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RTI’s SEC Power Rankings: Week 3

SEC Championship Trophy

Greetings, RTI nation. And welcome to the latest iteration of our SEC Power Rankings. Week two wasn’t exactly chock full of compelling match ups. As such, not much was learned about the conference, so let’s keep this moving right along, shall we? The team that came in dead-last in this week’s SEC Power Rankings is:

14. Vanderbilt

I thought about leaving the Commodores out of this week’s SEC Power Rankings on principal alone. A few fun facts about the commodores. They got beaten by 30 at home by the No. 78 team in the nation. They’ve yet to score an offensive touchdown this season. They are the sixth-ranked college football team in the state of Tennessee. If they were an FCS team, the Commodores would be on the “others receiving votes list.”

13. Arkansas (-1)

Good news: Arkansas snapped its ten game winning streak.
Bad news: It was against Nicholls State and I’m not even sure if it counted. (It might have a been a “friendly.” Still looking into it.)

Bielema’s team played valiantly against Auburn in the first half, and that’s really all we have to go on, but they got dropped because…

12. Kentucky (+1)

…of the Kentucky Wildcats. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s going to take more than a snappy recruiting class or two to overcome a century for football futility. But the Mark Stoops’ Wildcats have clearly gotten better, so they get the nod at No. 12.

11. Tennessee (-1)

I know. If you clicked on this from Facebook, this article was teased with Tennessee is on the move in this weeks SEC Power Poll. A dirty little trick, that I’ll grant you. But it is true. They are on the move. But it’s in the wrong direction. However, FEAR NOT Vol Nation. Tennessee didn’t do anything wrong, per se. While most would agree that the Vols didn’t look quite as good as they did in week one, it’s still clear that this is a well coached team that is headed in the right direction. And even though UT went the wrong direction in the SEC Power Rankings, they are, indeed, going in the right direction in the AP Poll, jumping four spots to 35th. It’s just the SEC is loaded and, well, this is probably where the Vols belong. For now. And just to make you feel better, the Vols aren’t anywhere near the biggest dropper in this week’s poll.

10. Mississippi State (-3)

Mississippi State is. Upon further review, they’ve been ranked a bit too high in the SEC Power Rankings. UAB is no slouch, but Dan Mullen’s crew allowed them to move the ball all day long. To the tune of 548 yards. Thanks in part to some pretty epic defensive breakdowns. All inexcusable. Quarterback Dak Prescott is a man, and the Bulldogs looked great in week one. But they came back down to earth in week two, which is why they’ve come down in this week’s SEC Power Poll.

9. Florida

The Gators payed the big bingo to not play Idaho and Eastern Michigan probably wishes the weather snafu had happened on their visit. Because the Gators pitched a shutout while hanging 65 in the process. It’s still so hard to know what the Gators have, though. The match up they have against Kentucky next week, however, might shed a bit more light.

8. Missouri (+3)

The Missouri Tigers picked up the ground that Mississippi State lost. Like Tennessee was in week one, Mizzou was a sexy upset pick this week. But they walked the dog against Toledo, Gary Pinkel’s former team and that kinda made this game the Pinkel Bowl when you think about it. Which, incidentally, I’d not drink out of. Their 49-24 victory was impressive enough to climb four spots in the AP poll to No. 20. Impressive enough for a gain of three here in the SEC Power Rankings.

7. South Carolina (+1)

South Carolina did what it had to do against a more-than-game East Carolina team. The fact they were down 13-7 early and still found a way to win says something about this team. So did the running back Mike Davis’ 100-yard, two-touchdown performance. What would say even more would be a good showing in this upcoming weekend’s marquee SEC game against Georgia.

6. Ole Miss

The Rebels once again clock in at number six. They looked great on both sides of the ball, but they also played Vanderbilt. In fact, Ole Miss has a very soft schedule to start the year. Their opening game against Boise State featured a foe that certainly wasn’t as tough as it was when it was originally scheduled, then Vandy and now University of Louisiana-Lafayette before a bye week followed by Memphis. A man could put on some serious lbs after gorging on that many cupcakes.

5. LSU

LSU blanked Sam Houston 56-0 last week. They’ll feast on Louisiana Monroe on Saturday when the Tigers will continue to work on refining an offense that lost over 85% of their production from a year ago. Things get real for LSU week after next against Mississippi State, but for right now, I’m sure Les Miles feels pretty good about his tenth ranked club, even if the Big 10’s bed-wetting last weekend did take a bit of the shine off their opening week win over Wisconsin.

4. Texas A&M

I know it was against lowly Lamar, but it’s hard not to drop your jaw when a team throws up 73 points en route to a 70-point victory. Texas A&M is either really good or really-really good. Only time and the continued development of quarterback Kenny Hill will give us the answer.

3. Georgia

There are two reasons to be leery of the Georgia Bulldogs. The first is the fact that the entire nation is smitten with them. The second is their history of coming in significantly under early-season expectations. The key to their season will be quarterback Hutson Mason. He’s got two great backs to hand the ball off to in the backfield. If he can balance that with a competent passing attack to outside threats like Michael Bennett, they could have an epic year. Their trip to Columbia will likely give us a clue of what lies ahead for Georgia.

2. Alabama

I genuinely believe that the Crimson Tide is ranked too high, both nationally as well as in the SEC Power Poll. At least as currently operating. But it’s hard to not give Nick Saban and that backfield the benefit of the doubt, even if there are still some questions about their quarterback and defense. Still, one also gets the sense that they will continue to improve week by week. So make no mistake about it. Alabama will be a player in the West this year.

1. Auburn

Which leaves Gus Malzahn’s Auburn Tigers as the top team in this week’s SEC Power Rankings and they’ll likely stay there for a bit. Auburn has a bye this week before getting a bit of a tester on the road against Kansas on the 20th.


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