In many ways, the SEC took one on the chin this past weekend, but in many ways, they also made a statement to how good the conference can be. There are reasons to continue to wear your conference pride if you’re into that sort of thing, but there are also some things that are difficult to explain.
Things that stood out in a good way.
- Alabama - The Crimson Tide continued to show why they are the top dog in all of college football. I expected them to win, but the beatdown they put on USC was more than impressive.
- Texas A&M Aggies Defensive Line - The Aggies won their game with UCLA because of their defense, specifically the defensive line. We could see another run of 7-0 or 8-0 from the Aggies this season before they play Alabama. The question will be if they can keep it up.
- Nick Chubb - Georgia needs Nick Chubb to be great if they are going to win games. They might end up being this year’s version of last season’s LSU.
Things that stood out in a bad way
- Squeaking out wins against inferior opponents - Tennessee, Arkansas, and Florida all won their games this past weekend, but they likely don’t feel really confident about them. They all played opponents they should have run off the field. But at least they won.
- Second half collapses - Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Ole Miss all had leads of three or more scores at one point in their respective games. All three teams lost.
- LSU’s passing game - There is too much talent, and Leonard Fournette is too good of a player to have their season be mediocre because they can’t develop a passing game.
- South Carolina and Vanderbilt - Someone had to win that game, though I’m not sure either team played well enough to claim they “earned” it.
- Losing to a Sun Belt Team - I still can’t get over our own Bulldogs losing to South Alabama.
SEC Power Rankings
Let me be clear on how I am ranking the SEC teams this week and every week from here on out. It’s not about wins and losses, though the teams with more wins will be closer to the top and the teams with more losses will end up closer to the bottom.
The Power Rankings are about who played the best and who played the worst. Some teams looked better in losses than those who actually won games. So that is how I rank them.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (Previous Week, #1: 1-0)
Alabama will likely lose a game this year. I don’t know where it will happen, but they will lose a game. They normally do. But for now, they look like there isn’t another team anywhere close to being able to touch them.
2. Georgia Bulldogs (Previous Week, #2: 1-0)
As long as Nick Chubb stays healthy, Georgia will be a threat to win the East this season.
3. Texas A&M Aggies (Previous Week, #3: 1-0)
I said last week the Aggies would climb to 2 or 3 in this poll and then fall back down in November. So here we go.
4. Tennessee Volunteers (Previous Week, #4: 1-0)
Tennessee looked pretty bad in their win. But they still take number four in the Power Rankings, so that’s how bad this weekend was for the SEC.
5. Auburn Tigers (Previous Week, #10: 0-1)
Auburn wasn’t expected to win, and they didn’t. But they did stay right in the thick of the game all the way until the very end, so give them some credit. If their defense can play like they did against Clemson, then they’ll be alright. But I’d feel a lot better about putting them here if their offense could straighten things out.
6. Ole Miss Rebels (Previous Week, #4: 0-1)
For the first half of the game, they looked like they might be the best team in the country. In the second half of their game, they looked like anyone could beat them. This is why I don’t want Mississippi State to ever go exclusively to a pace based offense. The defense ends up on the field way too long. Their defense was tired in the second half, and FSU took full advantage.
7. LSU Tigers (Previous Week, #2: 0-1)
I’ll give the Tigers credit for going up to Wisconsin and playing in a tough environment. But it could be a long year for the Tigers if they don’t figure out how to pass the ball and figure it out really soon.
8. Florida Gators (Previous Week, #8: 1-0)
They eventually pulled away from UMass in the 4th quarter, but for a team that had all kinds of questions about its offense, this game didn’t help their fans feel better.
9. South Carolina Gamecocks (Previous Week, #14: 1-0)
I’m still not convinced they aren’t the worst team in the SEC. But they did win their game, so they at least get to go up in the rankings this week.
10. Missouri Tigers (Previous Week, #12: 0-1)
The Tigers lost, but at least it was to a decent opponent. Can’t say the same for the performances of the teams behind them.
11. Arkansas Razorbacks (Previous Week, #9: 1-0)
The Razorbacks won. But when you have to squeak out a one point win over a Conference USA team, it doesn’t mean you get to move up the board.
12. Vanderbilt Commodores (Previous Week, #11: 0-1)
Vanderbilt lost to them team many believed was the worst team in the SEC entering this season. But thanks to even worse losses by the bottom two teams, they don’t get the bottom spot.
13. Kentucky Wildcats (Previous Week, #13: 0-1)
Kentucky had a chance to really go up these rankings when they were dominating Southern Miss. But they blew the lead, so that ain’t happening. And even though they looked bad, Southern is a good team, so they go above the team in the last spot.
14. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (Previous Week #6: 0-1)
It pains me to put the Bulldogs here, but based on what we saw, I don’t think I have a choice. I believe they can and should get back on the winning side of things this week against South Carolina, but losing to a bad team in the Sun Belt, it’s hard to make an argument they should be any higher than the other teams in the SEC. I just hope they do what they need to do to get out of the basement this week.
Check back in next week after we have had another week of play and see how the rankings shape up.