The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

SEC football power rankings: Week 2

Ziyi Liu
Anchor Dash

After an exciting first week of college football, the minds of our Vanderbilt Hustler sports staff finalized our SEC power rankings for Week 2.

The main theme of the week for the SEC seemed to be which teams decided to only show up for the first half of their games.

Here are our rankings for Week 2:

1. Alabama (Last week: 1)

The Tide sees no change in their ranking as the current kings of the SEC, after easily rolling (no pun intended) over USC. Not only did we see true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts throw two touchdown passes and run for two more, viewers also got to see the majority of ‘Bama’s bench players demolish USC. With the recent hiring of Steve Sarkisian as an analyst, (yes, you read that correctly), Saban has yet again added another overqualified member for his staff and seems to be, as usual, one step ahead of the rest of the league.

2. Georgia (Last week: 5)

With a tough matchup against No. 22 UNC, fan-favorite Nick Chubb and new coach Kirby Smart led Georgia to a 33-24 victory. Chubb rushed for 222 yards, including a pair of touchdowns, and looks right on track to bounce back from his gruesome knee injury and return to his destructive 2014 form.

3. Texas A&M (Last week: 6)

The Aggies got off to the exact start they wanted to: pulling off the upset against supposed Heisman candidate Josh Rosen and his army of UCLA Bruins. Trevor Knight had an all-around solid game, throwing for 239 yards and one touchdown while also rushing for two touchdowns as well. Aggie fans also had a great time chanting “50,000” at Josh Rosen after he provoked the crowd and then managed to throw a interception the very next play. Both Aggie fans as well their team are back on track to making noise this season in the SEC west.

4. Ole Miss (Last week: 4)

What looked to be an upset in sight for the Rebels turned to dust right out the gates in the third quarter. Redshirt freshman QB Deondre Francois led FSU to 33 consecutive points and an eventual 45-34 victory over Ole Miss. The Rebels struggled with turnovers as they gave up 13 points off takeaways, which were fueled by Last Chance U star Chad Kelly’s four giveaways. Although Ole Miss will drop in the national rankings, playing FSU in the state of Florida is never an easy task and the Rebels’ outstanding play in the first half convinced us to keep them at the four spot this week.

5. Florida (Last week: 7)

After honoring Spurrier before the game, the Gators seemed to do just enough to reach a 24-7 victory against an unintimidating UMass team. Luke Del Rio threw two touchdown passes in his first career start, but the Gators lost Dre Massey, considered by many to be Florida’s most versatile player, for the year with a knee injury.

6. LSU (Last week: 2)

Our “two words” for LSU in last week’s power rankings were “Leonard Fournette.” Although Fournette rushed for an impressive 138 yards on 23 carries, the Tigers were met with disappointment as they suffered a demoralizing loss to Wisconsin. The highlight of the game, and the main talking-point of this week in terms of college sports in general, has to be Josh Boutte’s cheap shot at the end of the game. Boutte will now be serving a one-game suspension and made the Tigers not only look like an overrated program, but sore losers as well.

7. Tennessee (Last week: 3)

Although it managed to weasel out a victory in overtime against Appalachian State, UT did not live up to the hype of being the ninth-ranked team in the nation, its highest ranking since 2006. The Volunteers looked nothing like a top-10 team Thursday and will have no easy task this week against Virginia Tech at a game that is expected to draw over 150,000 fans in Bristol.

8. Auburn (Last week: 9)

Auburn kept it close with Clemson this past week, barely getting edged out 19-13. Although the defense held its ground, it looks to be another complicated and frustrating season for Auburn’s offense. Auburn rotated around three quarterbacks and managed to pick up a measly total of 175 yards through the air. Auburn’s schedule only looks to get tougher throughout the season, and, if they want to be successful, one of its quarterbacks will need to step it up.

9. Arkansas (Last week: 8)

The Razorbacks managed only 106 yards rushing on 40 carries this past week but managed to sneak by an unimpressive Louisiana Tech team 21-20. Next they take on 13th-ranked TCU on the road, which will be no easy contest.

10. South Carolina (Last week: 13)

Breaking the hearts of Commodore fans, the Gamecocks completely turned the game upside down in the second half, winning the game on a 55-yard field goal by Elliott Fry with 35 seconds left. In his first game as head coach, Will Muschamp put his trust in senior QB Perry Orth, who ended up going 6 of 8 for 117 yards in the second half.

11. Vanderbilt (Last week: 11)

After playing a great first half and going into the locker room with what looked to be a commanding 10-0 lead, the Commodores fell apart in the second half against South Carolina. This now makes it three straight opening-day losses for head coach Derek Mason, who had a lot of questions to answer after the game was over.

The key event that left fans puzzled was the decision to take out starting QB Kyle Shurmur for Wade Freebeck right after the Commodores increased their lead to 10. Freebeck managed only 1 yard over six plays, and after Shurmur returned, he and the rest of the offense had lost any rhythm they had built up. The ‘Dores are home again this week and look to get their first win after a clearly disappointing start.

12. Mizzou (Last week: 14)

New offensive coordinator Josh Heupel has two weeks before Missouri takes on a strong Georgia team for its SEC home opener. Starting off the season with a 26-11 loss definitely was not what Mizzou had in mind. The Tigers were looked very lackadaisical against West Virginia, with starting QB Drew Lock finishing 23 of 51 for 280 yards.

13. Mississippi State (Last week: 10)

Coming in as a strong favorite over South Alabama, Mississippi State looked to be have victory within reach after going into the second half with a 17-0 lead. However, football has two halves. The Bulldogs had a chance to win the game with a 28-yard field goal that ended up smacking against the upright, giving South Alabama the upset with a 21-20 victory. Now without Dak Prescott, this stunning loss calls into question how much of a factor Mississippi State will be this year.

14. Kentucky (Last week: 12)

As seemed to be the case for most SEC losing teams this week, Kentucky played a great first half that was followed by an abysmal second half. They allowed Southern Mississippi to score 27 unanswered points during this time. Still looking to make their first bowl game under Mark Stoops, the Wildcats definitely have some weapons on offense with wide receiver Garrett Johnson and quarterback Drew Barker. Facing Florida this week will be no easy contest, as the Wildcats have lost to the Gators 29 straight times.

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About the Contributors
Josh Hamburger, Author
Ziyi Liu, Author

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