TAMs Teams go 5-2 this week, Arkansas remains No. 1

It was another exciting week for our TAM teams as they went a combined 5-2 with the two losses belonging to Ole Miss who played fellow TAM team Arkansas and Tennessee who lost to the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide.  Southern Miss is now bowl eligible and in control of their destiny in C-USA thanks to another conference loss by Marshall.  Vandy won big over Army keeping their bowl hopes alive. Mississippi State is coming off a bye week and hopefully the Bulldogs have fixed their offensive issues.  Both TAM ranking bottom dwellers won this week with Memphis beating Tulane and MTSU beating Florida Atlantic.  This week’s most disappointing team is Tennessee who has lost three straight games and is 0-4 in SEC play so far this season.  Without further ado, the TAMs Rankings for the week of October 26, 2011…

Rankings compiled by MemphiSport. Updated every Wednesday.

1.  Arkansas (6-1): Last week No. 1
The Razorbacks survived a scare against fellow TAM team Ole Miss this Saturday to improve to 6-1 on the year and become bowl eligible.  They remain a unanimous number one selection by the voters of the TAM rankings and the No. 10 team in the BCS.  Should Arkansas win out they will be in a BCS bowl, but that means beating one of the best teams in the nation and archrival LSU.  Coach Petrino is 2-1 against LSU in his tenure at Arkansas and another win against the Bayou Bengals will make Arkansas a BCS at-large selection for the second consecutive year.  Arkansas plays fellow TAM team Vanderbilt on Saturday and then they play the No. 13 Gamecocks.

Last Game: W 29-25 vs. Ole Miss @ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
Next Game:  vs. Vanderbilt @Vanderbilt Stadium
Best Win:  42-38 vs. Texas A&M @ Cowboy Stadium
Worst Loss:  38-14 vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)
Losses Against TAMs Teams:0

2.  Southern Mississippi (6-1):  Last week No. 2
Southern Miss throttled SMU on Saturday holding the Mustang offense to just four first downs and three points.  With Central Florida losing to lowly UAB and Marshall losing again in C-USA play the Golden Eagles are in the drivers seat in the eastern half of the conference.  Their next game is on the road against a UTEP squad that is on a two game winning streak.  Nothing is guaranteed in college football, but Southern Miss should win out and represent the East in the C-USA championship game.

Last Game:  W 27-3 vs. SMU @ M.M. Roberts Stadium
Next Game: vs. UTEP @ Sun Bowl Stadium
Best Win:  30-24 vs. Virginia @ Scott Stadium
Worst Loss:  26-20 vs. Marshall @ Joan C. Edwards Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 0
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 0

3.  Mississippi State (3-4):  Last week No. 3
Mississippi State is coming off of a bye week and looking for their first SEC win of the year against a struggling Kentucky team that has the fourth worst passing attack in the nation and averages less than 7 points per game in conference play.  The Bulldog defense is looking to be the latest SEC defense to shut down the Wildcats as Mississippi State is only giving up 19 points per game and has allowed more than 24 points just once this season.  A win against Kentucky will go a long way towards making Mississippi State bowl eligible, but if the Bulldogs are going to turn their season around Coach Mullin is going to have to beat an SEC West foe not named Ole Miss, something he has not done since becoming head coach in 2008.

Last Game: L 14-12 vs. South Carolina @ Davis Wade Stadium
Next Game:  vs. Kentucky @ Commonwealth Stadium
Best Win: 59-14 vs. Memphis @ Liberty Bowl
Worst Loss:  24-10 vs. Georgia @ Sanford Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 1 (Memphis)
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 0

4.  Vanderbilt (4-3):  Last week No. 6
The Commodores moved up two spots this week after snapping a three game losing streak Saturday against Army to improve to 3-0 out of conference.  Vanderbilt’s SEC record on the other hand is a woeful 1-3 and this Saturday’s contest is against conference foe and fellow TAM team Arkansas.  If Vanderbilt is going to stand a chance of winning the game they must continue to force turnovers and find a way to move the ball through the air.  Their schedule the rest of the season is very manageable and Vandy should be bowl eligible when it is all said and done.

