Last week in the SEC, we saw some separation among the schools as Georgia continued its march to a second-straight national championship, Alabama survived in Texas, and Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee put a little space between the top and bottom echelons of their divisions.
Straight from the home offices in Speedwell, Tennessee, here are the weekly SEC football rankings. It’s sure to be interesting.
- Georgia- The Dawgs are just different. They’re here until someone proves they’re better. I don’t see it coming for a while.
- Alabama- The Tide is still the antidote to the Georgia war machine. They’re still on that different level.
- Kentucky- I like the cats here because they’re tough, they’re physical, and they’re definitely not soft.
- Arkansas- The Hogs are really good. They are without question the second-best club in the SEC West.
- Tennessee- The Vols got a big win on the road at Pitt. I see a separation between them and Kentucky in the SEC East from the rest of the schools.
- Ole Miss- The rebels are still a dangerous team, but I wonder where the spark on offense is coming from as they had from quarterback Matt Corral.
- Mississippi State- MSU went out west and proved once again there really is a difference between the SEC and the Pac-12. Quarterback Will Rogers is the real deal.
- Texas A&M- The Appalachian State loss was no fluke- the Mountaineers are good. Should they have beaten the Aggies in College Station? Probably not. The game this Saturday against Miami will say a lot about the state of the program.
- Auburn- The Tigers are 2-0 and their defense is playing well. This week Penn State heads south to face War Eagle. This game will go a long way in setting the season in motion for the Tigers.
- Florida- Guys, listen. The gators are in rebuild mode. Billy Napier will get the program back to solid ground. Right now he has to get SEC-caliber players back on the roster. That takes time.
- LSU- Brian Kelly is figuring out that at LSU, there is no time to build a program. You better do it now.
- South Carolina- After all the hoopla about the resurgence in Columbia, it looks like the Gamecocks will most likely be 2-2 like they were last season at this time. Catchphrases and hype videos will only take you so far in the SEC.
- Vanderbilt- I like where Clark Lea is taking the Commodores. Currently, they are 2-1 and have a chance to beat MAC favorite Northern Illinois. A 3-1 Vandy squad could be in line for a six-win season and a bowl game. Wow.
- Missouri- I’m just not sold on Mizzou. Do I think they are better than Vanderbilt talent-wise? Yes. Are they better coached? No.
Last week, the Backwoods Swami was a respectable 23-4. For the season, the Swami is 46-8. Let’s make some more picks, shall we? Come on it’ll be fun for the whole family.
Predictions are in bold.
- GEORGIA AT SOUTH CAROLINA
- YOUNGSTOWN STATE AT KENTUCKY
- ABILENE CHRISTIAN AT MISSOURI
- OLE MISS AT GEORGIA TECH
- PENN STATE AT AUBURN
- VANDERBILT AT NORTHERN ILLINOIS
- MISSOURI STATE AT ARKANSAS
- AKRON AT TENNESSEE
- SOUTH FLORIDA AT FLORIDA
- MIAMI (FLA) AT TEXAS A&M
SUN BELT PREDICTIONS
Listen fellers and fellettes, you need to pay attention to the Fun Belt. There are some good teams, exciting games, and a good time for everybody. You should pay attention, right Texas A&M (a 17-14 loser at home to Appalachian State) and Nebraska (a 45-42 loser at home to Georgia Southern), right?
- TEXAS STATE AT BAYLOR
- BUFFALO AT COASTAL CAROLINA
- SOUTH ALABAMA AT UCLA
- OLD DOMINION AT VIRGINIA
- TROY AT APPALACHIAN STATE
- GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT UAB
- UL-MONROE AT ALABAMA
- MARSHALL AT BOWLING GREEN
- NORTHWESTERN STATE AT SOUTHERN MISS
- ARKANSAS STATE AT MEMPHIS
- CHARLOTTE AT GEORGIA STATE
- LOUISIANA AT RICE
Shane Shackleford is a regional sports columnist from Speedwell, TN. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers of America. He has written and published his first book “Bounce: A Basketball Love Story” which can be found on Amazon currently and has another book project in the works. You can find Shane on KySportsStyle.com, A Sea of Blue, Go Big Blue Country, The Mountain Advocate, Harlan County Sports, Middlesboro News, Claiborne Progress, and The Mountain Eagle. Contact Shane by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.