SEC Power Rankings: Week 1
Hope you didn’t blink this weekend, because college football opened up with a bang…and it’s already over. That’s how fast the season will go, too, and before you know it, it will be December and you’ll wonder where the season went.
So, let’s cherish this season – it should be thrilling!
Every week, SDS will poll its writers, and we’ll provide a collective SEC power rankings, instead of it coming from just one writer with one impression of every team.
Here are the SEC power rankings after week one, according to our staff:
Will be hard to make a bowl game
14. Vanderbilt Commodores
13. Arkansas Razorbacks
12. Kentucky Wildcats
Vanderbilt didn’t even come close to the showing what Derek Mason anticipated, and the offense really struggled, headlined by the quarterback play. After two straight nine-win seasons, Vandy could be on the outside looking in at a bowl game…Arkansas is an improved team, but where will the wins come on the schedule? Should they finish the next 11 games with as much moxy as they did in the first half against Auburn, it could happen. Still, the Hogs probably aren’t bowl worthy yet…Kentucky looks so much better, but we have bridled optimism after destroying UT Martin. We’ll know more about the Wildcats this week against Ohio.
Three East teams
11. Missouri Tigers
10. South Carolina Gamecocks
9. Florida Gators
Missouri looked ho-hum against South Dakota State, and the Tigers will have to pick it up this week against Toledo. The offense looks fine, but the defense needs some work. I love Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy, though…South Carolina was one of the biggest stories this week for all the wrong reasons. After being throttled last week by Texas A&M, they’ll have to recover quickly against East Carolina, who is no pushover. Steve Spurrier is scratching his head this week, as is Lorenzo Ward…The jury’s still out on Florida, only because their game was cancelled, but man, didn’t Valdez Showers look good on that kickoff return? Let’s hope weather stays clear of Gainesville this week.
Tennessee makes a charge
8. Tennessee Volunteers
7. Mississippi State Bulldogs
6. Ole Miss Rebels
Tennessee was impressive this week against a decent team in Utah State. The Vols’ defense looked much faster and more athletic, while the offense, led by breakout candidate Justin Worley, looked efficient and has a high ceiling. The true test comes in two weeks against Oklahoma, and we’ll know whether Tennessee is a dark-horse candidate in the SEC East…Mississippi State’s defense looked dominant against Southern Miss, but the offense struggled in some red zone situations. UAB doesn’t pose a threat this week, but things need to get cleaned up. However, I love the offensive weapons, from Dak Prescott to Jameon Lewis and De’Runnya Wilson…Ole Miss‘ defense could lead the SEC this season, and as long as second-half good Bo Wallace comes to play, the Rebels will be tough to handle for anyone. Hugh Freeze has as much talent as any team in the country.
Three West teams
5. LSU Tigers
4. Texas A&M Aggies
3. Alabama Crimson Tide
LSU’s comeback was huge for the SEC, and it could have helped eliminate the Big Ten from the College Football Playoff. The Tigers made a few big plays, but they all counted. How about Kenny Hilliard? He played like a beast, and the defense clamped down when they had to. Coming back and having such a thrilling victory is so Les Miles-ish…Texas A&M electrified the country, and everybody forgot about the best player in the country the last two years. Kevin Sumlin and Kenny Hill sliced and diced the No. 9 team in the country, and the Aggies made the statement they wanted to make. How about that Aggies’ defense? They stepped up to the challenge…Are Alabama fans panicking? They shouldn’t be. Alabama is a quarterback away from having an electrifying offense, but the bigger question is the defense. The same questions remain from last season in the secondary, and there has to be solutions and soon.
2. Auburn Tigers
1. Georgia Bulldogs
How fitting: The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry teams sit No. 1 and No. 2. Auburn is exactly who we thought they were — an electric offense with weapons everywhere…even at ball boy. Auburn is going to score on anyone, and how many losses — if any — comes down to playing a brutal schedule and the improvement of the defensive line…Georgia was the story of college football, and how they dismantled a ranked Clemson team was impressive. Todd Gurley is the battering ram, and Hutson Mason is the facilitator. And how about that defense? One first down and no points in the second half proves Jeremy Pruitt is worth his weight in gold.