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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 5)

Texas A&M-Aggies-power-poll

Texas A&M has done a nice job turning things around after blowing a huge lead in the season-opening loss to UCLA.

The Aggies have won four games in a row after rallying in the second half to beat South Carolina on Saturday night in College Station, Texas. At 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC, the Aggies have momentum — and what better time to have it with top-ranked Alabama coming to town this Saturday?

With its fourth consecutive win, Texas A&M moved up three places to No. 5 in the Week 5 SEC Country Power Poll. The 27 voters placed them behind No. 1 Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and Florida.

Imagine what it might look like if Texas A&M hadn’t squandered a 44-10 lead against UCLA in the season opener only to lose, 45-44? The Aggies would be 5-0 and the game against Alabama this Saturday would look more intriguing than it does.

Quarterback Kellen Mond has completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 808 yards with 6 TDs and 2 interceptions, and he continues looking more comfortable as the starting quarterback after being thrust into action against UCLA. He also has 252 rushing yards (4.9 per carry) with a touchdown.

The Aggies’ next four games are against SEC competition, extending a streak of six consecutive games against conference opponents. They play Alabama at 7:15 p.m. ET at Kyle Field on Saturday. Following that date with the top-ranked Crimson Tide, Texas A&M travels to Gainesville to play Florida on Oct. 14. After an off week, the Aggies get Mississippi State (Oct. 28) and Auburn (Nov. 4) at Kyle Field.

Alabama received all 27 first-place votes this week, as it has every week this season, after dismantling Ole Miss, 66-3, on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 5 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 351 27 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 322 0 2 2 3
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 298 0 3 2 4
4 Florida (4 – 7) 265 0 4 4 5
5 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 223 0 8 4 13
6 Kentucky (7 – 6) 200 0 7 4 12
7 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 191 0 5 4 9
8 South Carolina (9 – 4) 135 0 11 7 13
9 Arkansas (4 – 8) 128 0 12 3 13
10 LSU (9 – 4) 115 0 6 7 13
11 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 93 0 9 7 14
12 Tennessee (4 – 8) 81 0 10 6 13
13 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 49 0 13 7 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 6 0 14 9 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Kyle Tucker (SEC Country)
Lauren Shute (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 5) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 5)

mississippi state-nick fitzgerald-2018 season

After reaching a high of No. 3 in the SEC Country Power Poll several weeks ago, Mississippi State is out of the top 5 following a 49-10 pounding at Auburn on Saturday night, the Bulldogs’ second straight loss.

Auburn jumped on Mississippi State (3-2, 1-2 SEC) early and didn’t let up with a balanced offense that put up near-identical numbers in passing (267) and rushing (244). The Bulldogs didn’t do themselves any favors with 10 penalties, including seven false starts that seemed to always come on third-and-short.

“I don’t think it’s time to panic. I don’t think we need to press,” Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald said after the game. “I don’t think we need to be frustrated. We just need to come out and focus on ourselves. When practicing, we really need to focus on a lot of individual drills, work on some techniques so they know what will get them through game weeks, and get some younger guys some reps.”

The Bulldogs fell two spots to No. 7 in the latest SEC Country Power Poll, released Sunday. The 27 voters placed the Bulldogs as high as fourth and as low as ninth. The top 5 is comprised of Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M. As they have every week this season, the Crimson Tide received every first-place vote.

Mississippi State gets a week off to figure out things after being outscored a combined 80-13 against Auburn and Georgia the last two games. When the Bulldogs return to action Oct. 14, they’ll do so at home against BYU before returning to SEC play on Oct. 21 against Kentucky.

“The big plays really hurt today on the defensive side of the ball,” coach Dan Mullen said after the game. “There were some missed opportunities on the offensive side. Last week I don’t think we played well. I’m anxious to see the film this week to see if we played better than last week, but just missed some plays. If that’s the case then we’ll take a look and try to get that fixed. If we played worse than that’ll just be disappointing that we didn’t get better.”

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 5 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 351 27 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 322 0 2 2 3
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 298 0 3 2 4
4 Florida (4 – 7) 265 0 4 4 5
5 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 223 0 8 4 13
6 Kentucky (7 – 6) 200 0 7 4 12
7 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 191 0 5 4 9
8 South Carolina (9 – 4) 135 0 11 7 13
9 Arkansas (4 – 8) 128 0 12 3 13
10 LSU (9 – 4) 115 0 6 7 13
11 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 93 0 9 7 14
12 Tennessee (4 – 8) 81 0 10 6 13
13 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 49 0 13 7 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 6 0 14 9 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Kyle Tucker (SEC Country)
Lauren Shute (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 5) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 7)

Mississippi State Bulldogs-football-BYU

Nick Fitzgerald threw for 2 touchdown passes and ran for 2 more as Mississippi State returned after its bye week and a pair of lopsided losses to handle BYU at home, 35-10.

