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College Football Rankings: Georgia Gains on Ole Miss in SEC Power Poll; Fierce Fight for Last

The Rebels remain in first place by a narrow margin after a close call against Vanderbilt; and the consensus about the No. 14 team has completely shattered

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


Team (First-place votes) Points Change Standard Deviation
1 Ole Miss Rebels (9) 190 -- 0.646
2 Georgia Bulldogs (5) 184 -- 0.864
3 LSU Tigers 168 -- 0.679
4 Alabama Crimson Tide 156 -- 0.663
5 Texas A&M Aggies 135 -- 1.008
6 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 121 +1 1.008
7 Florida Gators 118 +1 1.089
8 Tennessee Volunteers 91 -2 1.286
9 Kentucky Wildcats 88 +1 1.383
10 Missouri Tigers 66 -1 1.069
11 Arkansas Razorbacks 44 +2 1.562
12 Auburn Tigers 42 -1 1.301
13 South Carolina Gamecocks 35 -1 1.092
14 Vanderbilt Commodores 32 -- 1.684

When it comes to the SEC Power Poll, the most important game last week might have been not any of the marquee match-ups, but Ole Miss' narrow win against Vanderbilt. That seemed to give voters two impulses: Ding the Rebels and switch their first-place votes to Georgia (though the Bulldogs' own impressive showings could have something to do with that), or move Vanderbilt up the poll and give a last-place vote to Arkansas, Auburn or South Carolina -- all of which placed No. 14 on someone's ballot.

The upshot of that is that the Commodores, unanimously viewed as the worst team in the conference throughout last year, are now the most controversial despite still checking in at No. 14. The Razorbacks are also pretty contested as they zip up two spots in the poll -- the large standard deviation probably the function of pushing a No. 5 team that some voters view dubiously before ultimately losing. The differences on Kentucky are a little bit smaller than they appear, because one voter had the Wildcats at 13th, the only person to put them lower than ninth.

Most of the rest of the jostling is the seeming result of head-to-head match-ups. Tennessee's narrow, arguably fluky one-point loss at Florida didn't keep the Volunteers from dropping two spots and checking in behind the Gators. Kentucky and Missouri swapped places as well, though it's worth pointing out that in that case, the Wildcats actually beat the Tigers by more than the home-field advantage you'll get in most books. Voters?

Alabama Crimson Tide

We have Vanderbilt out here holding a common opponent to fewer points than the Tide, but y'all keep ragging on that offense. Run the dang ball and all that.---Rock M Nation

Louisiana-Monroe ran 74 plays. That yielded 92 yards of offense. On behalf of Ole Miss fans everywhere, I'm really sorry to have done that to you, citizens of Monroe.---Red Cup Rebellion

The Tide finally even up their record against ULM in the Saban era.---And the Valley Shook

Arkansas Razorbacks

They pushed A&M to the limit but are now sitting at 1-3 with any thought of being a surprise team in the West being thrown out. And maybe any thoughts about a bowl game as well.---A Sea of Blue

Arkansas will beat you up, take your lunch money, then turn around on the playground and step on a series of rakes, injuring themselves worse than you. They're going to beat a good team at some point.---Good Bull Hunting

The Hogs are not nearly as bad as their 1-3 record indicates, but their inability to finish drives has been too much to overcome. They finally looked like they could big-boy an opponent with their ground game again, albeit against an A&M front that hasn't exactly shut down opposing rushing attacks over the last few years.---Roll Bama Roll

Auburn Tigers

Sean White's debut didn't help Auburn find their offense. Or their defense. Or really anything for that matter. Gus, your offensive genius credentials are on the verge of being revoked.---A Sea of Blue

I thought Will Muschamp was only supposed to bring his defense with him? How'd y'all let him sneak his offense past security?---Rock M Nation

Auburn is to college football what the Florida Marlins are to baseball. Every 4-6 years you buy a championship team and hope it works out. During the interim coaches/managers are just hoping to hold onto their jobs.---Arkansas Fight

Florida Gators

"You just don't lose to Tennessee," McElwain said. "Don't know if we deserved it or not, but I sure like it this way [rather than] the other way. It was pretty cool. Wasn't it?" Yeah, it was.---Get the Picture

None of their wins over decent teams have been terribly impressive, but the Gators are clearly a contender for the SEC East.---Garnet and Black Attack

The Gators have now won two SEC games in which they were probably outplayed. Scoreboard counts.---And the Valley Shook

Kim Klement -- USA Today Sports

Georgia Bulldogs

For the first time in years, UGA is playing a meaningful October game with the season on the line...for the other team.---Georgia Sports Blog

