SEC women’s basketball power rankings: coaches preach parity as MSU clearly reigns

Published 3:18 pm Monday, January 21, 2019

Both coaches in Sunday’s Ole Miss and Florida contest, Yolett McPhee-McCuin and Cam Newbauer, both echoed the same sentiments in their evaluations of SEC women’s basketball.

It’s anybody’s game, really. Well, if you don’t count Mississippi State and South Carolina.

Newbauer and McPhee-McCuin are both fresh faces in the SEC: Newbauer is in his second year, while McPhee-McCuin is in her first. Newbauer understands the faces of the conference are borderline untouchable.

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“The top is the top,” Newbauer said. “There’s South Carolina and Mississippi State. After that, there’s some parity there with the number of teams.”

This is true. Who’s going to argue any team is better than Mississippi State right now? The Bulldogs’ only loss was on the road against a red-hot Oregon team featuring some of the best offense in the nation. MSU should be fine the rest of the way, and might have a shot at winning the conference easily.

But, then again both coaches pointed out anything’s possible. It’s why the play is gamed, so to speak. McPhee-McCuin know this, as she was an architect of the chaos she described Sunday.

“Nothing’s guaranteed,”McPhee-McCuin said. “We’ve seen some crazy things happen, for example Ole Miss going on the road and beating Kentucky.”

While Mississippi State is still the conference’s team to beat, don’t be surprised if another SEC team can knock them down from there perch for a little bit.

“I call it the Hunger Games,” McPhee-McCuin said. “You either eat, or you’re eaten.”

The EAGLE’s SEC Women’s Basketball Power Rankings

  1. Mississippi State (17-1, 5-0): Do you have an argument against Vic Schaefer’s team being top dog here? Didn’t think so.
  2. South Carolina (12-5, 4-1): The Gamecocks have a worse overall record than Kentucky, Auburn and Mizzou, but South Carolina has also played three top-10 teams. They’re good, but those losses overshadow that.
  3. Kentucky (16-3, 3-2): UK has more top-25 wins than South Carolina, but the home loss to Ole Miss last week cancels that out.
  4. Texas A&M (14-4, 3-2): A&M gets the nod over Auburn, and it was pretty close. The Aggies’ six-point win over then No. 8 Oregon State was the deciding factor, plus the AP slotted them at No. 24.
  5. Auburn (15-3, 3-2): Auburn doesn’t have a top-25 win, but the games they have lost have all been to teams currently ranked (Iowa State, MSU, Tennessee)
  6. Missouri (15-4, 4-1): The second best conference record, and a No. 25 ranking, can’t overshadow the fact the Tigers lost to Green Bay, South Dakota and Florida.
  7. LSU (12-6, 3-3): The Tigers are sitting right in the middle. A win over A&M is impressive, but losses to Georgia, South Carolina and Kentucky remind you this team still has ways to go.
  8. Georgia (12-7, 3-3): A four-point win over Tennessee currently separates Georgia from a four-game losing streak.
  9. Ole Miss (8-11. 2-3): The upset of Kentucky was fun, and the Rebels have a great shot to win three in a row, but the fun ends when they play MSU after Vandy.
  10. Tennessee (12-5, 1-4): Tennessee can’t keep holding on to that impressive non-conference record forever. A four-game skid, with losses to Georgia and Alabama dropped them from the top 25.
  11. Arkansas (13-5, 2-2): The Razorbacks took care of business in non-conference, but only have four not very impressive wins over Power 5 teams.
  12. Alabama (10-9, 2-4): The upset of Tennessee was a good win, but it’s hard to appreciate that upset with losses like Louisiana Tech, Tulsa and South Alabama on the record.
  13. Florida (5-13, 1-4): Beating Missouri threw a wrench in the Tigers’ rep, which is a moral victory if you’re the Gators.
  14. Vanderbilt (5-13, 0-5): Currently on a five-game skid, things aren’t great for Vandy at the moment.