Is the SEC on the upswing in 2018? Certainly the West is. Three weeks in, Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State have all notched wins over P5 non-conference foes and Texas A&M gave a credible showing against Clemson in a loss (let’s see how many ACC teams play Clemson as closely as TAMU did).
The story in the East isn’t as pretty, which isn’t that big a surprise, I suppose. Tennessee and Florida are miles away from what they once were and South Carolina wet the bed in its first true test of the season, but Missouri squeaked past a Big Ten team on the road, Kentucky is showing signs of life behind a dynamic quarterback and Vanderbilt gave Notre Dame all it could handle in its house before falling late. Baby steps, to be sure, but I do think it bears watching.
- Alabama. No, I don’t think the Tide could beat the Browns. But you might could talk me into thinking they could hang with them for a quarter or two.
- Georgia. My impression of this team after a quarter of the season is that’s in the process of figuring itself out, which is probably not good news for the teams on the second half of the schedule.
- LSU. You’ve got to tip your cap to the two big wins, which is why I moved the Tigers up this week. But I have serious doubts this team will beat Mississippi State.
- Mississippi State. Looking at the schedule, it’s not out of the question that the Bulldogs roll into Tuscaloosa undefeated. They get Auburn and TAMU at home and have a bye week before traveling to LSU.
- Auburn. You say Auburn lost a game at home on a last-minute score? Do tell. Gus is frantically looking for that rabbit’s foot he misplaced.
- Texas A&M. Got back on the winning track with a cupcake game.
- Missouri. The Tigers remain undefeated with a last-second road win of their own, but the defense is starting to show cracks. Is Drew Lock good enough to overcome that this week against Georgia?
- Kentucky. Give ’em credit, they didn’t suffer a lapse against a cupcake opponent.
- Florida. The Fightin’ Bobos get two million dollars, but not two SEC wins. Next stop: meteor game.
- South Carolina. Turns out there is rest for the weary.
- Vanderbilt. Had they played a little better in spots, they could have won that sucker.
- Ole Miss. It’s not just that they suffered playing Alabama’s crazy good offense. That defense is atrocious.
- Tennessee. When you’re about to embark on a five-game stretch against conference opponents that includes three highly ranked teams, it’s probably not good to look underwhelming against UTEP.
- Arkansas. If anything, the Hogs are worse than you think. They have a losing record, despite being one of only seven P5 schools that haven’t faced a P5 opponent yet.