Last weekend mostly gave us a dreadful slate of Southeastern Conference football games, save that epic South Carolina-Georgia game. Still, that was enough to cause some moderate shake-ups my my power rankings this week, so here they are.
1. Alabama (3-0): I’m keeping Alabama here almost by default until another team proves it is better, or unless Florida come to Tuscaloosa and make things interesting this weekend.
2. Auburn (3-0): A road trip to Kansas State on Thursday begins what should be the most brutal 10-game stretch of games that any team in the country will face this season. I’ll say it now: if the Tigers somehow end the reason with just two losses, they’ll more than likely deserve a playoff berth.
3. LSU (3-0): Granted, the Tigers played cupcakes the last two weeks, but LSU hasn’t allowed a point in nine quarters now.
4. Texas A&M (3-0): The Aggies are out-scoring opponents just over 40 a game so far.
5. Georgia (2-1): I know, I know… South Carolina beat Georgia last weekend, and ranking them ahead of the Gamecocks goes against everything I generally try to do when I put my rankings together . But the Bulldogs have trouble there every year, and I just can’t shake the notion that they’re the better team.
6. Ole Miss (3-0): The Rebels, who’ve out-scored teams by 101 points, get a week to rest before facing a surprisingly tough Memphis squad.
7. South Carolina (2-1): The way the Gamecocks got their act together between the opening game disaster and the upset win over Georgia show why Steve Spurrier’s a Hall of Fame coach.
8. Missouri (3-0): The Tigers surprised everyone last year because they got pressure with two fantastic defensive ends who’ve now graduated. Guess what? Mizzou’s 3-0 and ends Shane Ray and Markus Golden rank 1-2 in the SEC in tackles for loss.
9. Mississippi St. (3-0): After a mediocre showing vs. UAB, some thought the Bulldogs would get upset in a road trip to South Alabama. A 35-3 blowout later, it looks as if that was just an off-week for MSU.
10. Arkansas (2-1): The fact that the consensus last-place pick in the West went to Lubbock and pounded Texas Tech just proves how unbelievably tough that division is.
11. Tennessee (2-1): The Vols took their lumps in Oklahoma, as expected, but that’ll happen to a lot of teams in Norman this year.
12. Florida (2-0): Coach Will Muschamp might have survived the weekend as coach if the Gators had fallen to Kentucky, but it was probably a good thing he didn’t take any chances.
13. Kentucky (2-1): One lingering question from the weekend: Does the fact that UK nearly beat Florida prove that Kentucky’s better, or just confirm fears that the Gators aren’t any good?
14. Vanderbilt (1-2): It’s amazing how far the VU program has fallen 10 months: The Commodores needed a shank of a chip-shot field goal to avoid going to overtime against lowly UMass.