If you want the short version of this week’s SEC Power Poll ballot, here it is: it’s 1993 all over again. Alabama is the defending national champion, the Crimson Tide and the Gators are headed for an SEC Championship Game showdown, and Georgia is 0-3 after losses to South Carolina and Arkansas. Beyond that, the specific placements of the
eleven teams of the SEC plus us twelve teams of the SEC are as follows:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0): After a first-half effort eerily reminiscent of the Bulldogs’ first half against the Razorbacks, Nick Saban’s team demonstrated the heart of a champion with a comeback win on the road.
2. Florida Gators (4-0): We always knew it was just a matter of time before Urban Meyer’s crew put it together. Now they have.
3. Auburn Tigers (4-0): Like the Tide, the Plainsmen staged a comeback to claim victory over a division title contender. Should I unban Johnnycolorado just to see if he’ll apologize?
4. LSU Tigers (4-0): The Bayou Bengals held off West Virginia. I can’t downgrade Louisiana State, since the Tigers keep on winning, but I also can’t shake the sense that they’re not as good as their record.
5. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1): The Hogs are better than they were, but they’re not yet an elite team. Still, there’s no shame in a Cotton Bowl berth!
6. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1): The ‘Cocks are better than they were, but they’re not yet an elite team. Still, there’s no shame in a Capital One Bowl berth!
7. Kentucky Wildcats (3-1): Oh, that’s why the ‘Cats didn’t play anyone for the first three weeks! Is it basketball season yet?
8. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (2-2): Last week, I told you the Western Division Bulldogs were the best 1-2 team in the league. Well, now they’re the best 2-2 team in the league, dang it.
9. Mississippi Rebels (2-2): I almost moved Ole Miss ahead of its in-state rival, since beating Fresno State represents a significantly greater achievement in 2010 than beating Georgia, but the Rebs remain hamstrung by losses to Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt.
10. Tennessee Volunteers (2-2): The Blazers have been a peskier opponent for more SEC teams than you may realize, but, even so, being taken to double-overtime by a Conference USA club at home is not the hallmark of a good football team.
11. Vanderbilt Commodores (1-2): Taking the weekend off was a darned fine idea. I wish we’d thought of it.
12. Georgia Bulldogs (1-3): What’s worse than seeing your team’s six-game winning streak over Arkansas end? Seeing your team’s nine-game winning streak over Mississippi State snapped. There’s simply no way to argue with a straight face that this isn’t the worst team in the SEC right now.
Honestly, it’s inconceivable to me that this week’s SEC Power Poll won’t consist of a bunch of ballots identical to that one, because the only placement I even consider arguable concerns Ole Miss, which played the best Bulldog squad to compete against an SEC opponent this weekend. Nevertheless, your comments and constructive criticisms are welcome in the comments below.