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SEC Power Rankings and Grades Week 3

UK leads East, Tennessee falls in a Pitt

Missouri v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Week 2 was another dominating week for the nation’s strongest conference, with 13 of the 14 teams winning (chuckling at you, Tennessee).

Arkansas gave Texas a hearty welcome to the league with the most impressive SEC win of the week, Mississippi State bonked NC State by a couple touchdowns, Vanderbilt went from ‘F’ to ‘A’ after knocking off Colorado State, and Kentucky edged Mizzou in the league’s first conference game. They now lead the East 1-0 and control their destiny for a spot in the championship game.

Other teams, while still winning, did not impress. Texas A&M barely avoided being the Pac-12’s next victim with a 10-7 escape at Colorado, and South Carolina needed a last-second field goal to squeak by East Carolina (which unlike South Carolina is not a state; if it was called East North Carolina University then we wouldn’t think there were 51 states but that’s just how it is).

And of course, Tennessee fell off Rocky Top down into a Pitt.

1. Georgia Bulldogs

The Dawgs stay on top with a flawless 56-7 performance against UAB, made even more impressive by the fact that the backup QB caught all the snaps. Grade: A+

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

Coach Saban didn’t give his Tide an ‘A’ so I won’t either. Grade: B+

3. Texas A&M Aggies

The only reasons this isn’t a D is because it was at Colorado who’s a Power 5 team that will probably make a bowl and A&M lost their QB. But yeesh, that wasn’t supposed to be so close! You’re a CFP contender, not Kansas State or Washington or...or...Colorado! Don’t get caught looking ahead to the Bama game again. Grade: C-

4. Arkansas Razorbacks (Win of the Week)

What an impressive beatdown of Texas for Woo Pig! The Hogs haven’t won like that in years, and look to be making some noise in Sam Pittman’s second year. They win the award for best SEC Win of the Week. Grade: A+

5. Ole Miss Rebels

The Rebels keep the fourth spot with a 50-burger against Austin Peay. Next week is a bigger test against Tulane. Grade: A

6. Kentucky Wildcats

The Wildcats turned heads in amazement when they raced out to a 21-7 lead that almost became 28-7 over a strong Mizzou squad, but went into halftime only up 21-14. They almost blew their great start completely when the Tigers tied it, but you have to give them credit for closing out the game with the 4th quarter drive and the stop in the final minutes. I’ll give them an ‘A’ since they were only favored by five but won by seven. Now they lead the East for a week until some other teams play each other. Look for the ‘Cats to stay near the top of these rankings for a while—their next two are against an FCS team and South Carolina. Grade: A-

7. Florida Gators

The Gators are really lazing into the season this year, because opening FAU and USF is putting me to sleep. Another B for boring. Also, Kentucky’s jumping you until you beat somebody good (hey, maybe Alabama this Saturday?) Grade: B+

8. Auburn Tigers

Huh, what? Auburn’s joined Division II? That’s what it looks like from the putrid competition they’ve been facing. But another ‘A’ for a 62-0 shutout. Can’t do much better than that. Grade: A+

9. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Much better performance than last week, and way to whip the ACC like an SEC West team should. 24 points still feels low for an Air Raid, but you exceeded everybody’s expectations last Saturday enough for an ‘A’. Grade: A

10. LSU Tigers

B for boring. McNeese State barely counts as a win for an SEC school, even if you won by 27. Grade: B

11. South Carolina Gamecocks

You shouldn’t be needing walk-off field goals to beat the AAC, but you’re South Carolina so great job getting to 2-0. Grade: B-

12. Missouri Tigers

I know you’re not the 12th most powerful SEC team, but you haven’t proven yourselves yet. You fought a great fight at Kentucky, but since you still lost all you’ve got to show for yourselves is a 10 point Central Michigan win. Way to battle hard and not quit in the UK game, but we don’t grade losses too generously. Grade: B-

13. Tennessee Volunteers

I’d grade this lower, but honestly I’m not surprised at all that they lost. That’s how bad they’re going to be this season. Grade: D+

14. Vanderbilt Commodores

Wow, way to put a loss in the mirror! Just seven days after what had to be the worst loss in program history y’all went to Colorado State and got a W. I tip my hat to ya for sticking together and gritting that one out. Your loss last week was so bad that I still can’t move you out of the basement, but enjoy your ‘A’. You earned it. Grade: A