SEC rankings, Week 7: A muddled mess after Florida

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Is this Frank Haith imploring Missouri to play defense for a change?

Is this Frank Haith imploring Missouri to play defense for a change?

Florida has stumbled on the road but should wrap up a league title this week. Meanwhile, five teams continue to battle for two or three NCAA tournament bids:

1. FLORIDA (22-5, 12-3): Gators are flawed on the road, but let’s see what they do when they’re completely healthy.

2. TENNESSEE (17-10, 9-6): Volunteers the hottest team in the league and have a favorable schedule coming up.

3. KENTUCKY (19-8, 10-4): Overtime win against Missouri might get the Wildcats into the NCAA tournament.

4. MISSOURI (19-8, 8-6): Tigers must own stock in road collapses. Another one Thursday at South Carolina puts Mizzou on the NCAA bubble.

5. ALABAMA (19-9, 11-4): Pitiful SEC schedule hurting Tide’s NCAA resume.

6. OLE MISS (20-7, 9-5): Favorable schedule might be enough to push Rebels into Big Dance.

7. ARKANSAS (17-10, 8-6): Forget about close road losses, the Razorbacks prefer to lose big away from home.

8. GEORGIA (13-14, 7-7): Bulldogs are three close losses from contending for a bye in the SEC tourney.

9. LSU (16-9, 7-7): Tigers have won seven of 10 to reach .500 in league play.

10. TEXAS A&M (16-11, 6-8): Aggies have lost three games by four or fewer points, in addition to an overtime loss to Tennessee.

11. VANDERBILT (11-15, 5-9): Commodores have reached 70 points in each of their last two games (compared to once in their previous nine).

12. AUBURN (9-19 3-12): Tigers have lost six straight and 12 of last 13 after 2-0 start in SEC.

13. SOUTH CAROLINA (13-14, 3-12): Gamecocks have nothing to play for, but will give Missouri fits Thursday.

14. MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-19, 2-12): Any possibility of an MSU-TCU matchup?

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Big 12 rankings, Week 7: Officially, Kansas on top

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ISU's Fred Hoiberg took the high road, but Cyclone fans were livid after Monday's controversial loss.

ISU’s Fred Hoiberg took the high road, but Cyclone fans were livid after Monday’s controversial loss to the Jayhawks in overtime.

Ridiculous officiating or not (and it was ridiculous, scandalous officiating), Kansas would have to fall apart down the stretch to end its streak of Big 12 championships.

1. KANSAS (24-4, 12-3): Say what you will about bogus calls late (and the Jayhawks seem to get a lot of those), there’s something to be said for putting yourself in that position over and over again.

2. KANSAS STATE (23-5, 12-3): With road games remaining against Oklahoma State and a desperate Baylor team, it’s tough to see the Wildcats winning a league crown.

3. OKLAHOMA STATE (20-6, 10-4): The Cowboys likely end up a bucket away from ending Kansas’ streak after last week’s double-overtime loss.

4. IOWA STATE (19-9, 9-6): Sure, the Cyclones got hosed Monday, but how about finishing a game? Those crushing losses to the Jayhawks may cost Iowa State an NCAA bid.

5. OKLAHOMA (18-8, 9-5): The Sooners’ schedule sets up nicely for a six-game winning streak entering the Big 12 tournament.

6. BAYLOR (16-11, 7-7): The Bears need to win out to make the NCAA tournament. Considering their home games are against Kansas and K-State, it’s not going to happen.

7. WEST VIRGINIA (13-14, 6-8): Mountaineers playing out the string in a disappointing season.

8. TEXAS (12-15, 4-10): Myck Kabongo’s return has done little to jump-start the Longhorns.

9. TEXAS TECH (9-17, 2-13): On the positive side, the Red Raiders likely snap a nine-game losing streak Saturday at home against TCU.

10. TCU (10-17, 1-13): Nine points in the first half? NINE?

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SEC rankings, Week 6: Alone at the top

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Now that the SEC race is essentially over, Florida can set its sights on a No. 1 seed.

Now that the SEC race is essentially over, Florida can set its sights on a No. 1 seed.

The SEC race is over and four teams appear to be battling for two or three NCAA Tournament bids, though second-ranked Alabama isn’t one of them. Such is life in the conference:

1. FLORIDA (21-3, 11-1. Last week: Defeated Kentucky, Auburn. This week: Tuesday at Missouri, Saturday vs. Arkansas): Big week for the Gators with arguably their toughest game of the year at Mizzou and a revenge matchup against Arkansas.

