The Daily Gamecock

SEC Men's Power Rankings: Week 5

Florida remains atop rankings

1. Florida (Up 2)
The Gators (18-5, 7-2) cemented their status as the conference's team to beat when they upset Kentucky on Saturday night after beating Vanderbilt in overtime earlier in the week. By hitting free throws and playing good defense when it counted, they were able to withstand a late rally from the Wildcats. No. 17 Florida will travel to USC this week before hosting Tennessee with a chance to widen its lead in the SEC East. — Paulina Berkovich

2. Alabama (No Change)
Alabama has yet to crack the AP Top 25, although its vote total grows by the week. However, the Crimson Tide (15-7, 7-1) doesn't need a poll spot to validate it as a true contender for the SEC regular season crown. 'Bama got all the validation it needed with a 65-60 overtime win at Tennessee this past weekend. The win was the fifth straight for the Crimson Tide. Anthony Grant's squad will get another chance to prove itself Thursday when it travels to Vanderbilt. — James Kratch

3. Tennessee (Up 1)
Tennessee was riding a three-game winning streak before falling to the Crimson Tide in overtime, but the Vols (15-8, 5-3) are looking to be tested in their upcoming schedule as they travel to Kentucky and then Florida. Fortunately for Tennessee, Bruce Pearl served his final game in his suspension with the Alabama game, so he will be returning as the coach during games. — Isabelle Khurshudyan

4. Georgia (Up 2)
The Bulldogs have turned it around after two straight close victories, and with the SEC being so spread out, Georgia is in a position to put itself at the top. It will take a break from SEC action with a match-up against Xavier at home before traveling to South Carolina. The Bulldogs (16-6, 5-4) will need to see continued production from Trey Thompkins, who is averaging 16.7 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. — IK

5. Kentucky (Down 4)
After two straight losses at the hands of Ole Miss and Florida, No. 18 Kentucky (16-6, 4-4) has taken a significant drop in the SEC standings. With both losses being by a margin of three points or less, the Wildcats need to close out their games if they want to finish the season strong. Kentucky needs to turn it around soon as it faces Tennessee at home before traveling to Vanderbilt. — IK

6. Vanderbilt (Up 1)
The Commodores played impressively this week, taking Florida to overtime before handing South Carolina an 18-point loss. John Jenkins, the leading scorer in the SEC, scored 22 points against Florida and led his team with 18 against USC. This week's schedule pits No. 23 Vanderbilt (16-6, 4-4) against Alabama and Kentucky, and it will have a chance to rise in conference rankings if it can rise to the challenge posed by those two teams. — PB

7. Mississippi State (Up 1)
The Bulldogs have been all over the place of late, alternating wins and losses in their last four outings. After following up an upset of Florida with a loss to Alabama, MSU (12-10, 4-4) got back on the wagon with a close 58-57 triumph at LSU. No matter how far State can go this season, they'll do so without the ability to participate in what is becoming the world's favorite social media website. After several players spoke out on Twitter after the loss to the Crimson Tide, coach Rick Stansbury banned his players from using it. — JK

8. USC (Up 1)
The Gamecocks managed to salvage a win at LSU, but they were soundly defeated by Vanderbilt thanks to 11 three-pointers by the Commodores. USC's schedule does not get any easier this week, as it will host Florida and Georgia. Carolina (13-8, 4-4) has already dropped to the second tier of the SEC East standings, and will need an upset win this week to stay afloat. — PB

9. Ole Miss (Up 1)
What a week it was to be a Rebel. Coming off a 16-point thumping at the hands of Tennessee, Ole Miss (15-8, 3-5) managed to shock then-No. 10 Kentucky behind a 22-point performance from guard Chris Warren. Five days later, the Rebels knocked off Arkansas for their second-straight road victory. With lowly LSU coming to town tomorrow night, Ole Miss should have a three-game winning streak when it heads to Alabama on Saturday. — Ryan Velasquez

10. Arkansas (Down 5)
The Razorbacks enter the week in desperation mode. After winning both games the week before, Arkansas (14-8, 4-5) couldn't manage to win either home game against Georgia and Ole Miss. Sitting below .500 in SEC play, the Razorbacks face must-win scenarios against Mississippi State and LSU. If it doesn't get back on track, Arkansas may be looking at a low seed in the SEC Tournament. — RV

11. LSU (No Change)
The bad times continue for the Bayou Bengals. With a pair of home losses to South Carolina and Mississippi State, LSU (10-13, 2-6) comes into the new week sporting a six-game losing streak, and it doesn't look like it will be broken anytime soon. The Tigers face two straight road games against streaking Ole Miss and desperate Arkansas. — RV

12. Auburn (No Change)
When the Tigers left Columbia 10 days ago with their first SEC win, they probably also thought they had found a big man. Rob Chubb torched the Gamecocks for 18 points in a breakout game. Unfortunately for Auburn (8-15, 1-8), Chubb followed up the performance with a wild night on the town. Chubb was suspended by coach Tony Barbee last week, and the reasoning was revealed Monday — Chubb was arrested on Jan. 30, a day after AU's 79-64 win over USC, and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, attempting to elude a police officer and resisting arrest. — JK