It’s not often that you can find fault with SEC football.

Week 1 was an exception to that rule.

In 3 matchups against the ACC, the SEC went 1-2, with No. 5 LSU falling to No. 8 Florida State and South Carolina losing to No. 21 North Carolina. Tennessee took care of business against Virginia, but the Cavaliers are among the worst ACC squads.

Elsewhere, Florida went to Salt Lake City and struggled in a loss to No. 14 Utah and other SEC squads won but didn’t dominate as expected.

Still, it’s early, and there’s a chance the league still gets 2 teams to the College Football Playoff. We won’t panic here at Saturday Down South, but we have adjusted our power rankings following Week 1 action.

Here’s a look at where things stand as an exciting Week 2 draws near:

14. Vanderbilt (2-0)

Last week: 47-13 W over Alabama A&M
This week: at Wake Forest
Previous ranking: 14

Wins over Hawaii and Alabama A&M aren’t really going to move the needle too much for me. Yes, Vanderbilt looks competent this year, but this is what the Commodores looked like last year at this time, too. I want to see a bit more before I move them out of the cellar. They’ll have a chance to make a statement this weekend at Wake Forest.

13. Florida (0-1)

Last week: 24-11 L at No. 14 Utah
This week: vs. McNeese
Previous ranking: 13

The loss at Utah wasn’t as bad as it may seem. Graham Mertz showed some signs of life at quarterback. The defense was decent against Utah’s backup QBs. But there’s still a ton of work to be done by Billy Napier if he wants to avoid hot seat discussions as the season goes on.

12. South Carolina (0-1)

Last week: 31-17 L to No. 21 North Carolina
This week: vs. Furman
Previous ranking: 9

Woof. That South Carolina offensive line was bad. Spencer Rattler was sacked 9 times against North Carolina on Saturday night. The Tar Heels only recorded 17 sacks all of last year. The Gamecocks moved backwards (literally) in the running game, recording a grand total of -2 yards. That was an awful performance from Shane Beamer’s squad. If it doesn’t improve quickly, all the preseason goodwill will quickly fade.

11. Mississippi State (1-0)

Last week: 48-7 W over SE Louisiana
This week: vs. Arizona
Previous ranking: 12

A nice win in Zach Arnett’s debut as the full-time head coach, but nothing to write home about. The Bulldogs took care of business against an FCS foe, so they get a slight bump in the rankings. This week will provide a better challenge, as Arizona visits Starkville for a Power 5 showdown.

10. Mizzou (1-0)

Last week: 35-10 W over South Dakota
This week: vs. Middle Tennessee
Previous ranking: 10

The Tigers looked fine in their win over South Dakota. They didn’t do anything to knock my socks off, but they didn’t do anything to embarrass themselves, either. Yes, I would have liked to have seen my alma mater score 50 points on an FCS squad, but this was more about getting certain players comfortable in live action. We’ll see if the positive momentum continues this week against Middle Tennessee.

9. Auburn (1-0)

Last week: 59-14 W over UMass
This week: at Cal
Previous ranking: 11

The Hugh Freeze era announced itself in a big way on Saturday. The Tigers’ 59 points scored was the most for Auburn since the first 2 games of the Bryan Harsin era in 2021. Robby Ashford looks like a legitimate red-zone threat. Payton Thorne played well enough to give fans hope. Next week will be a tricky one, though, as Auburn heads west to play Cal in a game that starts at 10:30 p.m. ET.

8. Kentucky (1-0)

Last week: 44-14 W over Ball State
This week: vs. Eastern Kentucky
Previous ranking: 6

Kentucky needs to stop scheduling MAC opponents in Week 1. Yes, the Wildcats eventually poured it on to win by 30, but Ball State kept things interesting early. I did like what I saw from Devin Leary and the Kentucky receivers, but there’s still work to do before SEC action begins. Fortunately for the Wildcats, a tuneup game takes place this weekend against FCS foe Eastern Kentucky.

7. LSU (0-1)

Last week: 45-24 L to No. 8 Florida State
This week: vs. Grambling
Previous ranking: 2

Ouch. LSU entered the 2023 season with College Football Playoff aspirations. Even if the Tigers suffered a close loss to the Seminoles, they could still consider themselves to be in contention for a spot in the Final 4. But Sunday night’s performance was … awful. There’s no other way to describe it. The Tigers made too many mistakes in all aspects of the game and were completely inept in the second half. This loss will be a hard one to overcome on their CFP résumé.

6. Arkansas (1-0)

Last week: 56-13 W over Western Carolina
This week: vs. Kent State
Previous ranking: 8

KJ Jefferson threw for 3 touchdowns and ran for another. Raheim Sanders ran for 2 scores. Four different receivers caught passes in the end zone. The defense was … fine. Arkansas’s offense showed it can be great this year. If the defense can just be passable, the Hogs should be in good shape moving forward.

5. Texas A&M (1-0)

Last week: 52-10 W over New Mexico
This week: at Miami
Previous ranking: 7

I’m on the record with predicting Texas A&M to have a huge 2024 season. I see no signs that can’t happen based on the first game of 2023. Conner Weigman was sharp at quarterback. Evan Stewart is a budding superstar. Bobby Petrino called a good game offensively. The defense has talent at all 3 levels. If this team can go to Miami and pull out a victory next weekend, hype will quickly start to build.

4. Ole Miss (1-0)

Last week: 73-7 W over Mercer
This week: at Tulane
Previous ranking: 5

Ole Miss has 3 quality quarterbacks, it seems. Jaxson Dart won the starting job and threw for 334 yards, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Spencer Sanders came on in relief and posted 134 yards and 2 scores. Even Walker Howard came in and completed 3 of his 4 passes for 56 yards. Tre Harris set a school record with 4 touchdown grabs. Quinshon Judkins found the end zone twice with his legs. Yes, it was against an FCS opponent, but it was an encouraging sign for the rest of the year. Going to Tulane in Week 2 won’t be easy, though. That’s a sneaky good game on the Week 2 slate.

3. Tennessee (1-0)

Last week: 49-13 W over Virginia
This week: vs. Austin Peay
Previous ranking: 4

Was Joe Milton perfect? Absolutely not. Was he good enough for the Vols to be a really strong team this year? Definitely. The Vols’ rushing attack continues to be strong. The defense was good enough against a bottom-of-the-barrell ACC squad. There’s plenty of room for this team to continue improving, and that’s a scary thought.

2. Alabama (1-0)

Last week: 56-7 W over Middle Tennessee
This week: vs. Texas
Previous ranking: 3

Yes, Jalen Milroe played a heck of a game against Middle Tennessee, cementing himself as Alabama’s QB1 after combining for 5 total touchdowns. But nothing about Week 1 matters at this point in Tuscaloosa. It’s all about Week 2, when the Texas Longhorns visit Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama escaped Austin with a narrow win last season. Both of these teams are hungry to get to the College Football Playoff, so Saturday night in T-Town should be an incredible atmosphere. Don’t miss this game!

1. Georgia (1-0)

Last week: 48-7 W over UT Martin
This week: vs. Ball State
Previous ranking: 1

This weekend’s big win was very workmanlike for the Bulldogs. I expect another similar effort this coming week against Ball State. Carson Beck looked solid. Even with a banged up receiving corps, there’s still talent to go around. The defense is still elite. The running game could use some work, but there’s time to get on track before the Dawgs play tougher opponents. All in all, the Bulldogs are still No. 1 in the SEC and No. 1 in the country.