USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg breaks down the latest Amway Coaches Poll.
USA TODAYTennessee took another shocking loss, but the Southeastern Conference still won Saturday. SEC teams went 11-3 in Week 2 even with the Volunteers falling to BYU at Neyland Stadium. The other SEC teams to fall were Texas A&M somewhat respectably to No. 1 Clemson and Vanderbilt far less tolerably to Purdue. Overall, it was a solid week for the conference. Missouri bounced back from its head-shaking defeat to Wyoming with a 31-point throttling of West Virginia. Most notably, LSU went to a hostile environment in Austin an knocked off the No. 9 Longhorns. Where does that land the Tigers in this week’s powering rankings? You might be somewhat surprised to see. No. 1 Alabama (2-0)The conference champs are the conference champs until they’re dethroned. There’s no reason to bump them down until they lose their crown. The Crimson Tide put a beat down on New Mexico State, 62-10. Head coach Nick Saban was asked what his team gets out of a game like that. He wasn’t having any of it. “Do I think we can get better in games like this? I do,” he said. “If you approach the game right and you practice the right way and you prepare and have the right focus and you play to your standard, you can get better playing anybody.” Let’s see how much better his team gets with its first SEC opponent on the schedule next week. Next up: at South Carolina (1-1)WINNERS AND LOSERS: Highs and lows from college football’s Week 2MISERY INDEX: Michigan, Washington join FSU, Tennessee in rough placeTIGERS ROAR: LSU’s offense finally goes from archaic to arcade gameNo. 2 Georgia The Bulldogs were Alabama’s biggest threat in 2018, and they remain so two weeks into 2019. Like Bama, Georgia took care of an inferior opponent in Week 2 – beating Murray State 63-17 – as it prepares for the tougher slate of games that lies ahead. Next up: at Arkansas State (1-1)No. 3 LSU Some might say LSU deserves to be ahead of Georgia after beating Texas on the road 45-38. Senior quarterback Joe Burrow leads the conference in a slew of passing statistics as the LSU offense looks to be truly revamped. Important to note: Texas replaced eight defensive starters this year. While LSU’s new offense is impressive, it’s put up numbers against defenses that aren’t exactly world class. A win over a Big 12 opponent that hasn’t won that conference in a decade and is still forming its footing in the national landscape again isn’t enough to vault ahead of Georgia either. Amway Coaches Poll voters think the same, too. LSU still ranks behind the Bulldogs in the poll. Next up: Northwestern State (0-2)No. 4 Florida (2-0)The Gators were back in action for the first time in two weeks against Tennessee-Martin. They won easily, 45-0. What head coach Dan Mullen has been able to do with quarterback Feleipe Franks remains intriguing. Franks went 25-of-27 with 270 yards and two touchdowns. Florida remains Georgia’s biggest threat in the SEC East. Up next: at Kentucky (2-0)No. 5 Auburn (2-0)It sure wasn’t an exhibition of offense against Tulane on Saturday. Freshman quarterback Bo Nix barely completed 50% of his passes (19-of-37) as the Tigers gained just 379 yards against the Green Wave. On the other side of the ball, though, it must’ve been refreshing to keep Tulane out of the end zone. And the Oregon offense that Auburn held to 21 points in Week 1 broke loose for 77 against Nevada. It’s obvious which side of the ball Auburn’s strength is on. Next up: vs Kent State (1-1)No. 6 Texas A&M (1-1)It wasn’t an exhibition of offense for the Aggies, either. They didn’t score a touchdown against No. 1 Clemson until there were six seconds remaining in the game. Texas A&M only mustered 289 yards in their 24-10 loss to the Tigers, but the Aggies held what could be the best offense in college football to 389. Chalk that up as a second moral victory in as many seasons against national champs. Next up: vs Lamar (2-0)No. 7 Mississippi State (2-0)If he stays healthy, senior quarterback Tommy Stevens could be quite the difference maker for the Bulldogs this season. He went 9-of-10 for 105 yards and two touchdowns before leaving MSU’s game against Southern Miss at the end of the first half. Even without Stevens, Mississippi State cruised to a 38-15 victory. The defense isn’t what it was a season ago, but Stevens and running back Kylin Hill, who leads the SEC in rushing yards with 320, have the offense running like a well-oiled machine. Next up: vs Kansas State (2-0)No. 8 Kentucky (2-0)We’ll find out if the Wildcats are for real again when they host Florida this weekend. There’s not much to glean from wins over Toledo and Eastern Michigan.Kentucky beat Florida for the first time since 1986 last year. No way Mark Stoops and company can pull it off again, especially after losing starting quarterback Terry Wilson for the year to a knee injury — right? Next up: vs Florida (2-0)No. 9 Missouri (1-1)Ah, much better Barry Odom. The taste of losing to Wyoming was all but washed from the Tigers’ mouth with a refreshing 38-7 thumping of West Virginia. Senior quarterback Kelly Bryant’s passing yardage dipped from 423 to 150, but he led his team to victory this time around. That’s all that matters. Next up: vs Southeast Missouri State (1-1)No. 10 South Carolina (1-1)Another team that bounced back in a big way. After losing to North Carolina, a team that won two games a season ago, the Gamecocks got right by hanging 72 points on Charleston Southern. Freshman Ryan Hilinski threw for 282 yards on 24-of-30 passing in his debut. Unfortunately for him, it won’t be that easy in his second game. Next up: vs Alabama (2-0)No. 11 Mississippi (1-1)In a battle between two SEC teams that combined for one conference win last year, the Rebels emerged victorious and equaled their 2018 SEC win total. Ole Miss beat Arkansas 31-17. Ole Miss was much better on both sides of the ball than it was in a season-opening loss to Memphis, but it must remain grounded. Arkansas, after all, is the only SEC team the Rebels managed to beat last year too. Next up: vs Southeast Louisiana No. 12 Vanderbilt (0-2)It couldn’t get worse than a 30-6 loss to Georgia, could it? Well, it probably did. The Commodores gave up 509 passing yards and five touchdowns to senior quarterback Elijah Sindelar in a 42-24 loss to the Boilermakers. Ouch. Next up: vs LSU (2-0) on Sept. 21No. 13 Arkansas (0-2)The only reason the Razorbacks aren’t cellar-dwelling is because there is a team below them on this list that took a historic loss Saturday. Next up: vs Colorado State (1-1)No. 14 Tennessee (0-2)Ah yes, about that historic loss. With their 29-26 double overtime loss to BYU, the Tennessee Volunteers are 0-2 for the first time since 1988. The lull period of Tennessee football is hitting new lows under head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Next up: vs. Chattanooga (1-1)AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide