The weekly power rankings are BACK, baby. They couldn’t have returned at a more difficult time to take stock of the SEC, either. Alabama is clearly the cream of the crop, but everything below them is all wonky. New coaches abound, experienced coaches are leaving town, and we generally don’t have a large enough sample size to make any damn sense of things. Luckily, I’ve cracked the code. Using secret, unassailable science, I was able to divine the indisputably accurate hierarchy of the SEC in its current state. My results can be found below.
Note - For those of you unfamiliar with my ranking process, I’ll explain. Each week, I rank the 14 football programs in the SEC based mostly on their performance the weekend prior. A team’s overall record and their record against conference foes will of course be a factor, but the most important variable in this fool-proof equation is each team’s most recent result.
- Alabama Crimson Tide - 48-0 isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? [pause for dramatic effect] 79-0. Please don’t smite me, Lord Saban.
- Texas A&M Aggies - The scary part about the Aggies isn’t their bounty crop of playmakers bee-lining for the endzone, it’s their nasty defense. Myles Garrett is in desperate need of a nerf; he’s too overpowered for the game of college football, and his defense is only allowing 21 points/game to teams not named Prairie View. That may seem like too big a number for an elite defense, but it’s damn impressive for a unit whose offense willingly concedes the time of possession battle.
- Ole Miss Rebels - They’re 2-2, sure, but those two losses came at the hands of two of the nation’s best. They just banished Georgia to the 50th Dead World - if you want to come fight them for this spot then be my guest. Plus, Chad Kelly is cooking. He’s chucking up bombs and then sliding into adult film stars’ DMs. The man is on fire, but an extinguisher is not required.
- Arkansas Razorbacks - They caught a big L last week, but that doesn’t mean the Fightin’ Berts aren’t a team to be very nervous about if they appear on your schedule. Austin Allen has been solid, and Rawleigh Williams III will punch your middle linebacker in the helmet without taking recoil damage before outrunning your track/football dual-sport nickel safety to the endzone.
- Tennessee Volunteers - Congratulations, Vols. You beat a good Florida team. A solid Gators squad playing at the very pinnacle of health, that one. Truly a victory worthy of great praise. Worthy of reward, I’d say. Why don’t you go ahead and play a Georgia team coming off an exorcism this weekend. You just broke an 11-year losing streak, you’ve earned a gimme against a team that was just shaken to their spiritual core. I’m sure you’ll take care of business and put the game out of reach early.
- Florida Gators - Look at the positive side of things, Gator fans. Your defense is incredibly stout. Not stout enough to keep a 21-point lead safe, mind you, but still quite formidable.
- Georgia Bulldogs - Kirby Smart needs to take a page out of Bill Snyder’s playbook and send Mizzou a heartfelt thank-you note. If the Dawgs had dropped their game in Columbia, their fans would almost certainly be tossing the “bust” label around. Not that Smart has earned it, necessarily, I just don’t think fans would be too tickled about UGA sitting at 2-2 while their ex is undefeated and looking wonderfully tan.
- Auburn Tigers - They lost, and in doing so beat LSU. Auburn out-Les’d Les Miles, forcing him to delete his account. I never thought I’d see the day, yet here we are. The win also pointed the Coach O cannon squarely in Mizzou’s direction, so thanks for that.
- Missouri Tigers - I don’t care who their opponent was, the University of Missouri scored SEVENTY-NINE points last weekend. The same football team that scored 163 points all season in 2015 put nearly half of that on the scoreboard in a single contest. The SEC East is once again a group of malnourished rats fighting each other for scraps in a rarely used dumpster - if Mizzou can keep up this pace, it’s very possible for them to let the bigger rats cripple each other en route to the litter-filled alleyway that is Atlanta.
- LSU Tigers - LSU is definitely more talented than a lot of teams above them on this list, but that’s sort of the reason that their current head coach is a man who can win games as an interim leader without speaking in coherent sentences. I joke, but Ed Orgeron is totally going to paste Mizzou this weekend.
- Mississippi St. Bulldogs - They didn’t lose, per-say, but the Bulldogs also didn’t win last weekend. They just kind of... happened. They haven’t looked good yet this season, which probably means they’re going to beat Auburn this weekend.
- Kentucky Wildcats - UK is still very bad; but of the other teams that are similarly bad, they aren’t the most bad. That’s good!
- South Carolina Gamecocks - Now that he’s lost to Kentucky, Will Muschamp only needs to lose to Florida and Tennessee to snag the ultra-rare “Lose to every team in the SEC East” achievement.
- Vanderbilt Commodores - Western Kentucky is no cupcake, but most people expected more from Vandy this season. Derek Mason is starting to bear a frightening resemblance to a Commodore going down with his ship.