Week Five SEC Softball Power Rankings
Weekly thoughts from left field…
SEC play has begun!!!!! Welcome to conference play 2011. This is where the contenders and pretenders get separated. If you go back to my week one power rankings you will remember I said the SEC was going to be a 4-3-4 situation this season. I had 4 teams ranked really high and they would be the teams to decide the SEC title (Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee) and then I had 3 teams has being solid and able to win a few games against the top 4, but not as big a threat to win the SEC title (LSU, Kentucky, Auburn) and then the bottom 4 teams that would have very little chance at all to win the SEC title (Arkansas, Ole Miss, S. Carolina, Miss State) and through the first week of conference play that scenario seems to be holding up well.
There was one team that could be an exception and that is Kentucky. The Wildcats, who are ranked #21, won two out of three games against the #11 Tennessee Lady Vols at home over the weekend. The Wildcats have one thing that I feel you must have to compete in this league and that is strong pitching. Kentucky’s ace is Junior Chanda Bell, who had 10 strikeouts against the Lady Vols on Sunday. If the Cats are to move up in the SEC race this season they will need to continue to produce runs against the quality pitchers that they will face down the line. Kentucky also needs to dominate the games against the lower SEC teams this season.
Kentucky’s pitching keeps the opponents score low, but the Cats have struggled to score at times themselves and are at the bottom of the league in 5 and 6 run rule games. It will be interesting to watch the Wildcats game this weekend with #25 ranked LSU. The Kentucky-LSU series will be two teams meeting that seem to be headed in opposite directions. The Tigers are coming off a really disappointing week in which they dropped five straight games against #1 Florida and #2 Georgia. Although, they weren’t expected to win the series against either opponent they have the talent to steal at least one game against them.
The Tigers offense only mustered four runs the entire five games they played last week. The series is important for both clubs this weekend. For Kentucky, it’s a chance to prove that the Tennessee series wasn’t a fluke at that they are serious about moving up in the SEC and for LSU, the series is basically to save their season because a series loss to Kentucky would really hurt a team already off to an 0-5 start in conference play. Well Good Luck to all SEC teams this week and here are my week five power rankings.
#1 Georgia (21-1) Bulldogs are new #1 after sweeping LSU in 3 games.
#2 Florida (25-1) Gators finally dropped first game to #20 Nebraska.
#3 Alabama (24-1) Tide won four straight in SEC/ACC Challenge.
#4 Tennessee (20-4) #11 Lady Vols dropped 2 of 3 against Kentucky .
#5 Kentucky (16-4) The #21 ranked Cats are starting to make noise.
#6 Auburn (22-2) Tigers only two losses have been to ranked teams.
#7 LSU (15-10) Tigers have lost five in a row to #1 and #2 ranked teams.
#8 Miss State (12-12) Dogs won two games over USC to start SEC play.
#9 South Carolina (16-7) USC has tripled last years SEC win total of one.
#10 Arkansas (9-15) Hogs got roughed up by Auburn and Missouri.
#11 Ole Miss (9-18) Rebs, like Hogs, started SEC play with three losses.
What do you think?
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