49
12. South Carolina Gamecocks, 44
13. Tennessee Volunteers, 38
14. Vanderbilt Commodores, 13

The No. 1 spot of death goes to Mississippi State this year -- the first time I believe the Bulldogs have ever been in first. But why do I say "No. 1 spot of death"?

After the first week of games this season, Georgia had a lead. That continued through Week 3 -- the week in which the Dawgs lost to South Carolina. The crown then passed to Alabama, which held it all the way through Week 6 -- in which Alabama lost to Ole Miss. Last week, Auburn took the top prize -- and we all know how that turned out.

I'm not saying that Mississippi State is doomed -- except, yeah, I'm pretty much saying that Mississippi State is doomed. Enjoy the good times while they've lasted, Bulldog fans.

Once again, the only spot on which we have complete agreement is Vanderbilt in last place. Auburn came within one vote of being the unanimous No. 3, but didn't quite get there. Maybe next week.

The only real change in the Top 4 is Mississippi State moving from a tie for second into first place and the Tigers falling to third. Alabama says at fourth. After that, Georgia moves up one spot to fifth, passing Texas A&M, which drops to sixth. Arkansas stays a single point ahead of LSU -- a narrower lead than they had last week -- while Kentucky moves up to ninth and, in a rare feat, Florida moves up to tenth despite the loss to LSU.

Taking Florida's place in 11th are the other other Tigers; Mizzou fell four places after the only non-Auburn loss that caused much of a shuffle, the 34-0 shellacking by Georgia. The bottom three remain the same, and likely will unless and until South Carolina or Tennessee start to win games. I mean, I would throw Vanderbilt in there as well, but I don't want to give anyone false hope.



There were moments during the Arkansas game when Nick Saban looked like he was choking over every nice thing he'd ever said about Lane Kiffin.--Get the Picture

I, for one, am incredibly excited for an Iron bowl being played with third place in the SEC West on the line.--Rock M Nation

The Tide struggled against Arkansas, which did not surprise some.  Alabama is finding ways to survive most of their contests, and should this team improve, they still have an opportunity to make some noise.--For Whom the Cowbell Tolls


You just get the feeling that Arkansas is juuuust on the cusp of breaking out and getting a statement win.--College and Magnolia

If they can figure out how to stop spectacularly shooting themselves in the foot, they'd be a really good team.--Arkansas Fight

This team is so close to being really good, that it's really amazing to think that they have lost 15 straight SEC games. They sure don't play like they have. The Razorbacks are hungry, have a dominant rushing attack, and have played some pretty darn good defense lately. These guys will ruin somebody's season. Alabama and A&M can vouch for that.--Roll Bama Roll


Don't feel too bad, Auburn fans. If this were a video game, Dak Prescott would've been banned from competitive play a few weeks ago.--Rock M Nation

Now we'll see how good Malzahn is at handling adversity, because they got exposed Saturday.--Georgia Sports Blog

Dug themselves too deep a hole against too good a team on the road. But the fact they made it a game against State despite the turnovers shows that perhaps we haven't heard the last from Auburn in regards to the playoffs.--And the Valley Shook


Spruce Derden -- USA TODAY Sports


At some point, you just run out of words when you try to explain Florida football in 2014.--Georgia Sports Blog

Cover Demarcus Robinson and wait for Jeff Driskel to set the drapes on fire. Any other game plan against the Gators is just overcomplicating things.--Dawg Sports

Well, at least they don't have to play any more teams from the West.--Arkansas Fight


Mark Richt gained control.--Get the Picture

Beat Missouri with one arm tied behind their back, but I don't want to just hand them the SEC East quite yet. They'd drop it, they have one of their hands tied behind their back.--Rock M Nation

Todd Gurley is clearly overrated.--And the Valley Shook


The 'Cats keep winning and sooner or later, you've got to respect the process of elimination.--Get the Picture

It's Georgia v. Kentucky for the SEC East. I repeat, Georgia v. Kentucky FOR THE SEC EAST.--Rock M Nation

I want to believe in the Wildcats, but we are still left with the fact that their best win is over 3-3 South Carolina.--Georgia Sports Blog


It appears LSU's quarterback play is in midseason form.--And the Valley Shook

The Tigers picked up a much needed win if they wanted to get to a bowl game.  This team is young and developing and will crush people in two years.--For Whom the Cowbell Tolls

Les Miles doing Les Miles things.--Dawg Sports


Kim Klement -- USA TODAY Sports


Their biggest weakness right now is how they let up too much once they get ahead by three touchdowns. You'd think they'd have gotten the hang of 20+ point leads with all of the practice they have gotten at it.--And the Valley Shook

Starkville's always been a bit scary, but now even more so and for completely different reasons.--Arkansas Fight

Three quality wins (I think LSU and Texas A&M are Top 30 teams) is more than virtually any other team in the country has.--Alligator Army


I still say losing to Indiana is worse than getting blanked by an SEC foe.--Georgia Sports Blog

Yeah, that was, uh, what happened was, um. I don't know.--Arkansas Fight

WOOF. That offense though. I mean, I like their front seven on defense but what can those guys do if the offense plays like that again? Take away the last seven minutes against South Carolina and we are talking about severe levels of ineptitude in SEC play on the offensive side of the ball. Needless to say, that Missouri-Florida game will be all kinds of YEEEESH on offense. Maybe commentators will stop making lazy Johnny Football comparisons towards Maty Mauk.--Roll Bama Roll


The defense is full of monsters. Literally. Dr. Bo transplanted the strength and speed of a great white shark into several of the Rebels' defenders during the offseason.--Rock M Nation

The defense might be the best in the country, and it will need to be. They haven't had to overcome a Bad Dr. Bo game in SEC play yet, but it's coming. Right now, he's played two of the worst defenses in the SEC and a Bama team with a questionable secondary. Dr. Jekyll has been great, but Mr. Hyde is coming.--And the Valley Shook

Ole Miss has a great defense and good grief this season is so weird, already.--College and Magnolia


Troy Taormina -- USA TODAY Sports


Their win over Georgia is the most mystifying result of this season.--And the Valley Shook

An afterthought now, but really wouldn't surprise me to see them win five of their last six.--Arkansas Fight

Worst defense in the SEC? Worst defense in the SEC.--Roll Bama Roll


Looking at the rest of the Vols' schedule, achieving bowl eligibility isn't going to be easy.--Get the Picture

The Vols are going to upset one of the conference front-runners this year. Maybe Kentucky.--Rock M Nation

The Vols go on a three game swing that will determine how their season is judged. Scare Ole Miss and Bama, and beat South Carolina, and the Butch Jones project is well underway.--Georgia Sports Blog


Boy, the Aggies sure picked a bad time to become merely competent on offense.--Georgia Sports Blog

Looking more and more like a young team in transition the further they get from the opening week of the season.--Dawg Sports

That win over South Carolina looks great!--Alligator Army


I can't think of a more apt way to describe the current state of Vandy's program than this:  Vanderbilt 21, Charleston Southern 20.--Get the Picture

Hey now, everyone knows you have to watch out for Charleston Southern.--Arkansas Fight

The one thing accepted as fact about the SEC this year is that Vanderbilt is the worst team in it. And that's telling.--Alligator Army


Christopher Hanewinckel -- USA TODAY Sports