Georgia beating on the door of the penthouse but Alabama football stays atop SEC Power Rankings

Cecil Hurt
The Tuscaloosa News

The 2021 Preseason SEC Power Rankings. Sample size is only a week so don’t be hasty to anger: 

No. 1 Alabama (1-0)

Last Week: 1

This week: vs. Mercer 

What to know: Las Vegas has no official line on Alabama-Mercer, but Crimson Tide minus-60 would be a measure of Nick Saban’s forbearance.

Big play:Alabama football completes 14-point swing with fourth-down stop, 94-yard touchdown pass

No. 2 Georgia (1-0)

Last Week: 3

This week: vs. UAB 

What to know: Dawg “D” looked fierce against Clemson but the Blazers are no cupcakes.  

No. 3 Texas A&M (1-0)

Last Week: 2

This week: vs. Colorado (in Denver) 

What to know: Aggies should be better but have those oxygen tents on those mile-high sidelines to support Jimbo’s new mile-high salary. 

No. 4 Florida (1-0)

Last Week: 5

This Week: At South Florida 

What to know: The Gators' road trip to Tampa wouldn’t look so abysmal if USF hadn’t looked so abysmal against NC State. 

No. 5 Auburn (1-0)

Last Week: 6

This week: vs. Alabama State 

What to know: Auburn, and quarterback Bo Nix in particular, looked efficient against Akron. Alabama State isn’t going to disrupt that.

First win:Auburn football begins Bryan Harsin era with electric Tank Bigsby celebration

LSU  head coach Ed Orgeron looks on against UCLA.

No. 6 LSU (0-1)

Last Week: 4

This week: vs. McNeese State 

What to know: This is an example of not going into panic mode after one week. LSU still has players and can turn its season around but needs to get started immediately.

Key players:LSU fans love freshman defensive lineman Maason Smith's play vs. UCLA football

No. 7 Ole Miss (1-0)

Last Week: 7

This week: vs. Austin Peay 

What to know: Everyone was excited for the full return of SEC football, but the sideline antics of Lane Kiffin were a notable absence. 

No. 8 Kentucky (1-0)

Last Week: 9

This week: vs. Missouri 

What to know: Kentucky seems to have had quarterback uncertainty since the days of the fondly-remembered Jared Lorenzen, but Penn State transfer Will Levis looks solid.  

No. 9 Missouri  (1-0)

Last Week: 11

This week: at Kentucky 

What to know: The season’s first actual SEC league contest. This could be an indicator of which of these teams can edge into SEC East contender status. 

Oct 12, 2019; Knoxville, TN, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs mascot Bully the Bulldog before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium.

No. 10 Mississippi State (1-0)

Last Week: 8

This week: vs. North Carolina State 

What to know: The Bulldogs didn’t look great in an opening squeaker against Louisiana Tech, while NC State did look good. Strange things can happen in Starkville, though.  

The winning pass:Watch Mississippi State QB Will Rogers' game-winning touchdown pass to Jaden Walley

No. 11 Arkansas (1-0)

Last Week: 10

This week: vs.Texas   

What to know: The veteran college football fan remembers the 1969 classic between these two teams, although no one will be getting a call from Richard Nixon after this year’s game. 

Razorbacks football:Arkansas football rallies in fourth quarter, avoids upset against Rice

Missouri Tigers quarterback Connor Bazelak (8) waits for the snap against the Central Michigan Chippewas during the first half at Faurot Field Saturday.

No. 12 Tennessee (1-0)

Last Week: 12

This week: vs. Pittsburgh 

What to know: The Johnny Majors Classic will be a low-key appealing SEC vs. Alliance grudge match.  

Week 2:Joe Milton's second act and other things we're watching as Tennessee prepares for Pittsburgh

No. 13 South Carolina (1-0)

Last Week: 13

This week: at East Carolina 

What to know: South Carolina’s grad assistant quarterback Zeb Noland would be a great story even if he wasn’t named “Zeb.” He takes the Z-Show on the road in a tricky spot.

No. 14 Vanderbilt (0-1) 

Last Week: 14

This week: at Colorado State 

What to know: Good news: despite despair, there must be a team in Tennessee that Vandy can beat. Bad news: Colorado State isn’t in Tennessee. 

First defeat:For Vanderbilt football, is Clark Lea's ETSU loss worse than Derek Mason's Temple loss?