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SEC Week In Review

It just means more!

Each conference has their power tier teams, a middle tier, and then.. the rest. The SEC is no different. We’ll go tier by tier and see if any teams have shifted each week. Coming into this season, that tiered system went as follows:

Tier 1: Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida

Tier 2: LSU, Auburn, Ole Miss, Kentucky

Tier 3: Mizzou, South Carolina, Miss State, Tennessee, Arkansas, Vanderbilt

Tier 1

Alabama

There was some talk of Alabama possibly leaving an opening for other teams to slide in, and I think that may still be true. There were some weaknesses on display with the Crimson Tide. Their OL did not look like what you’d expect from an Alabama OL. The quarterback play was good, but not great. The defense struggled against the no huddle offense when Miami started pushing it. Alabama had a whole offseason to prepare for this game and it showed. We’ll see how they fare as they go week-to-week through their schedule. Their toughest games this year are on the road @Florida, @A&M, and @Auburn. It will be a very well-deserved seat in the playoffs if they run through that unscathed.

Tier movement: none

Georgia

What is offense? Georgia looks like an old Big Ten team with the way they try to move the ball.. 7-9 yards before punting again. Clemson’s defense is good, sure, but we also just saw them get lit up in the playoffs last year. There are weaknesses to exploit, but Georgia didn’t have the ability to exploit them. Their defense looks great, particularly in the front 7. They’re going to be a headache for most teams they play. At some point, though, they’re going to realize that you can’t use the Bama formula for 2009 forever. Bama moved away from it a few years back and started putting up tons of points. Georgia needs to do that before they can seriously contend for a national title.

Tier movement: none

Texas A&M

In a tune-up game to start the season, A&M dominated. They took a middling MAC team and snuffed them out, but it wasn’t over early. They only scored 10 points in the first half. That’s not going to do it against better competition.

Tier movement: none

Florida

Florida also took a tune-up game to get things kicked off. After a hot start, they cooled off for a bit before putting up some more points in the 4th. It wasn’t a very impressive win, but they’re replacing a few key starters. They have an even worse team next week in USF before hosting Alabama on 9/18. I don’t think this year will be the shootout of last year’s SEC title game.

Tier movement: none


Tier 2

LSU

The true Ragin’ Cajun, Ed Orgeron, took his team out to Pasadena to face off with Chip Kelly and the Bruins. They were favored in this game by 2.5, but they never really looked like they could win it. UCLA was more physical and LSU’s linebackers looked confused at times. They were gashed in the run and slashed in the passing game. Not a great start for a team that wants to re-establish itself as a Tier 1 SEC team.

Tier movement: none

Auburn

The Gus Bus left the station and a former Boise State Bronco coach popped in to take over. What did we get from that? A 60-10 drubbing of a terrible MAC team! It’s nice to see Auburn dominating a bad team again, but it’s hard to draw any conclusions from beating up on Akron.

Tier movement: none

Ole Miss

Hotty toddy! Ole Miss got off to a great start against Louisville offensively and defensively. We knew they could score, but they struggled to stop.. anyone really last year. After rolling up 26 points by half, they were well in control of the game. A lesser team might try to run the clock out in the second half, but Ole Miss just kept rolling. Great way to start the year.

Full disclosure, I secretly love this team.

Tier movement: none

Kentucky

If there’s one thing Kentucky under Stoops is known for, it’s high-scoring offense! Wait.. what? Kentucky’s offense put up some yards and points this week, which is highly unusual. They didn’t play a great opponent, so again it’s difficult to say they were actually impressive. But they did dominate a bad team, and that’s something!

Tier movement: none


Tier 3

Mizzou

Mizzou hasn’t been the same since Gary Pinkel retired. They came into the SEC and won the East twice in a row. Last year was the first year for head coach Eli Drinkwitz where they finished 5-5, beating the bad teams and losing to the good ones. It will be interesting to see how this year goes for them. Week 1 had them facing a Central Michigan team that is equally mediocre within their own conference, posting a 3-3 record last season. The fact that this opener was always close is what is most worrisome. A 10-point win can take a different light if you’ve put your backups in for the last quarter.

Tier movement: none

South Carolina

They opened with an FCS school and beat the doors off of them. Nothing to see here.

Tier movement: none

Miss State

I like Mike Leach but I’m not sure Mississippi State is the right place for him. They had to storm back in the 4th quarter after being down 20 points to Louisiana Tech. At home. I realize Starkville isn’t the easiest place to recruit, but there’s a lot of talent in MS and LA to choose from. Certainly enough to keep Louisiana Tech from scoring 34 points. This could be another rough season for the Bulldogs.

Tier movement: none

Tennessee

Tennessee tuned up with another MAC team. It wasn’t close, which is a positive, but Tennessee has lost a lot of players to the transfer portal and are breaking in a new head coach after they canned Pruitt. A coach who took a really good UCF squad and brought them down to be middling at best. Maybe since Tennessee is already in the basement, they figured they could only go up. Time will tell. They play Pitt next week who is not very good, but is not a MAC team either.

Tier movement: none

Arkansas

The piggies played Rice and were tied going into the 4th quarter. Get on that Arkansas hype train! Next week is Texas, so maybe there was some overlooking Rice because of that. It’s not a good look, though.

Tier movement: none

Vanderbilt

Who is the team who gets waxed by an FCS team? Of course it’s Vandy. Here we have another case of “hot co-ordinator gets gig too big for britches.” Vanderbilt is not a good athletic school. It never has been. The roster wasn’t in good shape before Lea got here, but he certainly made them seem worse than they ever were. Next week they face an awful Colorado State team that will still likely give Vandy a rough go.

Tier movement: none