published Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Jay Greeson: SEC ratings and rantings of Nov. 14

1. ALABAMA

Want to know who outside of the Crimson Tide fan base was most upset about the Alabama loss to Texas A&M last Saturday? No. 1: the Miami Visitors Bureau. Of the teams left in the title hunt, no one's fans travel like the Tide's (Notre Dame is a close second, but still). No. 2: The Western Carolina coaches and players. Wow, playing Alabama is bad enough; playing an angry and frustrated Alabama that has been forced to deal with an ornery Nick Saban is downright brutal.

Saturday: vs. Western Carolina, 12:21 (WDSI)

2. GEORGIA

With a 38-0 win over Auburn, the Bulldogs clinched the SEC East for the second consecutive season. A couple of upsets and a win over Alabama in the league title game and UGA is playing for the national title. Yet, somehow, this feels like a blah year, doesn't it? Man, it feels like we take Mark Richt for granted.

Saturday: vs. Georgia Southern, 1:30 (pay-per-view)

3. LSU

Great moments in betting, part 2,401: Last week LSU was a 15-point pick over Mississippi State. MSU's Bulldogs were down 10 and driving late in the fourth quarter. Craig Loston intercepted Tyler Russell's pass and returned it 100 yards to tie the NCAA record and cover the line.

Saturday: vs. Ole Miss, 3:30 (CBS)

4. TEXAS A&M

This is what we wrote a month ago: The legend of redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny "Football" Manziel continues to grow. Manziel leads the SEC in rushing and total yards and is among the pass ratings leaders and is the runaway leader for player of the year in the SEC. Yes, a kid who did not earn the starting job until August has been the best player in a league that has six of the 12 best teams in the country. Johhny Football indeed. Wow. Not much has changed in a month, huh?

Saturday: vs. Sam Houston State, 3:30 (pay-per view)

5. FLORIDA

Winning is winning -- blocked punt against Louisiana-Lafayette or not. That said, the shine has fallen from these Gators ... and they have lost one game to the No. 5 team in the country. Welcome to the SEC.

Saturday: vs. Jacksonville State, 1 (pay-per view)

6. SOUTH CAROLINA

The good news from Columbia is that stud duck running back Marcus Lattimore, who had his season ended with a brutal knee injury against Tennessee, will not need any more surgery. That said, the Gamecocks' offense understandably is nothing close to full capacity without Lattimore. That's not a huge concern this week, but next week's rivalry showdown with Clemson is a different story.

Saturday: vs Wofford, 1 (pay-per view)

7. MISSISSIPPI STATE

After a 7-0 start and three consecutive losses, the Bulldogs need a win. Badly. Here's saying they'll deliver Saturday against Arkansas. But amid all the talk of potential coaching candidates and hot names, wonder why Dan Mullen does not get more play?

Saturday: vs. Arkansas, 12:21

8. VANDERBILT

On the subject of coaches who deserve more play nationally, how about you, James Franklin? Dude has the Commodores favored in the final two games of the season with the potential of finishing 8-4 by finishing the drill. An 8-4 run ... at Vandy? James Franklin, hopefully you have some tax shelters because there is a raise -- and maybe a change of locale -- in your future.

Saturday: vs. Tennessee, 7 (ESPN2)

9. OLE MISS

The Rebels let one get away against Vandy -- blowing a double-digit lead in a 27-26 loss -- and now need a win in the final two weeks to qualify for a bowl. This week at Death Valley in Baton Rouge is doubtful, so that elevates the stakes of the Egg Bowl even more.

Saturday: at LSU, 3:30 (CBS)

10. ARKANSAS

Think back to August when the Razorbacks were a preseason top-10 pick and Tyler Wilson was a Heisman candidate. Now the Hogs are trying to talk themselves into why rehiring Bobby Petrino would be a good move.

Saturday: at Mississippi State, 12:21

11. MISSOURI

Sure, the Tigers have struggled in their first season in the SEC -- a fact magnified by Texas A&M's success. But a lot of that can be directed to quarterback James Franklin's struggles with injury. No team in the league can pick up and move on with injuries to their QB -- well, no team other than Auburn, since it has no QB.

Saturday: vs. Syracuse, 7 (ESPNU)

12. TENNESSEE

Want to hear a great stat that ESPN 105.1 sports talk show host Jim Gumm sent in: Tennessee has lost 180 SEC games since the league started back in 1933; Derek Dooley has lost 10 percent of them (18) since he started coaching the Vols in 2010. Ouch-standing.

Saturday: at Vanderbilt, 7 (ESPNU)

13. KENTUCKY

All is well with the UK world. Hoops have started. UK super-alum Ashley Judd is contemplating a run for Senate. Hoops have started.

Saturday: vs. Samford, 7 (CSS)

14. AUBURN

At the Auburn-Georgia game a surprisingly large crowd really had two chances to cheer: When Spirit the eagle flew into the stadium and when they announced the final score of Alabama's loss. So it goes, and there's no secret where the Tigers' troubles are. Auburn has scored 20 TDs in 10 games -- one kickoff return, one defensively and 18 on offense. Of those 18 offensive scores, none have covered more than 20 yards. What's the opposite of explosive?

Saturday: vs. Alabama A&M, 2 (pay-per-view)

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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