Ed. Note: The JP will be along in a bit.
An action-packed Saturday followed by a crazy Monday off of the field has led to some shake-ups across the southeastern landscape. Florida's eye-opening start hit quite the bump in the road, as starting quarterback Will Grier has now been suspended for the season. South Carolina's nightmarish season continues to spiral out of control, as Steve Spurrier has retired from his post as head coach, effective immediately. Nick Chubb was lost for the year on the opening play from scrimmage against the Tennessee Volunteers. Human sacrifice, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!
Oh, and there were some games played this weekend as well. With Florida, LSU, and Alabama all taking care of business, the stage is now set for an epic day in the SEC, as the top four teams in the conference by most polls (including this one!) battle it out in back-to-back games on Saturday. Those aren't the only games worth mentioning though, as it will truly be moving day in the SEC this weekend. South Carolina and Vanderbilt will (hopefully) meet in Columbia for the right to not be deemed the worst team in the SEC, and Missouri heads to Georgia looking to really send the Bulldogs season into a tailspin. Before all of that action takes place on Saturday, Auburn heads to Lexington looking to salvage something out of the 2015 season as they take on the 2nd place team in the East, Kentucky.
As always, the composite poll can be found at Team Speed Kills.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide. Many voters will probably dock the Tide a few votes after the ugly grinder against Arkansas this weekend, but that hardly stopped Alabama last season. This defense continues to show that it is arguably the best in college football. If you take out the 83 yard touchdown run by Nick Chubb in garbage time two weeks ago, the Tide held two of the best running games in college football to a combined 154 yards on 62 carries, or 2.48 YPC. The offense is very hit-or-miss right now, as the line has struggled more than many thought it would, but Calvin Ridley is an emerging star and Derrick Henry continues to put in strong work.
2. LSU Tigers. When Brandon Harris puts together a strong performance, the LSU offense is downright scary. The defense continues to put in good work, and now the Tigers get to really show what they are worth with the Gators coming to town this weekend.
3. Florida Gators. The loss of a competent quarterback really hurts this team, but Florida still has two major things going for it: Jim McElwain is sure to get the most he can out of an offense and the Gators' defense is still one of the best in the country. Not many teams can load the box and dare their opponent to beat their defensive backs in man cover like Florida can.
4. Texas A&M Aggies. Kevin Sumlin's team is chock-full of athleticism and speed, but do they have the toughness to battle against the big boys in the SEC West? That question will be answered by Saturday night.
5. Ole Miss Rebels. It's been a pretty crazy year in college football, with mid-major programs hanging with and beating a number of Power Five teams across the country. Ole Miss has not been one of those teams, as they have been pounding Group of Five and FCS opponents like they ratted on Laremy Tunsil or something. Up next, arguably the best of all the Group of Five opponents this year, the Memphis Tigers.
6. Georgia Bulldogs. Another trip to Tennessee ends with yet another season-ending injury to a star offensive player for Georgia. The Dawgs just aren't the same team without Nick Chubb. Sony Michel and Keith Marshall are very talented backs, but this offense relied on Chubb's ability to be both steadily efficient and dangerously explosive. The defense is giving up way too many big plays as well.
7. Mississippi State Bulldogs. State leads the league in games that don't mean anything to the power rankings.
8. Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs are much better than their 2-4 record indicates. Considering Toledo is making a strong push for the Group of Five spot in a major bowl and Texas Tech is looking like one of the better teams in the Big 12, the Razorbacks may honestly have played the toughest schedule in the country to date.
9. Tennessee Volunteers. Clearly the key for Tennessee is for them to never lead in a game and force Butch Jones and company to play with some urgency late.
10. Kentucky Wildcats. Excuse me, concierge, that's the second place in the East Kentucky Wildcats, thank you.
11. Auburn Tigers. If the Tigers aren't able to pick up a Thursday night road win in Lexington, it becomes incredibly difficult to find three more wins for bowl eligibility on their schedule. With Duke Williams no longer around, Auburn's already stale offense is looking at some real trouble.
12. Missouri Tigers. Looks like the play-like-complete-filth-on-offense-and-then-fall-backwards-into-a-win strategy isn't working out too well this time around.
13. Vanderbilt Commodores. The 'Dores have their best opportunity since Derek Mason took over to pick up a win in conference play this weekend. Will they be able to conjure up enough on offense? Will they even need to?
14. South Carolina Gamecocks. 2015 will definitely be a season Gamecock fans never forget, and not for any good reasons. Nobody deserves this.