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SEC Power Poll, Week 1: Alabama Leads the Way as Texas A&M Surges

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Georgia slides in at second place and Auburn gets third in our first rankings this season

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports


1. Alabama Crimson Tide, 166 points (10 first-place votes); Standard Deviation: 0.389
2. Georgia Bulldogs, 144; SD: 0.953
3. Auburn Tigers, 139 (2); SD: 1.505
4. Texas A&M Aggies, 137; SD: 2.065
5. Ole Miss Rebels, 122; SD: 1.193
6. LSU Tigers, 100; SD: 1.497
7. Arkansas Razorbacks, 96; SD: 1.758
8. Tennessee Volunteers, 84; SD: 1.859
9. Missouri Tigers, 71; SD: 1.240
10. Mississippi St. Bulldogs, 62; SD: 1.528
11. South Carolina Gamecocks, 58; SD: 2.329
12. Florida Gators, 43; SD: 0.793
13. Kentucky Wildcats, 26; SD: 0.577
14. Vanderbilt Commodores, 12; SD: 0.000

A few notes up front: First, the poll will generally come out on Tuesday, not Thursday, but a variety of factors conspired to delay it this week. Second, I've added standard deviations to the rankings to let everyone know which teams inspired some of the largest and smallest amounts of disagreements among our voters. The closer you are to zero, the closer we are to complete agreement -- and, look there, Vanderbilt was unanimously voted the worst team in the SEC. Sorry, Vandy.

Speaking of teams that caused some degree of disagreement, there's Texas A&M checking in at No. 4, which is probably a bit higher than many would have placed them before the Aggies stomped Arizona State in their opener. Aside from South Carolina, Texas A&M drew the most controversy as measured by standard deviation. (And it's worth pointing out that South Carolina's high number on that count is largely because one voter ranked the Gamecocks fourth. Before you ask, it wasn't a South Carolina fan.) The Aggies drew votes everywhere from No. 2 to No. 8, in part because -- well, we'll get to that in a moment, but deja vu.

Alabama is the near-unanimous top team in the poll, while Auburn gets the only two remaining first-place votes. The Tigers are part of a tight battle for second with Georgia and the Aggies. Beyond that, things seem relatively clear cut for now. Voters?

Alabama Crimson Tide

Looked fantastic against Wisconsin, but the Badgers are also on their third head coach in three years. They might not be as good as advertised.---Rocky Top Talk

I'm still waiting for Kiffin to call some sort of trick play that ends up with Saban finally actually using Dark Magic on TV.---Georgia Sports Blog

Hey, remember when I said that Bama looked vulnerable this year? Yeah, how do I erase things from the internet?---And the Valley Shook

Arkansas Razorbacks

Beating the stuffing out of an awful team = expected. Doing it through the air = unexpected. This is a very solid team, but racking up passing yardage against UTEP doesn't mean that Brandon Allen should be receiving Heisman votes anytime soon.---Rocky Top Talk

Congratulations, you've unlocked the "When Pigs Fly" achievement! Your quarterback has now thrown for over 300 yards in a game, will you continue to utilize your new aerial attack? [y/n] [Bret Bielema mashes the N key so hard he snaps the keyboard in half]---Rock M Nation

If Brandon Allen and the passing game can click like they did on Saturday all season long, look out. It's going to be tough to stop this offense.---Roll Bama Roll

Photo: Jerome Miron -- USA Today Sports

Auburn Tigers

Auburn beat a P5 team, but hardly looked like the team many pundits guaranteed would make the CFP. Gus has some coaching up to do with Jeremy Johnson.---Get the Picture

Counting on Bobby Petrino to do something dumb remains a remarkably effective life strategy. Counting on players who've been kicked out of Athens is usually a winner, too.---Dawg Sports

They were completely dominated Louisville for three quarters. The Cardinals made it a game, but if Jeremy Johnson figures it out, the West will be interesting.---A Sea of Blue

Florida Gators

Head coach Jim McElwain's debut was an offensive show in which the Gators scored more points (61) than all of Will Muschamp's teams. Not really, but it seemed that way. During the game, New Mexico State's team bus was broken into. Only in Florida.---Arkansas Fight

A feel-good win won't hide the issues this team faces on offense. A QB controversy added in seems like a bug, not a feature.---Georgia Sports Blog

The Jim McElwain Era has already gotten off to a fantastic start simply by fielding an offense that looks like they've run plays in practice before. The Gators could be dangerous in the East.---Roll Bama Roll

Georgia Bulldogs

Nick Chubb only averaged 7.5 yards per carry, so he's obviously heading for a letdown season.---Rock M Nation

Nick Chubb plus that offensive line is going to give the SEC East fits. But we all kmow Georgia is going to Richt it up at some point.---A Sea of Blue

