Though every team in the Southeastern Conference was in action this past weekend, only a handful of teams faced legitimate opposition, though you wouldn’t have known that from looking at a few halftime scores. Here is how the ordering of the league’s teams has altered since I cast last week’s SEC Power Poll ballot:
1. Georgia Bulldogs (10-1 overall, 7-1 SEC): How do I justify keeping Georgia ahead of Alabama when the Bulldogs beat Georgia Southern, 45-14, and the Crimson Tide beat Western Carolina, 49-0? Well, there is the fact that the Eagles went on the road earlier in the season and beat the Catamounts, 45-13. ‘Bama walloped the Division I-AA team that got walloped by the Division I-AA team the ‘Dawgs walloped.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1): Reports of the Tide’s ebbing clearly were exaggerated.
3. Texas A&M Aggies (9-2, 5-2): Here we enter a stretch in which what you have done for me lately trumps being the team that beat the team. Though the Bayou Bengals beat the SEC West newcomers head-to-head, the Aggies are the team in that division you would least like to face right now.
4. LSU Tigers (9-2, 5-2): Some teams play for more style points. Louisiana State plays for Les Miles points.
5. Florida Gators (10-1, 7-1): Has there ever been a more punchless, less menacing ten-win team in the Sunshine State Saurians’ history?
6. South Carolina Gamecocks (9-2, 6-2): I’ve been defending the Garnet and Black all season as a legitimate perennial SEC East power that is past the point of suffering late-season swoons due to the loss of a single superstar to injury. USC’s being tied at seven with Wofford after three quarters did not help my case.
7. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (8-3, 4-3): Yeah, I’m pretty sure that proved more about how bad the Hogs are than it did about how good the Bulldogs are.
8. Vanderbilt Commodores (7-4, 5-3): I don’t know if there’s been a culture change in Nashville, but James Franklin has darned sure produced a culture change in Knoxville.
9. Mississippi Rebels (5-6, 2-5): Ole Miss showed considerable fight against LSU, but the Rebs still have to score an upset in the Egg Bowl to become eligible for the postseason.
10. Missouri Tigers (5-6, 2-5): If it hadn’t been for Georgia’s loss to the Orangemen in the 1989 Peach Bowl and Florida’s loss to Syracuse in 1991, we’d be sending Mizzou back to the Big 12 for that.
11. Arkansas Razorbacks (4-7, 2-5): I guess we know why his parents didn’t name him John W. Smith.
12. Auburn Tigers (3-8, 0-7): Be honest, now; you weren’t entirely convinced the Plainsmen weren’t going to lose to Alabama A&M, were you?
13. Tennessee Volunteers (4-7, 0-7): Evidently, kicking the you-know-what out of Vanderbilt isn’t the one thing Tennessee always does!
14. Kentucky Wildcats (2-9, 0-7): I don’t see any way this team’s season finale against the Big Orange avoids being named the national game of disinterest.
As always, your questions, constructive criticisms, observations, and reasonable arguments for contrary positions are welcome and invited in the comments below.