No, the SEC West race is not over because Auburn lost at Clemson.
No, the SEC East race is not over because Georgia won at Notre Dame.
For some reason, people who approach Week One of the college football season with a “wait and see” attitude act like that means “wait one week and see.” The fact is, things didn’t get any clearer. The East remains wide open — we will learn more from Tennessee vs. Florida this Saturday than we did from Georgia-Notre Dame. South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Kentucky remain unbeaten. I will grant you this: I wouldn’t bet the ant farm on Missouri.
Alabama is still the favorite in the West but the winner of this weekend’s game between LSU and Mississippi State is definitely going to make a lot of noise. Of course, between cowbells on one side and Coach O on the other, there’s going to be a lot of noise anyway.
(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)
1. Alabama (1) — The Crimson Tide has yet to put it all together. That’s not a surprise — it’s only been two weeks. Some people are worried about the Crimson Tide. Some people are worried because they might be the opponent if and when Alabama does reach its potential.
2. LSU (2) — The Tigers may have been the scariest defense in the SEC for the first two weeks — and that was without Arden Key. How good will the Tigers be when you add the league’s best pass rusher to the gumbo?
3. South Carolina (4) — Will Muschamp is the SEC Coach of the Year after two weeks. As everyone knows, I hate playoff picks, Heisman finalists and so forth after two weeks — but I would hate for Will to miss this moment of glory.
4. Georgia (6) — Regardless of the haters that point out Notre Dame’s record since the start of 2016, the Bulldogs’ win in South Bend was big. The question is whether UGa can make it more than just a highlight in an ordinary season.
5. Auburn (3) — Clemson did just about every embarrassing thing a defense could do to Jarrett Stidham except to roll him with toilet paper.
6. Tennessee (5) — I dropped UT one spot because that trash can still bothers the heck out of me.
7. Mississippi State (9) — Among other things, the Bulldogs are the best defensive team in the country when the opponent faces third down and 90 or more.
8. Vanderbilt (10) — It’s been tough to tell because of the opposition but Vanderbilt has opened with two turkeys before and come out as stuffing.
9. Florida (7) — The Gators’ game on Saturday was cancelled, a wise move in the face of Hurricane Irma. It also resulted in Florida’s best offensive performance in the last two years.
10. Ole Miss (13) — Things are crazy around Oxford these days so what’s the best way to make them crazier? How about playing in the Pac-12 After Dark game in Berkeley? I don’t know who scheduled this one but those must have been some good mushrooms.
11. Kentucky (8) — For some reason, Kentucky has looked out of sync in its first two games. The good news is that the Wildcats won both so there is time for a tune-up. Not a lot of time, though, with South Carolina coming to town.
12. Texas A&M (11) — I hereby take back everything I said about Kentucky looking “out of sync.” The Aggies are the walking definition of “discombobulated.”
13. Arkansas (12) — No shame in losing to TCU but Arkansas was manhandled by the Frogs, which sounds like a Stephen King plot. Plus, Bret Bielema has had enough time to recruit and develop men who don’t get handled.
14. Missouri (14) — Tiger head coach Barry Odom fired his defensive coordinator earlier this week. The mistake was not firing the guy who mows the field because if the grass reaches a certain height, you can’t play at all and that’s a better option.