The first weekend of SEC football had it all: our trio of highlights include a decisive Vandy win, the penultimate game of the weekend decided by a 34 (yes, thirty-four) point comeback, and the final game of the weekend going into double overtime. Calling it an exciting start would be an extreme understatement.
Only two teams in the top 20 lost this weekend, but both losses were to higher ranked teams. Regardless, the weekend was packed with crazy games. Most notably, unranked Maryland upset #23 ranked Texas, while Howard University beat UNLV, making history as the largest Vegas odds an underdog has ever overcome.
Once again, we’ve prepared themed SEC power rankings as we move onto week two. This time, each team will get its counterpart in the form of a song title.
- Alabama- Just Gettin’ Started by Jason Aldean
While ‘Bama was the consensus #1 going into this season, few expected the dominance they showed in their first game against #3 FSU. Their defense and special teams completely manhandled that of Florida State, forcing 2 picks, a blocked punt and kick, and a fumble on a kickoff return. Alabama’s offense may have had its hiccups, but it was against the #3 team in the nation. Even so, the game was not even close. Clearly, Alabama is “Just Gettin’ Started” on their way to the College Football playoffs. It’s scary to think about just how good this team can be if their passing game reaches its full potential.
- LSU- No Problem by Chance the Rapper
LSU had “No Problem” handling BYU, holding them to just 97 yards of total offense in their 27-0 shutout. It was a great way to start the season for an LSU team that underperformed last year. Derrius Guice, Leonard Fournette’s successor, gave as strong a performance as we all expected; look for him to keep making noise in that backfield. The only negative take-away from this game was the Tigers’ meager 50% scoring rate in the red zone. However, they have another week to work out the kinks. Assume another win this weekend as they play Chattanooga.
- Auburn- goosebumps by Travi$ Scott
While they may have been playing Georgia Southern, the Tigers looked fantastic on both sides of the ball. Their running game and run blocking looked top notch, as both Kerryon Johnson and Kam Martin racked up 130+ yards on the ground with a touchdown apiece. In addition, the defense allowed just 78 yards of total offense. Having said that, the Clemson Tigers are just a much better football team than Georgia Southern. And this upcoming game is in Death Valley. There’s no doubt that even after a big win that Auburn has “goosebumps” going into this one, but if they can get out of the Valley with a win, they’re sure to skyrocket into the top ten.
- Arkansas- We Takin’ Over by DJ Khaled
As we all expected, Arkansas absolutely dominated Florida A&M this weekend. The final score was 49-7, and there were plenty of positive takeaways for Arkansas. Rookie RB Chase Hayden put on a show in his first college football game, rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown on just 14 attempts. We really had to dig through the DJ Khaled archives for this one, but as soon as the ball was kicked off, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema was probably thinking, “We Takin’ Over”. Expect the TCU Horned Frogs to give Arkansas a better game next week.
- Miss St- All the Way Up by Fat Joe, Remy Ma, and Jay Z
Mississippi State won in a very similar fashion to Arkansas, beating poor Charleston Southern 49-0. They looked really good this weekend, but it’s too bad they will have to face incredible competition in an absolutely stacked SEC west conference. As we predicted in our last power rankings (thank you very much), quarterback Nick Fitzgerald put on a show. He displayed his great arm by throwing for nearly 240 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for an additional 49 yards and a score. They were on a roll. Truly, nothing could stop them; they were “All the Way Up”.
- Georgia- Alright by Darius Rucker
If Georgia won by twenty-one points, why did we drop them in the rankings? Well, they did play Appalachian State, who successfully held the ‘Dawgs from reaching a first down on either of their first two drives. Sure, Georgia wore them down and ended up winning this one decisively, but that’s not the start they were hoping for. Nick Chubb finished the game with two touchdowns, but if they want to beat the powerhouses of the SEC, Chubb has to do better than 96 rushing yards. As a team, their performance was no better, but no worse than “Alright”. This Saturday night they will travel to Notre Dame to take on the Irish, who are not to be taken lightly after demolishing Temple last weekend.
