The Red and Black had the weekend off, but that doesn’t mean the Southeastern Conference lacked for action. On Saturday, the league wasn’t so much shaken up as shaken out, and here is how the teams landed when it came time to fill out my SEC Power Poll ballot:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0 overall, 3-0 SEC): ‘Bama crushed Mizzou in a deluge. At this point, the Tide may be bringing Old Testament plagues with them.
2. Florida Gators (6-0, 5-0): The Sunshine State Saurians carded a couple of quality wins in the course of cobbling together a 6-0 start, but let’s not forget the fake punts and MAC scares that went into that process, as well.
3. LSU Tigers (6-1, 2-1): Stifling defense, dedication to the ground game, and field goals for the win. Louisiana State looks like every good Georgia football team I’ve ever seen.
4. South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1, 4-1): The significance of Saturday’s outcome for the Bayou Bengals is that, if LSU runs the table and wins the SEC Championship Game, the Tigers likely will play for the national championship. The significance of Saturday’s outcome for the Gamecocks is that, if South Carolina runs the table and wins the SEC Championship Game, the Garnet and Black likely will play for the national championship.
5. Texas A&M Aggies (5-1, 2-1): I don’t know that I’d exactly call that SEC football, but it sure was fun to watch.
6. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0): All right, all right, all right; I know they’re undefeated, but their six-point win over a .500 Troy club on the road seriously is no worse than their second most impressive victory of the autumn.
7. Georgia Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1): The ‘Dawgs looked better during the bye week than they have on any Saturday this season other than the Vanderbilt game.
8. Tennessee Volunteers (3-3, 0-3): The good news is that, when Sonny Dykes is hired to be the head coach at an SEC program in December, Derek Dooley will be able to return to Louisiana Tech and get his old job back.
9. Mississippi Rebels (4-3, 1-2): This is exactly the kind of turnaround a team expects when it hires a Batman villain as a head football coach.
10. Vanderbilt Commodores (2-4, 1-3): At what point are we allowed to come right out and say that “the new Vandy” really is just “the same ol’ Vandy, only now with more obnoxiousness”?
11. Missouri Tigers (3-4, 0-4): “The Zou”? More like the petting zoo.
12. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-4, 2-2): Yeah, I know the Hogs have managed to work their way back to .500 in conference play, but we all know that’s just the prelude to the next John L. Smith implosion.
13. Auburn Tigers (1-5, 0-4): There are few embarrassments more absolute than losing to Ole Miss by 21 points.
14. Kentucky Wildcats (1-6, 0-4): Losing to Arkansas by 42 points is one of them.
That, at least, is how I see it. Because your mileage may vary, though, your feedback is welcome in the comments below.