Somehow Georgia has played no one so far and only has one game left on their schedule that looks difficult.---Anchor of Gold

Greyson Lambert is on a mission to get Virginia's Mike London fired from 450 miles away.---Dawg Sports

Kentucky Wildcats

Towles has established himself as a top three QB in the conference.---Georgia Sports Blog

Two SEC wins before October? BREAK UP THE CATS.---Rocky Top Talk

After failing to defeat Florida last week, the Wildcats bounced back as they snapped their 18-game SEC losing streak. It's been a hot minute since Kentucky beat a top-25 team so good for Mark Stoops and his squad.---Arkansas Fight

LSU Tigers

UGA, but with only one thing going on with their offense.---Georgia Sports Blog

Leonard Fournette could've solved "True Detective" in a single episode.---Good Bull Hunting

Have you fully considered how skee-rewed this LSU team will be if Leonard Fournette goes down? No? Well, you and Les Miles have that in common.---Dawg Sports

Erich Schlegel -- USA Today Sports

Mississippi St. Bulldogs

Dak Prescott is the SEC's tragic hero, lifted straight from the pages of a Grecian epic. Strong enough to lift his team onto his back and fell a tiger, yet doomed to watch more complete teams reach heights that he cannot.---Rock M Nation

The Bulldogs did what they needed to against Auburn, but if that offense can't start producing more with a preseason All-SEC quarterback, Dan Mullen is going to have some difficult questions to answer.---Red Cup Rebellion

How about Dan Mullen, Dak Prescott, and the underrated Bulldogs? When looking ahead to the 2015 SEC West, and the absolute albatross it was trying to predict how things would play out, the one perceived safe bet for most prognosticators was that State was going to finish last. They had lost way too much from last year's team. Well, here they are, and honestly, they look a lot like last year's team. Maybe just a lesser version of the 2014 edition.---Roll Bama Roll

Missouri Tigers

Missouri managed just 338 yards of offense against the VAUNTED Kentucky defense. Oh to be a member of the SEC East.---Red Cup Rebellion

You can get away with getting down early to Arkansas State. You can even get away with a single-digit point total when you get down early to UConn. But you can forget about escaping the clutches of the mighty Kentucky when it takes the lead.---Arkansas Fight

It appears that the formula of playing like garbage out of conference and then try and skate by in SEC play to the title game is not going to work this year.---And the Valley Shook

Mark Zerof -- USA Today Sports

Ole Miss Rebels

Their offense looked a bit more pedestrian when the other team isn't giving them five free possessions and gift touchdowns.---Georgia Sports Blog

I'm just thinking out loud here, but Vandy could have been in it late against Ole Miss and Georgia because Vandy is marginally less terrible than last season.---Dawg Sports

There was the predictable letdown game against Vandy, but honestly, I view that as a positive. It showed the Rebels could tough out a win when they didn't have their A-effort.---And the Valley Shook

South Carolina Gamecocks

The ‘Cocks won, and no longer have the worst scoring differential in the conference.  Sadly, that passes for progress.---Get the Picture

"WAAAYYYLLLLP I s'pose ol' George was just too busy administratin' to get around to coachin' those boys up."---Rock M Nation

Having surpassed Brad Scott's last season of 1-10, they may have nothing left to motivate them.---Anchor of Gold

Tennessee Volunteers

Has anyone done seven degrees of separation between Butch Jones and Mike Sherman yet?---Good Bull Hunting

The Vols with a big fourth quarter lead are like money in the bank -- if you're talking about a bank shut down by the FDIC, that is.---Get the Picture

Now we all want to see his chart, which is obviously different than every other coach's in America.---Arkansas Fight

Texas A&M Aggies

The Aggies out-lasted a desperate Arkansas team on a neutral field. That was an extremely impressive win and they have a chance to get another one at home against Mississippi State on Saturday.---A Sea of Blue

An overtime win over Arkansas isn't doing much to deafen the cries of the Aggie doubters.---Red Cup Rebellion

The Aggies look vulnerable to teams that can run the ball though even with possibly the best combo at defensive end in the country. Freshman Christian "Captian" Kirk is going to be a menace for the SEC to handle over the next three seasons.---Arkansas Fight

Matthew Emmons -- USA Today Sports

Vanderbilt Commodores

I honestly believe the Vanderbilt defense is in the top half of the league. Luckily for Ole Miss the Commodore offense just isn't good.---Red Cup Rebellion

Hung around with Ole Miss thanks to their defense, but couldn't do enough to pull off the upset.---Garnet and Black Attack

Better than last year. Still not better than anyone else in the conference.---Dawg Sports