What a week in the SEC. A couple of surprising upsets, a shocker of a near-upset, and a few slug ’em out league grinders. In case you blinked, we’ve got you covered. Here were the league’s handful of definitive winners and losers from SEC Week 4.



It was almost a carbon copy of Week 2. Arkansas plays a traditional Texas power. The Razorbacks were expected to give a good fight, but ultimately take a valiant loss. The only problem is that nobody remembered to tell Arkansas about that plan. On Saturday, Arkansas outrushed Texas A&M (197-121), outpassed them (246-151), had more sacks (3-2), forced more turnovers (1-0), and won the game 20-10. There was nothing gimmicky or fluky about it. Nor is there about the Arkansas Razorbacks, the most improved team in the SEC in 2021.

The big dogs

Nobody thought for half a second that Georgia or Alabama were going to lose this week. But the way that each squad took care of business is the kind of thing that other SEC squads would do well to notice — such as Kentucky (edging out FCS Chattanooga last week) or Auburn (taking until the final minutes to sneak past Georgia State). We get it: Georgia and Alabama are Georgia and Alabama because they have the players from those 5-star stacked rosters. But they’re also in the position they are because they take care of business, they don’t play down to inferior competition and they improve week to week throughout the season. Also, Georgia almost managing more points than Vandy had total yards was something hard to imagine.

Max Johnson and LSU’s defense

The Tigers had something near a must-win game at Mississippi State — the same Mississippi State that threw for 623 yards and upset LSU as a 16.5-point underdog to open the 2020 season. LSU still had its fair share of struggles on Saturday as State went 47 for 62 for 371 passing yards. But instead of an embarrassing loss, LSU turned in a signature game.

Max Johnson had 4 TD tosses and got LSU out to a 28-10 edge with 11:32 to play. So many of those State yards were catch-up yards against a conservative LSU defense, one that acquired a significant measure of revenge in a win that keeps the Tigers around the top half of the SEC. And Johnson, once thought likely to sit behind Myles Brennan, has imprinted his own identity on the Tigers’ season.

Treylon Burks

In recent seasons, figuring out the top SEC wide receiver was an easy as finding the SEC’s top squad and their big-play guy. It might be again in 2021, but not if Arkansas junior Treylon Burks has anything to say about it. He started 2021 pretty quiet, dealing with some nagging injuries and having just 79 receiving yards in the first two games. But in the past two games, he’s topped 100 yards in each, and had receptions of 85 and 91 yards. He was the best player on the field in the Razorbacks’ win over Texas A&M, and might just break that “best receiver on best team” streak.

Emory Jones

Beleaguered after a rough start, Jones showed for a second consecutive week that he belongs at the helm of the Florida offense. He took Tennessee’s best early shots and responded with 209 passing yards and 2 scores through the air. He also rans for 144 yards, which puts him in pretty good UF company (see below). Don’t look now, but Florida’s rushing attack is superb even without much input from Anthony Richardson. It’s also worth noting that Jones had zero turnovers.

Kentucky’s defense

Holding South Carolina to 216 total yards and 2.2 yards per carry was huge, especially on a night when the Wildcats offense scored 16 points and seemed likely to commit 16 turnovers (more on that later). The Wildcats have been sluggish at times, but they’re 4-0, and most of the credit has to go to the defense.



You can’t talk trash about the insignificance of a game … and then lose that game.

Tigers DC Steve Wilks has to be in the running for SEC coordinator most likely to be dusting off his resume after this one. Boston College — not exactly the Kansas City Chiefs of college football — racked up 450 yards on Mizzou, rushing for a robust 275 yards and going 10 for 16 on 3rd down attempts. Missouri was lucky to sneak this game into overtime thanks to the rocket leg of Harrison Mevis, but then Connor Bazelak ended the game with a single bad read. Kentucky ran the ball all over Mizzou a couple of weeks ago and now Boston College has run the ball all over Mizzou. It feels like we’re seeing a pattern here.


It’s great to put up 60 points against the Akrons and Alabama States of the world. But Gus Malzahn could do that. A week after squandering a chance to beat a surprisingly vulnerable 10th-ranked Penn State team on the road, Auburn nearly took a season-crushing loss to Georgia State. The Tigers allowed 267 rushing yards and 5.7 yards per carry to a 1-3 team whose only win was over Charlotte. Georgia State lost to Army by 33 and to North Carolina by 42. The Panthers led on Saturday for 42 minutes before two scores in the last minute of the game pulled this one out of the fire for the Tigers. Auburn now has a QB controversy, a defense that got absolutely eaten alive, and very little hope in the SEC West.

SEC officiating

Maybe it was because they blew the punt call in favor of the non-SEC team last week. But in Auburn’s ultimately game-winning drive against Georgia State, a clearly incomplete pass was called complete and allowed to stand. Judge for yourself.

While it may mean more in the SEC, it doesn’t seem to mean more to the league’s officials. Again.

Kentucky’s ball control

The Wildcats are 4-0. They are also minus-9 in turnover margin, after fumbling 4 times (losing 2) and throwing a pick against South Carolina. On the one hand, Kentucky has to be pretty good to keep winning games with negative turnover margins. That said, that October slate (Florida, LSU, at Georgia, at Mississippi State) means it’s time to clean it up or face a possible 0-4 month.