Ole Miss was expected to smash Vanderbilt at home and didn’t, instead grinding out an 11-point win over the Commodores and never totally looking in control. Yes, we know that they were coming off a monster win at Alabama, but that’s hardly College Football Play-Off form. Ohio State, by the way, has been ‘grinding’ since it won at Virginia Tech – although it found some signs of life on Saturday.

The fact is this: Ole Miss is still the toast of the SEC West, but we don’t have a clue how good the SEC West actually is. Last year, it was so much easier….

Elsewhere, Arkansas choked against Texas A&M at Jerryworld and lost in overtime, Tennessee choked away the first win in a decade against Florida, and Kentucky got its first win against a ranked side- Missouri – in a 21-13 victory. Leonard Fournette continued to be “Mr Unstoppable” at Syracuse – although LSU was awful up there, Auburn remained a trainwreck in losing at home to Mississippi State, while the SEC East’s favorite trainwreck – South Carolina – beat all-FBS trainwreck UCF (and was actually losing at halftime). And Georgia got outplayed by Southern’s band at half-time (#FIREMARKRICHT), but won the four quarters. Oh, and that little-known or cared about SEC team Alabama? They m’ehed their way to smashing ULM and taking a 2-1 series lead in that mighty rivalry.

So here are our rankings after Week 4:

  1. Ole Miss (Last week: 1) : The fact that Robert Nkemdiche scored his third touchdown of the season was the highlight – not the exclamation point – on a poor night offensively for Chad Kelly, who was picked off twice. Look, we know that Ole Miss was against defensive co-ordinators in the SEC in Derek Mason (he is, folks), but getting rescued by your special teams and an inability of a Vandy kicker to nail a fourth-straight field goal hardly has you saying: “This is the best team in college football”. But they still are the best team in the SEC. Maybe.
  2. Alabama (1) : This is not so much about Alabama’s defense turning it on against ULM (they only gave up 92 yards all day), but about the Crimson Tide’s offense. This offense isn’t great, but it pretty darned good. And all-round, I believe the Tide is better than Texas A&M.
  3. Texas A&M (3) : Why is Alabama a better team than Texas A&M? Because at JerryWorld, Texas A&M couldn’t stop Arkansas running backs Alex Collins and Damian Williams down the middle all day long. Alabama’s got a better offensive line and a better running back duo and will run the ball down their throat. Mind you, Alabama’s O-Line had better be ready for Mr Everything Myles Garrett, Alabama’s secondary better be ready for Christian Kirk, though. He’s something else, people!
  4. Georgia (4) : They got their ass whipped by Southern’s band at half-time, but won the actually football comfortably. Our prayers are with Southern WR Devon Gales, who suffered a spinal injury in the third quarter. These sort of injuries make you nauseous.
  5. LSU (5) : Every time you think the Tigers on a roll, Les Miles provides a piss-poor, sleepwalking, crappy effort against a far-inferior opponent. It happened against Saturday. LSU may have won 34-24, and Leonard Fournette got over 200 yards and 2 TDs, but my God, the penalties. The Tigers gave up ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY YARDS IN PENALTIES (14 of them). That’s terrible. The Fournette factor keeps them this high, though.
  6. Florida (6): The Gators got through this win by the skin of their teeth, and that’s OK. At least for Gators fans. Jim McElwain was an inches-wide field goal from losing being the first Florida coach since Ron Zook to lose to Tennessee. The Gators struggled to deal with the run, and at times the INCREDIBLE SECONDARY didn’t look so incredible. I’m still on-the-fence about the Gators. Sorry.
  7. Mississippi State (8): Heartily took advantage of the wreckery in Auburn to take home a 17-9 victory. Manny Diaz’ defense ensured Auburn’s offense went without a touchdown since 2011. Dak Prescott’s probably the best QB in the SEC right now. If there’s a side trending upwards in this league, it’s the Bulldogs.
  8. Tennessee (7): I saw this over Twitter yesterday: Three teams have given up double-digit leads in the fourth quarter this season. Two of them are Tennessee. The game’s match-up with Arkansas may get called off because Neyland’s flooded with both fanbases’ tears.
  9. Kentucky (9): I’m becoming a genuine believer in Mark Stoops, and the trouble he might cause Georgia and other teams when they come against the Wildcats in future games. Well, Mark Stoops’ defense. And Patrick Towles. Kentucky beat Missouri and had its first victory over a ranked opponent in 19 attempts.
  10. Arkansas (12) : Arkansas should have beaten Texas A&M in JerryWorld. They played really, really well. You know, until Bret Bielema decided to go conservative on the final drive, and the team murdered themselves with penalty flags. The referees didn’t exactly help them either, too. But this Arkansas team – if it gets some fire in its belly – might not be the tire fire we all thought it was post-Texas Tech.
  11. Missouri (11) : The Tigers have no offense. Simple.
  12. South Carolina (13): Before the game, a Gamecocks fans tweeted me a badge that said: “For the love of God, please beat UCF”. They did – 31-10 – and Lorenzo Nunez has a bit of confidence in him. Pharoh Cooper doesn’t need any confidence, thanks.
  13. Auburn (9) : Formally an offensive juggernaut, the Tigers simply don’t look that dangerous when they get the ball. And considering that defense is a major issue for them…..Safe to say Tammy from Auburn is not going to be very happy on Monday.
  14. Vanderbilt (14) : A great defensive performance against one of the best offensive teams in college football. Derek Mason is a defensive genius. Our problem? There’s no offense (at least against the ‘bigger’ teams). But a hell of an effort in Oxford, folks.

 

 

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