Apologies for not getting a post-week two list up, that’s my fault. Anyway, what we’ve seen from the first three weeks of the season is pretty consistent with how SEC football’s played out over the years: the West is the superior division, while the bottom half of the East can be arranged in just about any order you desire.
1 Alabama (3-0, 1-0)
Last week: beat Florida 31-29; this week vs. Southern Miss
The champs looked awfully vulnerable Saturday didn’t they? After jumping out to a 21-3 first quarter lead, Florida outscored the Tide 26-10 and could’ve forced overtime if it weren’t for just an awful call on a potential game-tying two-point attempt.
But what was especially concerning for an Alabama fan is how badly Florida’s offensive line whipped the Tide’s defensive line. The Gators ran all over Alabama to the tune of 245 yards. Bama’s got one week to work out the kinks before the Lane Train rolls into T-Town next Saturday.
2 Georgia (3-0, 1-0)
Last week: beat South Carolina 40-13; this week: @ Vanderbilt
Georgia might be the most complete team in all of college football, but I can’t put them atop any list until they prove it on the biggest stage.
3 Texas A&M (3-0, 0-0)
Last week: beat New Mexico 34-0; this week: vs. Arkansas in Dallas
After beating a pair of cupcake opponents and barely escaping Colorado in week two, now we’re going to see just how good Texas A&M really is. The Aggies are going to be in a major fight Saturday against the Hogs...and I don’t think they’re getting out of Arlington with a win.
4 Ole Miss (3-0, 0-0)
Last week: beat Tulane 61-21; this week: BYE
The Rebels have passed every test put in front of them through three weeks. The offense is as good if not better than expected and the defense has taken a step forward. If anyone’s beating Alabama this year, it’ll be these guys and we’ll see that game next Saturday.
5 Arkansas (3-0, 0-0)
Last week: beat Georgia Southern 45-10; this week: vs. Texas A&M in Dallas
Arkansas is good, y’all. Sam Pittman doesn’t have the most talented group, but nobody’s getting more out of his roster than him. But my goodness does the schedule get tough. Just look at these next three games:
vs. Texas A&M
@ Ole Miss
Now, I’m on the record of saying I think Arkansas beats A&M. And if they can split Georgia/Ole Miss? Look out.
6 Florida (2-1, 0-1)
Last week: lost to Alabama 31-29; this week: vs. Tennessee
Florida gave Alabama all it could handle last week but came up just short of a win. Now they get three straight against lesser East opponents (Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt) for a chance to build some momentum heading into their trip to Baton Rouge.
7 Auburn (2-1, 0-0)
Last week: lost to Penn State 28-20; this week: vs. Georgia State
Auburn, like Florida, put up a valiant effort in spite of the result. But we’re about to see exactly what Auburn is made of coming up. Remember how I said Arkansas has it tough coming up? Check out Auburn’s schedule once the calendar flips to October
October 2: @ LSU
October 9: vs. Georgia
October 16: @ Arkansas
October 30: vs. Ole Miss
8 Kentucky (3-0, 1-0)
Last week: beat UT-Chattanooga 28-23; this week: @ South Carolina
Kentucky sure has seen its stock fall since week one. The Cats won a wild game against Missouri in week two and Saturday actually trailed UT-Chattanooga 16-14 early in the fourth quarter. But they staved off the upset and now have a chance to go into the month of October at 4-0 and 2-0 in conference play.
9 LSU (2-1, 0-0)
Last week: beat Central Michigan 49-21; this week: @ Mississippi State
10 Mississippi State (2-1, 0-0)
Last week: lost to Memphis 31-29; this week: vs. LSU
Call me crazy, but this game feels like a battle for sixth in the SEC West. Can we say for sure LSU’s better than Bama/A&M/Ole Miss/Arkansas/Auburn? At this moment I don’t think they are. I think the loser of this game finishes last in the West while the winner will have their work cut out for them to finish any higher than sixth.
11 Missouri (2-1, 0-1)
Last week: beat SE Missouri State 59-28; this week: @ Boston College
12 South Carolina (2-1, 0-1)
Last week: lost to Georgia 40-13; this week vs. Kentucky
13 Tennessee (2-1, 0-0)
Last week: beat Tennessee Tech 56-0; this week: @ Florida
I can pretty much guarantee 11-13 will always be comprised of these three teams in varying order for the rest of the regular season.
14 Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-0)
Last week: lost to Stanford 41-23; this week: vs. Georgia
I can also guarantee the Commodores will keep last place locked up from now until the heat death of the universe.