You’ve seen my initial BlogPoll ballot draft, so now it’s time for us to turn our attention to this week’s SEC Power Poll. Here is how the Southeastern Conference stacks up from where I sit:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0): Nothing the Red Elephants have done this season suggests to me that Nick Saban is fielding anything less than the most complete team in the country. Yes, I know the preceding sentence will be quoted on at least four ‘Bama message boards inside of an hour.
2. Florida Gators (4-0): The Sunshine State Saurians are very, very good, and I have the sinking feeling that they’re going to be the 1993 Philadelphia
Filthies Phillies . . . namely, rested and ready for whichever team emerges from the brutal battle in the other division. Of course, Florida does have to contend with the Florida St. Seminoles . . . oh, never mind.
3. LSU Tigers (5-0): The win over Washington wasn’t particularly impressive. The win over Mississippi State wasn’t particularly impressive. The win over Georgia wasn’t particularly impressive. You know what? You keep beating everybody you play, and, after a while, it gets pretty impressive.
4. Auburn Tigers (5-0): You might think I’m upset over the fact that the Plainsmen are good again, but, in fact, I am ecstatic over the fact that the Plainsmen are good again. If Auburn is playing good football, after all, probation can’t be far behind! (I hate Auburn.)
5. South Carolina Gamecocks (4-1): I pretty much have to park the Palmetto State Poultry in this spot, which they likely will retain next week after the Big Chickens beat Kentucky. I figure 5-1 is about the point at which South Carolina turns into Michigan State with a Southern accent and goes 1-5 down the stretch. If you think I’m disrespecting the Gamecocks, check their schedule.
6. Mississippi Rebels (3-1): I spent last Saturday in the company of a University of Mississippi alumnus who was receiving text messages throughout the day from other University of Mississippi alumni. This taught me two things. First of all, an Ole Miss fan is the perfect person to take to a game against Louisiana State, because half the fun of college football is vitriol for the other team, and, since I bear the Bayou Bengals no ill will, it was good to be accompanied by someone who hates LSU the way I hate Auburn. (I hate Auburn.) Secondly, this is both true and true for a reason.
7. Georgia Bulldogs (3-2): It is what it is. I have no idea what that means, but that’s who we are.
8. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (2-3): Dan Mullen’s club is the best 2-3 team in America. I swear that’s not an insult.
9. Tennessee Volunteers (2-3): I would point out that Lane Kiffin has yet to beat a BCS conference opponent, but I’m absolutely terrified that my alma mater is going to be his first victim, and we’re never going to hear the end of it.
10. Arkansas Razorbacks (2-2): Clearly, leaving the Southwest Conference was a bad call.
11. Kentucky Wildcats (2-2): All right, so the ‘Cats are way worse than teams ranked in the top three. They’re also better than utterly crummy non-conference opponents who play poorly. That sounded like more of a compliment in my head.
12. Vanderbilt Commodores (2-3): Really, that whole bowl thing was cute. Sincerely, it was. However, we need at least one team in the league to stink on ice, and, after nine decades of trying in vain to replace Dan McGugin, the ‘Dores are it.