I am not much of one for nostalgia. I didn’t have a bad childhood. I am just old enough now to realize what I liked in childhood is objectively bad.
I liked New Kids on the Block when I was 8. Now that I’m 38 I listen to their music and realize I only liked it because 8-year-olds are stupid.
I bring this all up to tell you that Tennessee inspired the theme for this week’s gif power rankings. The Vols were poppin’ in the 90s with their coach straight out of the Country Bear Jamboree and a quarterback that...you know what? Peyton Manning actually could also be straight out of the Country Bear Jamboree. I mean, at least Splash Mountain, right?
Now, like the vintage ABC Friday night lineup, Tennessee looks ridiculous. In fact, in 2019 it would be as embarrassing to tell a stranger that you were a die-hard Vol as it would be to tell them you have a picture of Carl Winslow tattooed on your chest.
So with that in mind, remember that it is still too early to give you specific 1-14 rankings and we’re still putting teams in tiers. Also know that for the purposes of this column, I am not going to zero in on any particular TGIF lineup. Instead, I will be pulling from some of the biggest shows of the lineup’s history: Boy Meets World, Dinosaurs, Family Matters, Full House, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, and Step by Step.
“But Demetri, what about Sabrina the Teenage Witch?”
Go to Hell, nerd!
TIER 1: CLEARLY VERY GOOD
Death, taxes, and Bama failing to cover a 50+ spread against the Little Sisters of the Poor. Still though, Tua looks like Tua, Jeudy looks like Jeudy, and Jaylen Waddle, who was already very very fast is now very very fast and can break tackles, so good luck everyone else!
Georgia is outscoring opponents 93-23 so far this season and DeAndre Swift is averaging nearly 10 yards per carry. Have they played the toughest competition? No, but we were introduced to their backup QB Stetson Bennet IV, which is the most Georgia of all the names, so let’s assume they're at maximum Georgia right now.
Maybe Texas ain’t baaaaaack as their quarterback implied last January, but on Saturday night LSU looked amazing and there were times on the goal line where their defense was just showing off.
TIER 2: PROBABLY PRETTY GOOD
Auburn was the only SEC team with a truly impressive win in week 1. They struggled a bit against Tulane early, but when things are clicking, they look really good. As long as Gus Malzahn is set on working Jartavious Whitlow to death, they won’t have to ask much of their true freshman QB. It will be fun to see how this goes off the rails, because that’s going to happen.
Look, I know all of the stats you do. They are only returning a total of 24 starts on the o-line. Felipe Franks throws a lot of picks. Historically, he’s only been slightly over 50% for accuracy. But look at their schedule. Fans can complain that it’s ugly football all they want. The Gators are going to be bowl eligible before they lose a game.
TIER 3: WHO KNOWS?
Kentucky fans: We’re good! We’re 2-0!
America (very much aware Kentucky has played 2 MAC teams):
MISSISSIPPI STATE (2-0)
They beat the team that tried to hire Art Briles as its OC, so I say the Bulldogs deserve a traditional Mississippi celebration!
I am genuinely confused by what the floor and the ceiling is for this team, so to convey that confusion, here’s a gif featuring Carl Winslow dressed like Dave Chappell dressed like Rick James.
SOUTH CAROLINA (1-1)
Remember how great it felt to score 70 this week? Remember that feeling this time next week. Until then, just hope and pray the Cocks can do it again I guess.
TEXAS A&M (1-1)
Look, plenty of good teams have been made to look foolish against Clemson. I am still impressed by what the Aggies did in week 1, but barely showing up offensively this week is concerning.
TIER 4: LIKELY BAD
What it feels like when you know the best either you or Ole Miss can do in the West is to beat the other and you end up on the losing end.
OLE MISS (1-1)
When you want to make sure everyone notices what is likely to be one of your three wins this year.
All of us shouting at Vanderbilt for losing to a so-so Big Ten team.
TIER 5: JEE-ZUS!