14. Kentucky (1-3, 0-1 SEC): Kentucky played perhaps its best game of the season on Saturday as it scored 21 fourth-quarter points in a 35-28 loss to South Carolina. The Wildcats’ defense is still not up to par with head coach Mark Stoops’ standards but at least UK didn’t quit when USC went up 21-0. QB Jalen Whitlow accounted for 247 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. Kentucky hosts Alabama this weekend so any movement from the No. 14 spot isn’t happening this week.
13. Mississippi State (2-3, 0-2 SEC): For three quarters Mississippi State hung with LSU on Saturday, before losing 59-26. The Bulldogs ran the ball well, averaging six yards per carry en route to 216 yards rushing, but the secondary was torched by Zach Mettenberger. This weekend is a must-win game at home against Bowling Green (5-1), easier said than done.
12. Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-3 SEC): Vandy fell to 0-3 in the SEC this weekend after a 51-28 loss at home to Missouri. The Commodores offense racked up 468 yards of total offense, 338 through the air, but couldn’t keep up with Missouri’s attack. Vanderbilt is off this week before hosting Georgia on the 19th.
11. Tennessee (3-3, 0-2 SEC): Butch Jones came awful close to getting his signature first-season win against Georgia, but a costly fumble in overtime allowed Georgia to escape 34-31. It was the best the Volunteers offense has looked all year, with 404 yards of total offense. Running back Rajion Neal racked up 148 yards and two TDs on 28 carries. The Vols get an off week before three straight games against ranked SEC teams.
10. Arkansas (3-3, 0-2 SEC): After a 3-0 start the Razorbacks have now dropped three straight, including Saturday’s 30-10 loss to Florida. Arkansas had just 275 yards of total offense against UF, and just 111 yards on the ground. Arkansas hosts South Carolina Saturday followed by a trip to Alabama, so the Hogs will likely have to bounce back from an 0-4 SEC start.
9. Ole Miss (3-2, 1-2 SEC): The Rebels took a step back on Saturday with a 30-22 loss to Auburn. The Rebels made a late run, but couldn’t catch Auburn after an early 20-3 deficit. Ole Miss really could have used a win last weekend as Texas A&M and LSU come to Oxford in consecutive weeks.
8. Missouri (5-0, 1-0 SEC): Missouri moved into the Top-25 with its win over Vanderbilt on Saturday, but I’m still skeptical of the Tigers. While quarterback James Franklin was impressive, throwing for four touchdowns, the defense allowed Vandy to rack up 468 yards of total offense. If Missouri wants more respect then they have to make a big statement against a vulnerable Georgia team in Athens on Saturday.
7. Auburn (4-1, 2-1 SEC): Auburn came up with a big win over Ole Miss last weekend. Quarterback Nick Marshall did most of his damage on the ground, with 140 yards rushing and two TDs. The Tigers defense wielded late in the game to the Rebels, but Auburn held on. The Tigers host Western Carolina Saturday before traveling to Texas A&M the following week.
6. South Carolina (4-1, 2-1 SEC): The Gamecocks season took a strange turn this week. First Steve Spurrier’s Coaches show was pulled because he said it was too negative, then Spurrier and the coaches blasted Jadeveon Clowney’s decision to not play against Kentucky. The future top-five pick is questionable for Saturday’s trip to Arkansas. The Gamecocks are the most dysfunctional 4-1 team in the nation.
5. Texas A&M (4-1, 1-1 SEC): The Aggies were off this weekend as they gear up for a crucial run to end the season. Johnny Manziel is still the most electric player in the SEC and Texas A&M will have a chance to put up big numbers against Ole Miss on Saturday. After a visit from Auburn, TAMU should cruise until its trip to Baton Rouge, La. on November 23.
4. Florida (4-1, 3-0 SEC): Two straight weeks of Tyler Murphy have done the Gators’ offense good. In a 30-10 win over Arkansas, Murphy was 16 of 22 for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Solomon Patton emerged as his top target, bringing down six receptions for 124 yards and two TDs. Florida’s streak of holding 12 straight SEC opponents under 20 points will be put to the test this weekend at LSU.
3. LSU (5-1, 2-1 SEC): LSU pulled away from Mississippi State late last weekend to improve to 5-1. Zach Mettenberger continues to be impressive. Against MSU he was 24 of 29 for 340 yards and two TDs. LSU still has questions on defense, but its offense is good enough to carry it in most shootouts. Saturday’s battle between LSU’s offense and UF’s defense is infinitely intriguing.
2. Georgia (4-1, 3-0 SEC): The Bulldogs narrowly escaped Tennessee 34-31 in overtime last weekend, but it paid the price. Back-up running back Keith Marshall and receiver Justin Scott-Wesley were lost for the year to knee injuries, while Michael Bennett also went down with a knee injury but could return by Nov. 2. With the injuries piling up, Saturday’s home game against Missouri just became a lot tougher.
1. Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC): Alabama fared well in its scrimmage against Georgia State Saturday, with a 45-3 win. Now the Crimson Tide travel to Kentucky before hosting Tennessee and Arkansas. Wake me up when November 9 gets here and Alabama hosts LSU, other than the SEC Championship game (should Bama make it), the Crimson Tide won’t be challenged much all year with the exception of the LSU game.