AP Poll: Auburn becomes seventh SEC team to earn ranking this season

In News by Blake Lovell

After knocking off two ranked teams to open up SEC play, Auburn has earned its first Top 25 ranking since 2003.

The Tigers come in at No. 22 in this week’s poll, with Bruce Pearl’s team now off to a surprising 14-1 start.

Kentucky, despite losing at Tennessee on Saturday, comes in as the highest-ranked SEC team this week at No. 21.

The Vols fell one spot to No. 24.

Meanwhile, both Texas A&M and Arkansas fell out of the polls after going winless last week but still received votes, as did Florida and Georgia.

Lovell’s Analysis

The only head-scratcher I see with this week’s rankings is Kentucky leading the way.

In my own top 25, I had the Wildcats fourth in the SEC pecking order, with Auburn (No. 18), Florida (No. 20), and Tennessee (No. 21) coming in slightly ahead of John Calipari’s squad (No. 22).

As I mentioned on today’s Southeast Hoops podcast, I think Auburn is the best team in the conference right now.

A lot of people tried to use the Tigers’ non-conference schedule as a reason to not buy into the hype, but this team has shown that it’s for real after back-to-back wins over ranked opponents.

The SEC hoops landscape certainly looks a bit different than we thought it would look at this point, due in large part to Texas A&M’s struggles.

The Aggies are the only SEC team without a conference win, but the good news is that they are inching closer towards being back at full strength.

No matter how the rankings look going forward, it’s clear that there’s going to be a furious battle at the top for the regular season title this season.

Blake Lovell is the founder of Southeast Hoops. He hosts the Marching to Madness podcast, which features interviews with coaches around the country. He also hosts a weekly college basketball show on WNSR 560AM/95.9 FM in Nashville. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Athlon Sports, Rivals, FanRag Sports, and many more.