With each passing week, we learn a little more about the SEC and its member schools.
For example, we know Ole Miss has trouble holding leads. We’re confident in suggesting Kentucky struggles to stop the run, and we’re pretty sure Alabama’s Jalen Hurts is a star in the making.
Here are the other things we’re thinking as we look at the momentum rankings for each SEC school leading up to Week 4:
Rolling: Jalen Hurts occupied this space in last week’s rankings, and the buzz around him is only getting louder. He rushed for 146 yards and threw for 158 more in the come-from-behind win against Ole Miss.
Neutral: Calvin Ridley led the SEC in receptions last fall, and after hauling in eight passes for 81 yards last week, he’s only one catch off the lead this season.
In reverse: On a day where Hurts and Damien Harris each topped 100 yards rushing on better than eight yards per carry, Bo Scarbrough managed only 13 yards on seven attempts.
Rolling: The Razorbacks defensive line dominated Texas State, allowing 22 rushing yards and notching four sacks in a 42-3 win.
Neutral: The Razorbacks were expected to win big against the Bobcats, and they did. It wasn’t surprising, but it still serves as a nice springboard for team as a whole heading into the Texas A&M game.
In reverse: Ryan Pulley’s Twitter feed, after Bret Bielema scolded him for complaining about his schoolwork.
Rolling: The ground game built on its strong performance against Arkansas State by putting up 236 yards and two scores in a losing effort against Texas A&M.
Neutral: At this point, ripping Auburn quarterbacks for inconsistency seems like piling on. Frankly, last weekend, the offensive line’s inability to keep Aggies out of the backfield was a far bigger issue.
In reverse: When a school like Auburn has a 1-2 record, national pundits zero in on it as a potential landing spot for unemployed (or underemployed) coaches. So, this week, Gus Malzahn has to deal with Rick Neuheisel predicting that former Baylor coach Art Briles will be coaching on the Plains next year.
Rolling: The Florida defense is suffocating opponents so far in 2016. The Gators lead the SEC in rushing, passing, scoring and total defense — and it’s not particularly close.
Neutral: Redshirt freshman Jabari Zuniga continued his strong start to the season, recording three tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble
In reverse: The timing of Luke Del Rio’s knee injury couldn’t be worse. Not only was he hitting his stride, but now he’s going to miss his team’s most important game to date.
Rolling: The legend of Jacob Eason was already being written, but the latest chapter may be the most exciting. He threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns, including the game winner on a fourth-down play with 1:24 left.
Neutral: It was an uneven day for the Georgia defense. On the one hand, it allowed 471 yards of total offense, including 376 through the air. On the other, it forced five turnovers.
In reverse: This guy’s cooler and door, after Eason’s timely touchdown pass:
Everyone please look at what I have to deal with on a daily basis.
Go dawgs? pic.twitter.com/lj9CXKO3Nr
— Jeff Moore (@jeffrey_moore7) September 18, 2016
Rolling: The silver lining of Drew Barker’s back injury was the emergence of Stephen Johnson II. The JUCO transfer threw for 310 yards and three scores in relief of Barker and looked surprisingly comfortable on the big stage.
Neutral: The defense, especially against the run, has been terrible all season. New Mexico State piled up 500 yards of offense and 42 points, making this game far closer than it should have been.
In reverse: The Wildcats are giving away the football at an alarming rate. With three giveaways last time out, the total is now 10 — worst in the league.
Rolling: Danny Etling brought a little stability to the quarterback position, putting up 215 yards and a score while playing error-free football.
Neutral: Leonard Fournette returned from injury and posted his usual outstanding statistics (147 yards, 2 TDs).
In reverse: LSU played 30 minutes of good football in the win against Mississippi State, then coasted through the second half and barely held on. Playing the full 60 minutes will be a must next time out at Auburn.
Rolling: Linebacker Leo Lewis posted 10 tackles in a 23-20 loss at LSU, and leads all SEC freshmen with 26 on the season.
Neutral: Nick Fitzgerald and Damien Williams continued their timeshare at the quarterback spot, with the latter sparking the fourth-quarter rally.
In reverse: The Bulldogs managed only 56 yards on the ground with 32 carries and spotted LSU a 23-0 halftime lead. It’s tough to win that way.
Rolling: Offensively, coordinator Josh Heupel’s extreme makeover appears to be ahead of schedule. Drew Lock threw for 376 yards and three scores, and he leads the league in passing yards with 1,106.
Neutral: Without Alex Ross, the Tigers struggled to run the football against Georgia. Ish Witter led the way with 76 yards on 25 carries.
In reverse: Five turnovers in a one-point loss? This one is probably going to sting for a while.
Rolling: Evan Engram caught nine passes for 138 yards and a touchdown, and Chad Kelly passed for 421 yards and three touchdowns against the Crimson Tide.
Neutral: Another three-touchdown, first-half lead went by the boards for the Rebels. They’re 1-2, but with more consistency, could easily be 3-0 and ranked in the top 5.
In reverse: After the disappointing loss to Alabama, Georgia comes in for a visit this week. After becoming the first team in a decade to squander two 21-point leads in a season, confidence in Oxford has to be waning a bit.
Rolling: The Gamecock defense took the “bend, but don’t break” approach to new heights in a 20-15 win against East Carolina. ECU had a 91-53 edge in plays run and a 207-yard edge in total offense, but South Carolina kept them out of the end zone often enough.
Neutral: Freshman Bryan Edwards reeled in five passes for 68 yards, and is tied for seventh in the SEC in receptions with 15.
In reverse: The lack of depth in the secondary is a real issue. East Carolina’s Zay Jones had an eye-popping 22 catches for 190 yards.
Rolling: Josh Malone caught five passes for 69 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The junior leads Tennessee with nine catches, 146 yards and four scores on the season.
Neutral: The 28-19 win over Ohio meant that, for the third time in as many games, the Volunteers failed to string together four quarters of quality football.
In reverse: Injuries are mounting for the Volunteers, with Cam Sutton and Darrin Kirkland Jr. out for the Florida game. Other key players, like Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Chance Hall and Jalen Hurd, are dealing with some degree of injury this week, too.
Rolling: True freshman running back Trayveon Williams broke off an 89-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of a 29-16 win over Auburn to help put the game out of reach.
Neutral: The Aggies have a chance to complete their third-straight 4-0 September when they tangle with Arkansas at AT&T Stadium. The 3-0 start is the perfect cure for what was a turbulent offseason.
In reverse: Quarterback Trevor Knight is third in the league in yards with 820, but is completing less than 53 percent of his passes. After hitting on exactly 50 percent of his throws last week, he’ll be looking to be a bit more efficient going forward.
Rolling: True freshman receiver Kalija Lipscomb had six catches for 59 yards and the lone touchdown for Vanderbilt in a lopsided loss to Georgia Tech.
Neutral: Linebacker Zach Cunningham had seven tackles on the day, and ranks second in the conference with 29 on the season.
In reverse: Georgia Tech’s rushing attack can be a headache during a game, and it can shatter a defense’s confidence for weeks afterward. After allowing almost 300 yards on the ground, the Commodores need to move on from that contest as soon as possible.