The top teams in the SEC—ever more clearly Alabama, LSU, and Florida—scored big margin wins in week four.
The Georgia Bulldogs won the so-called "Coach Hot Seat Bowl" and Mississippi State, Auburn, and South Carolina turned in less than stellar performances but still notched wins.
Georgia 27, Ole Miss 13
Alabama 38, Arkansas 14
Florida 48, Kentucky 10
Mississippi State 26, Louisiana Tech 20 (OT)
South Carolina 21, Vanderbilt 3
Auburn 30, Florida Atlantic 14
LSU 47, West Virginia 21
Alabama may not have a flashy offense. It doesn't need one either. With a smothering, hard-hitting defense, solid special teams, and an electric player like RB Trent Richardson, Alabama is going to be increasingly difficult to get around as the season goes forward. Arkansas' offense was befuddled for almost the whole day and without a running game or a viable defense, the Hogs can get used to not being in the upper crust of the SEC.
LSU played around with West Virginia in the third quarter and allowed the Mountaineers to make it close—for a second. Then the Tigers turned on the gas and blazed past WVU. LSU's offense isn't dynamic but it's effective and moreover, the punishing style at which it runs the ball provides a good compliment to great defense and special teams units. LSU has a long row to hoe, but three wins away from home against ranked competition is an impressive start to a season.
Note to Vanderbilt: Look at Atlanta, Georgia and Annapolis, Maryland, and go hire someone to run that offense. South Carolina served up four interceptions, and your excuse for an offense couldn't cash in any of that for touchdowns. In fact, it only got three points off of them. Trust me, you'll be pleased with the results. If nothing more, at least you'll give opponents something to prepare for on the offensive side of the ball.
And while I'm there, if South Carolina was stock, today would be a fire sale of it. Everything but Steve Spurrier and Marcus Lattimore must go.
Speaking of stock, Mississippi State and Auburn will both take a hit for lackluster performances against far inferior competition. Both teams have a ton of problems to fix and as both of those teams march towards stiffer competition, one wonders if there will be room or time to fix them.
Check back later this week for a preview of week five's SEC games.