**All games Saturday … all times CT … all rankings/receiving votes from AP poll**
Last week: beat Western Kentucky 35-0
The Hilltoppers covered! No respect, those Western Kentucky kids get. None. But seriously, Alabama is at least a two-touchdown favorite now, on the road, against a team which was ranked in the top ten before this past Saturday. The ’33rd NFL team’ jokes are warranted.
Next: at Arkansas (1-1), 2:30 p.m. | CBS
2) No. 3 LSU (2-0); LW, 2
Last week: beat Washington 41-3
Somehow, it might benefit LSU to quietly take care of its business in the attention shadow of Alabama. Maybe take the pressure off some. Of course, it helps to play a dog schedule before starting SEC play.
Next: vs. Idaho (0-2), 7 p.m. | TigerVision PPV
3) No. 7 Georgia (2-0, 1-0 SEC); LW, 5
Last week: won at Missouri 41-20
Definitely the most impressive effort of any SEC team this past weekend. It’s not easy to finish the game with 24 unanswered points at Faurot Field.
Next: vs. Florida Atlantic (1-1), 6:30 p.m. | CSS
4) No. 8 South Carolina (2-0, 1-0); LW, 4
Last week: beat East Carolina 48-10
A nice bounce-back effort for the Gamecocks, and Dylan Thompson did play very nicely. But Connor Shaw still figures to retake his job when his shoulder heals.
Next: vs. Alabama-Birmingham (0-1), 6 p.m. | Fox Sports Net
5) No. 23 Tennessee (2-0); LW, 6
Last week: beat Georgia State 51-13
No reason to believe Derek Dooley’s squad can’t go and win double-digit games. Their receivers are bonkers. Knoxville is a worthy host for GameDay this weekend.
Next: vs. Florida (2-0), 6 p.m. | ESPN
6) No. 18 Florida (2-0, 1-0); LW, 7
Last week: won at Texas A&M 20-17
Those early stumblings against Bowling Green? Forgotten. The Gators are game.
Next: at Tennessee (2-0), 6 p.m. | ESPN
Last week: lost to Louisiana-Monroe 34-31 (OT)
Why not a further plummet? Let’s not forget that Tyler Wilson’s services were unavailable for the second half. Let’s not forget that there’s actually a chance ULM and Kolton Browning aren’t half bad. And let’s not forget it’s a loooooong season ahead. Plenty of time to make amends, but yes, any national title hopes are dashed.
Next: vs. Alabama (2-0), 2:30 p.m. | CBS
8) RV Mississippi State (2-0, 1-0); LW, 10
Last week: beat Auburn 28-10
Tyler Russell is effective in the passing game, and the defense swarms to the football. This won’t necessarily be the shining highlight of State’s season.
Next: at Troy (1-1), 6 p.m. | ESPN3
9) Missouri (1-1, 0-1); LW, 8
Last week: lost to No. 7 Georgia 41-20
Where’d the offense go? Was it past James Franklin’s bedtime? So much for overcoming old-man football.
Next: vs. Arizona State (2-0), 6 p.m. | ESPN
10) Auburn (0-2, 0-1); LW, 9
Last week: lost at Mississippi State 28-10
See: Arkansas. In the “long season ahead” department. However, based on early returns, Auburn simply doesn’t pass the eye test. Drawing boards are for training camp, not mid-September.
Next: vs. Louisiana-Monroe (1-0), 11:21 a.m. | ESPN3/SEC Network
11) Texas A&M (0-1, 0-1 SEC); LW, 11
Last week: lost to No. 24 Florida 20-17
Down the road, the Aggies will regret letting this one slip away. Winnable game, and it doesn’t get much easier from here. (Well, except for this week.)
Next: at Southern Methodist (1-1), 2:30 p.m. | FSN
12) Ole Miss (2-0); LW, 12
Last week: beat UTEP 28-10
Now, uh, comes the hard part.
Next: vs. Texas (2-0), 8:15 p.m. | ESPN
13) Kentucky (1-1); LW, 14
Last week: beat Kent State 47-14
Let’s hope Joker Phillips shows his opponent due respect. (OK, we’re done with those puns now.)
Next: vs. Western Kentucky (1-1), 6 p.m. | ESPNU
14) Vanderbilt (0-2, 0-1 SEC); LW, 13
Last week: lost at Northwestern 23-13
Bit of a hangover after the South Carolina effort. By the way, for Northwestern and Vanderbilt kids, a “hangover” is when you feel pain the morning after you … ah, never mind. Don’t worry about it.
Next: vs. Presbyterian (1-1), 11:30 a.m. | CSS