The victory was a nice bounce-back after the Bulldogs began the season 3-0 before being upended in back-to-back games against Georgia and Auburn by a combined 67 points.

“Overall, I like the performance our guys came out with despite coming off a bye week and the early kickoff,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said after the win. “BYU is a team we talked about being very physical on both lines of scrimmage. I thought we came out and played hard on defense. We made plays; holding them to 10 points. We were able to control the line of scrimmage on offense and wear them down.”

It was an all-around performance Saturday in Starkville. The Bulldogs piled up 546 yards of offense — 306 rushing and 240 passing — while they allowed just 8 first downs and 176 yards on defense. Aeris Williams ran for 114 yards and had a 5-yard TD run, while Keith Mixon had 69 receiving yards and Donald Gray hauled in 4 passes for 41 yards and a 9-yard touchdown.

BYU was held to seven possessions of 3 plays or fewer and nine that totaled 4 plays or fewer.

The Bulldogs (4-2, 1-2 SEC) improved one spot in the SEC Country Power Poll this week. The 25 voters moved them up to No. 6 this week, replacing Florida, which fell to No. 8 after losing to Texas A&M.

Alabama retained the top spot with all 25 first-place votes and was followed by Georgia. Auburn remained third despite losing at LSU, Texas A&M is fourth and LSU sits one spot ahead of Mississippi State.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 7 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 325 25 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 300 0 2 2 2
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 255 0 3 3 5
4 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 253 0 4 3 7
5 LSU (9 – 4) 231 0 5 3 7
6 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 179 0 7 4 12
7 Kentucky (7 – 6) 165 0 8 6 9
8 Florida (4 – 7) 161 0 6 6 9
9 South Carolina (9 – 4) 151 0 9 6 10
10 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 77 0 13 9 13
11 Tennessee (4 – 8) 67 0 10 10 14
12 Arkansas (4 – 8) 65 0 12 9 13
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 32 0 11 10 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 14 0 14 10 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Hale McGranahan (SEC Country)
Jeff Sentell (DawgNation)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 7) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 8)

Christian Kirk-Texas A&M Aggies-Belk Bowl

After four consecutive weeks of tooth-and-nail SEC games, Texas A&M got a rest this week before jumping back into conference play Saturday.

Last week, the Aggies won at Florida, 19-17, one week after giving No. 1 Alabama its toughest game of the season in a 27-19 setback. Texas A&M previously beat South Carolina, 24-17, and outlasted Arkansas in overtime, 50-43.

After climbing to fourth in the SEC Country Power Poll rankings last week, the Aggies held on to that spot barely as LSU closed the gap. The two are now tied at No. 4. With its 40-24 win against Ole Miss, LSU pulled even with the Aggies sitting out this week. The 25 SEC Country Power Poll voters had A&M voted as high as third and no lower than seventh.

RELATED: How about an apology for Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin?

The top three teams remained the same with Alabama occupying No. 1 as it has all season, followed by Georgia and Auburn.

The Aggies (5-2, 3-1 in SEC) are led by freshman quarterback Kellen Mond. Mond was throw to the fire in the Week 1 loss at UCLA when starting QB Nick Starkel went down with an injury. The freshman is completing 53.6 percent of his passes for 1,225 yards, 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He’s also run the ball 80 times for 318 yards and 3 TDs.

Trayveon Williams leads A&M in rushing with 440 yards (4.8 yards per carry, 5 touchdowns) and Keith Ford (343 yards, 4.5 yards per carry) is the team leader with 7 rushing scores.

Dynamic receiver/kicker returner Christian Kirk has been Mond’s favorite target. He has 29 receptions for 360 yards and a team-best 5 touchdown receptions. Kirk also averages 26.9 yards on kickoff returns and has a 100-yard return for a TD this season. As a punt returner, Kirk averages 11.4 yards per return on 5 returns.

