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SEC Power Rankings - Week 3

The Rebs get hit with trash but still manage to move up, the Hogs and Gators sink further, and could Auburn be the best team in the West?

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Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin’s return to Neyland Stadium went about as expected: The No. 12 Rebels continued to roll, and Kiffin, well, he was hit by a golf ball.
Author’s Note: Unfortunately, at time of this writing, Mississippi State’s SP+ data was not available to publish.

GEORGIA - Oh, yeah, Georgia … screw your historically good defense and national championship aspirations (which currently sit at +130 in Vegas). We got Luther!!! This week: Off

ALABAMA - Maybe that former Tide receiver from last week was right … these Rivals-era kiddos really are adoring their own highlight reels a bit too much. I give you former four-star recruit, wide receiver Agiye Hall, whose postgame gripes about playing time on Twitter following the win in Starkville was about the only thing to ruffle Saban’s feathers last weekend. This week: Tennessee (+24.5 / OU 68.5)

OLE MISS - Maybe it’s time we give Lane Kiffin some credit for being a decent coach, after all. Once the poster-man-child for nepotism and privilege, Kiffin has translated some of the zen found at Florida Atlantic and Alabama into some serious success so far in Oxford, including an emotionally-exhausting win against his former employer that did not end so well for anyone involved. This week: LSU (-9 / OU 77)

KENTUCKY - The Wildcats’ offense committed only three penalties, did not turn the ball over, and controlled the ball for nearly 40 minutes in Athens last week. The unit converted nearly half of its third downs and each of its fourth-down attempts. Each combines to form a sure-fire recipe for success against the nation’s best defense, but an almost unfathomable average of 3.5 yards per play — including just 1.5 per rush, the ‘Cats bread and butter — submarined everything in the blowout loss. This week: Off

AUBURN - The Tigers rebounded nicely from the Georgia loss by taking care of Arkansas on the road, so the momentum to make a run for the SEC West is there, but it’ll have to last through the bye week. Auburn welcomes in Ole Miss on October 30 for what could be one of the most entertaining games on the entire college football schedule this season. This week: This week: Off

TEXAS A&M - The Aggies got a breather last week against Mizzou following the madness against Alabama. I’m still not convinced A&M is good enough to warrant the preseason Top 10 ranking — nor am I certain it’s the second - or third-best team in its own division — but the next few weeks will provide ample opportunity to prove me wrong on both counts. After South Carolina this week, Jimbo and his boys have Auburn and Ole in consecutive weeks. This week: South Carolina (-19.5 / OU 45)

ARKANSAS - The mid-season stretch of four straight against ranked opponents has come to end, but a 1-3 record in those games, perhaps expected back in August, can’t be seen as anything but a disappointment now. This week: Arkansas Pine Bluff (-51 / OU 59.5)

TENNESSEE - No form of debris was off-limits to the repugnant Vols fans who protested that rough last-minute replay review, but you gotta be somewhat impressed by the fella who must’ve seen all this coming. The golf ball he snuck by Neyland security ended up hitting it’s intended target in the right elbow. This week: Alabama (+24.5 / OU 68.5)

LSU - In a way last week, the LSU administration received their cake and devoured it, too, relishing Ed Orgeron’s defeat over No. 20 Florida and then signing off on the embattled coach’s agreement to part ways with the university following the season. This week: Ole Miss (+9 / OU 77)

FLORIDA - Already the nation’s best 4-3 team — with losses to No. 4 Alabama and No. 15 Kentucky — the Gators are set to become the nation’s best .500 team with top-rated Georgia awaiting at the Cocktail Party following a bye week for both teams. This week: Off

MISSISSIPPI STATE - No team in the country has thrown the ball more than Mississippi State (tied for first nationally with Virginia). Problem is, the Bulldogs rank no better than 94th in both scoring offense (24.7) and sacks allowed (17), not to mention last overall in yards per attempt (8.6). Mike Leach may want to work on his stubbornness before one of the following happens: he gets fired or his quarterback killed. This week: Vanderbilt (-20 / OU 54)

SOUTH CAROLINA - Eeeking out a win over Vandy is nothing to gloat about, but baby steps, right? It’s been an up and down start to Shane Beamer’s career in Columbia, but the back half of the schedule — featuring A&M, Florida, Auburn, and Clemson — promises more consistency, just not the type that Gamecock fans would prefer. This week: Texas A&M (+19.5 / OU 45)

MISSOURI - The Tigers fell from first overall to third in Special Teams SP+ ranking following the loss to A&M. The bye week couldn’t come at a better time for the Thiccer and his crew to regroup. This week: Off

VANDERBILT - The ‘Dores collapsed late in the fourth last week to cough up what was arguably their best chance at a conference W this season, much to the chagrin of first-year head coach Clark Lea. Far be it from me to question the man’s judgment in taking the Vandy job, but I’ll never doubt the former Notre Dame assistant’s passion, as evidenced by this. This week: Mississippi State (+20 / OU 54)

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