THE RATING GAME
Ranking the 14 SEC teams going into the second week of the regular season:
1. ALABAMA (1-0; Last week: 2)
It’s a default move to put Bama on top, but it did win the nation’s only ranked showdown last week against Wisconsin.
2. TEXAS A&M (1-0; LW: 9)
Aggies earn one of Rating Game’s biggest jumps, but must show staying power.
3. GEORGIA (1-0; LW: 3)
The Bulldogs also played weather-shortened game, but enough to make it official.
4. AUBURN (1-0; LW: 1)
Aubie got the win, but Tigers nearly blew it against Louisville. Have some proving to do.
5. OLE MISS (1-0; LW: 5)
Rebels might have moved up but pulverized UT Martin 76-3. Rating Game respects the mercy rule.
6. ARKANSAS (1-0; LW: 7)
Hogs rank first in SEC passing efficiency, ninth in rushing. Something does not compute.
7. TENNESSEE (1-0; LW: 8)
This is the week Vols’ expectations fall off Rocky Top or go into a new orange orbit.
8. MISSOURI (1-0; LW: 6)
Someone please explain why Mizzou is playing Saturday at Arkansas State?
9. MISS. STATE (1-0; LW: 10)
Christopher Walken will be honorary captain Saturday, request more cowbell (kidding).
10. FLORIDA (1-0; LW: 12)
Nice, but it’s New Mexico State. Newman (from Seinfeld, not New Orleans) could beat NMSU.
11. SOUTH CAROLINA (1-0; LW: 11)
The Gamecocks didn’t exactly overwhelm with opening win over UNC ...
12. KENTUCKY (1-0; LW: 13)
... Wildcats lucky to beat UL-Lafayette. Now meets S.Carolina in losable game for both.
13. VANDERBILT (0-1; LW: 14)
The Commodores are propped up by LSU this week, but it’s a false floor. VU is the bottom.
INCOMPLETE. LSU (0-0; LW: 4)
Patrick Peterson’s $1 million donation comes in handy after those McNeese ticket refunds.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Oklahoma at Tennessee, 5 p.m. Saturday (ESPN)
These are two teams with a lot to prove. No program has earned more positive vibes in the offseason than Tennessee, which has parlayed a couple of strong recruiting classes under Butch Jones and last year’s 7-6 record into top-tier contender status in the SEC East. The Volunteers are coming off a 59-30 victory over Bowling Green that won’t be nearly the litmus test this game is. Oklahoma, which like Texas has ceded Big 12 hegemony to TCU and Baylor, is trying to fight its way back into national prominence after an 8-5 record last year. Like Tennessee, a 41-3 victory over Akron at home last week sheds little light on whether the Sooners are ready to do that.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
LSU has played more games (108) and has more wins (71) against Mississippi State than any other program. ... South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier ranks second among all-time SEC coaches in overall wins (207) and conference wins (131) behind only Paul “Bear” Bryant (292, 159). LSU’s Les Miles ranks 14th in SEC wins (58) and 18th in total wins (103). … LSU has the SEC’s second-best record the last five years (61-18, .772) and the last 10 years (112-32, .777) behind only Alabama. … Florida has gone 335 straight games without being shut out, the longest current streak in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).