2. ALABAMA (17-8, 9-3. Last week: Defeated Georgia, South Carolina. This week: Wednesday vs. Mississippi State, Saturday at LSU): That the Crimson Tide isn’t among Jerry Palm’s “last four teams out” in this latest NCAA bracket should tell you plenty about their schedule.

3T. MISSOURI (18-7, 7-5. Last week: Defeated Mississippi State, lost to Arkansas. This week: Tuesday vs. Florida, Saturday at Kentucky): Yes, the Tigers were the victims of an awful SEC hazing initiation incident in Fayetteville, but they’ve got to find a way to finish.

3T. OLE MISS (19-6, 8-4. Last week: Lost to Texas A&M, defeated Georgia. This week: Wednesday at South Carolina, Saturday vs. Auburn): Speaking of garbage officiating, Georgia probably has a bigger beef than Missouri.

5. ARKANSAS (16-9, 7-5. Last week: Defeated Auburn, Missouri. This week: Thursday vs. Georgia, Saturday at Florida): It still counts as a “W,” even if it’s in ridiculous “circumstances.”

6. KENTUCKY (17-8, 8-4. Last week: Lost to Florida, Tennessee. This week: Wednesday vs. Vanderbilt, Saturday vs. Missouri): Wildcats are in trouble without Nerlens Noel.

7. TENNESSEE (14-10, 6-6. Last week: Defeated Vanderbilt, Kentucky. This week: Tuesday vs. LSU, Saturday at Texas A&M): Might be the hottest team in the SEC right now.

8. GEORGIA (12-13, 6-6. Last week: Lost to Alabama, Mississippi. This week: Thursday at Arkansas, Saturday vs. South Carolina): Bouncing back from Saturday’s loss to the Rebels will be difficult.

9. LSU (15-8, 6-6. Last week: Defeated South Carolina, Mississippi State. This week: Tuesday at Tennessee, Saturday vs. Alabama): Tigers have won five of six.

10. TEXAS A&M (15-10, 5-7. Last week: Defeated Mississippi, lost to Vanderbilt. This week: Wednesday at Auburn, Saturday vs. Tennessee): Like a lot of SEC teams, Aggies struggle on the road.

11. VANDERBILT (10-14, 4-8. Last week: Lost to Tennessee, defeated Texas A&M. This week: Wednesday at Kentucky, Saturday at Mississippi State): Commodores have topped 70 points twice in SEC play.

12. AUBURN (9-16, 3-9. Last week: Lost to Arkansas, Florida. This week: Wednesday vs. Texas A&M, Saturday at Ole Miss): Tigers have lost nine of 10 since 2-0 SEC start.

13. SOUTH CAROLINA (12-13, 2-10. Last week: Lost to LSU, Alabama. This week: Wednesday vs. Ole Miss, Saturday at Georgia): Gamecocks have lost six straight games.

14. MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-17, 2-10. Last week: Lost to Missouri, LSU. This week: Wednesday at Alabama, Saturday vs. Vanderbilt): Bulldogs have lost 10 consecutive games.

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Big 12 rankings, Week 6: A dead heat

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Markel Bown and the Cowboys are six games away from ending Kansas' run.

Markel Bown and the Cowboys are six games away from ending Kansas’ run.

1. OKLAHOMA STATE (19-5, 9-3. Last week: Defeated Texas Tech, Oklahoma. This week: Wednesday vs. Kansas, Saturday at West Virginia): Do I think the Cowboys are winning the Big 12? No. But, for now, they’re No. 1 because they won at Kansas.

2. KANSAS (21-4, 9-3. Last week: Defeated Kansas State, Texas. This week: Wednesday at Oklahoma State, Saturday vs. TCU): Pretty simple for the Jayhawks: Win Wednesday and they win the conference. Lose, and they don’t.

3. KANSAS STATE (20-5, 9-3. Last week: Lost to Kansas, defeated Baylor. This week: Monday vs. West Virginia, Saturday at Texas): Will the Wildcats ever get over the mental hurdle that is rival Kansas?

4. IOWA STATE (17-8, 7-5. Last week: Lost to Texas, defeated TCU. This week: Wednesday at Baylor, Saturday vs. Texas Tech): I’m beginning to think Fred Hoiberg isn’t overly bright. How many games do you have to lose before you foul in that situation?

5. OKLAHOMA (16-8, 7-5. Last week: Defeated TCU, lost to Oklahoma State. This week: Wednesday at Texas Tech, Saturday vs. Baylor): Sooners wasted opportunity Saturday.

6. BAYLOR (16-9, 7-5. Last week: Defeated West Virginia, lost to Kansas State. This week: Wednesday vs. Iowa State, Saturday at Oklahoma): Death, taxes and Scott Drew teams underachieving.

