SEC Power Rankings after Week 2
SEC Week 2 taught us all plenty. There were lots of surprises and accordingly, there’s plenty of movement in our weekly Power Rankings. As usual, they come with the caution that we can only rank teams off what we’ve seen — not what we think might be coming.
14. Vanderbilt (0-2, lost to LSU 41-7)
Funny how that “Is Vandy or Arkansas at the bottom?” thing got resolved real quickly. Frankly, maybe Vandy hanging close to A&M wasn’t a tribute to Vandy being good as much as to A&M being overrated. Yikes.
13. Missouri (0-2, lost to Tennessee 35-12)
Losing to Alabama by 19 certainly wasn’t a disgrace. But Tennessee ran the ball down the Tigers’ throats with ease. Could be a long year in Columbia.
12. Kentucky (0-2, lost to Ole Miss 42-41)
Hard to believe this Kentucky team was our pick to finish 3rd in the East. If next week’s game with Mississippi State features more absurdly bad pass defense, UK is staring down the barrel of a race to the bottom of the SEC.
11. South Carolina (0-2, lost to Florida 38-24)
It’s hard to see what this Carolina team can work into a coherent identity. It’s not their defense. Collin Hill has been very OK, but no more. The ground game is adequate … honestly, nothing about this team is awful. But very little looks special, either.
10. Ole Miss (1-1, beat Kentucky 42-41)
Beating Kentucky in 2020 doesn’t seem like it’ll necessarily amount to much of an accomplishment. The good news is that Matt Corral will have plenty of fun in Lane Kiffin’s offense. The bad news is that if Kentucky hadn’t shanked an extra point, that defense would still be trying to stop UK. Averaging over 45 points per game allowed will only take the Rebels so far. But that offense is a ton of fun.
9. Mississippi State (1-1, lost to Arkansas 21-14)
Maybe we were a little hasty in ranking the Bulldogs 5th in the league. Last week, the answer to whether the Air Raid could win in the SEC was, “Of course.” This week, it’s a little more, “Maybe we wait and see.”
8. Arkansas (1-1, beat Mississippi State 21-14)
LSAT fake exam question: LSU is the defending champion. LSU loses at home to Mississippi State. Mississippi State then loses at home to Arkansas. Which of the following is true: a) Arkansas is now No. 1. b) Mississippi State’s quirky offense will induce a fair share of randomly uneven results, c) It’s 2020, you lunatic. d) All of the above. Congrats to the Razorbacks. We’ve been quick to poke fun, and now we’re going to be as quick to tip the cap on their first SEC win since 2017.
7. Texas A&M (1-1, lost to Alabama 52-24)
Two weeks into the SEC season, A&M edges out Kentucky and Auburn for the biggest disappointment in the league. Yes, Alabama will do that to anybody. But A&M is like a slightly better South Carolina — what’s the calling card here? Kellen Mond feels like he should be better than he is, this defense is kind of meh. It’s hard to feel excited about this team right now.
6. Auburn (1-1, lost to Georgia 27-6)
The Gus Bus lost a wheel Saturday evening. Auburn hasn’t run well in either game, and Bo Nix’s passing skills got much more pedestrian when Georgia DBs were covering instead of Kentucky’s DBs. One could argue that the Tigers belong anywhere from here down to 10th, and they would certainly have a point.
5. Tennessee (2-0, beat Missouri 35-12)
This was a taking care of business win. How is Tennessee this high? Well, look at this game. The Vols have done a good job of being balanced on offense, physical on defense, and taking care of the small things that make the difference between being 2-0 or 1-1. Good enough for us.
4. LSU (1-1, beat Vanderbilt 41-7)
Sure, they manhandled Vandy. At the same time, Mississippi State’s follow up performance doesn’t necessarily help the overall view of the Tigers. For now, we can just call Week 1 an aberration. Unless it happens again.
3. Florida (2-0, beat South Carolina 38-24)
The Gators were fine. They fall a spot not due to anything they did wrong, but just a compelling performance by Georgia. Could we (finally) be in for a great Cocktail Party game this year?
2. Georgia (2-0, beat Auburn 27-6)
Many, including yours truly, thought Auburn had a real shot at this upset. Not even close. The Bulldogs join Florida at the head of the class in the SEC East, and barring a stumble for either against Tennessee, it’s a two-horse race this year.
1. Alabama (2-0, beat Texas A&M 52-24)
Is this the year we establish that Mac Jones can win the Heisman Trophy at Bama? It very well could be. The defense misses a play here and there, but it’s hard to imagine somebody dropping 40+ on them anywhere outside the CFP.