I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve had about as good a weekend this weekend as David Letterman had last weekend. In addition to my obvious disappointment with Saturday’s loss and its aftermath, I had to pick up my 19-month-old daughter, Elizabeth, early on Friday, which severely cut into the productivity of my workday and necessitated that I go in to the office on Sunday afternoon to make up for lost time. (Depending upon your particular inclination in Biblical interpretation, that may mean I’m going to Hell, so all you Georgia Tech fans who have declared your support for such a result while singing your fight song ought to be pleased that I risked eternal damnation.) Florida and Georgia Tech both won. To top it all off, my aforementioned daughter managed to get hold of my cell phone on Friday evening, and the place where she put it has yet to be determined. It’s been a pretty crummy weekend.
Accordingly, rather than dive headfirst into my BlogPoll ballot, I’m going to take the easy route and stick with this week’s SEC Power Poll, which only requires me to examine twelve teams instead of 25. Here is how the Southeastern Conference stacks up, at least from my point of view:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0): I genuinely don’t understand the argument for any team other than ‘Bama being ranked No. 1, either in the conference or in the country. While I take nothing away from the Sunshine State Saurians, I have seen few flaws in the Tide, who have been more dominant against what thus far has been a tougher schedule. I have yet to see any argument other than preseason poll inertia for treating Alabama as the runner-up to anyone.
2. Florida Gators (5-0): The Orange and Blue are a solid football team, although ESPN tends to overlook the reason why. I saw a headline at the Worldwide Leader’s website describing Tim Tebow’s effort against Louisiana State as "superhuman." Uh . . . the Gators scored 13 points in Baton Rouge. Was Joe Cox superhuman when he lead the ‘Dawgs to a 13-point outburst against the Bayou Bengals, too? It’s the defense, dude.
3. LSU Tigers (5-1): Les Miles’s squad is the Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns of the SEC in 2009. Louisiana State is a good football team that happens to have the misfortune of playing in the same league at the same time as Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
4. South Carolina Gamecocks (5-1): The schedule gets tougher in November, as it always does for the Palmetto State Poultry, but, so far, they’re winning the games they’re supposed to win.
5. Auburn Tigers (5-1): While the Plainsmen’s bubble was burst against the Hogs (which was all that redeemed my weekend), Auburn battled back and the fight they showed indicated that these are not just paper Tigers.
7. Mississippi Rebels (3-2): Tied for last place in the Western Division was not where Ole Miss expected to be at this juncture, but Houston Nutt has done a heck of a job of bringing those overly lofty expectations down to a more manageable level.
8. Tennessee Volunteers (3-3): Lane Kiffin has firmly entrenched his Big Orange club as the best 3-3 team in the Southeastern Conference. Are you people happy now?
9. Georgia Bulldogs (3-3): Willie Martinez has firmly entrenched the Red and Black as the worst 3-3 team in the Southeastern Conference. That, or every sub-par quarterback in the league just coincidentally happens to have his breakout game the week the ‘Dawgs come up on the schedule. The over/under on games remaining on Georgia’s schedule in which the Classic City Canines surrender 35 or more points is three.
10. Kentucky Wildcats (2-3): Rich Brooks’s ‘Cats are scrappy. Of course, "scrappy" only gets you as far as the Music City Bowl, but, still, it’s progress.
11. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (2-4): Dan Mullen has turned this into a program on the rise. Unfortunately, when you start at the bottom of a pit, it’s a long way up to the ground floor. On the plus side, if you’re at the bottom of a pit, you might find a Big Ten victory trophy!
12. Vanderbilt Commodores (2-4): This is a recording.