Week 1 of the college football season was very good to the SEC. Only three of its fourteen teams lost and it’s strongest team humiliated a top 10 team on a national stage. It was just another week in the nation’s top conference.
The first week of the season that did nothing to really alter the SEC Power Rankings but the rankings may look different after week 2.
Week 2 features three SEC match-ups this weekend with Florida at Texas A&M, Auburn at Mississippi State, and Georgia at Missouri. The Aggies and Tigers will play their first games against SEC opponents as a member of the conference and how they fare will bare watching.
Here are the SEC Power Rankings heading into week 2:
1. Alabama (1-0)- The Crimson Tide put on a show against Michigan, defeating the highly-ranked team 41-14. Alabama was a two touchdown favorite but showed that they are better than expected. This is the nation’s top team.
2. LSU (1-0)- The Tigers proved that they did not need Tyrann Mathieu to win. His replacement, Odell Beckham Jr., returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and Zach Mettenberger had a so-so debut. Still a top team in the country, the Tigers are behind Alabama in both the top 25 rankings and the SEC.
3. Georgia (1-0)- After starting slow in the first half, the Georgia defense made adjustments at halftime and shut down Buffalo in the second half. The team may not be so fortunate against Missouri. Freshman Todd Gurley starred for the Bulldogs on offense and looked like a star in the making.
4. Arkansas (1-0)- Just like the Bulldogs, Arkansas started slow but found their groove in the second half. Knile Davis, who missed last season due to a broken ankle, made it through the entire game. They need to find their offense early in games if they expect to knockoff Alabama and LSU.
5. South Carolina (1-0)- The Gamecocks looked like they missed Alshon Jeffrey in their opener against Vandy. Marcus Lattimore and Connor Shaw combined for an impressive option attack. However, Connor Shaw suffered a deep shoulder bruise to his throwing shoulder. How he recovers is critical to South Carolina’s season.
6. Tennesse (1-0)- Tyler Bray is a really good quarterback. The quarterback carved up the N.C. State defense with the help of Justin Hunter and new addition, Cordarrelle Patterson. There was word that the Vols would take a step backwards after losing Da’Rick Rogers but Patterson is just as electric. They have a chance to surprise in the SEC East with their passing game. However, they still need a running back.
7. Florida (1-0)- Will Muschamp named Jeff Driskel quarterback on Monday but that won’t help a inept passing game. The defense was not as good as expected either. The bright side? Mike Gillislee can carry the offense. He will need to until the Gators learn to move the ball through the air.
8. Missouri (1-0)- The Tigers have an explosive offensive. That’s old news. What surprised in Missouri’s first game was the four turnovers caused by the defense. Their first real test comes this against Georgia. They will need to play well on both sides of the ball to upset the SEC stalwart.
9. Mississippi State (1-0)- Dan Mullen‘s team rushed for 202 yards in the opener. However, that number did not come against an SEC-caliber defense. Mississppi State faces the Auburn Tigers this weekend in a statement game for both teams. The 2012 Bulldogs are perhaps Mullen’s most talented team. A win against the rival Tigers would make a statement that they are on the rise.
10. Texas A&M (0-0)- The Aggies did not play last weekend and the debate has arisen over whether or not the bye week benefited them. A&M got an extra week to prepare for their first SEC game but did not give new quarterback Johnny Manziel any game experience. They get the Gators at home but no one knows what to expect out of this game.
11. Vanderbilt (o-1, 0-1 SEC)- The Commodores hung with the Gamecocks for three quarters but could not stop Lattimore. Jordan Rodgers showed that he is an SEC-caliber quarterback but the Commodores are still messing pieces.
12. Auburn (0-1)- The Tigers faced a stiff test in the Clemson Tigers but almost came out on top. Kiehl Frazier performed well in the opener but this is a team that will rely on its running backs to move the chains. To make some noise in the SEC, they will need the offense and Frazier to evolve.
13. Ole Miss (1-0)- They won a game! For a team that lost its last seven games a year ago, this win was huge. Hugh Freeze will look to continue his Mississippi honeymoon as the Rebels go for a two game winning streak.
14. Kentucky (0-1)- Oh Kentucky. The Wildcats find themselves behind a team that lost seven straight games last year, which does not bode well for the future of Joker Phillips. If Louisville dominated the line of scrimmage against the Cats, imagine what SEC offenses will do.
Chris Lionetti covers SEC Football for Rant Sports
Follow him on Twitter at: @ChrisLionetti