While you’ve been subjecting the preliminary draft of my BlogPoll ballot to strict scrutiny, I’ve been cobbling together my ballot in the SEC Power Poll. There have been some changes from my week one rankings, and here is where the twelve Southeastern Conference teams now stand:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0): My thanks go out to the Tide for exacting the South’s long overdue revenge on Joe Paterno for the role he played as a corporal under Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain on the second day at Gettysburg.
2. South Carolina Gamecocks (2-0): I don’t want to be lumped in with that contingent of Georgia fans deemed dismissive of South Carolina, so I’ll simply say that no SEC team outside of Tuscaloosa has looked as good as the Gamecocks in the season’s first two outings.
3. Florida Gators (2-0): The Gators monkeyed around for two games in which they barely managed to get a center-quarterback exchange right, yet they outscored that pair of opponents 72-26. Imagine what they could do if they paid attention and played well for four quarters.
4. Auburn Tigers (2-0): Al Borges. Tony Franklin. Gus Malzahn. Is the so-called Loveliest Village where offensive coordinators’ careers go to die?
5. Arkansas Razorbacks (2-0): The Hogs held a 7-0 halftime lead on Louisiana-Monroe. Perhaps reports that Arkansas would be rewriting the SEC record book on offense were a smidgen premature.
7. Kentucky Wildcats (2-0): The ‘Cats have appeared solid in the preseason. Wait, those games actually count? Bill Snyder and Mike Leach are impressed.
9. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (1-1): The Western Division Bulldogs don’t have---or, perhaps, don’t yet have---the horses to field an upper-echelon team, but recent trends in Gainesville and in Starkville suggest that Dan Mullen was as critical to Urban Meyer’s success as Erk Russell was to Vince Dooley’s.
10. Tennessee Volunteers (1-1): Derek Dooley’s crew hung tougher with the Ducks for longer than I expected, but the road heading upward is long and the incline is gradual.
11. Mississippi Rebels (1-1): I know the Green Wave used to play in the SEC back in the day, but it’ll take more than a win over Tulane to erase the stigma of that loss on Labor Day weekend.
12. Vanderbilt Commodores (0-2): I hate to rank Robbie Caldwell’s club behind an Ole Miss outfit that fell to a Division I-AA team and didn’t exactly blow out a Tulane team that almost lost to a Division I-AA team, because the ‘Dores arguably are the best 0-2 team in America, but the fact remains that Vandy is the only winless team in the conference.