7. WEST VIRGINIA (12-13, 6-6. Last week: Lost to Baylor, defeated Texas Tech. This week: Monday at Kansas State, Saturday vs. Oklahoma State): With three losses by a total of eight points, Mountaineers are a few plays from being tied for first. Think about that for a second.

8. TEXAS (11-14, 3-9. Last week: Defeated Iowa State, lost to Kansas. This week: Tuesday at TCU, Saturday vs. Kansas State): As predicted, Myck Kabongo’s return came just in time to put a dent in Iowa State’s NCAA and Big 12 hopes.

9. TEXAS TECH (9-14, 2-10. Last week: Lost to Oklahoma State, West Virginia. This week: Wednesday vs. Oklahoma, Saturday at Iowa State): Red Raiders have lost six straight.

10. TCU (10-15, 1-11. Last week: Lost to Oklahoma, Iowa State. This week: Tuesday vs. Texas, Saturday at Kansas): How in the hell did this team beat Kansas?

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SEC rankings, Week 5: Wildcats gaining on Gators

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Despite a slow start, Kentucky is right back in the SEC race.

Despite a slow start, Kentucky is right back in the SEC race.

The rest of the SEC can thank Arkansas for bringing Florida back to the pack, but the Gators are still in the driver’s seat going into a showdown against surging Kentucky.

1. FLORIDA (19-3, 9-1. Last week: Lost to Arkansas, defeated Mississippi State. This week: Tuesday vs. Kentucky, Saturday at Auburn): Gators finally look human in beatdown at Arkansas.

2. KENTUCKY (17-6, 8-2. Last week: Defeated South Carolina, Auburn. This week: Tuesday at Florida, Saturday at Tennessee): Red-hot Wildcats have won five consecutive games.

3. MISSISSIPPI (18-5, 7-3. Last week: Defeated Mississippi State, lost to Missouri. This week: Wednesday at Texas A&M, Saturday vs. Georgia): Rebels get nod over Missouri because they’ve won road games.

4. MISSOURI (17-6, 6-4. Last week: Lost to Texas A&M, defeated Mississippi. This week: Wednesday at Mississippi State, Saturday at Arkansas): After crushing loss in College Station, road win this week a must for Tigers.

5. ALABAMA (15-8, 7-3. Last week: Lost to Auburn, defeated LSU. This week: Tuesday at Georgia, Saturday vs. South Carolina): Tide scored 37 points in loss at Auburn.

6. GEORGIA (12-11, 6-4. Last week: Defeated Tennessee, Texas A&M. This week: Tuesday vs. Alabama, Saturday at Mississippi): Bulldogs have won five straight, including three road games).

7. ARKANSAS (14-9, 5-5. Last week: Defeated Florida, lost to Vanderbilt. This week: Wednesday at Auburn, Saturday vs. Missouri): Razorbacks rip Gators, then suffer beating at Vandy. Sounds about right.

8. LSU (13-8, 4-6. Last week: Defeated Vanderbilt, lost to Alabama. This week: Thursday at South Carolina, Saturday vs. Mississippi State): Tigers’ three-game winning streak snapped in tough loss to Tide.

9. TEXAS A&M (14-9, 4-6. Last week: Defeated Missouri, lost to Georgia. This week: Wednesday vs. Mississippi, Saturday at Vanderbilt): Aggies follow nice win against Mizzou with a dud against Georgia.

10. TENNESSEE (11-10, 3-6. Last week: Lost to Georgia. This week: Today at South Carolina, Wednesday at Vanderbilt, Saturday vs. Kentucky): Bad home loss against Georgia.

11. VANDERBILT (9-13, 3-7. Last week: Lost to LSU, defeated Arkansas. This week: Wednesday vs. Tennessee, Saturday vs. Texas A&M): Commodores snapped four-game skid by routing Razorbacks.

12. AUBURN (9-14, 3-7. Last week: Defeated Alabama, lost to Kentucky. This week: Wednesday vs. Arkansas, Saturday vs. Florida): Tigers’ win against Tide might end up costing rival NCAA bid.

13. SOUTH CAROLINA (12-10, 2-7. Last week: Lost to Kentucky. This week: Sunday vs. Tennessee, Thursday vs. LSU, Saturday at Alabama): Gamecocks have lost five of six.

14. MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-15, 2-8. Last week: Lost to Mississippi, Florida. This week: Wednesday vs. Missouri, Saturday at LSU): Bulldogs are in free-fall mode (eight straight losses).

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Big 12 rankings, Week 5: Frogs soar, Jayhawks croak

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TCU's win against Kansas was not only the biggest upset in conference history, but also gave the rest of the Big 12 hope that it can end the Jayhawks' title streak.

