Mike Leach’s team can hang with the best of them when it’s playing flawless football. The problem is that it likely won’t happen often. Mississippi State’s defense is not as good as previously advertised. Furthermore, the Bulldogs’ offense showed that it can be contained against LSU in last weekend’s 31-16 loss.
The Tigers aren’t the best defense that Mississippi State will face this season, so the question now becomes “how will Will Rogers and Co. respond to adversity?” Alabama and Georgia will probably prove to be too much down the road. There are opportunities for wins against Arkansas, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Texas A&M on the schedule. The Bulldogs will have to play lights out if they want to win those games, it’s not an impossible task for a talented team though.
It was very hard not to place Florida at No. 10 in all honesty. The Gators’ narrow win over a ranked Utah team in Week 1 saves their resume for now though. A loss to Kentucky and a close call against South Florida aren’t exactly how Billy Napier wanted to start his tenure in Gainesville.
It’s been a mixed bag for Florida up to this point in the season. College football fans are going to see what the Gators are made of when they take on Tennessee with College Gameday in attendance this weekend. All of the blunders of the past two games can be overlooked if Florida leaves Knoxville a 3-1 team.
Texas A&M has been the SEC’s most disappointing team this season. The Aggies and their “No. 1 recruiting class in history” had National Championship aspirations to begin the year. Now? They’re struggling for large parts of the game against Sam Houston State, losing to Appalachian State at home and scraping by an overrated Miami team.
The early loss to the Mountaineers will put a huge dent in Jimbo Fisher’s team’s College Football Playoff resume early. Luckily, the SEC provides programs with a chance at redemption week in and week out. Texas A&M will need to improve offensively if it wants to continue to climb this list.
LSU continues to bounce back from a Week 1 loss to Florida State. The Tigers put on a defensive clinic against the air raid offense of Mississippi State last weekend to start SEC play off on the right foot. Jayden Daniels can still take strides to improve. If he does continue to find his footing consistently, the Bayou Bengals can be a dangerous squad with all the weapons that they have on both sides of the ball.
A one-point defeat to the Seminoles (3-0) isn’t looking so bad after LSU comfortably dispatched the Bulldogs, who were favorited inside Death Valley.
Arkansas is an anomaly. The Razorbacks are supposed to be improving in Sam Pittman’s third year in charge. However, it seems as if they’re taking a step backward after two consecutive close calls against South Carolina and Missouri State. Perhaps Arkansas was looking ahead to Texas A&M and Alabama (who could blame it for that?), which would explain the lackluster outings recently. The Razorbacks need to win four of their next five if they’re to be viewed as a serious contender for a New Year’s Six bowl game.