Week two in the SEC meant plenty of cupcakes, but some teams handled the low hurdle better than others. Here are my power rankings for the league heading into an all-important week three:
1. Alabama (2-0)
Beat Fresno State 41-10; Previous Week: 1
Alabama remains at top with a routine win over Fresno State. Just get used to seeing them at the top.
2. LSU (2-0)
Beat Chattanooga 45-10; Previous Week: 2
I’m keeping LSU at No. 2 after a rout of Chattanooga, but there’s one team nipping at their heels this week. We’ll find out a lot more about Coach O’s squad when they take on Mississippi State in Starkville this weekend.
3. Georgia (2-0)
Beat Notre Dame 20-19; Previous Week: 4
With true freshman QB Jake Fromm making his first start on the road against a ranked Notre Dame team, a loss would have been understandable; however, Fromm and the Dawgs stood tall and got a statement win, bumping them into the top three of this week’s rankings. This catch by Terry Godwin is an early frontrunner for catch of the year:
This one-handed grab from Terry Godwin 😮
(📹: NBC Sports)pic.twitter.com/Nhd6Vy0mWo
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 10, 2017
4. Auburn (1-1)
Lost to Clemson 14-6; Previous Rank: 3
I’m not going to drop Auburn down too far for losing to the defending national champions on the road. Yes, QB Jarrett Stidham got sacked 11 times, but that’s against one of the best defensive lines in the country. Still, in a stacked SEC West, Auburn’s offense has to be better than that.
5. South Carolina (2-0)
Beat Missouri 31-13; Previous Rank: 5
South Carolina was actually the underdog on the road vs. Missouri, but they managed to hold the Tigers, who scored 72 points the week before, to 13. The Gamecocks still have issues, yes, but they’re on the cusp of their best start since 2012, making this weekend’s showdown with Kentucky absolutely huge, on both sides.
6. Mississippi State (2-0)
Beat Louisiana Tech 57-12; Previous Rank: 7
This is where the rankings get tricky. The Bulldogs whooped up on lowly Louisiana Tech, but man, they can put up some points; 106 over their first two games, in fact. We’ll see what they can really do vs. LSU this weekend. In the meantime, I will continue to marvel at how Louisiana Tech went from 2nd and goal to 3rd and 93:
My word. That is just painful to watch.
7. Tennessee (2-0)
Beat Indiana State 42-7; Previous Rank: 9
I refuse to buy stock in the Vols until I see them play Florida this weekend; however, after a 35-point win, I couldn’t justify keeping them below Arkansas, who lost to TCU, and the Gators, who didn’t even play.
8. Florida (0-1)
Game canceled due to Hurricane Irma; Previous Rank: 8
As mentioned, Irma gave the Gators an extra week to prepare for Tennessee. Today, it was confirmed that the game will take place as scheduled in Gainesville on Saturday, setting up one of the best games in a loaded weekend.
9. Arkansas (1-1)
Lost to TCU 28-7; Previous Rank: 6
Arkansas couldn’t get anything going vs. TCU, with quarterback Austin Allen connecting on only nine passes for 138 yards. Their kicker also missed two field goals, one from 19 yards and one from 23 yards. This fan’s face says it all:
TCU didn’t even rush anybody 😭😭😭 look at that Arkansas fan’s face pic.twitter.com/8KFwzf0kWJ
— kevin clegane (@docKev_) September 9, 2017
10. Vanderbilt (2-0)
Beat Alabama A&M 42-0; Previous Rank: 10
Vandy looked good for the second straight week, shutting out Alabama A&M 42-0. Sure, Alabama A&M is an FCS team, but so is EKU, and we know how Kentucky struggled against them.
11. Ole Miss (2-0)
Beat UT-Martin 45-23; Previous Rank: 12
The Rebels’ defense is suspect, but their offense is impressive, with QB Shea Patterson setting a school record for passing yards (489) vs. UT-Martin.
12. Kentucky (2-0)
Beat Eastern Kentucky 27-16; Previous Rank: 11
Kentucky’s first half vs. EKU was abysmal, but they pulled it together in the second half thanks to improved line play and an assertive performance from Stephen Johnson. Again, this weekend’s game vs. South Carolina will tell us a lot.
13. Missouri (1-1)
Lost to South Carolina 31-13; Previous Rank: 13
The buzz around the Tigers died down once they faced a real defense. After putting up 72 points vs. FCS Missouri State, the Tigers managed only 13 vs. South Carolina. In their first two games, they’ve allowed 74 points, prompting Barry Odom to fire defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross. Yikes.
14. Texas A&M (1-1)
Beat Nicholls State 24-14; Previous Rank: 14
After blowing their opener vs. UCLA in spectacular fashion, Texas A&M struggled at home vs. Nicholls State. Again, I think the Aggies are probably better than Missouri and some other teams in the lower tier, but they’ve got to prove it, and a 10-point win over an FCS team don’t impress me much. (And yes, I realize Kentucky only beat EKU by 11.)