Last Game:  W 44-21 vs. Army @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Next Game:  vs. Arkansas@ Vanderbilt Stadium
Best Win:  30-7 vs. Ole Miss @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Worst Loss: 34-0 vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 0

5.  Tennessee (3-4): Last week No. 4
Tennessee was tied with the Crimson Tide at the end of the first half on Saturday6-6 and apparently thopught the game was over.  Alabama on the other hand, reminded the Vols that there are two halves to a football game and scored 31 unanswered second half points to absolutely demolish the Vols by a score of 31-6.  This season is one Vol fans are anxious to forget as they have lost to all three of their major rivals (Florida, Alabama, and Georgia) and are in danger of not being bowl eligible.  The Vols play No. 13 South Carolina this weekend followed by three consecutive weeks of TAM opponents starting with MTSU.

Last Game:  L 37-6 vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Next Game:  vs. South Carolina @ Neyland Stadium
Best Win: 45-23 vs. Cincinnati @ Neyland Stadium
Worst Loss:  37-6 vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 0
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 0

6.   Arkansas State (5-2): Last week No. 5
Since Arkansas State played a Tuesday night game they were off on Saturday, but the Red Wolves will be back in action this Saturday against a North Texas team that is giving up 32.5 points per game.  The Red Wolves remain undefeated in Sun Belt play and need only one more win to be bowl eligible. Arkansas State is riding a four game winning streak and has cemented themselves as the best team in the Sun Belt.  You can never overlook an opponent in college football, but a trip to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl might be on the line on November 12 when they play Louisiana- Lafayette.

Last Game:  W 34-16 vs.Florida International @ ASU Stadium
Next Game:  vs. North Texas @ ASU Stadium
Best Win:  47-3 vs.Memphis @ ASU Stadium
Worst Loss:  26-7 vs. Virginia Tech @ Lane Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 1 (Memphis)
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 0

7.  Ole Miss (2-5):  Last week No. 7
Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker toArkansas Saturday, a game that they led going into halftime before allowing 19 unanswered points in the third quarter.  That loss makes ten straight losses for Ole Miss against SEC opponents and Coach Nutt’s seat continues to get hotter with every passing week.  Things do not get any easier for the Rebels as they go on the road to take on the defending BCS champion Auburn Tigers on Saturday.  The Rebels are two more losses away from not being bowl eligible which would be the second straight year Ole Miss has not gone to a bowl.

Last Game: L 29-24 vs. Arkansas @ Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium
Next Game: vs. Auburn @ Jordan-Hare Stadium
Best Win:  38-28 vs. Fresno State @ Bulldog Stadium
Worst Loss:  14-13 vs. BYU @ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 0
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 2 (Vanderbilt and Arkansas)

8.  MTSU (2-4): Last week No. 8
MTSU won their first conference game of the season against a Florida Atlantic team that is one of two teams in the FBS to still not have a win.  The Blue Raiders play Louisiana-Lafayette and then it is a showdown with fellow TAM team Tennessee who will be desperate for a win.  Logan Kilgore is still lighting opponents up through the air, but unless he gets some help on the defensive side of the ball MTSU can kiss any hopes of making a bowl goodbye.

Last Game:  W 38-14 vs. Florida Atlantic @ FAU Football Stadium
Next Game:   vs. Louisiana-Lafayette @ Floyd Stadium
Best Win: 38-31 vs. Memphis @ Johnny Floyd Stadium
Worst Loss:  49-21 vs. Georgia Tech @ Johnny Floyd Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 1 (Memphis)
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 0

9.  Memphis (2-6):  Last week No. 9
The Tiger’s 16 game conference losing streak was snapped on Saturday as Memphis knocked off Tulane 33-17. Memphis has now doubled their win total from last year and gets to play a Central Florida group who just lost to UAB, the worst team in C-USA.  After their game against UCF Memphis will get to take on UAB in a game that is sure to be a battle of futility, but should the Tigers beat UAB Coach Porter will have tripled his win total from the year prior.

Last Game: W 33-17 vs. Tulane @ Tulane Stadium
Next Game:  vs. Central Florida @ BH Networks Stadium
Best Win: 33-17 vs. Tulane @ Tulane Stadium
Worst Loss:  47-3 vs. Arkansas State @ ASU Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 0
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 3 (Miss St., Arkansas State, MTSU)


The Mid-South is full of fans with allegiances to different area college football programs. Which FBS program in the three states surrounding the Memphis area is the best? To help end some arguments and start others, every week MemphiSport ranks all the college football teams in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. We call it the TAMs Rankings.

CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. Follow him @churtj09 for live tweets from games.

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