At one point Saturday night, Vanderbilt was tied with Ole Miss, Arkansas was leading Texas A&M, and Butch Jones was probably sobbing softly to himself in a corner of the visiting locker room in Gainesville. It was a pretty eventful day of football this past Saturday, and the bottom of the conference made a few strides towards competence. However, despite the competitiveness in many of the games this past weekend, much of the power rankings will look familiar to last week, as the favorites ended up prevailing in most of the close calls.
1. Georgia Bulldogs. The rushing attack is the best in the country (apologies to one Leonard Fournette, please don't take this out on Alabama), the passing game has been strong and steady, and the defense has been very good. The Dawgs look like the most polished and balanced team in the SEC right now.
2. Ole Miss Rebels. Hugh Freeze's group was in a classic let-down spot Saturday night, so there isn't much reason for Rebel fans to concern themselves too much just yet. Vandy has a legitimately good defense, after all. Their drop has more to do with how good Georgia continues to look, regardless of the opponent.
3. LSU Tigers. Leonard Fournette is not a human being. Syracuse hung around more than one would have expected, but LSU had a number of iffy penalties against them that kept this game closer on the scoreboard than it should have been.
4. Alabama Crimson Tide. The offensive line has some legitimate concerns and the receivers have been dropping too many passes. These things do not make it any easier for Jake Coker, who, for all his faults, has done a pretty good job of leading Alabama's offense. The guy really turns it up in the red zone. The defense is downright dominant.
5. Texas A&M Aggies. Big win against an overrated opponent on the opening week? Check. Blow-out wins against non-conference cupcakes? Check. Come-from-behind win against Arkansas in overtime? Check. How did this turn out again last year?
6. Mississippi State Bulldogs. How about Dan Mullen, Dak Prescott, and the underrated Bulldogs? When looking ahead to the 2015 SEC West, and the absolute albatross it was trying to predict how things would play out, the one perceived safe bet for most prognosticators was that State was going to finish last. They had lost way too much from last year's team. Well, here they are, and honestly, they look a lot like last year's team. Maybe just a lesser version of the 2014 edition.
7. Florida Gators. How about old buddy Jim McElwain? The Gators showed some serious poise and grit late in their win over Tennessee, who showed the exact opposite of that. Will Grier played probably the best game a Florida quarterback has played since Tim Tebow left school, the offensive line has played much better than a group with that much inexperience should, and the defense is as salty as ever. This team can hang.
8. Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols have played way too well this season to be sitting at 2-2, but if you can't finish games, it just doesn't matter. Give Florida a ton of credit, but that was an epic meltdown by Tennessee as well.
9. Kentucky Wildcats. Mark Stoops' club is continuing to gain momentum and confidence. The Wildcat defense has been a pleasant surprise for Big Blue Nation, and there are plenty of winnable games left on the schedule. How far can the Cats climb in 2015?
10. Auburn Tigers. The LSU game excluded, the defensive side of the ball has improved from last season. But that offense, yikes. Three field goals? At home? In a must-win game? The Gus Bus isn't just slowing down, it's pulled over on the side of the road.
11. Missouri Tigers. Speaking of terrible offenses, Mizzou's finally playing like their recruiting rankings predicted for once.
12. Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs are not nearly as bad as their 1-3 record indicates, but their inability to finish drives has been too much to overcome. They finally looked like they could big-boy an opponent with their ground game again, albeit against an A&M front that hasn't exactly shut down opposing rushing attacks over the last few years.
13. South Carolina Gamecocks. Out of all of the bad quarterback situations in the SEC this season, South Carolina's is undoubtedly the worst. Needing explosive plays in the second half to beat arguably the worst team in the FBS is not a good look.
14. Vanderbilt Commodores. The Dores offense is starting to make some strides, and the defense is better than most give them credit for. However, Vanderbilt will stay at the bottom until Derek Mason can prove that his team can win a game against an actual opponent.