SEC Football Power Rankings: Alabama Is Still the Team to Beat After Week 1

Jeffrey Schmidt@JeffSchmidt9Correspondent IIISeptember 4, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after a touchdown against the Michigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Week 1 of the college football season is finally over, and it is now time to take a look at how teams in the nation's top conference stack up. 

The SEC once again established itself as the nation's top conference after its command (for the most part) over its lesser foes and it received a dominating performance from Alabama as they manhandled eighth-ranked Michigan.  

Week 2 should give us a better overall idea of how the conference stands due to the teams playing more quality opponents. 

Here's my SEC power ranking:  

1. Alabama (1-0): Could it be anyone else? The Tide rolled over a Michigan team that is expected to contend for a Big Ten title. True freshman T.J. Yeldon appears to be the real deal after he averaged 10.1 yards per carry and the defense looks to be in mid-season form.

Next Game: vs. Western Kentucky, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

2. LSU (1-0): The Tigers' ground game was superb as the team combined to rush for 316 yards and three touchdowns on 46 attempts in the victory over North Texas. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger was solid as he completed 19 out of 26 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown. LSU's defense completely shut down the Mean Green's rushing attack as they held to them to just 2.2 yards per carry.  

Next Game: Washington, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET

3. Arkansas (1-0): The Arkansas offense was firing on all cylinders, as the team combined for 564 yards of offense. The defense, however, was a different story as the team gave up 24 points to lowly Jacksonville State. If the Hogs want to contend for an SEC championship, then the defense has to step it up.  

Next Game: vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET

4. South Carolina (1-0): The Gamecocks struggled against SEC foe Vanderbilt in the season-opener, but that should have been expected. Vanderbilt is a team that has drastically improved, and I expect them to be in a lot of close games this season. This game also marked the return for all-world running back Marcus Lattimore, and he looked rather impressive after compiling over 100 yards and two rushing touchdowns. The main concern for the Gamecocks has to be the health of quarterback Connor Shaw after he suffered a deep shoulder bruise and is now questionable for their next game against East Carolina. 

Next Game: vs. East Carolina, Saturday, 12:21 p.m. ET

5. Georgia (1-0): The Bulldogs struggled early against a Buffalo team that had no business being in the game. Georgia did prevail, however, and they received a huge boost from true freshman, Todd Gurley. The running back returned a kickoff 100 yards, and ran for 100 yards on eight carries, with two of those carries going for touchdowns. 

Next Game: at Missouri, Saturday, 7:45 p.m. ET

6. Tennessee (1-0): Tennessee won their first game in the Georgia Dome since 1998 on Friday, and they did so in convincing fashion. The Vols beat a N.C. State team that many believed would pull the upset victory. Junior college transfer Cordarrelle Patterson had an excellent game as he reeled in six catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. The transfer receiver also had a 67-yard touchdown run.

Next Game: vs. Georgia State, Saturday, 4 p.m. ET

7. Missouri (1-0): Missouri won easily in Week 1, but Week 2 opens up SEC play for the Tigers. We will certainly find out more about this team after Saturday.  

Next Game: vs. Georgia, Saturday, 7:45 p.m. ET

8. Florida (1-0): Florida named Jeff Driskel their starting quarterback after he led the team to victory against Bowling Green on Saturday. The Gators struggled on offense against Bowling Green, and I am expecting their struggles to continue as they march forward with Driskel at the helm. 

Next Game: at Texas A&M, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

9. Mississippi State (1-0): Mississippi State will take on an Auburn team that is coming off a close loss to a top-ranked Clemson team. The Bulldogs have lost four straight games to Auburn, but I am expecting the Bulldogs to come through at home.   

Next Game: vs. Auburn, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET

10. Auburn (0-1): The Auburn defense was rather suspect in their Week 1 loss to as they gave up 528 yards to Clemson. The offense showed a lot of potential, but I don't expect them to reach their full potential until the mid-point of the season. 

Next Game: at Mississippi State, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET

11. Texas A&M (0-0): The Aggies will host their first ever SEC game against Florida Saturday, and the game will receive some extra hype due to ESPN's College GameDay presence.   

Next Game: vs. Florida, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

12. Vanderbilt (0-1): The Commodores almost locked up a monumental win against South Carolina during Week 1. Vanderbilt is a team that may surprise some people this season and they will have their first opportunity to avenge that loss against Northwestern on Saturday.  

Next Game: at Northwestern, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET

13. Kentucky (0-1): The Wildcats are in deep trouble. The defense was lackluster against Louisville, and they forced the team to play catch-up from the beginning. A bright spot on the team was quarterback Max Smith. The quarterback went 35-50 and threw for 280 yards. 

Next Game: vs. Kent State, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

14. Ole Miss (1-0): Just like Kentucky, The Ole Miss Rebels do not excel on the defensive side of the ball. The Rebels gave up 27 points to FCS school Central Arkansas, and they were out-gained during the first half. The Rebels did show signs of life on offense, however, and I am expecting them to be much better than last year's squad.   

Next Game: vs. UTEP, 7 p.m. ET



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