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WBN SEC Football Power Rankings 9/4 Edition


1.  (2. LW)  #4  LSU Tigers  (1-0, defeated #3 Oregon  40-27)  After the whole Jordan Jefferson distraction, very few people gave LSU much of a chance in their showdown versus Oregon.  But do not underestimate the Tigers.  They have a nasty defense that rivals Alabama and they wracked up 175 rushing yards versus the Ducks.  The passing game is a work in progress, but he is no freshman and is experienced enough to more than manage this team.  Spencer Ware and Michael Ford can be punishing runners and this is a very opportunistic defense.  Jarrett Lee will get more comfortable in his role and put up some decent numbers and the Tigers D will take care of the rest.  THIS WEEK:  9/10 vs Northwestern State

2.  (1. LW)  #2 Alabama (1-0, defeated Kent State 48-7):  As expected, Kent State was no match for Alabama and they were dominated by the Crimson Tide defense, gaining just 90 yards.  The true dominance came in the rushing game as the Golden Flashes managed a negative 0.4 yards per carry.  Alabama’s offense was impressive as they racked up 185 rushing yards and Trent Richardson had 3 TD’s.  You have to be impressed with a team that can put up 48 points despite five turnovers.  It may have been sluggish at times, but Alabama looks like a serious national title defender.  Alabama may not have deserved to be dropped to two in the power rankings, but you have to give props to LSU destroying the #4 Ducks over a Kent State romp.  THIS WEEK:  9/10  @ Penn State

3.  (3. LW)  #12  South Carolina  (1-0, defeated East Carolina  56-37):  This game was one of the “eyebrow raisers” when East Carolina took a 17-0 lead over the Gamecocks, but you have to like how South Carolina responded.  Down 24-14 at the half, South Carolina smashed East Carolina 42-13 in the second half.  Keep in mind that while East Carolina may not be Oregon quality, this is a FBS team that has made five straight bowls and a rival.  I can’t fault the team that the coach played the wrong QB and South Carolina was a different team with Stephen Garcia in.  While Garcia was not outstanding, his team responded to him.  You don’t need an Andrew Luck at QB as long as you have Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffrey.  Steve Spurrier needs to stop tinkering.  THIS WEEK:  @ #19 Georgia.

4. (4. LW)  #15  Arkansas  (1-0, defeated Missouri State):  The loss of Knile Davis was apparent in week one as the Hawgs only managed 3.1 yards a carry for 102 yards versus Missouri State.  But the air show was in mid season form as both Tyler Wilson and Brandon Mitchell had very impressive nights, combining for 364 yards and 3 TD’s.  It’s evident Arkansas has a lot of weapons as 11 players caught passes last night.  Last nights game had the feel of a NFL preseason game as two QB’s played and three RB’s split carries.  Ronnie Wingo appears to be the front runner for the HB job, but it’s hard to be negative here as Davis was lost just a week ago. The defense was solid, allowing just 163 yards. Arkansas is going to be a tough, tough team to beat.  THIS WEEK:  vs New Mexico.

5.  (5. LW)  #20 Mississippi State  (1-0, defeated Memphis 59-14):  Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs did what a ranked team is supposed to do in week one when faced with an inferior opponent- pulverize them.  The Bulldogs had an extremely well balanced attack with 336 yards through the air and 309 on the ground.  Vic Ballard averaged 16 yards a carry.  The Bulldogs defense seems a bit behind as they allowed Memphis 338 total yards, but not really going to nitpick a 45 point win, plus they only gave up 14 points.  If the offense clicks like this all year, they could sneak up on either Alabama or LSU in the West.  THIS WEEK:  9/10 @ #23 Auburn

6.  (7. LW)  #22 Florida (1-0, defeated Florida Atlantic  41-3):  There had to be sighs of relief as the Will Muschamp era got off to a successful start in Gainesville.  With new offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss, Jeff Brantley looks to be improved, although he did throw two picks.  The thing is, Florida does not need Brantley to be superhuman to succeed. They have plenty of playmakers on this team and Chris Rainey was superhuman with a TD rushing, Receiving, and off a blocked punt.  Jeff Demps and Rainey combined for 184 yards on the ground and the defense was beastly, allowing just 137 yards.  I realize the opponent is inferior, but Florida showed what a SEC team does with a Sun Belt opponent.  THIS WEEK:  vs UAB

