Written by Ryan Lippert
Now that another week of college football has come and gone, we are starting to get a better picture of who the best teams in the country are. Once again, the Southeastern Conference has dominated the polls so far. However, with as many good teams that there are in this conference, some stick out more than others. With that being said, here are my updated SEC Power Rankings heading into week five.
1. Alabama (4-0):
Alabama is not only the best team in the conference, they are the best team in the country and there is no doubt about it in my mind. They are clicking on both sides of the ball with Tua looking to be Heisman finalist and the defense looking as good as ever. They rolled over Southern Miss this past week 49-7 and look to take on a mediocre Ole Miss team this weekend.
2. LSU (4-0):
LSU showed once again this week that they deserve to be in the discussion for the second best team in the country as well as a potential College Football Playoff team. As usual, their defense is very good. However, they have also finally found their quarterback. Joe Burrow has looked great so far, throwing for six touchdowns against Vanderbilt last week. If he keeps this up, he should be in the Heisman finalist discussion and LSU will be very much in the playoff picture.
3. Georgia (4-0):
After a lot of going back and forth between Georgia and LSU, I decided that it would be a tie for the number two spot in the conference. The Bulldogs finally got their first challenge this past week as they faced the seventh ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Georgia rose to the challenge, defeating a very good Notre Dame team 23-17. They looked good on both sides of the ball, with their young secondary stepping up against Ian Book. They will face a weak Tennessee team this week as they look to remain undefeated.
4. Auburn (4-0):
The order may have changed a little bit but my top four teams remains the same once again this week. Auburn has exceeded my expectations this year as I believed that their offense wouldn’t be good enough to hold things together. They have proved me wrong as quarterback Bo Nix has stepped up to the challenge to help this very good Auburn defense. They beat a solid Texas A&M team 28-20 this past week and look to remain undefeated against Mississippi State this weekend.
5. Florida (4-0):
After looking so-so in their first few weeks, the Gators seem to be putting things together. After some people thought that this past week’s game against Tennessee could be a trap game, Florida proved them wrong behind a solid performance from quarterback Kyle Trask. The junior made his first true start after the injury to Feleipe Franks and threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-3 victory. The Gators will have a tune-up game against Towson this week before taking on Auburn next weekend.
6. Texas A&M (2-2):
Although the Aggies already have two losses on the season, they have both been against two very good teams. They lost by a couple scores to the reigning National Champions, the Clemson Tigers in week two and lost a close game to Auburn this past weekend. Even with the loss to Auburn, they were very much in the game and showed that they can compete. Quarterback Kellen Mond had a solid performance, throwing for 335 yards and two touchdowns. The Aggies look to have a rebound game this week as the play a struggling Arkansas team.
7. Mississippi State (3-1):
As a Kentucky fan, Mississippi State earned some respect from me this past weekend. They came away with a 28-13 victory in a game that many people were picking them to lose. It looks like they have finally found their answer at quarterback as freshman Garrett Shrader looked impressive this week. He only threw for 180 yards but he was most impressive as a runner as he ran for 125 yards this week. I believe he will grow this year and over the next few years, and could be the next great dual threat QB for the Bulldogs. He will have a big time test this weekend as they travel to Auburn.
8. Missouri (3-1):
Missouri is a team that I’m still trying to decide on how good they truly are. They looked good this past weekend in a 34-14 win but it was also against a struggling South Carolina team. Kelly Bryant looked decent as he threw for 227 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception, but they will need him to step up even more as they get deeper into SEC play. They have an interesting match up against a small-conference Troy team that they should beat but could be surprised by as well.
9. Kentucky (2-2):
The past couple weeks have been rough for Kentucky fans as they have lost two games in a row that they had opportunities to win. The Wildcats dropped their second straight game in a 28-13 loss at Mississippi State but were just a few dropped passes and questionable play calls away from winning the game. Hopefully for the Wildcats, quarterback Sawyer Smith will be back at 100% this week as he played in the second half against the Bulldogs with a shoulder injury. If he is good to go and performs at his best, Kentucky should have no problem bouncing back against a South Carolina team that Mark Stoops has dominated in his time as the head coach of the Wildcats.
10. Ole Miss (2-2):
Ole Miss is another team that has had their ups and downs this season. The Rebels fans, coaches, and players should be furious with the way their game ended against Cal this past week. They lost 28-20 after a controversial call in which the Rebels looked to have a clear touchdown that was ruled a yard short. In other bad news for the Rebels, they travel to Alabama for a game that could get very ugly.
11. South Carolina (1-3):
South Carolina has been a team that has fallen victim to both the injury bug and a top-heavy schedule this season. As we know, they lost quarterback Jake Bentley for the season in week one. On top of that, things haven’t been easy for them on their schedule as their losses have come in a close rivalry game to North Carolina, Alabama (needs no explanation), and a very respectable Missouri team. New quarterback Ryan Hilinski will be tested once again this week going up against a Kentucky team that will be hungry for their first conference win.
12. Arkansas (2-2):
Even though they are still at a 2-2 record, the Razorbacks have looked very shaky this season. This past weekend, they suffered an embarrassing loss at home to San Jose State. With no disrespect to San Jose State, that shouldn’t happen to an SEC team at home. They will follow this loss with a home game against a very tough Texas A&M team. If this team doesn’t clean things up, that game could get ugly.
13. Tennessee (1-3):
To put things simply, Tennessee football has gone downhill quickly over the past couple seasons. After finally getting their first win of the season, they were dominated on the road in a 34-3 loss to Florida. Yes, Florida has a good football team. However, that doesn’t take away the fact that this Tennessee team is bad. They haven’t found an answer on either side of the ball and things could get much worse as they get deeper into SEC play.
14. Vanderbilt (0-3):
After having a bye week to prepare, the Commodores were dominated once again this past week. They took a huge loss at home against LSU 66-38. The good thing for them is that LSU is a very good football team that was expected to dominate them. I have felt bad for running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who I had as one of my top running back prospects for the 2020 draft, but just hasn’t been able to get going yet. He should have his chance to have a breakout game this week as they face a 1-3 Northern Illinois team at home.