Ranking the 14 Southeastern Conference teams after Week 3:
1. TEXAS A&M (3-0, 1-0; 3)
To everyone’s surprise, including the Aggies, this is the SEC’s most complete team. So far.
2. ALABAMA (3-0; 2)
Crimson Tide suffering slings and arrows of outrageous expectations. Still winning, though.
3. AUBURN (2-0, 1-0; 3)
Tigers taking dangerous non-con trip to Kansas State on Thursday.
4. LSU (3-0; 5)
No one really talking up the Tigers, which may be to their advantage.
5. OLE MISS (3-0, 1-0; 6)
Rebels take week off to watch “The Blind Side” one more time.
6. S.Carolina (2-1, 1-1; 13)
By the last link of the chain, Gamecocks back in SEC hunt.
7. Georgia (1-1, 0-1; LW: 1)
It was close at S.C., but clearly CFP talk for UGA was premature.
8. MISS. STATE (3-0; 7)
If ’Dogs upset LSU, the cowbells may never stop clanging.
9. FLORIDA (2-0, 1-0; 8)
Some say UF is back, some say no. By beating UK in 3OTs, whose point did the Gators prove?
10. MISSOURI (3-0; 10)
Another Tiger lying in the weeds, Mizzou goes to 4-0 this week.
11. ARKANSAS (2-1, 0-1; 13)
After NIU, it gets real for Hogs: Texas A&M, Bama, Georgia.
12. KENTUCKY (2-1, 0-1; 12)
Wildcats are improved, but still need to actually win a big one.
13. TENNESSEE (2-1; 11)
Vols weren’t embarrassed by OU, but clearly have a long way to go.
14. VANDY (1-2, 0-1; 15)
Commodores supposed to be better than squeaking by UMass.
Game of the Week
Florida at No. 3 Alabama
2:30 p.m. (CBS)
Even three weeks into the season, questions abound throughout the SEC as to the true mettle of just about every program (though we think we have Vandy figured out). Traditional powers like Florida and Alabama aren’t immune. The Gators profess to have turned a corner in their recovery program with new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper running the show, but is a 36-30 overtime victory against Kentucky really progress? Meanwhile, Alabama has knocked over a pair of tomato cans named Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss since struggling to subdue West Virginia in the opener, with questions continuing to dog its quarterback and secondary. These two have met seven times in the SEC Championship Game, more than any two other schools. Could this be a preview of No. 8?
Around the SEC
With a win against Mississippi State on Saturday, LSU coach Les Miles can tie former Auburn coach Pat Dye and former Arkansas and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt for 18th place in SEC history with 99 career victories at SEC schools. ... Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan made an SEC record 20 straight field goals before he missed twice Saturday in the Bulldogs’ 38-35 loss at South Carolina. ... Though Arkansas has put together back-to-back wins for the first time in a year, the Razorbacks are still searching for their first SEC victory since beating Kentucky on Oct. 13, 2012. Arkansas has lost 13 straight SEC games, and its next three are against Texas A&M, Alabama and Georgia. ... South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier captured his 201st career victory Saturday against Georgia, tying him with former Georgia coach Vince Dooley (1964-88) for second in SEC history. Paul “Bear” Bryant won 292 games at Kentucky (1946-53) and Alabama (1958-82). Spurrier won 122 games at Florida from 1990-2001 and has 79 wins at South Carolina since 2005. ... Not surprisingly, Jeff Sagarin ranks the SEC West as college football’s toughest division, just ahead of the Pac-12 North. The Pac-12 South is third, followed by the SEC East. ... LSU’s back-to-back shutouts of Sam Houston State (56-0) and UL-Monroe (31-0) gives the Tigers 18 shutouts since divisional play began in 1992. Alabama leads with 25, while Tennessee is third with 16.
-- Scott Rabalais