- Alabama: Final looked like Alabama. Defense was simply dominant, and the offense got on track a bit, even if there were no home runs in the passing game. Special teams play excelled. The king is dead; long live the king.
- Georgia: The young defense is still a liability (four freshmen), but given the offenses they've faced, it'd be hard not to struggle. The offense needs nothing said other than let's retire this collective trope about Aaron Murray's inability to get it done. Color me unsurprised when we see a Dawgs-Tide SECCG rematch.
- LSU: Mainly forgotten in the head-to-head loss is that Zach Mettenberger, on the road, outplayed Murray, which is made easier because no one can guard their weapons on the outside. However, there just may be no answers -other than growing pains- for a back seven that is going to get picked on season-long.
- Texas A&M: Arkansas is going to give a great many teams fits with their dedication to a Paleolithic ground game, but you can't overlook that the secondary played pretty well all-in-all. Manziel-to-Evans is unmatched in the game, especially when Malena gets it going.
- Florida: Not the most aesthetically pleasing team to ever grace Gainesville, but even without Easley, one of the two or three fiercest defenses in the sport. How far can ultraviolence and an occasional first down, by hook or crook, carry them? My guess is the WLOCP is for the East.
- South Carolina: Injuries to Shaw, a ghastly secondary, and a propensity for uneven play separate the ‘Cocks from the Gators. Davis is legit, but with an uncertain passing game, and poor play away from Columbia, a stunner-type loss is not out of the question.
- Ole Miss: Front four is incredibly talented, and the young secondary played lights out. Still, the offense remains a poor man's Malzahn in terms of putting it together against competent defenses. Want to beat the Rebels? Put tactical pressure on Freeze and put the ball in Bo Wallace's hands: Bad things happen.
- Missouri: Undefeated against an uninspiring, one-sided non-conference slate. Get to test their chops against Vanderbilt this week, which should also prove to be an uninspired, one-sided affair. Don't underestimate the confidence that a 5-0 start could bring before that shootout with UGA. A loss to the ‘Dores, though, will absolutely derail this team, and usher an end to the Pinkel era.
- Arkansas: Record aside, this is Bielema's training wheels season. Collins and the run game are sexy to behold for fans of smashmouth, and WPS isn't like to be blown out of many games. However, serious problems arise when either the Hogs or their opponents attempt forward passes: This isn't a youth issue, it's a talent deficit.
- Mississippi State: Call me a dreamer, but a stout defensive line and a mobile quarterback can do good things in a conference where everyone has glaring vulnerabilities. Three or four conference wins is not out of the question.
- Auburn: An off-week for the Tigers came at the perfect time: low pressure reps for Nick Marshall, early season self-scouting, and a chance to find guys to replace Denson. The bellwether game this year was not, per usual, the Mississippi State game, it's this week against Ole Miss.
- Vanderbilt: Better "close" loss than the guys below them. Also, at this point, more proven talent and better coaching. Franklin is about to get paid in a serious way; whether that's in South Central or Nashville remains to be seen.
- Tennessee: Thought long and hard about this being the very bottom of the barrel in the SEC. Truly an awful, awful squad. The tiebreaker was not H2H with WKU or UF, rather Tennessee has a good young secondary, Neal/Lane and Tiny Richardson. Everything else is a flaming dumpster fire.
- Kentucky: Moral victory national championship through the early season, as they've played good halves of football, and the defensive line is pretty stout. Unlike Tennessee, though, there are zero offensive threats and the secondary is so bad that it frightens small children.
Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.
By Erik Evans