Several things have changed since we released our power rankings after Week 1. Some teams surprised the league while others continued to shine bright. Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi State played better than most expected. On the other hand, programs like Florida, Texas A&M and South Carolina struggled against their opponents, resulting in losses.
The expectations as a whole are high for the conference as the season unravels. With the college football landscape evolving more and more each year, many teams are looking to hit their stride. This season will determine a lot for head coaches across the conference like Missouri’s Eliah Drinkwitz and Auburn’s Bryan Harsin.
The stakes are high in several different places and the pressure has already set in for some programs. With that being said, it will be interesting to see how the teams around the league respond to adversity or success whatever the case may be.
After an interesting weekend, I will dive into my power rankings following Week 2 of the 2022 season.
Vanderbilt Commodores (2-1)
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Vanderbilt saw some success in their first two weeks with wins over Hawaii and Elon. However, that didn’t translate into their matchup against Wake Forest on Saturday. Both sides of the ball struggled which resulted in a lop-sided 45-25 loss. Head coach Clark Lea has this program trending in a good direction, but it is going to take a lot more to turn things around.
Missouri Tigers (1-1)
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The Tigers put it on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in their Week 1 matchup. However, the Kansas State Wildcats dominated Missouri on Saturday. The Tigers’ defense struggled to contain one of the nation’s best running backs in Deuce Vaughn. Not to mention, quarterback Brady Cook threw two interceptions. Coach Drinkwitz and his staff have a lot of work to do before conference play begins in Week 4 against Auburn.
South Carolina Gamecocks (1-1)
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The Gamecocks have had a lot of hype surrounding their program and rightfully so. They feel as if the pieces are there. It is just a matter of executing. On Saturday, the Gamecocks didn’t execute enough to beat a very good Arkansas team on the road. When it mattered the most, the Gamecocks’ defense couldn’t get any stops. In the end, the Razorbacks won 44-30. Nonetheless, Shane Beamer’s squad will have a great opportunity to bounce back as they play host to Georgia in Week 3.
LSU Tigers (1-1)
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The Tigers entered Saturday’s matchup against Southern looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss at the hands of Florida State. Brian Kelly’s squad came prepared to play and cruised their way to a 65-17 victory. Now, the Tigers will have their first conference game against an impressive Mississippi State team that is led by junior quarterback Will Rogers. This will mean a lot for the Tigers as they hope to replenish their season.
Auburn Tigers (2-0)
Auburn Tigers quarterback Robby Ashford (9) runs the ball as Auburn Tigers take on San Jose State Spartans at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.
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The Tigers didn’t look too enticing in their Week 2 matchup against San Jose State. Auburn used a two-quarterback system and it didn’t go as planned. For the majority of the game, both T.J. Finley and Robby Ashford failed to push the ball down the field. As a result, the Tigers had a snug 24-16 victory. They will be put to the test in their Week 3 matchup against an undefeated Penn State team. Fortunately for Auburn, they will face the Nittany Lions at home.
Florida Gators (1-1)
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After an impressive start to the Billy Napier era, the Gators failed to live up to expectations this weekend. Many assumed that the Gators were back. That didn’t appear to be the case on Saturday against a well-coached Kentucky Wildcats team. Consequently, quarterback Anthony Richardson didn’t have a good game. The defense couldn’t get enough stops. As a result, the Wildcats won the game 26-16. The Gators will return to action in Week 3 against South Florida.
Texas A&M Aggies (1-1)
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Jimbo Fisher has one looming concern around his program and that is at the starting quarterback position. Quarterback Haynes King has struggled to develop any kind of consistency thus far and struggled a whole lot against a mid-major in Appalachian State. The defense held its own for the most part, but it wasn’t enough in the end. The Mountaineers pulled off the unprecedented 17-14 upset on Saturday afternoon. The Aggie’s schedule doesn’t get any easier as they will play host to an ascending Miami team.
Ole Miss Rebels (2-0)
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Lane Kiffin may not have the number of weapons he did in years past. Nonetheless, his squad reeled off 59 points against a good FCS team the Central Arkansas Bears. Quarterback Luke Altmyer looked stellar in his first start of the season. If the Rebels can continue to score points, it will be tough for teams to beat them. This week will be their first test as they travel to Atlanta to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-0)
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As long as quarterback Will Rogers is under center, the Bulldogs have a shot at winning. Last night, the junior signal-caller threw for 302 yards against a formidable opponent in the Arizona Wildcats. Mike Leach uses an air-raid offense that appears to be progressing in each of the seasons that he has been the head coach in Starkville. The Bulldogs will travel to Baton Rouge for a crucial game against the LSU Tigers in Week 3.
Kentucky Wildcats (2-0)
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The Wildcats are led by senior quarterback Will Levis. His talents were certainly showcased on Saturday night as the Wildcats took down Florida by a score of 26-16. Head coach Mark Stoops also surpassed legendary coach Bear Bryant as the winningest coach in program history. The Wildcats are building momentum for what could be a very special season in Lexington.
Tennessee Volunteers (2-0)
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The Volunteers are a force to be reckoned with this season. Fifth-year senior Hendon Hooker led his troops into a tough environment and delivered with a 34-27 victory against a very good Pitt squad led by head coach Pat Narduzzi. Tennessee’s players and coaches have a lot of hope and rightfully so. It will be interesting to see how the Volunteers respond in Week 4 against Florida.
Arkansas Razorbacks (2-0)
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The Razorbacks have faired well in their first two matchups of the season. On Saturday, Arkansas beat South Carolina 44-30. Sam Pittman’s squad has played stellar on offense and hard-nosed on defense. Arkansas is led by dual-threat quarterback KJ Jefferson who has improved tremendously over the last two seasons. Of all the SEC teams, the Razorbacks have had the toughest schedule thus far. They are shaping up to have a really good season in Fayetteville.
Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0)
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Outside of Bryce Young, the Tide’s offense struggled. The wide receivers were unable to create separation downfield as opposed to Week 1 when they played extremely well. That is certainly a concern as the Tide prepares for conference play. There were also 15 penalties called on Alabama. That is the most since Nick Saban became the head coach at Alabama in 2007. The performance was enough to supply a close 20-19 victory against an interesting Texas Longhorns squad led by former Nick Saban assistant Steve Sarkisian.
Georgia Bulldogs (2-0)
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Georgia has looked like the most complete team in the SEC up to this point. Sixth-year senior quarterback Stetson Bennett has looked impressive with some new faces in Athens. The defense looks like it didn’t skip a beat from last season to this season. Two decisive victories for Georgia calls for the Bulldogs to be atop the SEC power rankings this week.