It’s hard to believe it’s only Week 10 of the college football season.
There weren’t many big games to affect the outcome of the SEC championship race, but we had our first coaching change of the year. Here are our updated stocks going into another week of SEC football.
ALABAMA — STOCK RISING
Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) did not play this weekend, but the Crimson Tide remain the top-ranked team in the country in the AP Poll. Many have criticized the Tide’s strength of schedule, but it will get its biggest test in the SEC this week by hosting LSU.
ARKANSAS — STOCK FALLING
Bret Bielema got his first 2017 SEC win on the road in a thriller against Ole Miss, 38-37. The Razorbacks are 3-5 (1-4 SEC), and should have a win at home against Coastal Carolina this week, but they will certainly struggle to be bowl eligible down the road.
AUBURN — STOCK HOLDING
The Tigers (6-2, 4-1 SEC) were off this week like their ‘Bama neighbors, but Gus Malzahn was likely prepping hard for the road test against Texas A&M coming up. He knows that If Auburn loses, pressure will be piled high on himself, especially with Georgia and Alabama still left on the schedule.
FLORIDA — STOCK FALLING
The Gators (3-4, 3-3 SEC) were not competitive at all in a 42-7 blowout loss to Georgia in what was Jim McElwain’s final game as head coach. It was officially announced Sunday that McElwain would be relieved of his duties — effective immediately — and defensive coordinator Randy Shannon will take over as interim for the rest of the season. Shannon has a chance to start his brief head coaching tenure at 1-0 on the road against struggling Missouri this week.
GEORGIA — STOCK RISING
The Bulldogs (8-0, 5-0 SEC) continue to break the will of the teams they play after drumming Florida in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. It seems as though Georgia draws more comparisons to Alabama with each coming week. Kirby Smart has to keep his team concentrated on the road against South Carolina in what could be a trap game ahead of another road trip to Auburn.
KENTUCKY — STOCK RISING
Big Blue Nation is feeling good after beating Tennessee for the third time in 33 years. Kentucky (6-2, 3-2 SEC) turned the ball over four times, but was able to hold on and win 29-26. Mark Stoops has his team bowl-eligible with a winnable game at home against Ole Miss this week.
LSU — STOCK RISING
LSU (6-2, 3-1 SEC) went into its bye week with some momentum after three straight conference wins. The Tigers’ offensive production has been better each week after the embarrassing loss to Troy, but can they do anything against an elite Alabama defense? We’ll see if Ed Orgeron can finally play the Tide close at home.
MISSISSIPPI STATE — STOCK RISING
The Dawgs (6-2, 3-2 SEC) put out a dominating performance in a tough environment at Texas A&M, with Nick Fitzgerald leading the team in passing and rushing once again in the 35-14 win. They’ll be at home against UMass this week, but the Dan Mullen hype has certainly been picking up steam this year with the perceived job openings around the conference. He restated his commitment to Mississippi State this week, but can his team avoid the distractions?
MISSOURI — STOCK FALLING
Drew Lock has been lighting up box scores in recent weeks for Mizzou (3-5, 0-4 SEC). Against UConn, Lock completed 31 of 37 passes for 377 yards and five touchdowns to bring his touchdown total to 28 on the year, but that is the only bright spot for the Tigers in 2017. They handled UConn 52-12, but we will see if they get back to their losing ways against a Florida team in a transitional period.
OLE MISS — STOCK FALLING
The season got worse two weeks ago when Shea Patterson went down with a season-ending injury, and backup Jordan Ta’amu’s 368 yards in the air did not help Ole Miss (3-5, 1-4 SEC) beat struggling Arkansas. A road game against Kentucky is coming up, and Matt Luke will continue working to get his team to .500, even though they won’t be eligible for a bowl game anyway.
SOUTH CAROLINA — STOCK RISING
Will Muschamp is starting to win folks over in Columbia. That trend grew as South Carolina (6-2, 4-2 SEC) held on to beat Vandy 34-27. Jake Bentley hasn’t exactly been scoring at will, but led his team to its third straight SEC win. The Gamecocks host AP No. 22 Georgia in Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday.
TENNESSEE — STOCK FALLING
Many thought this would be the week that athletic director John Currie delivered the news, but it has not happened, and Butch Jones will be coaching against Southern Miss. Tennessee’s (3-5, 0-5 SEC) second loss to Kentucky since 1984 did not have many positives, but finally scored its first touchdown since September 23. Freshman Ty Chandler played well in John Kelly’s absence, racking up 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns. We’ll see how full Neyland Stadium is this week for Tennessee’s homecoming game against Southern Miss.
TEXAS A&M — STOCK FALLING
Things were looking up for A&M (5-3, 3-2 SEC) after playing Alabama close and beating Florida on the road, but a 21-point loss to Mississippi State at home has the Aggies’ stock falling again, and it may not get any better against Auburn this week. If Texas A&M loses, I would expect them to have a change at head coach by season’s end.
VANDERBILT — STOCK FALLING
After a hot 3-0 start, Vanderbilt’s (3-5, 0-5) season has taken a turn for the worse to the tune of five straight losses. The latest loss at South Carolina displayed another great Kyle Shurmur performance (333 passing yards and four touchdowns), but the offense has not been able to save the defense. The Commodores step out of conference by hosting Western Kentucky this week, and Vandy needs a win to avoid putting bowl berth in jeopardy.