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It wasn’t a banner weekend for the SEC in Week 1 with six SEC teams falling to out-of -conference foes in the opener.

Even those teams that won weren’t necessarily impressive, outside of Alabama stomping on USC in Arlington by a 52-6 final. We’re going to try and not overreact to Week 1 performances, but that’s all we really have to go off of right now, so we have to work with what we’ve got.

The Tide maintain the top spot in this week’s SEC Power Rankings, but there are plenty of changes below Nick Saban’s crew as most of the rest of the SEC is licking their wounds from the week that was.

RankTeamReasonLast Week
1AlabamaThe Tide got off to a slow start, but by the middle of the third quarter, it had gotten out of hand against USC. Alabama is the class of the SEC (and the country) right now and appears to have found a quarterback in freshman Jalen Hurts.1
2GeorgiaThis is where things get a bit difficult. The Bulldogs land in the two spot by virtue of having won against a quality opponent in Week 1 and doing so in relatively comfortable fashion. Nick Chubb is back in a big way (32 carries, 222 yards, two TDs) and makes me feel more comfortable about the Georgia quarterback situation because whether it’s freshman Jacob Eason or senior Greyson Lambert, the primary job is to give it to 27.5
3Ole MissOle Miss lost, but looked pretty good against a Florida State team that I have projected to the make the College Football Playoff this year. We got the full Chad Kelly experience against the ‘Noles — four touchdown passes and four turnovers. The defense has depth issues, especially in the secondary, but the front seven impressed me. The offense has to find a rushing attack, but if Kelly cuts back on turnovers, they can be a competitor in the West.4
4Texas A&MThe Aggies got a win over UCLA in the opener, which is the good news. The bad news is it went to overtime when it had no business being that close. Texas A&M’s defense looks to have taken a step forward, but the offense has to be able to drive the ball in the fourth quarter to keep them off the field. Otherwise, they’re going to have more issues late like they did against UCLA. It was a good start to beat a ranked opponent, but there are improvements to be made.6
5Tennessee

The Vols didn’t look good against a scrappy Appalachian State squad, but they pulled out an overtime victory, which I guess is what counts. The offensive line issues are very concerning, but I think they can figure out a lot of their other problems in the coming weeks. The performance was worthy of the ridicule received, but Tennessee can turn things around with a strong showing against Virginia Tech in Bristol on Saturday.

3
6LSUOh, LSU. Why? Whyyyyyyy? Why can’t you figure out how to throw the football competently? Les Miles is firmly back on the hot seat right now after losing to Wisconsin in the opener. Leonard Fournette needs help from the passing game and more consistent blocking by the offensive line. If those things don’t change, the Tigers won’t be much better than an 8-4, 9-3 squad this year.2
7AuburnLet’s start with the good. Auburn’s defense looked awesome against Deshaun Watson and Clemson. The defensive line is full of beasts, has very good depth and the secondary was more than solid on the back end. The bad news is the offense is horrible. Luckily, the three-quarterback system is being scrapped for Week 2, but I’m not sold on Sean White being able to make this thing work. I’m concerned Auburn’s just about to be a prettier, slightly better version of Vanderbilt: All defense, no offense.9
8FloridaNo movement for the Gators. They played football on Saturday. We didn’t learn much from a 24-7 win over UMass other than the offense isn’t going to be dynamic (again). That said, they got a win when they were supposed to and that’s more than a lot of teams can say.8
9South CarolinaThe Gamecocks won! They did it! It wasn’t pretty and I think we just have to accept that South Carolina games are going to be ugly all year, but they went into Vanderbilt and won. There’s a real chance for them to open the season with two SEC wins with a matchup with Mississippi State this week. What a world.14
10ArkansasArkansas needed a late drive and a touchdown on fourth down to beat Louisiana Tech. I fear it may be a long season for the Razorbacks without Brandon Allen, Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins.7
11VanderbiltWhy do you do this to me, Vanderbilt? I have such high hopes for you and you go out and lose at home to South Carolina. The Vanderbilt defense is still wonderful, but the offense has not taken a step forward at all. There’s no passing game to be accounted for and teams can just load up to stop Ralph Webb and Khari Blasingame.10
12MissouriIt’s not good for the Tigers. The defense is still the strength, but didn’t look as good against West Virginia as the unit that was top 5 in scoring defense last year. The offense is still awful, so some things haven’t changed. I don’t have much positive to say about Missouri, so let’s move on.12
13KentuckyOh, Kentucky. Basketball season can’t come soon enough. The blown 35-10 lead to Southern Miss was bad. Running only 14 second half plays was downright impressive. That said, don’t be surprised when they’re competitive with Florida this week.13
14Mississippi StateSouth Alabama had never won a game against a Power Five opponent before Saturday, but walked into Starkville and beat the Bulldogs 21-20. It’s not pretty for our cowbell ringing friends and if they lose to South Carolina this week Dan Mullen’s seat will start getting warm.11


Source: CBS Sports Headlines / SEC Power Rankings: Alabama the clear leader after a rough Week 1 for the SEC