Texas A&M plays Mississippi State on Saturday at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, and then gets Auburn at home on Saturday, Nov. 4.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 8 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 325 25 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 299 0 2 2 3
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 263 0 3 2 5
4 LSU (9 – 4) 232 0 5 3 7
5 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 232 0 4 3 7
6 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 215 0 6 4 9
7 Florida (4 – 7) 174 0 8 5 8
8 South Carolina (9 – 4) 142 0 9 6 10
9 Kentucky (7 – 6) 140 0 7 7 9
10 Tennessee (4 – 8) 76 0 11 10 13
11 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 72 0 10 10 14
12 Arkansas (4 – 8) 51 0 12 8 14
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 47 0 13 9 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 7 0 14 12 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Jeff Sentell (DawgNation)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 8) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 8)

Mississippi-State-Nick-Fitzgerald-quarterback-Kentucky-SEC-Player of the Week

Nick Fitzgerald was on his game Saturday against Kentucky in Starkville.

The Mississippi State quarterback ran for 115 yards with touchdown runs of 3 and 40 yards, and he threw for 155 yards and a 10-yard TD toss as the Bulldogs routed the Wildcats, 45-7. On the season, Fitzgerald has 569 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns and is completing 56.9 percent of his passes for 1,169 yards, 11 TDs and 7 interceptions.

“I thought he did a really good job. He made some great plays. I think he missed a couple,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said of Fitzgerald after the game. “I told him it was one of those six-to-12 inch days. He had great reads, great checks, got us into the right plays. He managed the game.

“On a couple of throws we were about six to 12 inches off. In fact, you could take that ball and move it about six to 12 inches in a different direction and he probably would’ve had a couple more touchdown passes. I think that is the consistency and performance that he continues to improve on, but I was pleased with his decision and play making all day.”

The Bulldogs improved to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the SEC after the win. They remained No. 6 in the Week 8 SEC Country Power Poll. The 25 voters awarded Mississippi State 215 total votes — LSU and Texas A&M tied for fourth place just in front of the Bulldogs with 232 votes.

The top 5: Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, LSU and A&M.

Mississippi State has a chance to move up next Saturday when it travels to College Station, Texas, to take on Texas A&M (Saturday, Oct. 28, 7:15 p.m. ET). The two teams have split their past four meetings. The Bulldogs won last season in Starkville, 35-28, and the Aggies won at Kyle Field in 2015, 30-17. This is just the 11th meeting between the two, and A&M has won the only two games in College Station.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 8 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 325 25 1 1 1
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 299 0 2 2 3
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 263 0 3 2 5
4 LSU (9 – 4) 232 0 5 3 7
5 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 232 0 4 3 7
6 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 215 0 6 4 9
7 Florida (4 – 7) 174 0 8 5 8
8 South Carolina (9 – 4) 142 0 9 6 10
9 Kentucky (7 – 6) 140 0 7 7 9
10 Tennessee (4 – 8) 76 0 11 10 13
11 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 72 0 10 10 14
12 Arkansas (4 – 8) 51 0 12 8 14
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 47 0 13 9 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 7 0 14 12 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Jeff Sentell (DawgNation)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 8) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 9)

Kevin Sumlin-Texas A&M football

Texas A&M fell behind by 21 points and never threatened Saturday night at home against Mississippi State.

The result was a disappointing 35-14 loss that put an abrupt halt to a run of 5 wins in 6 games with the lone loss being an 8-point setback to top-ranked Alabama.

SEC Country Power Poll voters didn’t ding the Aggies too much — they dropped from fifth to sixth this week — but where the voters hurt Texas A&M most was in the gap between the Aggies and No. 5 Mississippi State. There is a clear separation between the top 5 teams and the rest.

Texas A&M was voted as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 8.

Things went poorly from the start Saturday against Mississippi State. The Aggies were outrushed 228-96 and outgained in total offense 369 to 285. Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond struggled the most he has since the season opener against UCLA when he was thrust into action. He completed 8-of-26 passes against MSU for 56 yards and 2 interceptions. Nick Starkel relieved him and threw for 133 yards with a TD pass and an interception.

This week doesn’t get easier. Auburn (6-2) visits College Station. The Tigers moved up from 19th to 16th in this week’s AP Top 25. Auburn sits at No. 3 in the SEC Country Power Poll, behind No. 2 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama. LSU and Mississippi State round out the top 5.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 9 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 334 22 1 1 2
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 316 4 2 1 2
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 280 0 3 3 4
4 LSU (9 – 4) 250 0 4 3 6
5 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 247 0 6 4 6
6 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 198 0 5 5 8
7 South Carolina (9 – 4) 175 0 8 5 9
8 Kentucky (7 – 6) 162 0 9 6 10
9 Florida (4 – 7) 127 0 7 7 11
10 Arkansas (4 – 8) 98 0 12 7 13
11 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 63 0 11 10 14
12 Tennessee (4 – 8) 54 0 10 10 14
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 38 0 13 9 14
14 Missouri (7 – 6) 24 0 14 9 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Hale McGranahan (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Lauren Shute (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Texas A&M is ranked (Week 9) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 10)

Mississippi State-football-podcast-taxslayer bowl

Nick Fitzgerald scored touchdowns on 8- and 10-yard runs in the third quarter, and that proved to be what put Mississippi State over the top Saturday in its 34-23 win against a UMass team that proved much tougher than expected.

