I look forward each week to voting in the latest SEC Power Poll, in the same sense that Prometheus looked forward each morning to having the eagle come and eat his liver. Let the soul-crushing exercise in outraged self-loathing begin!
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0): I’ve never sat down and written out a list of "ways to convince me you’re the best team in the SEC," but, if I did, I would write at the top of the list: "Grind the Gators into a fine powder." By the way, that also is what I would write at the top of the list of "ways to get me to like you and buy you things."
2. Auburn Tigers (5-0): Seriously, am I being punished for something? It’s hard to interpret Georgia being bad and a Gene Chizik-coached rival being good at the same time as anything other than malevolent forces in the universe conspiring together to make everything intolerably awful at once. I hate Auburn.
3. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1): The Palmetto State Poultry are the only SEC East team that did not lose last weekend. I’m almost positive the Book of Revelation contains a reference to such an event as a sign that the end times are upon us.
4. LSU Tigers (5-0): Whatever positive mojo the Georgia faithful ordered from Amazon.com was misrouted and delivered to Baton Rouge instead. If ever there was a team that lived by the maxim that it is better to be lucky than good, this is it.
5. Florida Gators (4-1): The fact that the Sunshine State Saurians have looked crappy all season is the one redeeming feature of this horrid football season, and even that virtue is tainted by the fact that, even though Georgia and Florida both have played one good game and four lousy ones, the Bulldogs are 1-4 and the Gators are 4-1. There is absolutely nothing resembling justice in this existence.
6. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1): The Hogs’ best win was a loss to ‘Bama. The Razorbacks’ actual victories are pretty much meaningless, unfortunately.
7. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (3-2): A couple of weeks ago, Georgia fans were griping about getting another crummy third-rate meaningless bowl bid. It’s increasingly clear that the crummy third-rate meaningless bowl bid addressed to the Bulldogs will be sent to Starkville rather than Athens.
8. Mississippi Rebels (3-2): This is the part where I remind you that this is a power poll. Yes, the Rebs’ opening loss to Jacksonville State was the most embarrassing loss by an SEC team so far this season, but Ole Miss has since improved to the point where the Rebels now can beat lousy teams.
9. Kentucky Wildcats (3-2): For all the progress this program made under Rich Brooks, the fact remains that beating Kentucky doesn’t make you good, but losing to Kentucky makes you bad.
10. Tennessee Volunteers (2-3): After the Bluegrass Miracle, teams should know better than to celebrate wins over LSU early. That was a terrible way to lose a football game, but the Big Orange showed considerable fight by hanging with the Tigers on the road.
11. Vanderbilt Commodores (1-3): Give Robbie Caldwell his due . . . he knows how to make 1-3 look charming and folksy! As for his team, Vandy stayed with Connecticut for a half, which is an accomplishment.
12. Georgia Bulldogs (1-4): Maybe the problem is that Mark Richt is a New Testament kind of guy, and the issues in Athens are more of the Old Testament variety, with vengeance, plagues, stolen birthrights, and suchlike. Is there a religion out there that believes man is born to trouble, the sparks fly upward, and pork is an acceptable entree?
That’s your SEC Power Poll. Feel free to go back to your fuming and depression.