Week 4 SEC Team Power Rankings

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Alabama Outlasts Texas A&M in Pivotal SEC Clash

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Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

This was the week college football fans across the country and in particular the southeast have been waiting for all offseason. The “game of the year” between Alabama and Texas A&M lived up to the hype with both teams exhibiting explosive offenses and not much defense. However, it was the defending champions who ended up exacting some revenge — even though they won’t admit to it being a revenge game — and keep their spot at the top.

While that revenge game dominated the headlines, it was far from the only notable revenge game on Saturday as Ole Miss went into Austin and stomped Texas with 30 unanswered points and a second-half shutout. We also had two revenge games within the conference as Auburn stole a win from the jaws of defeat over Mississippi State after they lost to the Bulldogs last year. In the eastern division, South Carolina raced to an early lead over Vanderbilt and didn’t need to sweat out a win like they did last year.

This week also provided some clarity to the programs at Tennessee and Arkansas for two different reasons. Arkansas looks legit while Tennessee experienced their first taste of how far they still have to go to be a championship-caliber team again in a humbling loss to Oregon.

After three weeks of the college football season, here is how I rank the teams in the top conference in the nation. Every Sunday morning, I’ll have an updated SEC power ranking, so be sure to keep tabs as the season progresses.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.

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14. Kentucky Wildcats (1-2)

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Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Trust in Mark Stoops, but this is going to be a tough year for Kentucky.

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13. Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-2)

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Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Heartbreaking loss at Auburn for the Bulldogs on Saturday, and a win there would have gone a long way toward a fourth straight bowl appearance for Dan Mullen and company. I feel for Mississippi State fans and I wonder how good this young team would be if they were in any other conference but the mighty SEC. I am a big believer in Dak Prescott he should continue to start next week Troy in David Wade Stadium.

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12. Tennessee Volunteers (2-1)

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Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Don't be too discouraged by the loss at Oregon, Tennessee fans. Sure, that was a tough game to watch after a promising start to the season, but I think this loss says more about how great Oregon is than how bad the Vols are. We all knew this would be a season with some growing pains, and this is just that. Trust Butch Jones to get the program back on top. There will be more losses like this, but there will also be more wins like you saw in the first two weeks. I'm curious to see how this team responds on Saturday vs. a one-dimensional Florida team in Gainesville.

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11. Vanderbilt (1-2)

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Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt is one of the best 1-2 teams in the country, but they are still 1-2, so they drop out of the top 10 in the conference power rankings. They were never in the game vs. South Carolina, but should get to .500 at Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon.

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10. Missouri Tigers (2-0)

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Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri moves up a couple spots despite being idle this week. They take on Indiana this weekend in a winnable game in Bloomington Saturday night. The Tigers haven't played a tough opponent thus far, so this will be a small litmus test to see what this team is made of.

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9. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-0)

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Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas did what they were supposed to do with their soft early part of the schedule, but the level of competition increases this week with a trip to Rutgers this Saturday. A win over Rutgers should ensure a trip to a bowl game for Bret Bielema in his first year with the Hogs.

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8. Auburn Tigers (3-0)

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JD Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn stole a win away from Mississippi State in the final seconds to remain undefeated and pick up their first SEC win of the season. Nick Marshall looks like a star in the making at quarterback, but will be tested at LSU this weekend.

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7. Florida Gators (1-1)

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida was idle this week after losing on the road to Miami, and will take on a reeling Tennessee squad from The Swamp on Saturday.

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6. Ole Miss Rebels (3-0)

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Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Rebels are 3-0 for the first time since 1989 after defeating Texas for the first time since the 1958 Sugar Bowl. Hugh Freeze has team believing they can compete with any team in the country, and that will be put to the test in two weeks when they travel to take on No. 1 Alabama.

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5. South Carolina Gamecocks (2-1)

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Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina rebounded after their loss to Georgia with a convincing win over Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks are idle this weekend.

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4. Georgia Bulldogs (1-1)

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia was idle this week and take on North Texas next week.

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3. Texas A&M Aggies (2-1)

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans did all they could vs. Alabama, but the Aggies' defense couldn't get off the field enough to win the game. The offense is good enough to outscore most teams, but that's not a championship model. The LSU game will undoubtedly be a must-win for this team to save any chance at the division crown. The Aggies are idle this weekend.

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2. LSU Tigers (3-0)

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Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

LSU and Alabama should decide the SEC west yet again. This Tigers' offense continues to impress as Zach Mettenberger and Jeremy Hill got more involved this week. It's a great sign for this team moving forward. LSU hosts Auburn this weekend.

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1. Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0)

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Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama's offense executed a wonderful game plan at Texas A&M and piled up 49 points after a lackluster debut in their opener. It should be smooth sailing until they play LSU in November. Alabama hosts Colorado State this weekend. Good luck to them, because they're going to need it.

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