“With college football being how it is today, if you don’t bring your A-game, there’s a chance you’re going to put yourself at jeopardy,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. “I don’t think for the whole game today that we brought our A-game.”

But it was enough to convince voters in this week’s SEC Country Power Poll to lift the Bulldogs over LSU. Mississippi State (7-2) is No. 4 this week, nudging its way ahead of LSU (6-3), which lost to Alabama, 24-10, on Saturday.

This week, the Bulldogs get their chance to prove how they stack up with the league’s elite when they host Alabama in Starkville. Mississippi State’s first two run-ins with top teams in the league didn’t turn out well — a 31-3 loss at Georgia and 49-10 loss at Auburn — but the Bulldogs do own a 37-7 win against LSU.

Alabama is No. 1 in the SEC Country Power Poll — as it has been since the first week of the season. Georgia is second, followed by Auburn and LSU is fifth.

After playing Alabama this Saturday, Mississippi State plays at Arkansas on Saturday, Nov. 11, and finishes the regular season against rival Ole Miss on Thursday, Nov. 23, in the Egg Bowl.

Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.

Your Week 10 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE
VOTES
PREV HIGH
VOTE
LOW
VOTE
1 Alabama (13 – 1) 295 19 1 1 2
2 Georgia (13 – 2) 280 4 2 1 2
3 Auburn (10 – 4) 253 0 3 3 3
4 Mississippi State (9 – 4) 221 0 5 4 6
5 LSU (9 – 4) 214 0 4 4 6
6 South Carolina (9 – 4) 177 0 7 5 8
7 Texas A&M (7 – 6) 163 0 6 6 8
8 Kentucky (7 – 6) 130 0 8 6 11
9 Ole Miss (6 – 6) 102 0 11 8 14
10 Missouri (7 – 6) 81 0 14 8 13
11 Florida (4 – 7) 58 0 9 7 14
12 Tennessee (4 – 8) 48 0 12 9 14
13 Vanderbilt (5 – 7) 36 0 13 8 14
14 Arkansas (4 – 8) 35 0 10 9 14

This week’s voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)

The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 10) appeared first on SEC Country.

Ken Bradley – SEC Country

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Best of South Carolina on SEC Country; Gamecocks hoops gets major commitment

South Carolina football-South Carolina-Gamecocks-Rico Dowdle

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

One shot

With SEC Country closing its doors on Saturday, let’s look back at a few of the top South Carolina Gamecocks stories from SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan the past 26 months. We’re starting with McGranahan’s gem highlighting former South Carolina quarterback Perry Orth.

“All Perry Orth ever wanted was a chance,” McGranahan wrote in summer 2016. “The former walk-on will get his last crack at South Carolina’s starting quarterback job when fall camp opens next month. His spring was off to a good start before a broken collarbone shut him down in March.”

After starting eight games in 2015, Orth got the starting nod in the Gamecocks’ 2016 season opener against Vanderbilt. He finished his South Carolina career completing 56.8 percent of his passes for 2,595 yards with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Down since Day 1

McGranahan’s first day on the South Carolina beat resulted in a tremendous profile on then-incoming freshman running back Rico Dowdle. With Dowdle’s emergence over the last two seasons, it’s fascinating to read the story of how he ended up in Columbia.

“I always wanted to go there since I was a little kid,” Dowdle told SEC Country in May 2016. “We had Sidney Rice from Gaffney. I liked him since I was little. We had him going there. I always wanted to go play at Carolina. My sister, my older sister who passed away, she liked them. That was just home, the state team.”

Dowdle led the Gamecocks in rushing his freshman year (2016) with 764 yards. He has 1,015 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns, with 26 catches for 183 yards and 2 scores, in his first two seasons at South Carolina.

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#SpursUp

The South Carolina men’s basketball team got a major boost on Tuesday with a commitment from 4-star prospect A.J. Lawson.

