The SEC women’s basketball season is well underway and it is time we unveiled our first power rankings of the season. This will be a weekly feature as we track which teams are hot – and which teams are not – all the way from now until the end of the season. Here are the rankings for games up to and including Tuesday, 5 December.
1 – Mississippi State
Hard to look past Mississippi State at the top of these inaugural power rankings. The Bulldogs are 8-0 on the season and picked up wins this week against Louisiana (comfortably) and Oklahoma State (by three). Having two different 30-point scorers in the same week – Teaira McCown and Victoria Vivians – is a big deal.
2 – Tennessee
Tennessee also won both their games this week, but in fairness, the Lady Vols weren’t tested by either Central Arkansas or Alabama State. Tennessee won the two games by a combined 96 points, suggesting they are humming along quite nicely.
3 – South Carolina
The biggest single win of the week by an SEC team went to South Carolina when they knocked off No. 14 Duke on Sunday. The Gamecocks backed this up with a 26-point victory over Charleston, avoiding a potential trap game in the process.
4 – Mizzou
Mizzou was one of the few SEC teams to win in the SEC/Big 12 challenge, taking down old conference foe Kansas State 73-59 on the back of 23-points from sophomore guard Amber Smith. Picking up a win like this when junior Sophie Cunningham finished without a field goal for just the second time in her career is big news for the Tigers.
5 – Kentucky
Kentucky picked up a tough draw in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge and they suffered their first loss of the season against No. 9 Baylor. It was a big 27-point loss that could have seen a hangover in their next games, but the Wildcats easily dispatched Tennessee Tech and Evansville to get back on track.
6 – Georgia
As tough as the Kentucky draw was, Georgia had it even tougher. The Bulldogs threw everything they had at No. 2 Texas, but the Longhorns defense was just too good as they held on for an 81-53 win. The frustrating part for Georgia is that they don’t play again until December 14, meaning they have almost two full weeks to stew on the loss.
7 – Ole Miss
Ole Miss, on the other hand, had a great week, though they again didn’t play any of the Big 12 schools. Their two wins came against Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State, meaning that the Rebels are an early season loss against Saint Louis of all teams away from having a perfect record.
8 – Texas A&M
Beating Rice by six was expected of Texas A&M as they went into their clash with West Virginia ranked 18th in the country. The No. 11 Mountaineers however proved to be too strong as the Aggies suffered a cold shooting night in a game where they couldn’t afford it. Better things lie ahead for this team.
9 – Auburn
Two wins out of two on the week for Auburn as the Tigers try to bounce back from a disastrous spell where they lost to Northwestern and Chattanooga. This Auburn team is up and down, but scoring remains a problem on a night by night basis. They did score enough to beat UL Monroe (67-41) and Indiana (65-53) this week though.
10 – Florida
One game and one win on the week for Florida as the Gators were very impressive in beating Oklahoma 80-61 in Norman. It was the first signature victory for first-year head coach Cameron Newbauer, with a Delicia Washington double-double being one of many highlights on the night.
11 – Arkansas
Arkansas missed a chance for a signature win of their own after a ho-hum 79-65 win over Abilene Christian was followed by an 11-point loss at Kansas. It was a frustrating loss as three Arkansas players hit double figures, but there wasn’t enough production from the other players on the court. A pre-Christmas date against Arizona State looms large as another chance for a big win.
12 – Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt was another team that was perfect for the week as they seem to have finally discovered how to finish out close games. Beating Saint Louis and Iowa State by a combined eight points was enough to see Vandy move its record to 3-6 before a scary looking game against No. 4 Louisville on Thursday.
13 – LSU
LSU won a couple of games this week, but few would have been happy with the Tigers offensive performance in a 48-40 win over Texas Tech in Lubbock. Turnovers were a big deal for the Red Raiders early, with the Tigers making the most of their chances to eke out an eight-point win.
14 – Alabama
The only SEC school without a win this week was Alabama, a team that is reeling after losing three in a row. The 88-68 loss at TCU was indicative of this losing stretch, as the Crimson Tide took a lead into the half, but failed to do much of anything offensively in the third quarter before falling away down the stretch.