SEC Power Rankings: Week 3

Isaac ScheidtCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2009

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Rennie Curran #35 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

1. Florida

While we all were expecting a tremendous day on offense for the Gators, Saturday showed a great defensive matchup between Tennessee and Florida. Tebow did not play his best game but the Gators have no reason to doubt they will ride through the season at the No. 1 spot. 

The nation can finally start to get a good look at the Gators as their preseason schedule commences and they head into SEC play.

2. Alabama

The Tide had another big day on offense as they posted a 53 spot on the scoreboard and went for 523 yards on offense. While you can't read to much into the stats, Alabama rushed for 260 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

Greg McElroy is evolving nicely into a star quarterback with a two touchdown, 176 yard passing game.

3. Mississippi

There is still a lot to learn about the 2009 Rebels but the offense has been spectacular so far. Jevan Snead threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns and the running game showed up big lead by a 107 yard day by Brandon Bolden. 

It will be very interesting to see how Mississippi responds to their first test this weekend when they travel to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks.

4. LSU

The early season struggles in Washington don't look so bad after this weekend, and LSU looks strong as they head into a matchup with Mississippi State. Charles Scott has still not lived up to the hype averaging only 54.7 yards per game in the first three contests. 

While LSU is superior to the Mississippi State talent level, look for a possible let down this weekend as the Tigers may get caught looking ahead to the next two matchups against Georgia and Florida.

5. Georgia

Joe Cox had a career night on offense as he lead the Bulldogs with 375 yards passing and five touchdowns. While Georgia had 530 yards of total offense penalties and turnovers will catch up to them if they don't make changes. 

The Bulldogs had three turnovers and 14 penalties which almost led to their first SEC loss. In addition, the defense needs to improve especially against the pass as they gave up big numbers through the air for the second straight week.

6. Auburn

The Tigers got a big win against West Virginia as the offense rolled for a third straight week. Auburn had some trouble on defense as they allowed 509 total yards including 302 passing yards. 

The best news of the week was the encouraging performance of senior quarterback Chris Todd who starred in a big game with 284 yards passing and four touchdowns.

7. Arkansas

On the other side of the ball from Joe Cox, Ryan Mallett threw for 408 yards and five touchdowns of his own. The Arkansas offense simply exploded on Saturday, proving they will be a tough win for any SEC team. 

The Hogs need to tighten up on defense if they have a chance this weekend at Alabama. Look for a high scoring affair in Tuscaloosa as Mallett and McElroy square off.

8. Tennessee
Despite the loss to Florida, Tennessee moves up in the power rankings with a great display on defense. The Vols held Florida to just 323 total yards on offense and were able to force two turnovers from Tebow. 

Big questions still loom at the quarterback position with another mediocre outing by Jonathan Crompton who had two interceptions and no touchdowns.

9. South Carolina

The Gamecocks didn't show much against Florida Atlantic but Steven Garcia continued in his maturation process with 222 yards and one touchdown through the air. 

With Mississippi coming to town this weekend, the South Carolina defense will need to adjust or they will be the first SEC victim for the Rebels and the Gamecocks will slide to 0-2 in conference play.

10. Kentucky

In the rivalry game Saturday, the Wildcats escaped with a 31-27 victory over Louisville.  Mike Hartline had a good game with 178 yards passing and the game-winning touchdown in the final minute. 

Kentucky doesn't have the defense to compete with the top SEC teams, a fact that will be exposed with upcoming back-to-back games against Florida and Alabama.

11. Mississippi State

In one of the worst games you will ever see in the SEC, Mississippi State got a victory at Vanderbilt 15-3. The Bulldogs had a great game on the ground led by a 123 yard performance by Anthony Dixon. 

This may have been the breakout game he needed to provide Mississippi State fans with one of the only bright spots in a dark season of football.

12. Vanderbilt

"And the most embarrassing loss of the week goes to...the Commodores!"  Vandy showed their true colors as they could only muster 157 total yards on offense and three measly points against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. 

The only good news for the Commodores is their punter may be on track to setting all-time records Brett Upson punted 11 times for 473 yards.  Too bad punting doesn't lead to wins in the SEC.

For more articles and discussion visit ACC SEC Football. "Stand Up For Your Team"


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