Arkansas and Southern Miss Remain at the Top of the TAMs Rankings

The top two teams in the poll last week remain the same as both Arkansas and Southern Miss are both coming off of bye weeks.  Arkansas is no. 9 in the first BCS poll of the year and is refusing to relinquish the top spot in the TAMs poll.  Southern Miss and Arkansas State are getting ready for big games against conference foes while Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, MTSU and Memphis are all still looking for their first conference win.  This is the second straight week that every team in the state of Tennessee lost, losing by a combined total of 106-52.  The most disappointing team of the week is a Mississippi State squad that many picked to win the SEC West, but instead the Bulldogs are 0-4 in SEC play so far this year and suffered another heartbreaking loss Saturday to a South Carolina team that did not have Stephen Garcia and lost Marcus Lattimore early in the game due to an injury.  Without further ado, the TAMs Rankings for the week of October 19, 2011…

Rankings compiled by MemphiSport. Updated every Wednesday.


1.  Arkansas (5-1): Last week No. 1

Arkansas is dominating the TAMs poll this year and remains in contention for the coveted SEC west crown.  They are coming off of a well earned bye week and look to get back to their winning ways in Oxford against a woeful Ole Miss unit this Saturday.  We will get to see how other TAMs teams measure up to the Razorbacks head to head as four of their next five opponents are members of this illustrious poll.   If Arkansas wins out they will get a chance to play in a BCS bowl and maybe with a little help a chance to play in the SEC championship game.

Last Game: W 38-14 vs. Auburn @ Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium
Next Game:  vs. Ole Miss @ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
Best Win:  42-38 vs. Texas A&M @ Cowboy Stadium
Worst Loss:  38-14 vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 0
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 0


2.  Southern Mississippi (5-1):  Last week No. 2

Southern Miss is coming off of a bye week as well and looks to continue dismantling opponents during the second half of their season.  They play the other SMU squad this Saturday in a game with huge conference implications.  If Southern Miss is going to win this game they must slow down a Mustang passing attack that is lighting opponents up for over 330 yards passing per game.   With a win against SMU on Saturday Coach Fedora and the Golden Eagles will keep their hopes alive for a C-USA championship.

Last Game:  W 63-35 vs. Navy @ Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Next Game: vs. SMU @ M.M. Roberts 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. 4

The decision to bench Relf for Russell did not work out the way Coach Mullin wanted it to as the Bulldog offense continued to struggle, this time against South Carolina on Saturday.  Mississippi State has a bye week next which should give Coach Mullin’s squad time to regroup and prepare for the second half of their season.  They need three more wins to become bowl eligible and the outcome of the Egg Bowl might determine whether or not Mississippi State will go to a bowl.

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.  Tennessee (3-3): Last week No. 3

Tennessee is still looking for their first conference win and with Tyler Bray out for an extended period of time with a broken thumb it might take Tennessee a while.  Bray recently had a metal plate put in his hand and should be back in time for the Vanderbilt game, but he will miss important games against Alabama, South Carolina, and Arkansas.  Back up quarterback Matt Simms needs to step up if the Vols are going to win enough games to become bowl eligible this season.  The good news for Tennessee is they finally managed to rush for positive yards in a conference game, running the ball 29 times for 111 yards against a talented LSU defense.  The bad news for Volunteer fans is that they still managed to lose the game by 31 points.

Last Game:  L 38-7 vs. LSU @ Neyland Stadium
Next Game:  vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Best Win: 45-23 vs. Cincinnati @ Neyland Stadium
Worst Loss:  38-7 vs. LSU @ Neyland Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 0
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 0


5.  Arkansas State (5-2): Last week No. 6

Star receiver Dwayne Frampton was held in check all game only catching one pass for seven yards and Ryan Aplin threw for under 200 yards for the first time all year in Tuesday’s contest against Florida International.  You would think Arkansas State would lose the game, but Arkansas State dominated last year’s Sun Belt co-champion Florida International by a score of 16-34.  With that victory the Red Wolves have solidified themselves as the team to beat in the Sunbelt.  All eyes will be on their November 12 game against Louisiana-Lafayette who is also undefeated in Sun Belt play.

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


6. Vanderbilt (3-3):  Last week No. 5

Vanderbilt might have lost the game Saturday to Georgia but Coach Franklin is not going to allow Vandy to be bullied by conference foes just ask Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.  The Commodore defense lead by senior DB Casey Hayward leads the SEC in takeaways with 17 so far this season.  With the D forcing turnovers at an alarming rate Vandy just needs to find a way to get more production offensively in order to get wins and become bowl eligible.   They play Army next and then it is a show down with Tyler Wilson and the explosive Arkansas offense.

Last Game:  L 33-28 vs. Georgia  @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Next Game:  vs. Army @ 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: 07.  Ole Miss (2-4):


7.  Ole Miss (2-4):  Last week No. 7

Ole Miss continues to struggle through their conference schedule this time losing 52-7 to Alabama.  The Rebels gave up an astonishing 389 rushing yards to Alabama and they have not been able to stop the run all year ranking 115th in the nation.   If you need proof of this pitiful run defense watch this 76 yard rush by Trent Richardson and count the missed tackles and opportunities to bring him down.  Next up for the Rebels is the top ranked TAMs team Arkansas who will be looking forward to making some highlights of their own against the Rebels.

Last Game: L 52-7 vs. Alabama @ Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium
Next Game: vs. Arkansas @ Vaught-Hemmingway 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: 1 (Vanderbilt)


8.  MTSU (1-4): Last week No. 8

MTSU was the only FBS football team in Tennessee that did not lose on Saturday.  They were also the only team in Tennessee that had a bye week.  The Blue Raiders look to turn things around this Saturday against a Florida Atlantic team that is still looking for its first win of the season.  We are going to see what happens when a movable object hits a very stoppable force as MTSU is 114th in the nation in points given up and Florida Atlantic is 119th in scoring offense.

Last Game:  L 33-36 vs. Western Kentucky @ Johnny Floyd Stadium
Next Game:   vs. Florida Atlantic @ FAU Football 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 (1-4):  Last week No. 9

Memphis lost to East Carolina on Saturday taking their conference losing streak to a staggering 16 games in a row.  The last C-USA opponent Memphis beat was UTEP on October 10, 2009.  It has been two full years since Memphis last won a conference game and they are 1-18 in their last 19 conference games dating back to 2009.  Do not fret Memphis fans for you will always be one of the ten best schools in our TAMs Rankings.

Last Game: L 35-17 vs. East Carolina @ Liberty Bowl
Next Game:  vs. Tulane @ Tulane Stadium
Best Win: 27-6 vs. Austin Peay @ Liberty Bowl
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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