After a major opening weekend of college football, this past weekend did little to clarify the structure of power within the SEC. That doesn't mean there was a lack of movement in the rankings though, as some week one results got flipped on their heads in week two. Arkansas and Tennessee bounced back from opening game struggles to secure big time wins away from home. Meanwhile, Georgia, who looked great in Atlanta against North Carolina, nearly suffered one of the worst losses Athens, Georgia has ever seen. Ranking teams 3-9 is not the easiest exercise at this point.
The biggest takeaway is that two games is not nearly a large enough sample size to truly glean enough information to come to any conclusions. However, that won't stop us from subjectively ranking them! To the poll:
- Alabama Crimson Tide. This is as much of a no-brainer as one can find at this juncture of the young season. Alabama is clearly the cream of the crop in the Southeastern Conference. However, as mentioned last week, there are legitimate concerns on the offensive side of the ball. The offensive line has had a number of issues with penalties and in the run game. There is simply not enough space for Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough to make much happen right now. The defense, of course, is phenomenal.
- Texas A&M Aggies. Beating Prairie View A&M 67-0 isn't some sort of incredible omen or anything, but it was a much better showing than a lot of teams have had against seemingly overwhelmed opponents. The Ags have some big time games coming up in the next few weeks. We will find out a lot more about this team soon.
- Ole Miss Rebels. Another SEC team that took care of businesses against its cupcake opponent, the Rebels are looking to pull out a historic third straight win over Alabama this Saturday. The defensive front and offensive passing attack are both some of the best in the country.
- Arkansas Razorbacks. Arguably the biggest winner in college football this past weekend, the Hogs went on the road and beat one of the Big 12's best at their place. Austin Allen looks just as tough as his older brother Brandon was last season, the defense stifled TCU for most of the game, and the receiving corps is vastly underrated. However, this team has had its issues running the football, which is surprising for a Bret Bielema-coached team. With that being said, if Bielema has Arkansas playing this well in September this year, just wait until NovemBERT rolls around.
- Florida Gators. It's a good thing most people don't work on Saturdays, because you would get fired for watching Florida maul Kentucky the way they did if you had that kind of NSFW content streaming at the office. The defense caught as many passes from Kentucky (3) as the Wildcat receivers did. If McElwain's crew can continue playing defense like they have thus far this year, this team will return to Atlanta in December, because they are starting to find some options for Luke Del Rio and the offense.
- Tennessee Volunteers. On the surface, it would appear that Tennessee righted all of their wrongs in their 45-21 thrashing of Virginia Tech in Bristol Saturday night. But the final score doesn't tell the whole tale. The Vols were gifted five fumbles from the Tech offense. Dobbs only threw for 91 yards on 19 attempts, including an interception. They've got real issues in the passing game, and power runs and misdirection will only get them so far.
- LSU Tigers. After another brutal performance to begin the game against Jacksonville State, Brandon Harris was pulled in favor of Purdue transfer Danny Etling, who then failed to complete a pass after halftime. Les Miles could be in serious trouble down in Baton Rouge.
- Auburn Tigers. After taking the last 15 games off, the Gus Bus got rolling again this past Saturday, accounting for over 700 yards of total offense against Arkansas State. It's amazing what happens when you don't have a dozen players taking snaps at quarterback.
- Georgia Bulldogs. The Dawgs are likely better than this, but after their woeful performance against hapless Nicholls State it's hard to put them ahead of anyone above them on this list. Let's see, beat an overrated ACC team in the Georgia Dome, struggle with an FCS team at home the next week...where have I heard this before?
- Missouri Tigers. Don't look now but Missouri might just have an offense. Drew Lock is the current SEC leader for passing yards after the Tigers scorched Eastern Michigan. The defense doesn't seem like it's usual self though.
- Mississippi State Bulldogs. Hate on his in-game tactics all you want, but Dan Mullen simply doesn't field bad football teams. Nick Fitzgerald took over at quarterback after being benched in favor of Damian Williams against South, and he put on a show, both through the air and on the ground. Don't be surprised if this team ends up bowling despite their loss to South Alabama last week.
- South Carolina Gamecocks. Stop the presses, a Will Muschamp-led team can't score. Brandon McIlwain provided a glimmer of hope in the 2nd half though for Gamecock fans, as he fits Kurt Roper's system very well.
- Vanderbilt Commodores. Stop the presses, a Derek Mason-led team can score! The 'Dores exploded for 47 points against Middle Tennessee State powered by one of the most underrated players in college football, Ralph Webb. Webb ran for over 200 yards and Kyle Shurmur showed some promise after the rain delay.
- Kentucky Wildcats. Not only is this a bad football team, but the players outright quit on Mark Stoops on Saturday. This could get really ugly in Lexington.