TCU’s win against Kansas was not only the biggest upset in conference history, but also gave the rest of the Big 12 hope that it can end the Jayhawks’ title streak.

Well, well, well. All of sudden, Kansas State controls its destiny in the Big 12 title chase. I still think Kansas wins Monday and takes home another conference crown. For now, though, the Wildcats have earned the No. 1 spot.

1. KANSAS STATE (19-4, 8-2. Last week: Defeated Texas Tech, Iowa State. This week: Monday at Kansas, Saturday vs. Baylor): Win Monday could push Wildcats to first conference championship in decades.

2. OKLAHOMA STATE (17-5, 7-3. Last week: Defeated Baylor, Texas. This week: Wednesday at Texas Tech, Saturday vs. Oklahoma): Cowboys have the easiest schedule over the final eight games.

3. KANSAS (19-4, 7-3. Last week: Lost to TCU, Oklahoma. This week: Monday vs. Kansas State, Saturday vs. Texas): Lost to TCU gave everybody in Big 12 hope.

4. IOWA STATE (16-7, 6-4. Last week: Defeated Oklahoma, lost to Kansas State. This week: Wednesday at Texas, Saturday vs. TCU): Cyclones might be catching a tough break having to play Texas team in first game with Myck Kabongo back.

5. OKLAHOMA (15-7, 6-4. Last week: Lost to Iowa State, defeated Kansas. This week: Monday vs. TCU, Saturday at Oklahoma State): Win against Jayhawks big boost to Sooners’ NCAA Tournament hopes.

6. BAYLOR (15-8, 6-4. Last week: Lost to Oklahoma State, defeated Texas Tech. This week: Wednesday vs. West Virginia, Saturday at Kansas State): Home loss to Oklahoma looks huge.

7. WEST VIRGINIA (12-11, 5-5. Last week: Defeated Texas, TCU. This week: Wednesday at Baylor, Saturday vs. Texas Tech): Mountaineers’ three-game winning streak likely to end Wednesday.

8. TEXAS (10-13, 2-8. Last week: Lost to West Virginia, Oklahoma State. This week: Wednesday vs. Iowa State, Saturday at Kansas): Kabongo returns this week, but does it matter?

9. TEXAS TECH (9-12, 2-8. Last week: Lost to Kansas State, Baylor. This week: Wednesday vs. Oklahoma State, Saturday at West Virginia): Red Raiders likely looking at nine-game losing streak (currently have lost four straight).

10. TCU (10-13, 1-9. Last week: Defeated Kansas, lost to West Virginia. This week: Monday at Oklahoma State, Saturday at Iowa State): Stunning win against Kansas biggest upset in conference history.

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SEC rankings, Week 4: Cats surge, Rebels humbled

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SEC enemy No. 1 Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss suffered back-to-back losses last week.

SEC enemy No. 1 Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss suffered back-to-back losses.

We’re not even halfway through the league race and Florida has a two-game lead. The Gators should be 10-0 in the SEC when they host Kentucky next week.

1. FLORIDA (18-2, 8-0): Gators allowed 100 points last week … in two games. They’ve been men amongst boys thus far in the SEC.

2. KENTUCKY (15-6, 6-2): Wildcats have gone from NIT to NCAA in the matter of a week.

3. MISSISSIPPI (17-4, 6-2): Rebels come back to Earth against conference bluebloods.

4. MISSOURI (16-5, 5-3): Tigers better find a way to win on the road or they’ll be in the NIT.

5. ALABAMA (14-7, 6-2): Crimson Tide making the most of a cupcake SEC slate, good shot at sneaking into NCAA tourney.

6. ARKANSAS (13-8, 4-4): Razorbacks wasted a chance to break through on the road at Alabama.

7. GEORGIA (10-11, 4-4): Bulldogs have won three straight, including road wins against Texas A&M and South Carolina.

8. TEXAS A&M (13-8, 3-5): Aggies needed another win against Kentucky to have a shot at NCAA bid.

9. TENNESSEE (11-9, 3-5): Volunteers have decent shot at getting to .500 in league play this week (Wednesday vs. Georgia, Saturday at South Carolina).

1o. LSU (12-7, 3-5): Win against Missouri team’s biggest in years.

11. VANDERBILT (8-12, 2-6): Commodores can’t win close games (three of six SEC losses by combined seven points).

12. AUBURN (8-13, 2-6): Tigers have lost six straight.

13. SOUTH CAROLINA (12-9, 2-6): Gamecocks fading fast.

14. MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-13, 2-6): Six straight losses by average of 19 points.

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