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The final SEC power rankings of the 2016 season — the underwhelming 2016 SEC season

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Ray Carlin/USA TODAY Sports

Here are our final SEC power rankings for the 2016 season.

Alabama was going to be No. 1 regardless of its performance in the national title game. The Tide is the best team in the league by a wide margin, and picking the Nos. 13 and 14 teams was easy, too.

But second through 12th? There’s really not that much difference — and that is the SEC fell off its usual perch as the nation’s best league. And it fell hard, didn’t it?

Here are the rankings.

14. Missouri (4-8)

Preseason: 12th
The skinny: It was a tough first season for coach Barry Odom, whose defense was a sore spot. There is some offensive talent with which to build around, though.

13. Ole Miss (5-7)

Preseason: 5th
The skinny: Remember late August, when the Rebels were ranked 11th and 12th in the major preseason polls? Ha.

12. Mississippi State (6-7)

Preseason: 9th
The skinny: A disappointing season, though the Bulldogs did win a bowl game and uncover a rising star at quarterback. That rising star, Nick Fitzgerald, lends hope for 2017.

11. Vanderbilt (6-7)

Preseason: 11th
The skinny: The Commodores made noticeable strides this season. Vandy beat Georgia and Tennessee in the same season for just the second time since 1923. Still, until Vandy can find a consistent quarterback, it’s going to hover around .500 at best.

10. South Carolina (6-7)

Preseason: 14th
The skinny: This was a flawed team, on both sides of the ball. Yet Will Muschamp coaxed it to a bowl game. He deserves credit – and he also deserves credit for putting the team in the hands of a true freshman quarterback who graduated high school a year early.

9. Kentucky (7-6)

Preseason: 13th
The skinny: The Wildcats got to a bowl for the first time since 2010, and while UK lost its bowl game, the win in the regular-season finale over Louisville will resonate. Can Mark Stoops and his staff continue to build a winner?

8. Arkansas (7-6)

Preseason: 8th
The skinny: A collapse in the regular-season finale against Missouri, then another collapse in the bowl against Virginia Tech. Bret Bielema had better hire a defensive coordinator who can instill some toughness.

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