7.  (6. LW)  #19 Georgia  (0-1,  lost to #5 Boise State  35-21):  I know you may question why I am not dropping Georgia further, but to be honest, none of the other SEC performances below the Bulldogs impressed me enough to move up.  And Georgia did face the number five team in the country.  Don’t get me wrong, the Bulldogs wee hardly impressive, especially on defense as Kellen Moore carved them apart to the tune of  a 28-34, 3 TD performance.  The Bulldog offense was not horrible, wracking up 373 yard, but that was mostly window dressing.  Aaron Murray was hardly impressive and the only saving grace of the passing game was tight end Orson Charles.  It’s hard to be too negative as they faced a tough competitor, but the Bulldogs are looking like a big question mark right now.  THIS WEEK:  vs #12 South Carolina   

8. ( 9. LW)  Tennessee  (1-0, defeated Montana 42-16):  Tennessee’s passing game was clicking as Tyler Bray went 17-24 for 293 yards and 3 TD’s.  Tennessee’s passing game was clicking as Tyler Bray went 17-24 for 293 yards and 3 TD’s.  Granted, it is a FCS school, but you can’t argue with a 42 point performance. Bray also averaged 12.4 yards per pass attempt.   But there are warning flags all around this team.  The Vol’s rushing game gained 128 yards on 46 carries (2.8 avg), while Montana rushed for 111 on 30 carries (3.7 avg).  Also, the Vols allowed Montana to gain 346 yards.  I know that some people have Tennessee pegged as one of the most improved teams in the country, but they did not really show it in week one.  THIS WEEK:  9/10  vs Cincinnati

9.  (8. LW)  Kentucky (1-0, defeated Western Kentucky 14-3):  About the only positive that can be taken from this game is that Kentucky won and avoided tragedy.  For much of the game, the offensive and defesive lines were pushed around by a Sun Belt team, but Kentucky finally showed up on offense in the fourth quarter.  Let’s be honest, Kentucky has a lot of work to do on offense and only one tuneup game left to do it in. This is a team that will have to have the defense carry it until the offense finds it’s feet, which I think they will.   On the other hand, Winston Guy looked “All World” in Rick Minter’s new defensive scheme and the defense bailed Kentucky out all night long.  We knew Trevathan would be good, but Guy could give UK another solid playmaker on
defense.  THIS WEEK:  9/10 vs Central Michigan

10.  (10.  LW)  #23 Auburn (1-0, defeated Utah State 42-38):  Yes, it was a thrilling game, but there is no way the defending national champs should be down 10 at home to Utah State, a team that has not had a winning season in 15 years.     The offense has to feel good with Barret Trotter, but there has to be serious concerns over the defense giving up 38 points and 448 yards to a true freshman QB and a team coming off back to back 4-8 seasons.  The fact that Auburn only had 78 yards rushing has to raise red flags as well.  We expected a rebuilding season from Auburn, but it could be an especially painful one.  THIS WEEK:  9/10 vs #20 Mississippi State

11.  (11.  LW)  Mississippi  (0-1, lost to BYU  14-13):  In all reality, the Rebels pushed around the Cougars for three quarters and should have won this game.  Ole Miss’s defense looked prety solid and had a “bend but don’t break” quality to it as BYU wasted several long drives.  In the end, the Cougars go a late gift TD on a fumble recovery.  That said, Ole Miss’s offense was tepid at best.  Starting QB Barry Brunetti lasted just three passes before he was yanked and Zack Stoudt was hardly impressive, going 13-25 for 140 yards. The Rebels suffered the loss of Brandon Bolden with an ankle injury and the running game was equally tepid, gaining just 64 yards on a 2.2 yard per carry average.  The defense was the bright spot and looks like they will have to be the key for any Rebel wins, at least for the time being.  THIS WEEK:  9/10  vs SIU

12.  (12. LW)  Vanderbilt  (1-0, defeated Elon 45-14):  Yes, Vandy pounded FCS Elon, but were out gained by the Phoenix 323-309.  And I know new Vandy coach James Franklin is supposed to be offensive minded, but it looked like the same old Larry Smith at QB for the Commodores, going 13-27 for 125 yards.  Smith did score 3 TD’s however, 2 by passing and scrambling for another.  Aaron Rodger’s little brother Jordan actually played up to his brother’s namesake, going 3-4 for 52 yards and A TD.  Keep in mind, this was Elon.  Vandy’s ground game was solid, averaging 5.5 yards a carry and several big runs were broken.  The defense did allow just 2.2 yards per carry, but they allowed Elon WR Aaron Mellette to burn them for 180 yards, which was 3 more than Vandy got in the game via the air.  THIS WEEK:  9/10  vs UConn

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