Welcome back to week 2 of the GABA SEC Power Rankings. Now, this is more of my rankings in the SEC and they are due to change a lot based on week to week performance. Obviously I'm biased towards South Carolina, but I’m going to try my best to be fair.
It isn't the easiest thing to judge this previous week because teams always come out of week one guns blazing, but certain teams should put away lower talented teams early. The teams that did this look better in my eye because they were more prepared and went in to the game knowing what had to be done.
With that being said, let’s get it started.
14. Kentucky Wildcats (↓3)
Who in their right mind schedules a week one game where you have to travel to a smaller school like Southern Miss? Its truly mind boggling to me.
Anyway, Kentucky barely escaped with a win on Saturday. The Wildcats defense won the game for them, forcing three turnovers and a defensive touchdown. Southern Miss beat them in relatively every statistical category, but defense wins ball games. We’ll see how Kentucky does against Eastern Kentucky this week, but there is only up from here.
13. Vanderbilt Commodores (Same)
Vanderbilt actually did a pretty good job this weekend. They held a team that a year ago averaged over 500 yards of offense a game to just a little over 200. They scored 28 points, which is relatively great for them. But, it was Middle Tennessee State. For that reason, I don't think they should have moved at all.
12. Ole Miss Rebels (Same)
This week one game for Ole Miss is a classic example of a smaller team coming out of the gates hot, then getting gassed and getting blown out in the second half. Now, Ole Miss did put 27 on the South Alabama Jaguars in the 3rd, but its the freaking South Alabama Jaguars. If Ole Miss and Shea Patterson were as good as Gene Chizik and Dari Nowkhah, they would have blown this team out by 40 and not let them played this close at all.
11. Texas A&M Aggies (↓1)
Wow, Kevin Sumlin was off to a great start for the 2017 season. After being up 38-10 going in to the second half, the Aggies blew it. This meme was just too good to not include:
BREAKING: Texash A&M releasesh new logo. #UCLAvsTAMU pic.twitter.com/NUtAyeHmeD— Lou Holtz (@PretendLouHoltz) September 4, 2017
This is obviously referencing how the Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead and choked just like the Aggies did. They gave up 28 4th quarter points, which is absolutely atrocious. If Kevin Sumlin wasn't on the hot seat before this, he definitely is now. Nick Starkel did get injured and that did play a huge role in this game.
10. Missouri Tigers (↑4)
Wow, Missouri put up a lot of points on Missouri State. I know, it’s Missouri State, but 72 points is 72 points. They also gave up 43 points to the State team, which is also atrocious. Drew Lock did throw for 500 plus yards and seven touchdowns. I wouldn’t say Missouri State is a real test or even close, but South Carolina coming to them is going to be a good one. We’ll see if I was right for moving the Tigers up to ten or not.
9. Tennessee Volunteers (Same)
The Volunteers squeaked out a win at a “neutral site” win in Atlanta against Georgia Tech. This resulted in the SEC going 3-0 against the ACC this week, so the ACC can suck it. Anyway, it took them sessions of overtime, and they gave up 500 plus yards on the ground. Josh Dobbs’ replacement doesn't look anything near good, but he is serviceable. They have Indiana State at home this weekend, so it shouldn't be too much of a challenge. It’s Indiana State.
8. Mississippi State Bulldogs (same)
They played Charleston Southern, who recently lost their head coach to be the OC at Coastal Carolina and is now the interim head coach. Their level of competition this previous week and this week wasn't great, but they have a real test in two week with LSU coming to town. That is when we’ll figure out if the Bulldogs are real.
7. Florida Gators (↓1)
I’m shocked that I was right about Florida’s offense being putrid. Not really, because I knew this was going to happen. If you take the two pick-sixes away, the Gators scored 3 points. That’s absolutely terrible. A major amount of the success that Florida had the previous two years was to their defense, which Will Muschamp recruited. Mind you, Jim McElwain was brought to Florida for his offensive prowess. Obviously, Michigan is a tough first game but it is a great test to see where the Gators are. To me, they failed the test.
6. Arkansas Razorbacks (↑1)
They had about the same level of difficulty with Florida A&M as Mississippi State had with Charleston Southern. Obviously Florida A&M isn't a powerhouse, so it isn't the easiest thing in the world to decide if they are as good or worse than I originally said. They have good back to back games with TCU and Texas A&M, and that will be a true test as to where the Razorbacks will fall this season.
5. South Carolina Gamecocks (Same)
Wow, it really took everything in me to not call the Gamecocks the fourth best team in the SEC. In all seriousness, the Gamecocks showed in the second half their defense can play a lot better than it did last year. I think the question about the pass protection part about the O-Line was mostly answered, considering they only gave up two sacks. The Gamecocks didn't do well in the rushing attack, which was expected. Offensively, 35 points against one of the better defensive units they're gonna face all year isn't bad.
4. Georgia Bulldogs (Same)
Was I the only one hoping that App State would repeat some Michigan magic on the Bulldogs? Probably not, but Georgia does have a reason to be worried. Jacob Eason did go out early in the football game; however, the Dawgs had more success on offense when Jake Fromm. So whether or not the defense will be the same as last year is a different question. It’s App State, so not the easiest thing to tell. They play Mississippi State in a couple weeks, so we’ll see what the defense is made of when they face off against Nick Fitzgerald.
3. Auburn Tigers (Same)
The Tigers faced and handled the Georgia Southern Eagles in a 41-7 win this weekend. They looked good, not great, but Jarrett Stidham is definitely not as good as I thought. He was serviceable, but not good. Kerryon Johnson looked like himself with 16 rushes for 136 yards and a couple TDs. They have a real road test in the fake Death Valley next week, so we’ll see how good the War Eagles are next week.
2. LSU Tigers (Same)
LSU had a pretty good neutral site game over the weekend, shutting out the BYU Cougars by a score of 27-0. Dylan Etling is doing what he's asked to do in not turning the ball over, so can't knock him for that. Derrius Guice & Darrell Williams pounded the Cougs all game, rushing for a over a combined 200 yards. The Tigers seem to be just as good as we thought.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (Same, probably all year)
Alabama and Florida State are very similar teams in coaching, recruiting, and pretty much everything. The Crimson Tide seemed to not have skipped a beat from last year. They averaged four yards a clip on the ground against one of the best run defenses in the country, and will dominate most. The Tide did only have three sacks, but Deandre Francois had a QBR of 17. The Tide are probably just going to keep rolling.