SEC Power Rankings, Week 3: Ole Miss on the Rise

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Sep 12, 2015; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels linebacker John-Patrick Sherling (33) and Mississippi Rebels defensive back Trae Elston (7) tackle Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Zack Greenlee (17) during the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

It was a rough week for several SEC football teams, but Ole Miss is on the rise. How high can the Rebels climb in our Week 3 SEC Power Rankings?

The Southeastern Conference was riding high following an impressive Week 1 performance – 12 wins in 13 games – that included victories over strong and respected programs such as Louisville, Arizona State and Wisconsin. Week 2 featured the first three conference games of the 2015 season, but other than a primetime matchup between Tennessee and Oklahoma, where the Vols would have an opportunity to make another statement for the league, the rest of the slate appeared likely to be downright boring.

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Except it wasn’t boring. It was a wild week that was often frustrating and occasionally infuriating. And it all started with what should have been an easy victory over a FCS cupcake that nearly became one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

The Auburn Tigers needed a touchdown in the final minute of regulation just to tie Jacksonville State before escaping in overtime. Then, Arkansas lost to a team from the MAC. Missouri nearly lost to a team from the Sun Belt. Tennessee lost a 17-point lead – the largest lead the Vols have ever squandered – and Florida head coach Jim McElwain nearly lost his mind.

But, if there was a bright spot, it was Ole Miss. Well-known as one of the best defensive football teams in the country, the Rebels have exploded with back-to-back 70-point, 600-yard outbursts that make them arguably the nation’s best offense. Alabama and Georgia, the top two teams in our SEC Power Rankings in both Week 1 and Week 2, both won but could they stay ahead of the red-hot Rebels?

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