As we creep ever closer to the Christmas break it is time to check in on the power rankings. 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, 12 December.
1 – Tennessee (2)
The Lady Vols jump to the top spot in our rankings after picking up the biggest win of any SEC school so far this year. No. 7 Tennessee won a tough, physical battle with No. 2 Texas, a win that has put the nation on notice that this Tennessee squad is for real.
2 – Mississippi State (1)
The No. 5 Bulldogs slip from the No. 1 spot more because of what Tennessee did than anything they failed to do. A comfortable win over Little Rock was their only action this week, but they now get to face No. 9 Oregon with their own chance to put up a signature win.
3 – South Carolina (3)
The Gamecocks are in a weird portion of their schedule right now. After beating Duke by 20 on December 3, the win against Charleston was their only game for two full weeks. The win was a 24-point rout and this is a team ready for SEC play to begin.
4 – Mizzou (4)
Mizzou got a 50-point week out of Sophie Cunningham as they dominated Saint Louis (a team every SEC school seems to play) and SIUE by a combined 42 points. The Tigers are a bizarre three-point opening day loss to Western Kentucky away from being amongst the ranks of the undefeated.
5 – Ole Miss (7)
The Rebels made hard work of their week, but two wins over South Alabama and Southern Miss see them climb in the rankings. Alissa Alston proved against the Jaguars that this team is more than just Madinah Mohammad and Promise Taylor, while their fourth-quarter rally to run down a 16-point Golden Eagles’ was as impressive as it was desperate.
6 – Texas A&M (8)
The Aggies needed a rebound week after losing at home to No. 11 West Virginia. They got all that they needed and more by picking up a big win over feisty TCU and then their second victory of the week against Central Arkansas. The Aggies are undefeated against non-ranked schools, but a win over either Oregon or the Mountaineers would have been good for the resume.
7 – Georgia (6)
The Bulldogs fall one place after not showing up this week. Literally, they didn’t have a game.
8 – Kentucky (5)
It is not just that the Wildcats lost both their games this week, it is also who they lost them to. Florida Gulf Coast might be good this year, but they should never be beating Kentucky. The idea of getting out of Florida with a win quickly dissipated on Sunday as Kentucky lost by nine to Miami. This quad will have much better weeks.
9 – Auburn (9)
The Tigers seem to have moved past their blip over Thanksgiving weekend and are now on a four-game winning streak. Louisiana and Southern were the victims this week as Auburn did enough in both to come away with victories. The Tigers 30-point fourth quarter effort against Southern was by far their best single quarter of basketball this season.
10 – Arkansas (11)
Two wins on the week for the Razorbacks that came in very different circumstances. Charlotte pushed Arkansas all the way as the Hogs held on for a 73-72 win before Tulsa was blown away by 26-points. The Tulsa game also saw Arkansas finish with a ridiculous +26 rebounding margin.
11 – LSU (13)
There was just the one game for LSU this week, as they stayed in-state to take down Tulane 73-50 in New Orleans. It was a big game for senior Raigyne Lewis, who became the first player in school history with 1,300 points, 600 rebounds, 200 steals and 275 assists. That is the definition of a player that fills the stat sheet.
12 – Alabama (14)
Alabama rises from the foot of our power rankings with wins over two schools they should beat 100 times out of 100. The Crimson Tide scored 73 points in each game against Lipscomb and Grambling, winning both by over 20 points.
13 – Florida (10)
The Gators are one of the biggest fallers in the rankings this week as they split there two games. The loss to No. 12 Ohio State doesn’t sound bad, but Florida was dismantled as they gave up 103 points and lost by 26. Their subsequent win over Marshall was looking good until the last 15 minutes where the Herd was with one with just over a minute to play.
14 – Vanderbilt (12)
It seems a little harsh to bump Vanderbilt down to the bottom of the power rankings after their loss to No. 4 Louisville. The truth though is that the Commodores are the only team in the league with a losing record and their average points against of 74.5 per game is not conducive to playing winning basketball.