We’re already one-sixth of the way through the regular season, and while no team is a finished product, we’re starting to get some ideas about them.
Which coaches are heading for the hot seat, and which have steadied the ship? Who’s gaining the upper hand in a quest for playing time, and who’s following other programs on Twitter?
Here are the momentum rankings for each SEC school leading up to Week 3:
Rolling: Nothing is guaranteed, but it seems likely that Jalen Hurts is going to be the starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. He’s second in the SEC in passer rating, behind fellow freshman Jacob Eason.
Neutral: It’s early, but it looks like the Crimson Tide defense has picked up right where it left off last season. The unit, which has broken in five new starters, trails only Florida in total defense among SEC schools.
In reverse: The offensive line didn’t play up to Nick Saban’s standards in the win against Western Kentucky. Alabama needs moer from this group against Ole Miss.
Rolling: Just about everyone associated with the program. Road wins against Top 25 teams always are cause for celebration, and a 41-38 overtime triumph against TCU qualifies.
Neutral: Rawleigh Williams III is answering questions about his ability to be a workhorse running back. He’s had 52 carries for 233 yards already this year.
In reverse: Nike, or at least the folks responsible for spelling “Akransas” on the front of T.J. Hammonds’ jersey last week.
Rolling: The offense. OK, it was against a somewhat-depleted Arkansas State team, but 706 yards is impressive against anyone. Sean White was pretty good at quarterback, too.
Neutral: On defense, the Tigers were stingy once again. The offense doesn’t have to be perfect when your defense is allowing only 16.5 points per game.
In reverse: The people calling for Gus Malzahn’s head. It’s amazing what a 51-point outburst will do for a coach’s standing among the fan base.
Rolling: Luke Del Rio’s 320 passing yards against Kentucky were the most a Florida quarterback has produced since John Brantley’s 329 against Furman back in 2011.
Neutral: The defense continued a pleasant trend from its opening game, allowing a single touchdown against Kentucky.
In reverse: Coach Jim McElwain cited the need for improvement from his special teams, particularly with field goals and penalties.
Rolling: Defensive lineman Trenton Thompson had a monster game against Nicholls, piling up 11 tackles and a sack.
Neutral: Eason continued his on-the-job training, and Nick Chubb had his moments running behind an offensive line that had an off day.
In reverse: Saturday’s near miss should serve as a wake-up call for a team that didn’t look all that ready to play.
Rolling: Jojo Kemp and Sihiem King are second and third in the conference in kickoff return average. That’s something, right?
Neutral: The entire program. With back-to-back 5-7 seasons, this was supposed to be the year the Wildcats broke through for a bowl berth. That goal seems out of reach at the moment.
In reverse: It’s now 30 losses in a row to Florida, and another year for Kentucky’s coaches and players to answer questions about it.
Rolling: Derrius Guice, filling in at running back for Leonard Fournette, tallied 155 yards and a score in last week’s win.
Neutral: Coordinator Dave Aranda’s new defense nearly replicated its good Week 1 numbers, allowing Jacksonville State 368 yards and 13 points.
In reverse: Brandon Harris has been dropping transfer hints on Twitter, despite Les Miles’ best efforts to keep the quarterback race open between him and Danny Etling.
Rolling: Nick Fitzgerald took the quarterback job and literally ran away with it. He befuddled South Carolina, rushing for 195 yards, a school record for a quarterback.
Neutral: J.T. Gray continued his strong play from the “star” linebacker position, racking up eight tackles against the Gamecocks.
In reverse: Paranoia about the state of the program. The win against the Gamecocks makes it easier to believe that the season-opening loss to South Alabama was a fluke.
Rolling: The offense jumped off the missing-persons list and ran wild against Eastern Michigan. QB Drew Lock was especially dialed in, tossing 5 touchdown passes to go along with 450 yards.
Neutral: The opinions outside Columbia about the program. Are the Tigers as good as they looked last week, or as toothless as they were in the opener?
In reverse: Jokes about the offense. The 61 points last time out were more than Missouri had scored in its last six games combined.
Rolling: The Rebels are trying to notch three wins in a row against Alabama. That’s the only momentum anyone’s discussing this week.
Neutral: Offensively, Hugh Freeze’s team was solid, if not spectacular, against FCS opponent Wofford. There always was going to be one eye on the Crimson Tide.
In reverse: The injury bug continues to bite Ole Miss. Receiver D.K. Metcalf joined corner Ken Webster and running back Eric Swinney on the shelf with long-term ailments.
Rolling: OK, maybe “rolling” is a little strong, but freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain provided a rare spark for an otherwise dormant offense against Mississippi State.
Neutral: The Gamecocks still are bad against the run. Among SEC teams, only Kentucky is allowing more rushing yards per game than South Carolina’s 229.5.
In reverse: Unrealistic expectations. A win at Vanderbilt in the opener was a good start, but the loss in Starkville provided a valuable lesson for a team still in transition from the Steve Spurrier era.
Rolling: I promised not to make any more NASCAR jokes about the Volunteers’ win at the Battle at Bristol. Let’s just say it’s nice to win a national spotlight game in front of the largest crowd in the sport’s history.
Neutral: It will be tempting for players to look past Ohio this week to the showdown with Florida that follows. Butch Jones and his staff will be working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.
In reverse: Linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. will miss this week’s game with a high-ankle sprain. It’s far more important that he play next week than this one.
Rolling: If an SEC school is going to play Prairie View A&M, it should win in impressive fashion. The Aggies, with a 67-0 effort, did just that.
Neutral: All of the good feelings from the opening week win over UCLA carried over into last week’s rout. It’s still sunny in College Station.
In reverse: The difficulty ramps up several notches this week with a trip to Auburn. The Tigers defense will be the best Texas A&M has seen so far in 2016.
Rolling: It seems impossible for Vanderbilt to have a quiet, 23-point win against Middle Tennessee State, but somehow it happened. Not bad for the Commodores, who were only a 3.5-point favorite at kickoff.
Neutral: Running back Ralph Webb continued his assault on the Vanderbilt record book with 211 yards and 2 touchdowns.
In reverse: Negativity. There was a here-we-go-again factor after the opening-night loss to South Carolina, but last week’s strong showing brings new optimism for Derek Mason’s squad.