Prior to reclassifying to the Class of 2018, Lawson was rated as the No. 39 overall prospect for 2019, per the 247Sports composite.

He picked South Carolina over Creighton, Tulane and others.

Another star

Five-star defensive tackle and South Carolina target Travon Walker is a prospect to watch at The Opening Finals this weekend in Dallas, according to 247Sports’ Barton Simmons.

“Walker carries 265 pounds like it’s 215,” Simmons writes. “He has really good testing numbers across the board. He’s got really good film. He’s a multi-sport athlete. He’s got the versatility to project to defensive end or defensive tackle.”

Walker took an official visit to Columbia on June 2. He’s rated as the No. 28 overall prospect and No. 2 defensive tackle for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

Return to Tampa

Sporting News released its bowl predictions for the upcoming season on Tuesday.

The projections have the Gamecocks returning to the Outback Bowl to face Michigan State. South Carolina beat Michigan, 26-19, in the 2018 Outback Bowl.

Michigan State is led by former South Carolina defensive back (1976-78) Mark Dantonio. The two teams have never before met on the gridiron.

Yard

Check out this monster home run from former South Carolina star and current Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on Tuesday night.

The Richmond, Va., native hit .331, with 133 RBI and 30 home runs over his three-year South Carolina career (2009-11).

A first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2011 MLB Draft, Bradley Jr. is in his sixth season in the majors.

Craving more Chicken & Waffles? Get your fix with previous versions here.

The post Best of South Carolina on SEC Country; Gamecocks hoops gets major commitment appeared first on SEC Country.

Daniel Sweeney – SEC Country

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Christopher Walsh’s 10 favorite stories with SEC Country

Christopher Walsh-Alabama-Alabama athletics

As the final days of SEC Country wind down, we, the writers, have been asked to share a list of our favorite stories.

Narrowing mine down to 10 wasn’t easy, but before listing them, some quick notes of thanks:

To the editors and people behind the scenes, I’ll forever be proud of the work we did. SEC Country quickly established itself in the college football world, which was not an easy thing to do, and a lot of it was because of you.

Additional thanks to our readers for sharing so much time with us. We hope you had as much fun as we did. Here’s my list of 10 favorites, with links to the stories.

1. The ‘Decade of Dominance’ series

Trying to come up with new story angles for Nick Saban is nearly impossible, but one of the things that kind of lingered from the book I did, Nick Saban vs. College Football: The Case for College Football’s Greatest Coach, was that he’s had such amazing success in such a short period of time at Alabama.

So I kept an eye out for how his accomplishments measured up to the greatest decades in college football history. I didn’t know for sure until this 10-part series — which ran from July 2-August 27 — came to fruition, but then Alabama won yet another national title.

My favorite story of the 10 was easily the last one, giving Saban the It’s a Wonderful Life treatment and speculating how different Alabama, Tuscaloosa and college football would be had he not said yes to former athletic director Mal Moore.

2. Tua Tagovailoa’s comeback

National championships never get old, but I will never forget standing on the sideline in January next to some journalism giants during the fourth quarter and in overtime of the game against Georgia, and we were all saying to each other, “Can you believe this?”

And that was before the 41-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

3. The Alabama hockey story that won an award

I recently had the honor of winning best columns from the Alabama Sports Writers Association for the second time in three years. The judges looked at four columns from each person, and I’m convinced the one that put mine over the top was about Jon Lovorn, an Alabama club hockey player from Newtown, Conn.

That’s the home of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lovorn dedicated his senior season to the 26 victims: 20 kids who were 6- and 7-year-olds along with six teachers who had been murdered. It’s a story that will never leave me.

4. Ashley Williams

Every once in a while, you hear about a female athlete who gets pregnant at college and then just sort of disappears off the roster. Ashley Williams was different, though. With the help of her family, she was able to come back, finish her career and graduate.

What made the story incredibly special to me was sitting down and talking with everyone in her family. Special thanks to Ashley, her family and Kristy Curry for their time and for letting me do it.

5. Keith Holcombe

I didn’t know that much about diabetes before doing this story, but Keith Holcombe and his mother opened my eyes to what real resiliency is about.

6. The other Crimson Tide national champions

For years, I’d been interested in doing a story on the Alabama wheelchair basketball teams and finally got a chance. I spent a memorable morning with them right before the men won another national championship. You bet I was watching that game from afar, and I hope I can go back and do another story on them soon.

