SEC Baseball Poll: Week 9

With five weekends of conference play now in the books for the SEC, there have been some changes to the power rankings in week nine. Certain teams played up to their potential, while others seemed to lose focus a bit.

Over the last week, there was some movement among programs around the SEC. The top teams maintained their elite status among the other conference members, with a new team climbing into the top spot in the power rankings. One program finally found their groove and are well on their way to getting things back on track. Overall, it was a very eventful week around the SEC, with more to come this weekend.

1) LSU (3)

Record: 34-3, 13-2
This weekend: At Alabama

LSU had a good overall showing throughout the last week. The Tigers traveled into a very hostile environment at Arkansas and came away with a series win. They also defeated Grambling State in a midweek game. LSU will now travel to take on SEC West rival Alabama this weekend. The Tigers should have some success this weekend with the way the starting rotation has been performing, especially given the fact that Alabama is not known for scoring runs and producing hits in 2013.

2) Vanderbilt (2)

Record: 33-5, 14-1
This weekend: At Georgia

Vanderbilt continued their conference dominance over the weekend as they swept a series from Missouri. However, the Commodores couldn't keep up their winning ways as Tennessee Tech defeated them in a midweek contest. They will now travel to Georgia to take on the Bulldogs in what should be a series that results in several more victories for Vanderbilt. The schedule is certainly shaping up for them to remain at the top of the SEC East for quite some time.

3) Arkansas (12)

Record: 25-14, 9-6
This weekend: Home vs. Texas A&M

Arkansas has suffered several losses over the last week. The Razorbacks were defeated twice by LSU at home to lose the conference series and then they were defeated twice by Nebraska in midweek games. It should also be noted that Nebraska threw three pitchers in the first matchup that resulted in a combined no hitter. Arkansas will now host a struggling Texas A&M squad and will look to get things back on track this weekend.

4) Mississippi State (16)

Record: 30-9, 8-7
This weekend: Home vs. Auburn

After an inconsistent start to SEC play, Mississippi State got things rolling in the right direction with a series sweep of Texas A&M over the weekend. The Bulldogs got their conference record above .500 and reached the 30-win mark overall. They will now host Auburn as they look to continue what they started last weekend in SEC play.

5) Kentucky (17)

Record: 24-12, 7-8
This weekend: At #18 South Carolina

Kentucky had a rough go of it over the weekend and in their midweek matchup. The Wildcats were defeated by a struggling Tennessee squad twice to lose the conference series to the Volunteers. They also suffered a defeat to Louisville in their midweek matchup. Things won't get any easier for them this weekend, as Kentucky will now have to travel to take on #18 South Carolina. While South Carolina may be struggling right now, the series should be a good one with serious implications in the SEC East.

6) South Carolina (18)

Record: 28-10, 8-7
This weekend: Home vs. #17 Kentucky

South Carolina struggled mightily over the weekend in their series against Florida. The Gamecocks were swept in three straight games by the Gators and seemed outmatched for most of the weekend. They bounced back to defeat the College of Charleston in a midweek game. They will now host #17 Kentucky as they continue SEC play. The series will be very important for both squads as they look to bounce back from rough weekends in conference play.

7) Ole Miss (21)

Record: 26-12, 7-8
This weekend: At Tennessee

After a couple of rough weekends in a row in the SEC, Ole Miss bounced back in a big way last weekend to complete a series sweep against SEC West foe Alabama. However, the wins didn't stay long as the Rebels were defeated by Memphis and Southern Miss in midweek games. They will now travel to take on a dangerous Tennessee squad. This series will be big for the Rebels if they hope to stay in the discussion for the SEC West crown.

8) Alabama

Record: 23-16, 8-7
This weekend: Home vs. #3 LSU

Alabama was considered to be one of the more consistent squads in the SEC West until this past weekend. The Crimson Tide were swept by Ole Miss in a series that had serious SEC implications. They did bounce back to beat UAB in a midweek game. Alabama will now host #3 LSU for a series that will take place on the same weekend as the spring football game. The atmosphere should be great for two of the biggest rivals in the SEC. It will also be an opportunity for Alabama to make a statement in the conference against the top team in the West.

9) Florida

Record: 20-18, 8-7
This weekend: At Missouri

After perhaps one of the worst starts to the 2013 season in the SEC, Florida has come on strong the last two weekends. The Gators swept South Carolina over the weekend for their second straight series victory in the SEC. They also defeated Florida Gulf Coast in a midweek game. They will now travel to take on a struggling Missouri squad in what should be another series that the Gators can win.

10) Texas A&M

Record: 21-17, 6-9
This weekend: At #12 Arkansas

The Aggies were brought back down to earth in conference play over the weekend. They were swept by Mississippi State after a promising start to the 2013 SEC slate. They also lost to Sam Houston State in a midweek game. It has been a rough last week on the Aggies and things will definitely not get any easier this weekend. They will have to travel to take on a very potent Arkansas team that is fighting to get in the discussion for the SEC West crown. It will have big implications for both teams this weekend.

11) Auburn

Record: 23-14, 5-10
This weekend: At #16 Mississippi State

Auburn used a series over the weekend against Georgia to collect a couple more victories in the SEC. The Tigers took two out of three from the Bulldogs. They also defeated Samford in a game that most expected them to win. Now, the Tigers will travel to take on #16 Mississippi State and Auburn will look to prove that they can win on the road in the SEC, something they have not been very successful at doing so far in 2013.

12) Tennessee

Record: 17-18, 5-10
This weekend: Home vs. #21 Ole Miss

Tennessee had perhaps their best weekend of baseball in 2013 last week. They took two out of three from a ranked Kentucky squad. They also defeated Virginia Tech in a game during the week. They will now travel to face #21 Ole Miss, with the Rebels coming off of a series sweep of Alabama. This weekend will be crucial for the Volunteers if they hope to secure a spot in the SEC tournament at the end of the season.

13) Missouri

Record: 12-20, 4-11
This weekend: Home vs. Florida

Missouri did about as well as expected when they hosted Vanderbilt over the weekend. The Tigers were swept by the Commodores and then had their midweek matchup with Missouri State postponed due to weather. They will now host a Florida team that has been on a tear in recent weeks. The matchup between the two does not shape up well for Missouri, as they have had trouble handling teams that are on hot streaks this season.

14) Georgia

Record: 14-24, 3-12
This weekend: Home vs. #2 Vanderbilt

Georgia lost two out of three to Auburn over the weekend in a matchup between the to last place squads in their respective divisions. They did bounce back to beat Presbyterian in a midweek game, but they don't have a whole lot to look forward to this weekend as #2 Vanderbilt will be coming to town. Even one victory over the Commodores could create the spark that Georgia has been looking for all season.

***() – Rankings according to Baseball America

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