It was a great weekend of college football, and we learned a lot about some teams in the SEC. With that, here are the stocks of every SEC team going into Week 5, and whether they are rising, falling or holding.
Alabama — Stock Rising
The gap between the Crimson Tide and the rest of the SEC may the biggest its ever been since Nick Saban took over in 2007. Going into Week 4, Vanderbilt had the No. 1 overall defense in college football. Where do they stand after playing Alabama? No. 31 overall. Bama’s second and third stringers looked like they could start on most SEC teams, and it is going to take a monumental upset to take down college football’s best team.
Auburn — Stock Rising
Jarrett Stidham finally had a breakout game in an Auburn jersey, going 13-of-17 passing with 218 yards and a touchdown, and added 35 yards on the ground in their 51-14 win over Mizzou. Despite putting up 51 points, the defense may still be the strength of this team, and if Gus Malzahn can get something consistent going on offense, Auburn will be dangerous.
Arkansas — Stock Falling
Arkansas and Texas A&M continue to produce thrillers year after year. With the latest edition of the young rivalry, the Razorbacks lost an overtime heartbreaker in Cowboy Stadium. There is a lot of young talent on this team, and they’ve had a tough schedule so far, but at the moment it looks like Bret Bielema’s seat is getting warmer and warmer unless he can turn in around. Arkansas fans won’t be happy with 6-6.
Florida — Stock Holding
Let me be clear, I do not think Florida is a good football team. The Gators are 2-1 but could very well be 0-3 if it weren’t for poor coaching by Butch Jones and Mark Stoops, and they have a revolving door at quarterback. However, credit Jim McElwain for keeping his team composed and winning in dramatic fashion in the fourth quarter of both games. Their matchup this week against Vanderbilt at home should be an interesting one.
Georgia — Stock Rising
We thought Mississippi State might be the second best team in the conference after their impressive win over LSU in week three, but Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs drubbed Dan Mullen’s Dawgs, 31-3. Nick Fitzgerald was unable to escape that nasty front seven and Jake Fromm looked like he might steal the starting job right out from under Jacob Eason. Georgia could be for real.
Kentucky — Stock Rising
Kentucky had a 27-14 lead in the fourth quarter and lost the game 28-27. Remind you of anything? The Wildcats were oh so close to breaking a 30 year streak against Florida, but a defensive collapse had the Gators snatching the game away for the second week in a row. If Mark Stoops is a defensive guy, how does Kentucky leave a wideout that open? Not once, but twice?
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is a picture for reference.
That play resulted in a touchdown to tie the game in the second quarter, and it happened again inside the 5-yard line with less than a minute left for Florida to take the lead. Nonetheless, the Wildcats showed some fight, and with games against Eastern Michigan and Mizzou coming up, they have an opportunity for a 5-1 start.
LSU — Stock Falling
LSU looked to have this game handily won in the third quarter up 21-3 after an 87-yard touchdown, but Syracuse came back to make it a game, and the Tigers escaped with a 35-26 win. The jury is still out on if Coach O can be a long-term answer, but the Bayou Bengals have an easy one at home against Troy this week. We’ll learn a lot about the Bayou Bengals when they go to the swamp in two weeks for a revenge match.
Mississippi State — Stock Holding
The Bulldgos were brought back to reality on Saturday, but this is still a good football team. They will need to bounce back in a big way this week as they travel to Auburn, but they were completely outclassed from the first play in Sanford Stadium. We’ll find out a lot about this team this weekend.
Missouri — Stock Falling
With the exception of a 72-43 victory over FCS Missouri State, Mizzou has not been competitive in any of its games. It seems as though anyone can score on this defense, and they have averaged 10 points per game on offense against Purdue, South Carolina and Auburn. This team may not reach four wins this season.
Ole Miss — Stock Holding
The Rebels had a bye week on Saturday, but looked solid against a good Cal team on the west coast a couple weeks ago. Not much is expected of the Rebels this season with a self-imposed postseason ban and NCAA troubles, but Shea Patterson is still an exciting quarterback prospect and Matt Luke will have his team playing hard. They’ll have a tough time in Tuscaloosa this week.
South Carolina — Stock Falling
This is a team that I thought looked like a front-runner in the SEC East just a couple of weeks ago, but after a home loss to Kentucky and losing star receiver Deebo Samuel to a broken leg, the Gamecocks looked uninspired on Saturday, squeaking by Lousiana Tech 17-16. Will Muschamp probably needs a win at Kyle Field this Saturday to keep his East division crown hopes alive.
Tennessee — Stock Falling
The Vols looked bad last week. Like, really bad. The offense struggled to move the ball against a winless UMass team that’s considered to be in the bottom five of college football teams. And who knows, had their starting quarterback not gotten injured, the Minutemen might have pulled off the upset. The Vols have a lot to fix, and Butch Jones could be coaching for his job as they host red-hot Georgia this weekend.
Texas A&M — Stock Holding
The Aggies have looked awful since blowing a huge lead against UCLA in week one, but Kevin Sumlin got a huge overtime win in Arlington on Saturday. The defense still needs a lot of work, and Sumlin needs a home win against South Carolina on Saturday as they go into the meat of their schedule. Aggie fans are already getting impatient.
Vanderbilt — Stock Holding
When are people going to learn not to take a shot at Alabama right before playing the Crimson Tide? It never bodes well. Defensive tackle Nifae Lealou ate his words in a dominating 59-0 beatdown in Vanderbilt Stadium. Kyle Shurmur and that defense had played lights out against weaker opponents to that point, but they were brought back down to Earth on Saturday. The jury’s still out on Vanderbilt’s contender status in the division, but the Commodores certainly didn’t look it in Week 4.