Momentum is a powerful thing, and that fact was on full display in Week 4.
Tennessee rode it to 38 unanswered points in a come-from-behind win against Florida, and Les Miles didn’t have enough of it to keep his LSU job after a heartbreaking loss at Auburn.
Here’s where the rest of the league stands as we look at the momentum rankings for each SEC school leading up to Week 5:
Rolling: The best way to establish momentum? Bring in Kent State and pound out a 48-0 victory.
Neutral: Joshua Jacobs made the most of his opportunity to play against the Golden Flashes, picking up 97 yards and 2 scores on the ground.
In reverse: The rise of Jalen Hurts has encouraged backup quarterback Blake Barnett to transfer out of the program.
Rolling: Quarterback Austin Allen was solid again last week, throwing for 371 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Neutral: Dre Greenlaw made 11 tackles against the Aggies last week, and now has 32 on the season. That’s good for fifth in the SEC.
In reverse: The Texas A&M defense lived in the Arkansas backfield last week, notching 10 tackles for losses. The offensive line will try to take out those frustrations on Alcorn State.
Rolling: One second of game clock meant the end of Miles’ tenure at LSU, and a much-needed shot in the arm for Gus Malzahn and the program in general.
Neutral: Daniel Carlson hit 6 field goals, and that was all the offense the Tigers could muster.
In reverse: The knives pointed at Malzahn. It’s amazing how different things would be if LSU could have snapped the ball a bit sooner on that last play.
Rolling: After that frightful second-half performance, it’s hard to find many positives. Quarterback Austin Appleby played pretty well in his first start at Florida, and Antonio Callaway caught 4 passes for 134 yards.
Neutral: Alex Anzalone grabbed the team lead in tackles with a dozen against the Volunteers.
In reverse: It was a breakdown of epic proportions after the half. The offense couldn’t move the ball, and the defense couldn’t stop the Vols. It was probably a rough day in the film room Sunday.
Rolling: It may have happened late, but running back Brian Herrien picked up 78 yards and 2 touchdowns against Ole Miss.
Neutral: Quarterback Jacob Eason looked like a true freshman Saturday. He completed 16 of his 36 passes for 137 yards and no touchdowns on the day while delivering an interception.
In reverse: Ole Miss dominated the Bulldogs in every way possible last week. The challenge will be to shake that off and gear up for Tennessee.
Rolling: Later games will tell us if this was a turnaround for the Kentucky defense or the product of facing a bad offense. But the Wildcats held South Carolina to 10 points and 268 yards of total offense last week.
Neutral: Stanley “Boom” Williams racked up 123 yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries. The “thunder” to Boom’s lightning, Benny Snell, added 73 yards and another score.
In reverse: Stephen Johnson II was sacked 4 times by the Gamecocks, which was just one less than the Wildcats had in their first three games. Not a good night for the offensive line.
Rolling: The defense faced 75 plays and allowed more yardage than it would have liked, but kept Auburn out of the end zone. As it has been all season, that unit was solid.
Neutral: Leonard Fournette led the way with 101 yards, and the Tigers rushed for 220 on the night — at nearly 7 yards per carry.
In reverse: No matter which side of the Miles debate you come down on, firing a head coach and turning a staff over after Week 4 is a bad look for the program.
Rolling: Dan Mullen’s halftime speech must have been pretty good, as the Bulldogs tallied 28 points in the third quarter to break open a close game against UMass.
Neutral: Fred Ross continues to build his NFL Draft stock, hauling in 8 balls for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns last week.
In reverse: Mississippi State’s defense allowed 22 first downs, 411 yards of total offense and 35 points against a team that’s won nine games in the past five seasons.
Rolling: Delaware State isn’t very good, and Missouri treated the Hornets as such. The 79 points were a school record, and the zero on the other side looks good, too.
Neutral: Drew Lock leads the SEC in passing yards (1,508) and touchdowns (14), thanks to his 402-yard, 5-touchdown day last time out.
In reverse: The Missouri athletic department’s budget, for the $525,000 check it had to write Delaware State.
Rolling: The Rebels finally looked as good for an entire game as they had looked in the first half against Alabama and Florida State. Georgia caught a beating in Oxford from a team that hit on all cylinders.
Neutral: Quarterback Chad Kelly continued his strong start to the season, accounting for 335 yards and 3 scores.
In reverse: It’s nit-picky, but the Ole Miss defensive reserves got pushed around a bit late in the contest.
Rolling: With a couple of receiving options missing in action, tight end Hayden Hurst filled the void with 7 receptions for 84 yards. Darius English also picked up 3 sacks to vault him into second in the league standings.
Neutral: The Gamecocks are last in the league in yards and points per game, and looked the part against Kentucky, which came in as the league’s worst-rated defense. They managed only 10 points and 268 yards of offense in Lexington.
In reverse: Before the season began, the perceived weaknesses of the Gamecocks were inexperience and a lack of quality depth all over the roster. Both showed up in spades against Kentucky.
Rolling: A second half for the ages helped snap a 11-game losing streak against Florida. It’s the sort of game that can define a season for a program.
Neutral: Quarterback Joshua Dobbs accounted for just 123 yards and no touchdowns in the first half before exploding after the break to finish with 399 yards of total offense and 5 touchdowns.
In reverse: Pundits waiting for the Volunteers to buckle under the weight of expectations. Of course, a few of them are still pointing to this week’s road game against Georgia.
Rolling: The ground game rolled over the Razorbacks in the late stages of the win over Arkansas. Trevor Knight and Trayveon Williams combined for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns on about 14 yards per carry.
Neutral: The Aggies are the runaway leader in the league in tackles for losses with 40. They had 10 against Arkansas, and that sort of disruption is tough for opposing offenses.
In reverse: When is the last time you saw the words “hot seat” and “Kevin Sumlin” in the same story? It’s amazing what a 4-0 start can do to silence a coach’s critics.
Rolling: The Commodores needed two yards to force overtime on the road against Western Kentucky last week, and Ralph Webb got them. Vanderbilt then scored to start the extra session, and the Hilltoppers matched the touchdown with one of their own. Coach Jeff Brohm elected to go for two, however, and the Commodores held firm.
Neutral: Zach Cunningham, Torren McGaster and Ja’karri Thomas each made 9 tackles on the night for the defense.
In reverse: Coach Derek Mason would like to shake the loss-win, loss-win pattern with which his team has started the season. A good chance arrives this week, when a potentially-flat Florida squad visits Nashville.