SEC Power Rankings: Week 4

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    Hugh Freeze-1

    1. Ole Miss: After pounding a few cupcakes the Rebel Bears traveled to Tuscaloosa and humbled Nick Saban before 90,000 of his constituents. With what looks to be a weak middle class in the SEC, Ole Miss is surely the cream of the crop. Texas A&M and LSU will both have to travel to Oxford this season, so beating the Tide on the road was a giant hurdle cleared. Ole Miss caught a few breaks in week three, but if they can stay healthy they should head to Starkville in week twelve with a shot to claim their first ever SEC West crown.

    2. LSU: The Tigers are in the bottom five of the FBS raw passing yardage rankings…the BOTTOM FIVE! Despite being completely incapable of moving the football through the air, Les Miles has his team playing their usual brand of smash mouth football with a commanding defense. It’s never easy to predict the future for a Les Miles coached team, but LSU currently holds the second spot in this power ranking until proven otherwise.

    3. A&M: Kevin Sumlin’s squad continues to impress on both sides of the ball, carrying the momentum of a 44-27 win over Nevada into Arlington, TX to play a wounded Arkansas. If Kliff Kingsbury was correct, and A&M beats up on the Hawgs, Arkansas will slide even further and A&M will continue to climb the list. UGA has an argument for this third spot, but i’d like to see Greyson Lambert put up more than one impressive game before I crown the Dawgs third.

    4. UGA: With three blowout wins and already two SEC victories under their belt the Dawgs are the class of the SEC East. Wins over South Carolina and Vanderbilt don’t tell us much, however, and South Carolina has a recent history of giving opposing quarterbacks their career defining moments. October 3rd and 10thwill feature the Dawgs against Alabama and Tennessee respectively, at which point we’ll know a lot more about Greyson Lambert and the SEC East front runner.

    5. Alabama: It’s not prudent to count Alabama out too early, and it’s more likely than possible that Alabama re-establishes itself as the class of the SEC before seasons end. After a loss to Ole Miss, Alabama desperately needs to reorganize and fix a few problems on both sides of the ball. I can’t imagine that Nick Saban will allow his ship to sink, and betting on Alabama to return to the College Football Playoff still isn’t a bad shot.

    6. Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have cow-belled their way to 2-1 after a win over Northwestern State in week three. With a potentially season defining trip to Auburn this weekend, Dan Mullen has the opportunity to win a “big game,” regardless of how good or bad Auburn actually is. Miss. State is young but you can bet that Mullen will keep them competitive.

    7. Florida: The Gators managed to pull out a 14-9 victory over Kentucky in Lexington last week, and they find themselves playing host to a familiar foe in Tennessee. Florida looks to have maintained their usual level of defensive dominance, while improving a least slightly on offense. There isn’t a ton of evidence to suggest that Florida should be ahead of Tennessee on this list, but until the Vols can beat Florida they will remain above them on these kind of lists.

    8. Tennessee: Simply put, Butch Jones desperately needs to win this game against Florida. If he fails to do so, Vol fans will begin to seriously doubt their head coach, and for a few legitimate reasons. Tennessee can either jump up this list or fall way down it depending on the result of the Florida game. A win would put the Vols in contention to win the SEC East for the first time since 2007, with a crucial game against Georgia just two weeks away.

    9. Kentucky: The Wildcats had an opportunity to change the narrative of their program against Florida last weekend and failed to execute in a turnover filled battle. Kentucky really just needs to get to a bowl game this season, and in a weak SEC East they might just have a shot.

    10. Auburn: The Barn is officially on fire. Gus Malzahn has finally pulled the plug on Jeremy Johnson, in favor of Sean White in the hopes that he can get things back on track for the pre-season #6 team in the country. Will Muschamp is doing a reasonable job, but Auburn must find their long lost high octane offense and get back on track.

    11. Arkansas: Bret Bielema was schooled on the field by Ryan Gosling Kliff Kingsbury, and then made himself look like an ass in the media in trying to respond to Kingsbury’s comments. The only thing that could get worse for Bret would be Kliff giving his wife a call, because no one wants Kliff calling their wife.

    12. Missouri: Mizzou finds itself in the top of several defensive categories in the country, but has really struggled to do much of anything on offense. The scare against UCONN in week three would feel like a bigger deal for the Tigers, if they hadn’t lost to Indiana last year before going on to win the SEC East. I hate to count Gary Pinkel out, but at this point Missouri looks like a basement dweller.

    13. South Carolina: Steve Spurrier is in the midst of his final SEC curtain call, and there’s no telling how bad this could get for him. The Gamecock defense made Greyson Lambert look like Tee Martin (he broke Martin’s NCAA completion % record) and that’s not a good thing for them. The only good news for USC fans is that they aren’t…

    14. Vanderbilt: Vandy beat Austin Peay or something, so that’s good. The defense continues to be ok and i’m sure that the Commodores will continue to improve throughout the season and will probably somehow give Tennessee a game. All of that being said, Vanderbilt is still hanging around in the LOL category of this power ranking.  

    Kevin Hughes comes to Rocky Top Insider by way of WNML where in addition to serving as an Account Executive, he also created the station's first original content podcast, Hughes It or Lose It. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Kevin has lived in Knoxville since 2006 and enjoys everything East Tennessee has to offer. You'll find him walking his dog, or potentially frequenting a variety of dimly lit bars mingling with his people.