SEC Power Rankings after Week 1
Editor’s note: We use the term “power rankings” loosely.
Seven SEC teams lost games to non-conference opponents in Week 1 (Weak 1?), something that hadn’t happened since 1992. The worst part? It could have been worse. If Jalen Hurd doesn’t dive into a pile of players and somehow come out of it the football, Tennessee likely loses to Appalachian State. If Deatrich Wise doesn’t sack La. Tech quarterback J’Mar Smith, setting up a 4th-and-20 late in the fourth quarter, who knows whether Jonathan Barnes nails a long field goal to shock the Razorbacks.
Week 1 was such a mess that Auburn scored one touchdown, lost by six and still had the second-best performance.
These power rankings are fluid, sure to change every seven days, but here’s how the SEC stacks up after a Weak 1.
Oh, boy …
It’s early, and while I totally overreacted to a nearly unprecedented Weak 1, there is a lot of football left to be played. However … Vandy’s offense is an unfixable mess. The Commodores threw for just 73 yards — the fourth time in six games they failed to reach 75. That’s mind-boggling.
13. Mississippi State
It’s not so much that the Bulldogs lost but rather it’s so much more difficult now to find six wins on their schedule. Especially if they can’t make a 28-yard field goal.
How does Mark Stoops keep the doubts away after that?
6 wins are possible
11. South Carolina
It wasn’t pretty, but SEC road wins rarely are. The Gamecocks will take it. … Missouri’s offense flashed potential, if not results. Call me surprisingly optimistic. … Arkansas always gets better. … Florida scored 10 points in three quarters. The Gators should have scored 42, not 24.
You’ve got to be kidding …
Both teams are way too talented to be this low. The reality is they’re both better than this. Maybe their Weak 1 was an aberration, but some of the same issues that doomed their dreams in 2015 showed up again.
Good enough to beat (almost) anybody
3. Ole Miss
The Tigers deserve a ton of credit: They held Deshaun Watson and Clemson to 19 points, its lowest point total since November 2014. They’ll slide in the weeks to come because they still don’t have a capable quarterback, but major job-well-done emojis for representing Saturday. … Georgia: In Nick Chubb They Trust. The Dawgs are for real and Lorenzo Carter looked different, fast, ferocious. … Ole Miss opened the game with a five-wide receiver set. It’s clearly Chad Kelly or bust for the Rebels. The secondary was ravaged by injuries in the opener, and that played a big role in the second-half collapse against No. 4 FSU. They’ll be all right.
Can we fast-forward to Oct. 22?
2. Texas A&M
Just give that offense a bit more time, a few more reps. They might be averaging 40 by the time they arrive in Tuscaloosa on Oct. 22.
It’s Alabama’s world …
The last thing SEC opponents needed to see was an Alabama quarterback worthy of game-planning against. Well, Nick Saban has one in Jalen Hurts.
Saban is paid millions to find faults with a 46-point blowout over a ranked team.
Before Saturday, want to know how many times Saban’s Alabama teams hung 50 on a Top 20 team? Try once.
Thank goodness the rest of us just get to sit back and enjoy the show.
Chris Wright is Executive Editor at SaturdayDownSouth.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.