SEC Football Power Poll: Week 3

Posted on Jan 15 2013 - 11:28pm by Lacey Russell
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1. Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC, 1st last week)
 
If anyone wasn’t already impressed with Alabama in the first two weeks of the season, they have to be after the Crimson Tide trampled the Arkansas Razorbacks on the road last weekend 52-0. Although Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson was sidelined with a head injury, it’s still really impressive what Nick Saban and his squad have been able to accomplish in the first few weeks of the year.  
 
This week: Florida Atlantic (1-2), 4 p.m., PPV
 
2. LSU (3-0, 2nd last week)
 
Running back Kenny Hilliard led LSU over Idaho in Saturday’s 63-14 win. Hilliard totaled 116 rushing yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns. The Tigers have yet to be tested this season, and with the way Auburn has been playing, Saturday’s matchup at Jordan-Hare shouldn’t be too much of a problem either. It is a step-up in competition, but LSU should roll.
 
This week: at Auburn (1-2, 0-1 SEC), 6 p.m., ESPN
 
3. Georgia (3-0, 1-0 SEC, 3rd last week)
 
It took a quarter to take control of the game, but quarterback Aaron Murray’s two second-quarter touchdown passes gave the Bulldogs a halftime lead before running away with a 56-20 win over Florida Atlantic. Murray was 14-for-19 on the day with 342 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Mark Richt’s team looks to be strong this year and have to stay focused to avoid the upset this weekend.
 
This week: Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-1 SEC), 6:45 p.m., ESPN2
 
4. South Carolina (3-0, 1-0 SEC, 4th last week)
 
The Gamecocks ran away with a 49-6 victory over UAB last weekend. Quarterback Connor Shaw returned from injury, but backup Dylan Thompson led the passing game with 5-of-10 passing for 177 yards with two touchdowns. South Carolina looks as advertised in the preseason and will get a big test this weekend when Missouri comes in. The Gamecock defense should be too much for the Tiger offense and give South Carolina the win.
 
This week: Missouri (2-1, 0-1 SEC), 2:30 p.m., CBS  
 
5. Florida (3-0, 2-0 SEC, 6th last week)
 
Going into the season, I wasn’t a big believer in the Gators. But after last weekend’s 37-20 win over Tennessee on the road, Florida looks to be a legitimate contender in the SEC East. Quarterback Jeff Driskel threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-20 passing. It was a huge win for Will Muschamp’s squad and one that will be noted around the league.
 
This week: Kentucky (1-2), 11:21 a.m., SEC Network
 
6. Tennessee (2-1, 0-1 SEC, 5th last week)
 
It was about the worst outcome Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers could’ve asked for. They were poised for a big home win over rival Florida last weekend, but the Gators were too much as they went on to win 37-20. Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray was 22-of-44 wfor 257 yards and two touchdowns, but two interceptions proved costly. The Volunteers should bounce back this week with a confidence-building win.
 
This week: Akron (1-2), 6:30 p.m., CSS
 
7. Missouri (2-1, 0-1 SEC, 7th last week)
 
It was closer than they had hoped, but Missouri rebounded from a tough loss in the SEC debut to Georgia the week before to defeat Arizona State 24-20 last Saturday. The Sun Devils scored 13 fourth-quarter points to put pressure on the Tigers, but Missouri escaped with the win. Backup quarterback Corbin Berkstresser led the Missouri offense with James Franklin missing the game due to injury. The Tigers now head to South Carolina for their first SEC road game.  
 
This week: at South Carolina (3-0, 1-0 SEC), 2:30 p.m., CBS
 
8. Texas A&M (1-1, 0-1 SEC, 10th last week)
 
After a disappointing loss in their SEC debut against Florida at home, Texas A&M responded in a big way as they ran away with a 48-3 win over SMU in Dallas. It was the Johnny Manziel show on Saturday. Manziel was 20-of-26 for 94 yards and four touchdowns through the air. As if that wasn’t enough, he rushed for 124 yards on 13 carries with two more touchdowns. It remains to be seen how effective Kevin Sumlin’s offense will be in the SEC, but on Saturday, everything was clicking.
 
This week: South Carolina State (1-2), 6 p.m., FSN
 
9. Mississippi State (3-0, 1-0 SEC, 9th last week)
 
The Bulldogs defense had their struggles, but Mississippi State escaped an upset loss to Troy as they defeated the Trojans 30-24 last weekend. An easy early schedule leaves question marks on how good this team can really be. Tyler Russell had another good game, throwing for three touchdowns, and the next couple of weeks set up well for the Bulldogs to continue their success.
 
This week: South Alabama (1-2), 6 p.m., PPV
 
10. Arkansas (1-2, 0-1 SEC, 8th last week)
 
It wasn’t the start of the season the Razorbacks had hoped for. They expected to be 2-0 and trying to knock of Alabama at home to put themselves in prime position for the SEC title. Instead, they were upset in a shocking loss to Louisiana-Monroe and got obliterated by the Crimson Tide 52-0 this past weekend. Rutgers comes to town this weekend, and if quarterback Tyler Wilson can’t play, it could be trouble for Arkansas.
 
This week: Rutgers (3-0), 6 p.m., ESPNU
 
11. Auburn (1-2, 0-1 SEC, 11th last week)
 
It wasn’t an easy task, but Auburn finally got their first win of the season and avoided the upset to Louisiana-Monroe with a 31-28 overtime win at home. The Tigers battled all game long, but a missed field goal in overtime from ULM led to a game-winning field goal for Auburn. The Tigers get their shot at LSU, who heads into Auburn for a showdown this weekend.
 
This week: LSU (3-0), 6 p.m., ESPN
 
12. Ole Miss (2-1, 12th last week)
 
As far as the atmosphere goes for Ole Miss’ Saturday night showcase with Texas, it was phenomenal. As far as the Rebels on the field play, it was not pretty. The Longhorns offense completely dominated the Ole Miss defense on the ground as well as through the air. Hugh Freeze has made some adjustments on the defense to try to fix some glaring weaknesses, but time will tell if those adjustments paid off.
 
This week: at Tulane (0-2), 11 a.m., FSN
 
13. Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-1 SEC, 13th last week)
 
The Commodores finally got into the win column with a dominating 58-0 victory over Presbyterian. Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin had his team playing with a lot of confidence early in the season, and they have another chance to get a big win when they face Georgia between the hedges on Saturday.
 
This week: at Georgia (3-0), 6:45 p.m., ESPN2 
 
14. Kentucky (1-2, 14th last week)
 
If things weren’t bad enough for Joker Phillip’s squad, they are in wake of Kentucky’s 32-31 overtime loss to in-state foe Western Kentucky last weekend. Things don’t get any easier for the Wildcats as they play the red-hot Florida Gators on the road this weekend. 
 
This week: at Florida (3-0, 2-0 SEC), 11:21 a.m., SEC Network 
 
For continuing coverage of Ole Miss football, follow @thedm_sports and @DavidLCollier on Twitter.

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