Roll Tide all around to all Tide fans everywhere. A win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl followed by a trip to Atlanta to play for the SEC Championship is the kind of euphoria every Alabama fan should celebrate. The Glory Years just keep rolling along for Nick Saban and the Tide. Embrace it.
1. Alabama. It has been a strange season for Alabama. This year's Iron Bowl will always be remembered as one of the most stunning editions, simply because of the strange lack of defense, for both teams. However, Alabama keeps finding ways to beat really good teams. Whether it be 20-13 over LSU in Baton Rouge, or 55-44 over Auburn in Tuscaloosa, Alabama keeps getting it done. In a way, you have to like this year's team's ability to adjust like that.
2. Mississippi State. Regardless of the loss to Ole Miss, the Bulldogs proved over the course of the season that they are one of the best teams in the country. It's tough to lose two of the last three, and State fans will forever play the 'what-if' game for this season, but they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
3. Ole Miss. The Rebels, who had absolutely nothing going for them for most of the last month, got up off the mat in a big way against State. That showed a lot of pride for this team, and it also showed that this team is one of the best in the SEC, despite the late season slide. Also: this team is peak mayhem this year. Beat teams #1 and #2 in my rankings, lose to teams #4, #5, and #8.
4. Auburn. The Tigers from the Plains showed up on Rivalry Week in a similar way to Ole Miss. Both teams had heartbreaking losses that exposed them to the dreaded 'fall short of expectations and tank' curse in November. However, they both brought their 'A' games for their hated rivals on Saturday, and showed why both were top five teams at one point.
5. LSU. The Bayou Bengals dominated A&M in a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score indicated. 3-0 against A&M since they joined has got to sting the Aggies.
6. Missouri. I will probably take some heat for this, especially since we play Mizzou in Atlanta this Saturday, but I think this is about right for the Midwest Tigers. All seven of their conference wins have come against teams rated below them in my rankings, and most of those wins were of the highly-competitive, 7-10 point type of games. Regardless, this is a very good defense led by an elite defensive line, and they have the ability to beat Alabama if the Tide don't respect them.
7. Georgia. The first of many SEC East teams that disappointed the SEC on Saturday. Georgia's just too inconsistent to place any higher than middle-of-the-road. I can't remember who tweeted it, but I read a tweet Saturday night that said that Georgia is the worst best team ever. I couldn't agree more.
8. Arkansas. RIP Arkansas' bowl opponent.
9. Texas A&M. The Aggies fired, so maybe things will turn around for them defensively. Or maybe they won't.
10. Tennessee. Bowl eligibility has never felt so good for Vols fans.
11. South Carolina. Just an absolutely disappointing year for the Gamecocks, all the way to the core. Spurrier is a legend, but he's got quite the turn-around in front of him. The young defense never seemed to get any better, and the offense is pretty much all going to be gone next year.
12. Florida. The Gators nearly sent Muschamp out on a high note, but things are looking up for Florida.
13. Kentucky. The Wildcats are going to wish they had those extra bowl practices, but this young team will be better next year.
14. Vanderbilt. Your long nightmare is finally over, Commodores! It's okay, you can cry. It will be alright, one day, Vandy, one day.