BATON ROUGE, La. — With blowout wins over Missouri and Southern Miss, Ed Orgeron’s LSU Tigers didn’t prove too much. But after LSU’s decisive 38-21 win over Ole Miss on Saturday night, voters are starting to take notice.
The Tigers rank No. 5 in this week’s edition of the SEC Country Power Poll, up three spots from where they ranked the last two weeks. The win rocketed LSU ahead of not just Ole Miss, who falls to No. 8, but also Arkansas and Florida, teams LSU will play in November.
The SEC Country Power Poll is made up of 22 voters who cover the conference for SEC Country and outlets across the country.
LSU (5-2, 3-1 SEC) allowed a season-high three touchdowns Saturday, but was uncharacteristically able to rely on its offense, especially with Leonard Fournette back on the field. Fournette, who was playing for the first time since Les Miles was fired, set an LSU single-game record with 284 rushing yards and three touchdowns. His three touchdowns came on increasingly long gains, as he broke for a 59-yard score in the first quarter, a 76-yard score in the second quarter and a 78-yard score in the third quarter.
But Fournette wasn’t the only reason LSU won Saturday. Despite a season-high in points allowed, the LSU defense for the most part shut down Ole Miss’s potent offense, recording seven tackles for loss and limiting the Rebels to 3.2 yards per carry. The pass defense also did its part by intercepting Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly twice.
If Saturday night was Orgeron’s chance to prove he’s capable of beating a good team, the next two weeks will be Orgeron’s chance to prepare to prove it wasn’t a fluke. The Tigers take a bye this week, but after the bye, No. 1 Alabama looms on the schedule. The Crimson Tide, the unanimous No. 1 team in the SEC Country Power Poll, will come to Tiger Stadium two weeks from now as undefeated winners of 20 straight games. LSU has not beaten Alabama since the 2011 regular season.
After Alabama, things will get easier for LSU, but just barely. LSU’s last three games of the season will be against Arkansas, Florida and Texas A&M, the teams ranked seventh, sixth and second in the SEC Country Power Poll.
Saturday’s win helped LSU jump six spots to No. 19 in this week’s AP Top 25. Five SEC teams rank ahead of LSU on the poll, including Alabama, which earned 60 out of 61 possible first-place votes. Because of its loss to Auburn Saturday, Arkansas dropped out of the Top 25, hurting LSU’s chances of finishing the season with five-straight games against ranked opponents for the first time in school history. LSU’s win over Ole Miss also dropped the Rebels out of the AP Top 25. Unlike Arkansas, Ole Miss did not receive any votes.
Make sure to check back to SECCountry.com this time next week for the Week 9 edition of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Your Week 8 rankingsResults are below:
|1||Alabama (14 - 1)||286||22||1||1||1|
|2||Texas A&M (8 - 5)||260||0||2||2||5|
|3||Auburn (8 - 5)||235||0||6||2||5|
|4||Tennessee (9 - 4)||211||0||5||3||6|
|5||LSU (8 - 4)||200||0||8||3||6|
|6||Florida (9 - 4)||189||0||4||2||8|
|7||Arkansas (7 - 6)||151||0||3||6||8|
|8||Ole Miss (5 - 7)||137||0||7||5||9|
|9||Georgia (8 - 5)||101||0||9||7||11|
|10||Kentucky (7 - 6)||95||0||10||8||11|
|11||Vanderbilt (6 - 7)||54||0||12||9||14|
|12||Mississippi State (6 - 7)||44||0||11||11||14|
|13||South Carolina (6 - 7)||35||0||14||11||14|
|14||Missouri (4 - 8)||4||0||13||13||14|
This week's voters:
Adam Sparks (The Tennessean)
Alec Shirkey (SEC Country)
Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Barrett Sallee (Bleacher Report)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Cory McCartney (Fox Sports)
Dave Matter (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
David Caraviello (Post & Courier)
Graham Watson (Yahoo Sports)
Jason Kersey (SEC Country)
Jeff Drummond (AllWildcats.com)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Michael Bonner (Clarion-Ledger)
Mike Wilson (SEC Country)
Otis Krik (Hawgs 247)
Parrish Alford (Daily Journal)
Patrick Brown (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Shehan Jeyarajah (SEC Country)
Travis Reier (BamaOnline)