SEC play began last weekend, and movement in the power poll came to life with some teams moving as many as three spots in this week's rankings.
South Carolina finally tasted defeat, and Vanderbilt on the marquee series of the weekend to help set the stage in the top five of this week's power poll.
1. South Carolina (1.22 avg), 7 First Place Votes
Overall Record: 18-1, Last Week: 1-0 vs. Furman, 2-1 vs. Ole Miss
Thoughts on the Gamecocks:
- Finally took their first loss of the season. Promptly turned around and started a new winning streak
- Allowed 11 runs this weekend, three more than they had allowed all month so far. Clearly slipping.
- Needed 9th-inning dramatics to avoid dropping the series to Ole Miss. If nothing else, the Gamecocks finally showed some imperfections.
2. Vanderbilt (2.33 avg), 2 First Place Votes
Overall Record: 19-3, Last Week: 1-0 vs. Eastern Illinois, 2-1 vs. LSU
Thoughts on the Commodores:
- The Commodores made the biggest statement of the weekend by taking two of three from LSU. They belong at the top of the SEC pecking order for now.
- South Carolina best not forget that the Commodores are right behind them (and technically tied with them in the division standings)
- After their ace lost to the Tigers on Friday night, this Vandy staff showed why it's the best in the country as it bounced back to lead the Commodores to two wins on Saturday.
3. LSU (3.11 avg)
Overall Record: 17-4, Last Week: 1-0 vs. Nicholls St., 1-0 vs. Southern, 1-2 vs. Vanderbilt
Thoughts on the Tigers:
- There are two teams you can't ding too much for losing series this weekend: LSU and Ole Miss. They played really good teams, and someone has to win
- Either Vandy is really good, or LSU is in some deep doggy doo doo
- Despite a series loss last weekend to Vanderbilt, don't count out the Tigers for anything (SEE: Every year prior as proof why). Vandy is that good, and the Tigers are still one of the SEC's best
4. Tennessee (4.22 avg)
Overall Record: 18-2, Last Week: 1-0 vs. Middle Tennessee, 2-1 vs. Missouri
Thoughts on the Volunteers:
- Losing a game to Missouri should be cause for automatic disqualification from the SEC East race
- Sure, it’s just Mizzou, but the Vols still boast a gaudy record
- This team continues to impress as one of the big surprises not only in the SEC but the country so far this season. Serrano (not the Major League one) may finally have them on track. Big tests still await them this year, though.
5. Ole Miss (5.00 avg)
Overall Record: 17-4, Last Week: 2-0 vs. Southeastern Louisiana, 1-2 vs. South Carolina
Thoughts on the Rebels:
- Taking one of three against S.C. and then sending things to overtime in the second game ain't bad
- It’s hard to downgrade the Rebels for actually taking one game off of the Gamecocks
- I was very impressed with the way the Rebels played South Carolina, even if they didn't win the series. So far playing better than any other team from the Western Division.
- I had to double-check my phone Friday night when I saw the Ole Miss-USCe score. An impressive win by Ole Miss, and even though they ultimately lost the series, this team looks to be much better than they were expected to be preseason.
6. Florida (7.11 avg)
Overall Record: 13-7, Last Week: 1-0 vs. Illinois State, 2-1 vs. Arkansas
Thoughts on the Gators:
- Maybe Kevin O'Sullivan hasn't forgotten how to coach baseball after all
- Struggling to score runs, but seems like 3 runs will usually get them the W
- This team is red-hot right now, and they were able to even add a win over their rival and #1 FSU last night. As much as I dislike their coach, the Gators are playing great ball right now.
7. Mississippi State (7.56 avg)
Overall Record: 15-8, Last Week: 1-0 vs. Southern Illinois, 2-1 vs. Georgia
Thoughts on the Bulldogs:
- That was step one in getting us all to forget their horrible OOC start, but it was just Georgia
- The Bulldogs' pitching finally looked it was supposed to on Saturday, only giving up two runs over 18 innings of play. With his complete game, Ross Mitchell likely becomes a weekend starter from here out.
- IT'S ALIVE!
- Friday night I haz a sad, but Saturday I was overjoyed to see State rise us and claim the series. Sure, it was one they were supposed to win, but it was still big to do so after they stumbled Friday night. This weekend will tell us more about where they are at this point.
8. Alabama (7.89 avg)
Overall Record: 13-6, Last Week: 1-0 vs. Samford, 2-1 vs. Kentucky
Thoughts on the Crimson Tide:
-This Spencer Turnbull kid is pretty good. Faced the best offense in the league statistically and shut them down
- With the Tides pitching, they will be in every series, if they can get a little hitting they will be very dangerous. Fr. Will Haynie is starting to really swing it, and Sr Austen Smith is on a big roll right now. Soph SS Mikey White is for real. Turnbull,Kamplain,Keller,Eicholtz, Burrows,Castillo, Bramblett lead a deep pitching staff
- Have effectively put the ULL series in the rearview mirror... or they just want to forget
- Really good series win over Kentucky this past weekend. This team seems to have some talent, the question is can they put it all together.
9. Kentucky (9.00 avg)
Overall Record: 15-6, Last Week: 0-1 vs. Indiana, 1-2 vs. Alabama
Thoughts on the Wildcats:
- Turns out pitchers in the SEC know what they are doing.
- Two outs away from being tied for first in the division
- I still don't know what to think about UK at this point. Are they no good? Are they really good but just has a bad week? Feel like I need more data on them.
10. Texas A&M (10.67 avg)
Overall Record: 15-7, Last Week: 2-0 vs. UT-Pan American, 1-2 vs. Auburn
Thoughts on the Aggies:
- It only counts as one win, but 9-0 is the way to show that maybe they should’ve won the series.
- Lost to Auburn. I really have no idea what to make of that at this point
- LOL LOST SERIES TO AUBURN. Seriously though - not a great weekend for the Aggies.
T-11 Arkansas (10.89)
Overall Record: 10-7, Last Week: 1-2 vs. Florida
Thoughts on the Razorbacks:
- See what happens when you decide to score runs?
- Played well, but needs to turn good play into good results
- This team is kind of like Kentucky to me in that I still don't know who they are. Lost a series this past weekend, but Florida is on fire. Definitely hasn't been a great start for the Hogs, though.
T-11 Auburn (10.89)
Overall Record: 14-7, Last Week: 1-0 vs. Kennesaw State, 1-0 vs. Alabama St., 2-1 vs. Texas A&M
Thoughts on the Tigers:
- Beat Texas A&M. I really have no idea what to make of that at this point
- Still impossible to get a read on
- What the two above me said. This team is hard to figure out. They do go to Tennessee this weekend though, so that should tell us some more.
13. Georgia (11.78 avg)
Overall Record: 14-8, Last Week: 2-0 vs. Western Kentucky, 1-2 vs. Mississippi State
Thoughts on the Bulldogs:
- So here's the question: Do they fold or start another winning streak?
- Not by themselves in dead last...yet.
- I really thought they would be no good this year, but they've played better than expected so far. Things don't get easier after the MSU series loss as they travel to LSU this weekend.
14. Missouri (13.33 avg)
Overall Record: 10-9, Last Week: 2-0 vs. Alcorn St, 1-2 vs. Tennessee
Thoughts on the Tigers:
- Got the SEC East title in football quicker than anyone expected. Might take longer than anyone expected to do it in baseball
- Not completely hopeless
- Football season is only five months away!
Those are our rankings for the week. Who did we slight? Who did we overvalue?