7. Ronnie Clark

True story: The day I was scheduled to meet with Ronnie Clark, my car developed a big-time oil problem and I had to take it to Birmingham to get fixed. I went early in hopes of a quick repair, but it didn’t work out. So I was sitting out in front of the shop doing a phone interview with Ronnie back in Tuscaloosa. Despite the very large car repair bill, I eventually left in a great mood because I liked the story so much.

8. The story of a 5-foot-1 Marine officer

An Alabama gymnast who made it through Officer Candidates School at Quantico? Every reporter should want to do a story like that.

9. Quanesha Burks

I loved the idea that Quanesha Burks would get recruiting calls when she worked at McDonald’s while in high school. You have to like the humble beginnings turned elite athlete story, and hers definitely qualified.

10. Levi Wallace

I wasn’t the first to do a story on cornerback Levi Wallace, but I wanted mine to stand out — and not just because I once worked in his hometown of Tucson, Ariz. When he opened up about his late father during an interview session, it was Labor Day, just after Alabama defeated Florida State. I’ll always be thankful that his high school coach called me back even though it was a holiday.

The post Christopher Walsh’s 10 favorite stories with SEC Country appeared first on SEC Country.

Christopher Walsh – SEC Country

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South Carolina WR tabbed as top 20 player in the country; favorite Gamecocks content from SEC Country

South Carolina football-Deebo Samuel

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

Top 20

South Carolina Gamecocks redshirt senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel is the No. 18 overall player in Sports Illustrated’s 2018 College Football Top 100.

“If he can recapture the form that made him one of the biggest stories in the SEC last September, Samuel should spend conference play grilling opposing defensive backs and coverage units,” SI’s Chris Johnson and Eric Single wrote. “An uptick in junior quarterback Jake Bentley’s accuracy — among qualifying passers, he finished seventh in the SEC in efficiency and tossed 12 interceptions last season — would further Samuel’s cause.”

Prior to suffering a season-ending injury in Week 3 against Kentucky, Samuel had 15 catches for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns and 1 rushing score. He earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors in Weeks 1 and 2.

Before Columbia

Days before SEC Country shuts its doors, we’re looking back at some of our favorite South Carolina stories from the past two years.

In fall 2016, former SEC Country writer Mike Wilson profiled then-freshman quarterback Jake Bentley, taking a closer look at how Bentley’s adopted hometown of Opelika, Ala., shaped him.

“Opelika is home, the place where he became well-known around the city and earned a sterling reputation for his play on the field and his character away from it,” Wilson wrote. “It’s the place where that reputation should still be mounting and he should be playing.”

Bentley burst onto the scene halfway through South Carolina’s 2016 campaign, becoming the team’s starting quarterback and never looking back. His freshman year, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback went 4-3 as a starter, completing 65.8 percent of his passes for 1,420 yards, 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

On the up and up

The Gamecocks haven’t had a defensive back picked in the NFL draft since 2013, but that could change soon, according to John Whittle of The Big Spur.

“While the program isn’t nearly the ‘DBU’ it once was, it’s trending in the right direction after going five years without a drafted player,” Whittle wrote. “That streak should come to an end with the 2019 NFL draft with perhaps three players taken. And if three defensive backs are taken this season, that will be the most in the program since 1972.”

The South Carolina secondary is led by seniors Rashad Fenton, Steven Montac and Keisean Nixon in 2018. The trio combined for 75 tackles, 6 interceptions and 10 passes defended last season.

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Coming soon?

Check out 4-star WR and 2019 target Keveon Mullins hanging out with 4-star QB and South Carolina commit Ryan Hilinski at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge on Wednesday.

The Gamecocks are among the finalists for Mullins. The Memphis, Tenn., native is rated as the No. 258 overall prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

Making the cut

Three-star linebacker and 2019 prospect Jamie Pettway announced South Carolina as one of his  top 6 schools on Tuesday.

The 247Sports composite tabs Pettway as the No. 51 outside linebacker for 2019.

Dear Chris

South Carolina forward Chris Silva penned a letter to his 15-year-old self on Wednesday.

“Leaving Gabon was crazy hard, wasn’t it?” Silva wrote. “Especially when you glanced back over your shoulder one more time and saw everyone at the airport there to support you and give you one more look of encouragement and yell of good luck. Mom, Dad, your uncles, friends, everyone. But it’s happening man. You’re going to the United States to chase your dream.”

The All-SEC forward averaged 14.3 points, 8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game last season.

Craving more Chicken & Waffles? Get your fix with previous versions here.

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Daniel Sweeney – SEC Country