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SEC Week 3 power rankings: Mississippi State on the move, Tennessee in free fall

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Mississippi State crushes LSU (0:46)

Nick Fitzgerald rushes for two scores and throws for two more as Mississippi State tops No. 12 LSU 37-7. (0:46)

With Week 3 in the books, it's time to update the conference power rankings.

1. Alabama (3-0): A bunch of second- and third-stringers saw the field against Colorado State, so maybe the stats were a little skewed. However, one spot continues to beg scrutiny: with five linebackers out with injuries, including two season-ending surgeries, the long-term outlook at the position is troublesome.

2. Georgia (3-0): A 42-14 home win over Samford doesn’t tell us all that much about Georgia that we didn’t know a week ago, when it went on the road and beat Notre Dame. But Jake Fromm put together a nice game with three touchdowns and no interceptions, and it was good to see Nick Chubb break the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time this season.

3. Mississippi State (3-0): Say hello to the Bulldogs, who go from unranked in the national polls to No. 3 in our power rankings. Todd Grantham has done one of the best jobs among all coordinators in college football turning around that defense, and Nick Fitzgerald continues to improve at quarterback.

4. Vanderbilt (3-0): Lookout, SEC East. Dare we say there's a new contender in the mix? The Commodores' 14-7 win over then-No. 18 Kansas State was a statement win, one that put the rest of the division on notice that this is no longer a "gimme" game for anybody.

5. Auburn (2-1): The only reason the Tigers are this high on the list is because their lone loss is on the road by one possession against a top-four team. Gus Malzahn’s offense, however, continues to disappoint, failing to get right against lowly Mercer, winning in spite of five turnovers.

6. Florida (1-1): You’ve got to give credit to the defense. But not even a last-second 63-yard touchdown pass to win the game makes up for that anemic offensive performance. Jim McElwain has to stick with Feleipe Franks at quarterback and hope for significant improvement in the coming weeks to catch up with Georgia in the division.

7. LSU (2-1): The Tigers take a tumble down the rankings after getting throttled by Mississippi State. LSU got beat up front (on both sides) and was sloppy (nine penalties, 112 yards), and the offense left much to be desired.

8. Kentucky (3-0): The Wildcats are determined to become a factor in their division and showed it with a 23-13 win over South Carolina. If Kentucky can figure out a way to beat Florida in Week 4, watch out.

9. Tennessee (2-1): The Tennessee-Florida game was a battle of offensive ineptitude that the Gators won by default as the Vols turned the ball over three times and connected on just two of five field-goal attempts in The Swamp.

10. Arkansas (1-1): The Razorbacks were off this week but have a critical Week 4 game awaiting: their annual clash with Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. They have yet to beat the Aggies since they became leaguemates.

11. Texas A&M (2-1): The Aggies actually trailed the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns 21-14 at halftime but scored 31 unanswered points in the second half to pull out a 45-21 win. There's still reason to feel uneasy about this team, however, and things won't begin to become clearer until they get into SEC play -- which starts in Week 4 vs. Arkansas.

12. South Carolina (2-1): The Gamecocks couldn't run the football (20 attempts for 54 yards) and lost receiver Deebo Samuel to injury in a loss to Kentucky. Suddenly, things don't look as bright for this team as it did a week ago.

13. Ole Miss (2-1): While going on the road to Cal was a difficult test, blowing a nine-point halftime lead is a tough pill to swallow. Once again, the Rebs need to develop a running game to support Shea Patterson and Co. throwing the football.

14. Missouri (1-2): Things have gone from bad to worse for the Tigers, who were dominated 35-3 by Purdue. They have seemingly hit rock bottom in the relatively early stages of the Barry Odom era, and there's a wonder how many games this team can actually win the rest of this season.