- SC- The Man by Aloe Blacc
South Carolina squeaked by a tough NC State team this weekend, as they won by only one touchdown. This game can be easily summarized as “The Deebo Samuel Show”. Samuel was a one-man wrecking crew for South Carolina; he began the game by taking the opening kickoff 97 yards to the house and kept producing. He finished the game with three all-purpose touchdowns: two receiving, one return. After his performance this weekend, Samuel proved that he truly is “The Man” in South Carolina.
- Texas A&M- Crash and Burn by Thomas Rhett
Is it too early to call A&M’s loss to UCLA the biggest choke of the year in college football? It might be, but let’s just say it’ll be hard to top blowing a 34 point lead. After losing starting quarterback Nick Starkel to injury, Kevin Sumlin’s squad went to shambles. This isn’t a problem that will go away anytime soon, as Starkel is likely out for the year, and unseasoned, yet promising Freshman Kellen Mond clearly isn’t ready to take the reins. Mond went just 3/17 for a disappointing 27 yards in Sunday’s loss. This Aggies team seems in line to “Crash and Burn,” as it is hard for any team to bounce back after being handed a loss like that, let alone a team that just lost their starting quarterback, as well as starting safety Donovan Wilson.
- Florida- Get It Together by Drake
Despite not having their top WR and top RB due to suspension, Florida’s offense genuinely couldn’t have looked more lethargic, scoring just three points throughout the whole game, despite their defense setting them up to succeed. By taking advantage of sloppy quarterback play by Michigan, Florida was able to go into halftime with a lead before getting shutout in the second half. With two turnovers, three total points on offense and ten suspended players for the first game, Florida has got to “Get it Together” on and off the field if they want to live up to their potential.
- Vandy- Comin Out Strong by The Weeknd
“Comin Out Strong” right out of the gate was exactly what the Commodores needed as they completely outplayed MTSU. Their offense and defense were clicking on all cylinders. Shurmur looked sharp, throwing for 296 yards and 3 touchdowns, and they’ll need that play to continue through the season as they make their bowl game push. Vandy’s high pressure on Middle Tennessee quarterback Brent Stockstill was key, as they sacked him 5 times. That pressure is exactly what was missing last season, when they managed just 15 sacks all year.
- Tennessee- Playing With Fire by Thomas Rhett
The guy from that Buffalo Wild Wings commercial definitely hit the overtime button on this game. Unranked Georgia Tech shouldn’t have been able to keep pace with 25th ranked Tennessee. Instead, they were a two-point conversion away from winning the game by one in double overtime. Tennessee’s defense was mediocre at best (the 42-41 score should say it all), but the offense did pick up some slack after a slow start. This game was much closer than it should’ve been. The Vols were “Playing With Fire”, not something they want to happen with a game against Florida in two weeks.
- Mizzou- Shootouts by Nas
Missouri opened the season with a boring, incredibly high scoring game against Missouri State. This game was reminiscent of the NBA All-Star Game, where the thought process is something along the lines of “why play defense when I can just cherry-pick and wait to get the ball on offense”. Mizzou dropped 72 points against Missouri State, who did manage to run up their own side of the scoreboard with 43 points. Drew Lock played an exceptional game, throwing 7 touchdowns for Mizzou. This game was high scoring, but ended up like any of the “Shootouts” that are fun to watch for no more than ten minutes.
- Kentucky- Basketball by Bow Wow
“They’re playing basketball, we love that basketball.” Bow Wow would recite those very words to Kentucky. They should really stick to basketball. Sure, they managed to beat Southern Miss, but we all know that they aren’t going to make much noise until basketball season. Their defense was the strong suit in this game and Denzil Ware’s fumble recovery for a touchdown proved to be the difference maker. Expect an entertaining game this week as they will stay in-state to play Eastern Kentucky.
- Ole Miss- Nothing 2 Lose by Kyle
Sorry Ole Miss, but your twenty point win means nothing. With the allegations still looming, Ole Miss has “Nothing 2 Lose” this season. It’s truly a shame for A.J. Brown, who set records this weekend in the receiving department. South Alabama did not have an answer for Brown, who caught eight passes for a whopping 233 yards and two touchdowns. Ole Miss will most likely beat their opponents this weekend too, as Tennessee-Martin will not prove to be much of a challenge. Too bad their wins don’t count for much.