Photo credit: Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee athletics
Week 3 was the best week of college football at this point in the season, largely thanks to the SEC.
After another crazy week, here are how the SEC power rankings look as we get ready for Week 4.
Previous Ranking: 1
Alabama pulled off a quality win over Florida, but looked beatable.
Florida erased a 21-3 deficit and put itself in a position to win the game late. Unfortunately, a missed extra point would later haunt the Gators.
It was another big night from Bryce Young and the Alabama offense, but Florida gashed the Crimson Tide defense on the ground.
A 31-29 victory isn’t going to knock the Tide down this week, but the aura of invincibility is gone.
Previous Ranking: 2
JT Daniels was back and healthy for Georgia’s SEC opener, and he did not disappoint.
Daniels carved up the South Carolina defense for 303 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. At the half, Daniels was on pace to finish with 500 passing yards.
With the emergence of the Georgia offense since Week 1, the Bulldogs look to be one of the most complete teams in the country.
3. Ole Miss
Previous Ranking: 3
The SEC West is as wide open as it has been in years, and people need to watch out for the Rebels.
Ole Miss beat Tulane into the ground by a score of 61-21. Quarterback Matt Corral’s performance has generated some Heisman Trophy buzz. He finished with seven total touchdowns, including four rushing.
Ole Miss will be a challenger in the West for the first time in several years. There may be no better offense in the country.
Previous Ranking: 4
There was no letdown from a big win last week as the Razorbacks handled Georgia Southern, 45-10.
KJ Jefferson finally had the day through the air that Arkansas fans were hoping for. Jefferson finished with a career-high 366 yards and three touchdowns.
If Jefferson can continue to put things together in the passing game, the Arkansas offense will only get better from here.
Previous Ranking: 5
After Saturday’s performance, Florida made a strong case to move up.
Regardless, Florida showed some signs of promise against Alabama, and made it a final-possession game.
Quarterback Emory Jones struggled again at times, but he settled down and got things done on the ground.
Dan Mullen is the best in the business at working with what he has. He isn’t stubborn; he knows what his teams can and can not do. Mullen showed that on Saturday by relying on the ground game. Moving forward, expect Florida to run the ball a lot more.
6. Texas A&M
Previous Ranking: 6
The Aggies bounced back from a disappointing showing against Colorado with a 34-0 shutout win over New Mexico.
Quarterback Zach Calzada looked much more focused and comfortable in this matchup. He passed for 275 yards, three scores and just one interception.
The Aggies have Arkansas this week in what should be a good game. If the Aggies want to get the win, they will need to step up and play a lot better offensively than they have the last few weeks.
Previous Ranking: 8
Questionable play calls and inconsistency on defense plagued the Tigers in last week’s game. Still, they took a top-10 team down to the wire on the road with a first-year head coach.
Auburn has one of the best backfields in the SEC, and Bo Nix wasn’t detrimental to the team in a 28-20 loss at Penn State. Auburn will get another shot to make a statement in two weeks when it travels to LSU.
Previous Ranking: 7
Kentucky drops this week after a disappointing showing against Chattanooga.
With 14 minutes left, the Mocs scored to take the lead over the Wildcats. Kentucky rallied to get the 28-23 win, but it was a very mediocre and unsatisfying one.
The Mocs swallowed up the Kentucky run game and forced three turnovers. Time will tell if the dismal showing has any real significance. Kentucky visits South Carolina this week before Florida comes to town.
Previous Ranking: 10
The Tigers move up a spot this week and they can thank quarterback Max Johnson for that.
Johnson overcame an early interception return for a touchdown and threw for more than 370 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-21 win over Central Michigan.
Whether or not the Tigers can produce a rushing attack in SEC play is the biggest question. If they can, they will have a shot to resurrect their season. If not, it is going to be a long year on the Bayou.
Previous Ranking: 9
Missouri handled in-state FCS foe Southeast Missouri 59-28, but dropped a spot.
Quarterback Connior Bazelak had a huge night and the Tigers rushed for 235 yards.
If Missouri can find consistency from week to week, it will have a shot to make some noise in the SEC East.
Previous Ranking: 13
Tennessee is the biggest riser from this week after blanking Tennessee Tech, 56-0.
The Volunteers turned to Hendon Hooker at quarterback, and he delivered. Now, we will wait and see if he can replicate that success against SEC opponents.
We will know very quickly where the Vols stand. They travel to Gainesville this weekend to take on Florida.
12. South Carolina
Previous Ranking: 11
The Gamecocks were handed their first loss of the Shane Beamer era by none other than the Georgia Bulldogs.
JT Daniels and the Georgia passing attack ripped apart the Gamecocks’ secondary. South Carolina couldn’t replicate that success offensively.
South Carolina will have a tough one this week as it hosts Kentucky.
13. Mississippi State
Previous Ranking: 12
A questionable call on a punt ruined any shot at an Mississippi State win, but the Bulldogs didn’t do themselves any favors either.
The Bulldogs outplayed Memphis in almost every category, but couldn’t execute when it mattered the most in a 31-29 loss.
More red flags about the Mike Leach era are being raised. A win over LSU this weekend would help lower them.
Previous Ranking: 14
As expected, the Commodores round out our list for the fourth consecutive week.
It was a tie game between Vanderbilt and Stanford late in the first half, but it was all downhill from there in a 41-23 loss.
Things don’t get any easier for the Commodores as Georgia comes to town this week.