Unbeaten Tennessee, Texas A&M and Alabama have done the best job riding momentum this season. Next week, however, at least one of them won’t be perfect.
Tennessee and Texas A&M meet on Saturday night at Kyle Field. Alabama faces a tricky road trip to Arkansas.
Here’s where the league stands as we look at the momentum rankings for each SEC school leading up to Week 6:
Rolling: Another week, another rout for the Crimson Tide. The defense stuffed Kentucky, allowing a pair of field goals. The offense piled up nearly 500 yards and 34 points.
Neutral: Another week, another non-offensive touchdown. Ronnie Harrison’s 55-yard fumble return made it seven consecutive games for Alabama getting points from its defense or special teams.
In reverse: Aside from a few nagging injuries, it’s hard to find much to fret about in Tuscaloosa.
Rolling: The Razorbacks buried Alcorn State 52-10 last week. Bret Bielema’s team sucked all the drama out of the affair with a 24-point first quarter.
Neutral: Arkansas rushed for 353 yards on 38 carries, a healthy 9.3-yard average. That’s what should happen when an SEC school plays Alcorn State.
In reverse: Whatever celebration that happened last week was short-lived. The Razorbacks now set their sights on Alabama.
Rolling: The Tigers dismantled Louisiana Monroe last week, piling up 36 first downs, 688 yards and 58 points.
Neutral: Auburn’s defense has been stingy all season. The Warhawks managed a lone touchdown and 251 yards of offense.
In reverse: The athletic budget, as Auburn will play its first road game of the season this week at Mississippi State.
Rolling: The defense, despite a host of injuries on the line, led the Gators in a 13-6 road win against Vanderbilt. Jarrad Davis had 15 tackles and 3 pass breakups.
Neutral: The gear the Florida offense has been stuck in since the first half against Tennessee. Fifteen first downs and 236 yards of total offense were all it could manage.
In reverse: Whatever gains the offense may have made with Luke Del Rio behind center. The quarterback might return from his knee injury this week, and that could spark the offense.
Rolling: What the buses will do as the Bulldogs try to shake off the heartbreak of the loss to Tennessee with a win at South Carolina.
Neutral: With the flashes shown by true freshmen Jacob Eason, Riley Ridley and Isaac Nauta, the future on offense has to be considered bright.
In reverse: Losing a game to a bitter rival on a last-second heave into the end zone is about as soul crushing as losses get.
Rolling: It’s hard to leave a game against Alabama with anything “rolling,” but Kentucky safety Mike Edwards was busy, tallying a dozen tackles.
Neutral: A good way to describe the reaction to the 34-6 loss. Harrison’s fumble return in the second quarter broke open a close game. The Tide hammered out a win from there.
In reverse: With 2 more turnovers, the Wildcats are minus-7 in turnover margin. That ranks last in the SEC and tied for 123rd nationally.
Rolling: Interim coach Ed Orgeron and new offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger set a school record for yardage in an SEC game against Missouri without their best player. Not bad for a debut.
Neutral: When the Tigers are right, their running game carries the load. Six touchdowns and 418 yards on the ground is about as sturdy as it gets.
In reverse: Assuming Hurricane Matthew behaves itself, LSU will visit Florida this week. The competition is better, and the stakes are a little higher for Orgeron & Co.
Rolling: The number of healthy players on the roster, after an early week off. That will help when Auburn visits Saturday.
Neutral: Despite only 26 wins and 61 losses to Auburn in the series, Mississippi State has won three of the last four meetings.
In reverse: The perception that this might be an easy win for the Bulldogs. It’s certainly a game they can win, but Auburn is playing better than it was early in the season.
Rolling: After an alarmingly bad effort in a 42-7 road loss to LSU, not much. Michael Scherer and Thomas Wilson combined for 27 tackles.
Neutral: For the eighth time in the past two seasons, the Tigers failed to reach 100 yards rushing. It’s hard to be successful playing one-dimensional football.
In reverse: The defense, which had been stout, was gashed early and often by LSU running backs Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams.
Rolling: The Rebels never trailed against Memphis, paying back the Tigers for last year’s defeat. Eugene Brazley and Akeem Judd each topped 100 yards rushing. That was a welcome change from the usual production by the running backs.
Neutral: Tight end Evan Engram had 4 catches for 82 yards and a score. He ranks third in the conference with 30 receptions.
In reverse: Ole Miss will take this week off to prepare for its trip to Arkansas next Saturday.
Rolling: For the Gamecocks, it always was going to be the defense that got sorted out first. Coach Will Muschamp and coordinator Travaris Robinson have that unit playing well, and it kept them in the game against Texas A&M.
Neutral: Elliott Fry, usually one of the SEC’s most reliable kickers, missed a pair of field goals against the Aggies. He is 7 of 10 this season.
In reverse: With Georgia coming off the Hail Mary loss to Tennessee, this is the perfect week to catch the Bulldogs in a letdown spot. Can the offense score enough points to pull off the upset?
Rolling: Call it destiny. Call it luck. Call it whatever you like. The Volunteers are 5-0 for the first time since 1998. Next up is a trip to Texas A&M and what should be a loud and rowdy Kyle Field crowd.
Neutral: Derek Barnett doubled his season sack total with 2 against Georgia, including 1 that forced a fumble that the Vols recovered for a touchdown.
In reverse: Three of the 5 wins have featured escape acts by Tennessee. As the season progresses and the competition gets stiffer, the Volunteers will need less magic and more consistency to stay unbeaten.
Rolling: It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but Texas A&M staved off South Carolina’s upset bid to improve to 5-0 last week.
Neutral: The Aggies gave up a 75-yard touchdown run to A.J. Turner on the first play. They allowed only 2 field goals and 303 yards the rest of the way.
In reverse: This is the third year in a row that Kevin Sumlin’s team has started 5-0. In each of the last two years, the Aggies lost Game No. 6 by an average of 17.5 points. That’s a trend A&M will look to buck.
Rolling: The Vanderbilt defense did all it could in a 13-6 home loss to the Gators. But, we’ve heard that story after Vanderbilt games before, haven’t we?
Neutral: Zach Cunningham was his usual active self in the middle of that defense, racking up 14 tackles against Florida. He leads the SEC with 52.
In reverse: Vanderbilt’s games have gone this way in 2016: loss, win, loss, win and loss. If the pattern holds, the Commodores will defeat Kentucky, reach 3-3 overall and try to make a bowl game. If it doesn’t, things might get even uglier in Nashville.