Arkansas remains No. 1 in the TAMs Rankings

It was a thrilling Saturday of college football, especially for our TAMs teams. The two teams in Arkansas are putting together special seasons. Arkansas State is in contention for their second ever Sun Belt championship after a win against conference rival Louisiana-Monroe. The Razorbacks wowed everyone with an impressive 38-14 win over Auburn. The best team in Mississippi is neither Ole Miss nor Mississippi State, and every team in the state of Tennessee lost on Saturday. This week’s most disappointing team is MTSU who after winning their first game of the year last week against Memphis found a way to lose to lowly Western Kentucky in double overtime 33-36. Without further ado here is the TAMs Poll for the week of October 12, 2011…

Rankings compiled by MemphiSport. Updated every Wednesday.

1.  Arkansas (5-1): Last week No. 1

Arkansas remains first in the TAMs much to the delight of my man Big Red.  The Razorbacks also kept their SEC West championship hopes alive after a big time victory over Auburn on Saturday.  We all know about Tyler Wilson and the potent Razorback offense, but what about their defense who in the last six quarters has only given up 17 points and held Auburn scoreless in the final three quarters of the Saturday’s contest.  If the defense continues to play the like this, Arkansas might be able to sneak into a BCS bowl this season.  Next up for the Razorbacks is a bye week, and then they play fellow TAMs team Ole Miss.

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. 4

Mississippi might not belong to Mississippi State like the billboards say. The Golden Eagles keep on winning and are beginning to look like the best team in Mississippi.  Southern Miss kept on rolling Saturday against Navy as they exploded offensively for 584 total yards and 63 points in their route of the Midshipmen.  However, if Southern Miss is going to make it to the C-USA championship game they need to win out with Marshall losing one more conference game.  All eyes will be on their November 12 matchup against Central Florida as that game could decide who will represent the East in the C-USA championship.  They only play one TAMs team and that team is Memphis at the end of the season. If the Golden Eagles win the C-USA championship we might get to see them take on Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl and finally figure out who owns the state of Mississippi this season.

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.  Tennessee (3-2): Last week No. 2

The Vols have been jumped in this week’s poll thanks in large part to injuries and their shaky rushing attack.  They started their tough four game stretch off with a loss to Georgia on Saturday and will have to make due without super sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray who left the game with a broken thumb.  A one dimensional Tennessee offense managed a mere  -20 rushing yards against Georgia on Saturday, and in their two SEC games this season they have a pitiful   -29 yards rushing.  The schedule does not get any easier for Tennessee as they play the no. 1 and no. 2 ranked teams in the nation in consecutive weeks.  To make matters worse Tyler Bray is out four weeks due to a broken thumb.  He is scheduled to return just in time to take on fellow TAMs teams MTSU, Arkansas, and Vanderbilt in November.

Last Game:  L 20-12 vs. Georgia @ Neyland Stadium
Next Game:  vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Best Win: 45-23 vs. Cincinnati @ Neyland Stadium
Worst Loss:  33-23 vs. Florida @ Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Wins Against TAMs Teams: 0
Losses Against TAMs Teams: 0


4.  Mississippi State (3-3):  Last week No. 5

The Bulldogs disappointing season continued Saturday as they struggled against UAB for three quarters before pulling away in the fourth.  UAB was ahead at halftime 3-0 which was their first time all season leading a game going into the half.  The decision to bench Chris Relf in favor of Tyler Russell in the second half worked out well for Coach Mullin, but it has created a quarterback controversy and a distraction that a struggling Bulldog team can ill afford to have.  Next up for the Bulldogs is No. 15 South Carolina, and then they get a bye week to try and work through their quarterback struggles. 

Last Game: W 21-3 vs. UAB @ Legion Field
Next Game:  vs. South Carolina @ Davis Wade 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


5.  Vanderbilt (3-2):  Last week No. 3

I do not know what to say about the Commodores.  Last week they were the third best team in the TAMs Poll, but after failing to score in seven consecutive quarters I am beginning to wonder if they can score against the Memphis Tiger defense.  Even though Vanderbilt looks awful right now they still have a chance to get six wins and be bowl eligible for the first time since 2008.  However, Vanderbilt might not win another game this season if Coach Franklin does not find a way to get more production out of his offense.

Last Game:  L 34-0 vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Next Game: vs. Georgia @ 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


6.  Arkansas State (4-2): Last week No. 6

Coach Freeze has Arkansas State fans fired up over this year’s squad.  The Red Wolves have one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, are just two wins away from bowl eligibility, and are in contention for their second ever Sun Belt championship.  Arkansas State is coming off of a bye week and Coach Freeze is looking to carry the momentum from the first half of the season over into the second half.  Ryan Aplin and the Red Wolves are going to have to step up as they have a tough game on Saturday against last year’s conference co-champion Florida International.  If Arkansas State can win this game things set up nicely for them to win the Sun Belt championship.

Last Game:  W 24-19 vs. Louisianna-Monroe @ Malone Stadium
Next Game:  vs. Florida International @ 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:  


7.  Ole Miss (2-3):  Last week No. 7

The Rebels will return to action this Saturday after a much needed bye week.  Houston Nutt has planted himself firmly on the hot seat and if Ole Miss does not start winning soon they will fail to make a bowl for consecutive years and Coach Nutt will be gone. Their next opponent is an Alabama team that leads the nation in scoring defense, giving up less than ten points per game. After Alabama Ole Miss gets to try and slow down the top ranked TAMs poll team Arkansas who averages over 460 total yards and close to 40 points per game . 

Last Game: W 38-28 vs. Fresno State @ Bulldog Stadium
Next Game: vs. Alabama @ 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

The Blue Raiders are only two losses away from not being bowl eligible after a heartbreaking double overtime defeat to Western Kentucky on Saturday.  Logan Kilgore and the MTSU offense is not the problem as they are averaging 30 points per game and are the No. 20 team in the nation in total yards per game.  The problem is teams are scoring at will against the pitiful Blue Raiders D.  They are 108th in the nation in total defense and 112th in the nation in points against.  Next up for MTSU is a bye week then they will try for win number two against a Florida Atlantic team who has not won a game all season.

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:  


9.  Memphis (1-4):  Last week No. 9

Another blowout loss to yet another conference opponent does not bode well for Coach Porter’s future.  Fans have begun clamoring for his resignation and with a talented East Carolina squad coming to town this Saturday those clamors could become shouts by the end of the second quarter.  Memphis still cannot move the ball offensively or score averaging only 13.5 points per game.  The defense is taking some small steps forward as they forced 3 turnovers and sacked the quarterback 5 times last game against Rice.  Their next and final TAMs opponent is Southern Mississippi at the end of the season.

Last Game: L 28-6 vs. Rice @ Rice Stadium
Next Game:  vs. East Carolina @ Liberty Bowl
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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