Another weekend of Southeastern Conference football is behind us, which means the time has come for me to cast my weekly SEC Power Poll ballot. The divisional races have started to shake themselves out slightly, and, while the West owns the top two spots in the rankings, the East occupies three of the top five slots, and five of the top eight.
Here, in my estimation, is the order in which the league’s twelve teams now stand:
1. LSU Tigers (3-0): A pair of 13-point wins over Oregon and Mississippi State, neither of which came in Baton Rouge, have established the Bayou Bengals as the league’s top team.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0): ‘Bama has beaten its non-conference cupcakes---yes, after Saturday, I’m counting Penn State as schedule fodder---in the anticipated manner. The Tide’s season starts next week.
3. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0): The Palmetto State Poultry were impressive, refocusing after a hard-fought emotional win in Athens in time to hold off a fired-up Navy club running an unconventional offense.
4. Florida Gators (3-0): The Sunshine State Saurians’ scoring has declined each and every week of the Will Muschamp era. I’m just saying.
5. Vanderbilt Commodores (3-0): Sure, I know the Commies are a chimera, but they have two wins over AQ conference teams. How many SEC squads can say that right now?
6. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-0): Alabama earned the No. 2 spot by throttling the Tide’s patsy opponents. The Hogs earned the No. 6 spot by conceding 28 points to Troy in Arkansas’s latest glorified scrimmage.
7. Georgia Bulldogs (1-2): Please bear in mind that this is a power poll; based on what I have seen so far, I would pick the Red and Black to beat any of the five teams ranked below them. Of course, all five of them are on the Athenians’ schedule, so I may have to eat my words on that one. Actually, that probably would be the way to bet.
8. Tennessee Volunteers (2-1): I feel bad for the situation in which the Vols find themselves. Then I remember that they hired Lane Kiffin, and I don’t feel so sorry for them.
9. Auburn Tigers (2-1): Winning nailbiters against suspect competition and losing by two touchdowns against what likely will prove to be a mediocre team are not the hallmarks of a quality club. Neither is ranking last in the league in scoring defense.
10. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (1-2): Bill Nye said Wagner’s music was better than it sounded. In that spirit, maybe the Magnolia State Mongrels are better than they’ve played.
11. Kentucky Wildcats (2-1): The Bluegrass State Bobcats just lost, 24-17, at home to a team that just lost, 24-17, at home to Florida International. How was Kentucky not an ACC expansion target?
12. Mississippi Rebels (1-2): Ole Miss is so bad, it scares me, because I know Mark Richt will be fired on the spot if Georgia loses to the Rebels next weekend. If Mississippi wins next Saturday, Greg McGarity will drop Mark Richt off at Square Books, leave him sitting on the second-floor porch overlooking the Confederate monument with a copy of The Wild Palms, and return to Athens by way of Tuscaloosa so he can pick up Kirby Smart along the way. That’s how bad the Black Bears are.
You are, of course, free to disagree, so I welcome your constructive criticisms in the comments below.