SEC play is underway and teams within the conference have began to show their true colors, so to speak. Several other teams will begin conference play this week. Nonetheless, Week 3 came with a lot of intrigue.
Florida and Missouri picked up wins against opponents ranked inside the top-15. Other programs like South Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi State each suffered gut-wrenching losses to begin conference play this season.
Regardless, there is plenty of time to regroup and re-establish the goals set forth before the start of the season.
Roll Tide Wire breaks down the SEC football power rankings heading into Week 4 of the 2023 season.
Vanderbilt Commodores (2-2)
After suffering a loss in Week 2 against Wake Forest, many would have envisioned Vanderbilt getting back on the right track. After all, the Commodores traveled to Las Vegas to take on a UNLV squad that finished the 2022 season with a 5-7 record. Clark Lea’s squad was close to coming away with a victory but came up just short. The Commodores fell 40-37 to the Rebels. In Week 4, the ‘Dores will play host to Kentucky.
Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-1)
Expectations were set fairly low heading into the 2023 season for the newly-coached Mississippi State Bulldogs. After a 2-0 start to the season, many believed that things were trending in the right direction in Starkville. However, that narrative may have been rescinded after Mississippi State suffered a 41-14 loss at the hands of LSU in Week 3. The Bulldogs will travel to Columbia to face an ailing, South Carolina squad in Week 4. Both teams are coming off of losses in Week 3.
South Carolina Gamecocks (1-2)
South Carolina was given a ‘slim-to-none’ chance of beating Georgia on Saturday. Granted, the Gamecocks showed up in the first half. It was not enough though. The Bulldogs pulled away in the second half with a 24-14 victory over the Gamecocks. South Carolina has not had the start that many had envisioned to begin the season. Things could change, but it has been surprising to see the Gamecocks struggle like they have. Shane Beamer’s squad will return to Columbia for their Week 4 matchup against Mississippi State.
Arkansas Razorbacks (2-1)
Another surprising start to the season has taken place in Fayetteville. After a 2-0 start to the season, Arkansas dropped its Week 3 game against BYU. The Razorbacks struggled defensively and were unable to put enough points on the board to secure the victory. Sam Pittman’s squad will return to action in Week 4 when they travel to Baton Rouge to take on LSU.
Auburn Tigers (3-0)
Auburn was expected to be an improved squad under first-year head coach Hugh Freeze. They have looked like a different team from a season ago. The Tigers have a talented roster and put that on display in Week 3 with a win over FCS opponent, Samford. The Tigers will see their first true test of the season in Week 4 as they travel to College Station to play Texas A&M.
Kentucky Wildcats (3-0)
Kentucky has gotten off to a 3-0 start, but it has not been easy. The Wildcats have overcome some close stretches in the first three weeks of the season. Nonetheless, they are undefeated heading into conference play after defeating Akron in Week 3. The Wildcats will begin conference play on the road against Vanderbilt in Week 4.
Texas A&M Aggies (2-1)
After suffering a polarizing loss to Miami, Jimbo Fisher’s squad took care of business in Week 3. Texas A&M made easy work of Louisiana-Monroe. The Aggies cruised their way to a 47-3 victory atop the Warhawks. Now, the Aggies will begin conference play by playing host to the Auburn Tigers. That will be another test to see where Texas A&M stands.
Tennessee Volunteers (2-1)
While there is still optimism in Knoxville, it has certainly changed following the Week 3 loss to Florida. The Volunteers struggled on both sides of the ball and did not appear to be a contender to say the least. Josh Heupel’s squad will have to make some changes moving forward if it hopes to have an opportunity at reaching its maximum potential. The Volunteers will play host to UTSA in Week 4. This should be a great opportunity for Tennessee to get back into the win column.
Florida Gators (2-1)
Florida exceeded expectations in Week 3 with a substantial victory over Tennessee. The Gators were impressive on both sides of the ball and seemed to be a different team from what we saw in Week 1 against Utah. There is plenty of room to be optimistic about the future of the program after a season-changing win over the Volunteers. Florida will play host to Charlotte in Week 4.
Missouri Tigers (3-0)
Missouri has shown strides of improvement from a season ago. Eliah Drinkwitz’s squad is competitive and eager to win. That was put on display in Week 3 as the Tigers knocked off a ranked opponent in Kansas State. In Week 4, the Tigers will host Memphis. There is a strong chance that Missouri begins the season with a 4-0 record.
Alabama Crimson Tide (2-1)
There is certainly room to believe that things are changing in Tuscaloosa. Alabama has looked surprisingly average the past two weeks. In Week 3, the Crimson Tide failed to show up. Alabama struggled for four quarters to put away a non-power-five opponent in the USF Bulls. While Alabama was short a few players, it was still concerning to see for Alabama fans. The Crimson Tide will return to Tuscaloosa to take on Ole Miss in Week 4.
LSU Tigers (2-1)
LSU made quite the statement in Week 3 against Mississippi State. The Tigers traveled to Starkville and made things look easy against the Bulldogs. Brian Kelly’s squad looked better on both sides of the ball being two weeks removed from a Week 1 loss to Florida State. The Tigers will look to continue to improve in Week 4 against Arkansas.
Ole Miss Rebels (3-0)
Thus far, no one has been able to slow down the Ole Miss offense. In Week 3, the Rebels knocked off Georgia Tech by a final score of 48-23. Lane Kiffin’s squad has gotten off to as hot of a start as any team in the conference. The Rebels will be put to the test in Week 4 against an Alabama squad that has been heavily criticized to start the 2023 season.
Georgia Bulldogs (3-0)
Georgia had trouble in the first half trying to score points against South Carolina’s defense. However, that quickly changed in the second half. The Bulldogs finished the game on a 21-0 run. Georgia has struggled at times to produce on offense. The defense has been relatively consistent for the most part. Clearly, that is something that head coach Kirby Smart prides himself on. Needless to say, things will continue to get more difficult for the Bulldogs over the course of the season. For now, Georgia comes in at No. 1 in this week’s SEC power rankings.