Yesterday I gave you my power rankings for the ACC. Now here are my rankings for the SEC.
14. Kentucky (1-2, 0-1 SEC): The Mark Stoops era is off to a hot start on the recruiting trail. Unfortunately none of those kids can suit up for Kentucky this season. The Wildcats opened the year with a 35-26 loss to Western Kentucky in Nashville. Things don’t get better this week with Florida visiting.
13. Mississippi State (2-2, 0-1 SEC): I really do think Dan Mullen is a good coach. I’m just not sure if you can do much more than he has in Starkville. After a slow start on offense the Bulldogs are rolling now, scoring 62 points against Troy last weekend. Thanks to a 24-20 loss to Auburn, a bowl game looks like a tall task for Mississippi State this season/
12. Vanderbilt (2-2, 0-2 SEC): The Commodores started off the season with a heartbreaking loss to Ole Miss at home. They also have a pair of wins over two cupcakes and a ten-point loss to South Carolina. Jordan Matthews is one of the best receivers in the conference, but there’s really no running game to keep offenses off-balance. Vandy has to win it’s next two games to have any hope of bowling.
11. Tennessee (2-2, 0-1 SEC): I’m not really sure how the Volunteers scored 45 points in its season opener and then 52 against Western Kentucky (Ok I know the defense actually did the scoring in this game). Tennessee looked putrid on Saturday, turning the ball over six times in a 31-17 loss at Florida. The Vols will get a chance to lick their wounds this weekend at home against South Alabama.
10. Missouri (3-0, 0-0 SEC): The Tigers are 3-0 to start their second season in the SEC. Missouri is averaging 47 points per game (eight best in the country) and giving up 21.7 points per game (50th best in the country). James Frankling has been inconsistent under center with six touchdowns and three interceptions. Dorial Green-Beckham is averaging 14.4 yards per catch. Still with an underwhelming schedule thus far I’m not willing to buy stock in Missouri just yet.
9. Auburn (3-1, 1-1 SEC): Auburn fell to LSU 35-21 on Saturday. Nick Marshall threw a pair of interceptions to bring his season total up to four. Running back Tre Mason was impressive with 132 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. The offense looked pretty good in the second half, but the defense has work to do. LSU averaged 10 yards per pass play, and 16.4 yards per completion.
8. Arkansas (3-1, 0-0 SEC): The Razorbacks let 4-0 slip through their hands last weekend in a 28-24 loss to Rutgers, bringing shame to the SEC with a loss to an American Conference foe. Arkansas’ running attack looks stout with freshman Alex Collins and sophomore Jonathan Williams. Saturday’s home game against Texas A&M starts a brutal four-game stretch that features trips to Florida and Alabama, with a home bout on October 12 against South Carolina. Shouldn’t have let Rutgers get away Arkansas, it could be a while before your next W.
7. Ole Miss (3-0, 1-0 SEC): Things are looking up in Oxford so far this season. The Rebels are 3-0, including a 44-23 win on the road at Texas, all those prized recruits from February are living up to the hype and Ole Miss is even ranked No. 21 in the nation. All that comes crashing down a bit this weekend as the Rebels travel to No. 1 Alabama. Still if Ole Miss can get by Auburn they could finish fourth in the SEC West.
6. South Carolina (2-1, 1-1 SEC): In its conference opener South Carolina was drubbed by Georgia 41-30, but bounced back two weeks ago with a 35-25 win over Vanderbilt. USC has been pretty good on offense. Connor Shaw hasn’t thrown and interception yet and on the ground the Gamecocks average 224.7 yards per game. The defense has actually been the letdown, giving up 25.3 points per game as Jadevon Clowney has discovered teams are game-planning to go almost exclusively away form him. USC has a trap game this weekend at UCF on Saturday at Noon ET.
5. Florida (2-1, 1-0 SEC): The Gators rebounded nicely from a loss to in-state rival Miami with a 31-17 win over Tennessee on Saturday. Jeff Driskel was lost for the year with a broken leg, but Tyler Murphy looked comfortable under center, completing 8 of 14 passes for 134 yards and touchdown, to go with 84 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown. If he can make the Gator offense even mediocre, things could get scary since the best defense in the nation already resides in Gainesville.
4. Georgia (2-1, 1-0 SEC): Once again Mark Richt has his team back on track after an early season loss, this time a 38-35 loss on the road to No. 3 Clemson. Aaron Murray finnally won, and played well in a big-game as he defeated South Carolina for the first time ever in week two. Murray has completed 72 percent of his passes this season and has a QB’s best friend in the UGA rushing attack. Todd Gurley looks like a Heisman candidate and Keith Marshall has had some big runs as well. Still the special teams, defense and offensive line still have some questions to be answered if UGA is going to win the SEC East. They have a monster game this weekend at home against LSU on Saturday.
3. Texas A&M (3-1, 0-1 SEC): The Aggies offense looks unreal again in 2013. Johnny Manziel has completed 70 percent of his passes, has thrown for 12 touchdowns and 1,228 yards and is averaging 6.5 yards per carry on the ground. Receiver Mike Evans showed defenses that he’s a problem with is massive game against Alabama. The defense is allowing 30.3 points per game and will be the only thing that could keep Texas A&M away from a BCS at-large bid this season.
2. LSU (4-0, 1-0 SEC): Thanks to new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, Zach Mettenberger looks like a different quarterback. He’s completing 64.8 percent of his passes and has thrown 10 touchdowns and just one interception through four games. Certainly Cameron is a big reason for that, but he receiving duo of Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry deserve their due as well. Jeremy Hill was named SEC player of the week for his game against Auburn, and he’s averaging 8.3 yards per carry. LSU’s young defense will be tested in Athens this weekend by a potent Georgia offense.
1. Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC): The two-time defending national champions are of course No. 1 not just in the SEC, but in all the land. The defense was shredded by Manziel (who isn’t?) and has still allowed an average of just 19.3 points per game this season. The offensive line could be the only real chink in Alabama’s armor. A.J. McCarron struggled to get comfortable in the pocket against Virginia Tech and the rushing attack has picked up gain longer than 38 yards all season. Look for the Crimson Tide to send a message to Ole Miss and all the potential blue chippers thinking of heading to Oxford this weekend.