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Final SEC Power Rankings: Alabama, Ole Miss lead the way

With the 2015 season wrapped up following Alabama's victory over Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T, here are our final SEC power rankings of the season.

1. Alabama (13-1): The Crimson Tide didn't begin the season No. 1. They didn't immediately soar to the top position, either. Remember, there was that loss at home to Ole Miss. But the demise of the Crimson Tide's dynasty proved to be overstated. Thanks to the emergence of Derrick Henry as a Heisman Trophy tailback and a defensive line that's the best in college football, Alabama held the top spot in the SEC by Week 10 and never looked back. -- Alex Scarborough

2. Ole Miss (10-3): The Rebels might have missed out on the College Football Playoff, but they proved to be the second-best team in the SEC. And, hey, Ole Miss even beat Alabama. If that miracle fourth-down lateral by Arkansas hadn’t have happened, Ole Miss might have made the playoff. Still, the Rebels led the SEC in offense (517.1 yards per game) and scoring (40.8 points per game) and blasted Oklahoma State 48-20 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. -- Edward Aschoff

3. LSU (9-3): This was essentially a 10-win season for the Tigers (if only they had been able to complete the opener against McNeese State), but it could have been much more. LSU was No. 2 in the first College Football Playoff rankings before a three-game slump in November derailed the season and nearly cost Les Miles his job. When they were on, though, the Tigers were extremely dangerous. -- David Ching

4. Arkansas (8-5): After Week 4, the Razorbacks were all the way down at No. 13 in our SEC power rankings. Yet, here they are at No. 4 to finish the season. That’s because after winning six of their last seven games, this was an Arkansas team that was playing as well as anybody in the league down the stretch. Now if only the Razorbacks could find a way to win games in September. -- Greg Ostendorf

5. Tennessee (9-4): The Volunteers had their best season of the Butch Jones era, going 9-4, capped by a dominating 45-6 win over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl. It was another step in the progression of the program under Jones, who led the Vols to a tie for second place in the SEC East. With much young talent returning, the Vols look to be in prime position for a big run in 2016. -- Sam Khan Jr.

6. Florida (10-4): The Gators lost their mojo after quarterback Will Grier tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs earlier this season. Players admitted to taking their foot off the gas after clinching the SEC Eastern Division, and it certainly showed with three straight blowout losses to end the season, including an embarrassing and listless 41-7 loss to Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. Jim McElwain’s 10-win start and a division crown were incredibly impressive, but the offense was putrid down the stretch. -- Edward Aschoff

7. Mississippi State (9-4): The Dak Prescott era came to a close with a solid season capped by a 51-28 win over North Carolina State in the Belk Bowl. It might not have been what the Bulldogs had hoped, but it was definitely better than outsiders expected as they were picked last in the SEC West in the preseason. Unfortunately, life without Prescott begins, but coach Dan Mullen will try to sustain the consistent success the Bulldogs have had in recent years. -- Sam Khan Jr.

8. Georgia (10-3): An unproductive offense without Nick Chubb and a pair of humiliating losses in big games -- first to Alabama and later to Florida -- brought the end of the Mark Richt era. Getting to 10 wins is always an impressive achievement, and the Bulldogs crossed that goal off their to-do list, but they once again fell short of the SEC championship game when they seemingly had the pieces in place to get there. -- David Ching

9. Auburn (7-6): In dire need of a victory and some momentum heading into 2016, Auburn took care of business in the Birmingham Bowl. But it doesn’t wipe away the fact that this team, one many predicted to win the SEC before the year, finished 6-6 in the regular season. If Gus Malzahn wants to stay at Auburn for a while, he better turn things around next year. -- Greg Ostendorf

10. Texas A&M (8-5): Same song, different verse. The Aggies, for the second straight year, started 5-0 and finished 8-5. Their limp to the finish was punctuated by the transfers of their two top quarterbacks (Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray), a Music City Bowl loss to Louisville, and the departure of offensive coordinator Jake Spavital. Coach Kevin Sumlin needs to push the right buttons this offseason to steer the program back in the right direction. -- Sam Khan Jr.

11. Vanderbilt (4-8): The 2015 season was a step forward for the Commodores. They improved their win total, they won two SEC games (after going winless in league play in 2014) and their defense was impressive (ninth nationally in efficiency). Overall, they were much more competitive this season than last, but the offense needs to improve immensely for them to take another step forward in 2016. -- Sam Khan Jr.

12. Kentucky (5-7): It felt like 2014 all over again for the Wildcats. They got off to a strong start (4-1) before falling apart once they hit the meat of the conference schedule. Kentucky was 5-6 entering its home showdown with rival Louisville and jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. However, Louisville closed the game on a 38-3 run, preventing Kentucky from reaching bowl eligibility once again. That basically sums up Kentucky’s season. -- David Ching

13. Missouri (5-7): The quarterback couldn't stay on the field, the players threatened to walk out, and the coach announced his resignation out of the clear blue sky. And most of that came before Missouri hit the skids, losing five of six games. There was too much noise, too many injuries and not enough talent. Drew Lock tried his best to fill in for Maty Mauk at QB, but the freshman was behind the eight ball before he ever stepped under center. -- Alex Scarborough

14. South Carolina (3-9): After a 2-4 start, Steve Spurrier resigned. Interim coach Shawn Elliott then led the Gamecocks to a 1-5 finish that featured a home loss to The Citadel, an FCS team. South Carolina owned the SEC’s worst defense (429.8 ypg and 27.5 ppg), and the Gamecocks finished the season losing five straight. Former Auburn defensive coordinator and Florida head coach Will Muschamp was hired to replace Spurrier. -- Edward Aschoff