Here's my take on the SEC pecking order three weeks in.
1. Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies' dominant win in Columbia looks much more impressive now that the Gamecocks have beaten 1) an ECU team that went on to beat ranked Virginia Tech and 2) a Georgia team thought to be a national title contender.
2. LSU Tigers
The Tigers have cruised along against cupcakes since beating Wisconsin in week one. Tougher games are to come.
Alabama beat up on Southern Miss. this week. Florida visits Bryant-Denny next week, although that game now looks significantly less interesting after Florida's ugly 3OT win over Kentucky last night.
The Tigers took a week off before a mildly interesting OOC game at Kansas St. in week four.
The Rebels are the SEC's mystery team. They've dominated in the first three games, but the only decent opponent so far has been Boise St. They have one more tune up this week before a potential program-defining visit from Alabama in week five. The team definitely looks the part with plenty of talent on both sides of the ball.
Left for dead after an ugly loss to Texas A&M to open the season, the Gamecocks bounced back this week with a stirring win over Georgia that puts them in control of their own destiny in the SEC East.
After looking like one of the nation's best teams in the opening rout of Clemson, Steve Spurrier and South Carolina exposed Georgia's defense, particularly its undersized front and poor coverage.
After struggling a little bit against UAB, Miss. St. had no trouble dispatching South Alabama. While good SEC teams should beat teams like South Alabama without much difficulty, give the Bulldogs a little credit for winning the game on the road in Mobile, AL. This was biggest game in South Alabama football history, and the atmosphere didn't faze MSU.
Like Ole Miss, this is a bit of a mystery team. The Tigers struggled moderately against their week-one FCS opponent, but since then, they've looked good, albeit still against overmacthed opponents.
I think this is an opponent Gamecocks fans need to worry about. Given our secondary's troubles, Maty Mauk has to be licking his chops for the chance at revenge in Williams-Brice.
It was just Texas Tech, but for a Razorbacks program that hasn't had much to cheer about the past couple of years, the Hogs dominant win over the Red Raiders looks like a step forward. That's why I bumped them up a couple of spots in this week's rankings.
11. Florida Gators
The Gators were fortunate to send Kentucky home a loser. It's not at all clear that this team is improved from a year ago. They got some lucky bounces in the game and a little help from the officials and arguably deserved to lose.
Are the 'Cats much better or the Gators no better? Probably a bit of both. Thankfully, this team gets a week off to put the heartbreaking loss behind them.
Like Florida, it's not clear this team is any better than last year after Oklahoma dominated them last night in Norman.
Needed some big-time luck to beat winless UMass. At least Vandy got one in the win column on the year.