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Georgia inside linebacker Tate Crowder (30) tackles a Vanderbilt player during the first half of the University of Georgia football game at Vanderbilt University on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. At the end of the half, Georgia led Vanderbilt 21-6. (Photo/Gabriella Audi www.gabbyaudi10.wixsite.com/mysite-1)

Each week of the 2019 season, The Red & Black football writers will rank the teams of the SEC. This week, The Red & Black gives our conference rankings after Week 1. 

Tier One: Alabama, Georgia

It was smooth sailing for the top two teams in the conference in the season’s first week. Alabama defeated Duke 42-3 at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and Georgia had Vanderbilt’s number in a 30-6 victory in Nashville. Both defenses didn’t allow a touchdown against their overmatched opponents, an especially good sign for Alabama, a team that lost linebacker Dylan Moses to a torn ACL prior to the first game. Both teams have easy opponents on this week’s schedule. Alabama will play New Mexico State and Georgia will play Murray State. — Henry Queen

Tier Two: LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn

LSU dominated Georgia Southern 55-3 and showed it can operate an efficient no-huddle spread offense. Texas A&M handled Texas State with ease and managed to stay healthy after Week 1. The Aggies will be tested for the first time next week as they travel to Clemson to take on the top team in the country. Auburn set the tone for its season with a 27-21 last-minute win over Oregon. Freshman quarterback Bo Nix proved he can perform on clutch drives. The Tigers have nothing short of a rocky road of opponents ahead, but the victory in Dallas was the first step in the right direction. — Anna Glenn Grove

Tier Three: Florida

Florida’s matchup against in-state rival Miami provided more questions than answers for the Gators. Florida ended up winning the game 24-20 but had four turnovers, including two interceptions by quarterback Feleipe Franks. Given the team’s penalties, turnovers and rampant mental errors, it’s unclear if Florida is ready to challenge the best in the SEC. — Nathan Moore

Tier Four: Mississippi State, Kentucky, Arkansas

It took a while for these three to get ahead of some underwhelming Week 1 opponents. Arkansas failed to gain a large lead against an FCS team and defeated Portland State by a single touchdown. Toledo, a MAC opponent, led Kentucky for much of the first quarter, and the Sun Belt’s Louisiana kept Mississippi State on its toes. While all three SEC teams managed to get in the win column, their performances left much to be desired. — Augusta Stone

Tier Five: South Carolina, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Tennessee

It was a brutal weekend in the basement of the SEC. All four of the tier-five teams suffered losses. Vanderbilt was not competitive against Georgia and Ole Miss fell despite allowing just 15 points to Memphis. South Carolina was downed by North Carolina in head coach Mack Brown’s return and lost its starting quarterback to injury in the process. However, the biggest catastrophe of the weekend was in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Vols hit rocky bottom, dropping a 38-30 decision to Georgia State in their season opener. Oh, and Missouri lost to Wyoming in Kelly Bryant’s debut. None of these schools look poised to make a run quite yet. — Myan Patel

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