Every Thursday, we rank the SEC and ACC teams in one power poll. The order of the SEC teams is based on the Week 3 SDS SEC Power Poll.

The ACC has bragging rights following Florida State’s BCS Championship win over Auburn in January, but outside of the Seminoles, few teams along the Atlantic Coast are national contenders. Saturday’s game in Tallahassee could shake up the ACC pecking order should Clemson take advantage of Jameis Winston’s first-half suspension and knock off the Seminoles.


The usual suspects are up front but Georgia’s no longer the torchbearer in the SEC’s Eastern Division. Four teams from the West appear before the other half’s best this week thanks to unbeaten starts from the Aggies and Tigers in the fourth and fifth slots. Florida State slides from the top spot as a team on upset alert on Saturday. The Tigers and Crimson Tide will each try and defend their home turf in big-time SEC matchups.

1. Alabama
2. Auburn
3. Florida State
4. Texas A&M
5. LSU


One of these teams is still unbeaten and its quarterback, Bo Wallace, is completing passes at a nation-leading rate. Ole Miss has the fewest question marks of these four but based on our SDS SEC Power Rankings, most of our writers deemed South Carolina a smidge more impressive than the Rebels. The Gamecocks made a tremendous jump in this informal poll after last weekend’s win over Georgia. In-state rival Clemson has an opportunity to replace Florida State as the ACC frontrunner with a win on Saturday, but it won’t be easy against the defending national champions. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs get relative bye weeks as multi-touchdown favorites.

6. South Carolina
7. Ole Miss
8. Georgia
9. Clemson


James Conner is college football’s most well-hidden superstar, Pittsburgh’s star sophomore running back who has accumulated 544 yards thus far on the ground with eight touchdowns. The Panthers are 3-0 and went on the road to beat a competitive Boston College squad in Week 2. Other individual standouts leading teams in this group include Mizzou quarterback Maty Mauk and pass rushers Markus Golden and Shane Ray, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott and Preston Smith and Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves. All have All-American potential but their respective teams will have to prove their worth.

10. Missouri
11. Mississippi State
12. Florida
13. Pittsburgh
14. Virginia Tech


#GoACC was trending on Twitter late last Saturday night after Boston College put the finishing touches on a victory over ninth-ranked Southern Cal in Chesnut Hill, Mass. Our SDS crew watched the game in the office and couldn’t believe the rushing discrepancy — BC: 452; USC: 20. That game came a few hours after Arkansas entered Lubbock and shoved Texas Tech out of its Kliff Kingsbury-owned saloon with an impressive win. The Razorbacks’ offensive line dominated at the line of scrimmage, propelling Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams to 357 yards rushing.

15. Boston College
16. Arkansas
17. Georgia Tech


The Tar Heels are 2-0 in appetizer games to the main course that starts this week against East Carolina. The matchup with the Pirates is followed by road trips to Clemson and Notre Dame with a Virginia Tech home game sandwiched in between. Kentucky and Tennessee appear better than we thought, like Arkansas. The Wildcats fought to the finish against Florida and the Vols — considering their youth — could’ve played worse at Big XII favorite Oklahoma. Something tells me Tennessee is the best of these four at the end of the season, but we still have nine games remaining to sort it out.

18. Louisville
19. North Carolina
20. Kentucky
21. Tennessee


We’re judging on a week-to-week basis and although Virginia’s played above average with coach Mike London on the hot seat, it doesn’t look like the Cavaliers have the depth for a stretch run. Duke hasn’t missed a beat offensively without Kurt Roper as its offensive coordinator, but the competition’s been weak. Another 3-0 squad in the same central area is N.C. State, a team that has already matched last season’s win total. Smoke and mirrors? Maybe not with ex-Gator Jacob Brissett at quarterback, but the Wolfpack’s schedule is not favorable the rest of the way.

22. Virginia
23. Duke
24. Miami
25. N.C. State


It may get worse before it gets better for these three teams, but hey, Syracuse is 2-0! The Orange still have to play Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame along with trips to Boston College and Pittsburgh — two of the ACC’s better teams. Wake Forest has a freshman quarterback and Vandy … just has issues in multiple areas. Ralph Webb’s the best player on any of these three teams, but the Commodores can’t get the football to him every play. Sustaining drives has been a problem in the early going.

26. Syracuse
27. Wake Forest
28. Vanderbilt