Alabama linebacker Terrell Lewis (24) attempts to block Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) pass during the in the second half of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday, January 8, 2018. (Photo/Kristin M. Bradshaw, k@kristinmbradshaw.com)

Each week of the 2018 season, The Red & Black football writers will rank the teams of the Southeastern Conference. This week, The Red & Black surveys the conference after the 13th week of the college football season.

Tier One: Alabama 

Last Saturday’s Iron Bowl was relatively interesting as far as 2018 Alabama football goes, as the Crimson Tide only led their rivals from Auburn 17-14 at halftime. But that’s when things went downhill quickly for the Tigers, as they were outscored 35-7 in the second half en route to a 52-21 Alabama win. With vengeance exacted on their rivals, the Crimson Tide are now just one win over Georgia away from reaching a 13-0 record for the third time under Nick Saban, joining the 2016 and 2009 teams. — Jed May 

Tier Two: Georgia 

Yes, Georgia finished the regular season with an SEC East title and an 11-1 record, including 7-1 in conference play. The Bulldogs outscored their last five opponents 208-92 after losing to LSU on Oct. 13. Even with those accomplishments, though, the Bulldogs are still looking up at the seemingly untouchable Crimson Tide. Georgia is caught between the best team in the country and the best of the rest of the SEC, although all that could change when the Bulldogs face Alabama in the SEC championship game. — Tommy Boyd

Tier Three: Florida, LSU, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Mississippi State

The slightly-better-than-mediocre teams in the SEC are all officially out of the race for the College Football Playoff, as all five have lost at least three games. Florida cruised past rival Florida State on Saturday en route to a 41-14 win. LSU lost to Texas A&M in seven overtimes in an instant classic. Kentucky trounced rival Louisville 56-10, while Mississippi State dominated Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving Day. All five will play in a bowl game, and some may even go to a New Year's Six bowl game, but none will contend for any kind of championship this season. — Janey Murray 

Tier Four: Auburn, Missouri, South Carolina, Vanderbilt 

All four of these teams are now bowl eligible and will continue their seasons with one more game. Auburn fell to Alabama in the Iron Bowl, 52-21, and finished the regular season with a 7-5 record. Missouri cruised to a 38-0 shutout over Arkansas to finish 8-4. South Carolina fell to in-state rival Clemson 56-35, but kept its bowl eligibility with a 6-5 record. Vanderbilt secured its trip to a bowl game with its 38-13 win over Tennessee to finish 6-6. — Kelsey Russo 

Tier Five: Tennessee, Ole Miss, Arkansas 

The Volunteers, Rebels and Razorbacks are probably ready to turn the page on the 2018 season. Tennessee had some promising moments in year one under Jeremy Pruitt with wins over Auburn and Kentucky, but it sputtered out late with blowout losses to Missouri and Vanderbilt to finish 5-7. Ole Miss won just one SEC game and finished 5-7 also. Chad Morris had a disastrous first year as the head man at Arkansas, as the Razorbacks lost 10 games for the first time in school history. — Collin Huguley 

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