SEC Power Rankings: Week 2
Previous Power Rankings:
Slaughter Saturday is over, and it’s truly tough to tell just which teams are the best in the SEC. The SEC outscored its non-conference opponents 550-129, and it improved to 20-1 on the season against non-conference foes.
But how do the SEC’s 14 teams stack up exiting Week 2 and looking ahead to Week 3?
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 2, according to our staff:
Fighting for bowl eligibility
14. Vanderbilt Commodores (0-2)
13. Arkansas Razorbacks (1-1)
12. Tennessee Volunteers (2-0)
11. Kentucky Wildcats (2-0)
Vanderbilt isn’t making a bowl game, and at this point, there are just two winnable games remaining: UMass and Charleston Southern. And those games are by no means just gimmies…Arkansas finally snapped the treacherous losing streak by hammering Nicholls State. The Hogs have upcoming games against Texas Tech, Northern Illinois and Texas A&M that will help define whether or not the Hogs will ultimately become bowl eligible…In a bit of surprise, Tennessee is the SEC’s 12th best team right now, according to SDS’ staff, even after looking swell in the first two games of the season. The offensive line has some question marks, but the quarterback play, the offensive skill positions and the defense are much better. Tennessee’s an interesting team to watch this week against Oklahoma…Kentucky has come out and looked impressive the first two games, stomping UT Martin and beating Ohio. However, things get real this week, and we’ll know all about the Cats when they make their trip to The Swamp Saturday.
A pair of SEC East teams
10. South Carolina Gamecocks (1-1)
9. Missouri Tigers (2-0)
South Carolina has the SEC’s worst statistical defense, but they’ve played two spread ’em out offenses in Texas A&M and East Carolina. Should South Carolina lose this week to Georgia, the East is pretty much out of reach, as USC will be three games behind UGA. Let’s see what happens Saturday…Missouri hammered Toledo on the road this week behind Maty Mauk’s six touchdowns. The Tigers could be gelling somewhat on both sides of the ball, and after the next two non-conference games, Mizzou gets South Carolina, Georgia and Florida in a row. Still, the Tigers are right in the mix of the SEC East.
Legit dark-horse contenders
8. Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-0)
7. Florida Gators (1-0)
6. Ole Miss Rebels (2-0)
Prior to the start of the season, MSU, Florida and Ole Miss were three teams many thought could surprise. Now, all three are undefeated heading into Week 3. MSU looked sloppy against UAB, and the Bulldogs get South Alabama next week before things get real against LSU…Florida trounced Eastern Michigan, and the new-look offense had to reinvigorate the Gator nation, especially Will Muschamp. The Gators’ defense could be the best the SEC has to offer, and the offense is making major strides. Watch out for the Gators…Ole Miss has looked strong defensively in both wins, and whether the Rebels can ruin someone’s season ultimately comes down to Bo Wallace. Good Bo Wallace and the Rebels are a contender. Bad Bo Wallace and Ole Miss will slip up. The road is there to start 4-0 heading into the Alabama game.
Three SEC West powers
5. LSU Tigers (2-0)
4. Texas A&M Aggies (2-0)
3. Auburn Tigers (2-0)
LSU is getting better, and that’s scary for the SEC West. Anthony Jennings is starting to show some confidence, and the running game is nasty. LSU is a real player in the West, despite their youth. We’ll know more in two weeks against Mississippi State…Texas A&M put up basketball-type numbers against Lamar, and the only thing that can stop this offense is a weather delay. In all seriousness, the Aggies fumbled quite a few times, and that must be cleaned up. Still, how good is the Aggies’ defense? Myles Garrett is a monster, but we’re still not sure how good this unit is…Auburn steamrolled San Jose State in typical Auburn fashion, nothing flashy but just dominant. Nick Marshall is a great fit for the offense, but I’m really liking the Tigers’ front seven on defense, a group that when at full force could become very good. The secondary still needs work.
Top Two for Week 2
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0)
1. Georgia Bulldogs (1-0)
Alabama shut out FAU in typical fashion. That was pretty much expected, but what nobody did expect is that Blake Sims looks really good in Lane Kiffin’s offense. Jacob Coker may have the stronger arm and more upside, but Kiffin and Nick Saban seem to be intrigued by Sims’ mobility. The running game is nasty, and Amari Cooper leads the country in receptions and is putting up silly numbers…Georgia is coming off its first bye week, and the Bulldogs are gearing up for 1-1 South Carolina, who still remains a question. Will USC’s defense make Hutson Mason have to show up to the party, or will Todd Gurley and the dominant running game just steamroll the Gamecocks’ defense? Weird things happen with UGA in Williams-Brice Stadium.