Nick Chubb was good enough to make ULM forfeit, basically.---Red Cup Rebellion

Photo: Dale Zanine -- USA Today Sports

Kentucky Wildcats

A win's a win, yes. But that defense sure looks like it needs a ton of work.---Get the Picture

Unless this defense gets good fast, six wins seems like a stretch.---Georgia Sports Blog

Kentucky looked great... then they let Louisiana Lafayette tie the game up at 33 out of nowhere.---Red Cup Rebellion

LSU Tigers

SEC officials calling this game because of lightning deprived everyone of 1/14th of a full season of DACOACHO. Shame on you, SEC, shame on you.---Rocky Top Talk

Kind of eerie that just after the 10th anniversary of Katrina, LSU has their first game of the season rained out. I'm still a believer in Les Miles with his back against the wall, and that's kind of the feeling I'm picking up from the Bayou Bengals this year.---Roll Bama Roll

Had the game stats counted, LSU averaged a sack every four defensive snaps. I'm pretty sure that at that pace, it would set some sort of record.---And the Valley Shook

Photo: Derick E. Hingle -- USA Today Sports

Mississippi St. Bulldogs

Put MSU in just about any other division in college football and you'd be taking them a lot more seriously.  But in the SEC West, the Bulldogs look too flawed for their own good.---Get the Picture

Dak Prescott is in his 8th year at Mississippi State and is still one of the best QB's in the conference.---A Sea of Blue

Struggled with Southern Miss for three quarters, but you can read anything into first game rust. The true test comes next week.---And the Valley Shook

Missouri Tigers

The Tigers will need more of a running game if they expect to return to Atlanta as SEC East champs. Maty Mauk's arm was plenty against SEMO for Week 1, though.---Arkansas Fight


Missouri averaged 2.7 yards per carry against Southeast Missouri State. Maybe, just maybe, they'll finally actually be bad.---Red Cup Rebellion

Ole Miss Rebels

Machinegun Kelly looked awesome against Directional Religious School State University and the offensive line didn't seem to miss Laremy Tunsil, who enjoyed his day off picking out a fur coat from the JaMarcus Russell Exclusive Collection. Freeze has an incredible first team with crickets behind them. No one get hurt.---Rocky Top Talk

The Rebels were the only league team who took it easier than LSU in week one.---Dawg Sports

With their defense, they'll be in plenty of games. It sure looked like Freeze was working out the offense for when they'll need it later.---Georgia Sports Blog

South Carolina Gamecocks

The Head Ball Coach is 1-0. Now he just needs every SEC QB to throw two picks in the endzone and to get Connor Mitch squared away. And to hope Elijah Hood is a better tailback than the guys in Athens, Baton Rouge, and Knoxville.---Dawg Sports

The Gamecocks pulled out an ugly win early in the season, but the Ol' Ball Coach always needs a few holes and a few beers before his game really hits its stride.---Rock M Nation

The Gamecocks looked like they were going to lose by roughly one hundred points on their first few drives. Then the defense locked down, and the offense was less terrible.---Red Cup Rebellion

Photo: Joshua S. Kelly -- USA Today Sports

Tennessee Volunteers

Well, at least it's easy to figure out what the coaching staff will be working on all week. DAT SECONDARY.---Rocky Top Talk

Bless their hearts, those poor Volunteer defenders were just a bit confused. See, Bowling Green also wears a shade of orange, and they got a little confused. They'll be better next week. Oklahoma's colors are much different.---Rock M Nation

I do think that Tennessee is better than they were last season, but Bowling Green threw for over 400 yards against them. They've got to solve that problem if they're going to make it through their schedule.---Red Cup Rebellion

Texas A&M Aggies

It was staggering to see how well TAMU's defense played.  If that wasn't a temporary illusion, you have to figure this team just inserted itself into the fight to win the division.---Get the Picture

John Chavis is a necromancer. He took A&M's defense - a certifiable corpse last season - and resurrected it. A hulking stalfos warrior stands before us now, ready to lay waste to any offense foolish enough to wander into its lumbering path. Combine that with the ever-potent Aggie offense and it's hard to see them not challenging for the West. Going all-in on A&M after a stellar first game is always the right call.---Rock M Nation

Color me impressed. That was a complete dismantling of a very good team.---And the Valley Shook

Vanderbilt Commodores

At least they covered the spread.---Get the Picture

The Dores' only hope of getting out of the SEC cellar is if Kansas makes its way into the SEC.---Arkansas Fight

Vandy's going to lose a lot of games like this throughout the season. As poorly as Derek Mason has done so far in Nashville, he hasn't forgotten how to field a decent defense. He's going to hold teams to roughly 25-28 points, he just won't be able to put more than 17 on the board himself.---Rock M Nation

Photo: Joshua Lindsey -- USA Today Sports