Each week, we’ll be running down who is tearing up the SEC and who is slumping. After week 5, we’ve got two divisions trending in opposite directions.


  • The SEC West. We came within a Texas A&M comeback of having all seven West teams ranked this week. Although two of the ranked teams watched from their couches this weekend, Arkansas  — the lone unranked West team — showed the depth and talent of the division by giving the Aggies a run for their money. Even the supposed also-rans of this division would be competing at the top of the East. Week 6, with three interdivisional matchups, will only add to the zaniness.
  • Texas A&M’s offense. Outside of their first drive of the game, which took 1:05 and ended in a touchdown, the Aggies offense looked pretty ordinary. Once the fourth quarter hit, A&M cranked it back up to the levels we’ve become accustomed to this season, scoring 2 TDs in the quarter and then another in overtime to win it. Despite the “blah” performance for most of the day, Texas A&M still racked up over 500 total yards.
  • Freshman running backs. Two highly touted young running backs, Leonard Fournette and Jalen Hurd, both went over 100 yards for the first time in their careers. Fournette had 122 yards and 2 TDs, while Hurd went for 119 and a score. Both flashed the speed and strength they were known for coming into their rookie seasons, and they both seem to have taken over as their team’s top option. These two should be locked in a battle for running back supremacy in the conference once Todd Gurley heads to the pros.


  • The SEC East. Does anyone want to win this division? South Carolina was poised to take firm control of the East, facing Missouri at home, but allowed two touchdowns in the final stretch of the fourth quarter to blow a lead. Georgia appears to be back in the driver’s seat, although they struggled to get past an inexperienced Tennessee team playing its first SEC road game.
  • The East’s quarterbacks. Not to pick on the lesser of the two divisions, but the East’s signal callers didn’t have the best Saturday. Outside of Justin Worley, who threw for 264 yards and 3 TDs, no other QB threw for 200 yards and multiple TDs. Even Maty Mauk, who engineered a late comeback, completed just over a third of his passes. Based on the play we’ve seen of late, it seems more like any team in the East can lose to anyone, not beat them as is the case in the West.
  • First quarters vs. non-conference foes. LSU, Auburn and Ole Miss all won fairly convincingly over out-of-conference opponents. None of them started well, though. LSU committed four first quarter turnovers, while Auburn got its only score of the first after an interception. Outside of one long scoring play in the first quarter, Ole Miss did nothing offensively for the first three quarters. Chalk it up to the malaise of playing cupcakes in the midst of SEC season (or having the wrong quarterback starting), but those kinds of starts can be fatal in SEC play.