Let’s start by getting one thing straight: The SEC Power Poll is, as the name implies, a power poll, whereas the BlogPoll, at least on my ballot, is arrived at through resume ranking. We are, however, one Saturday into the season, which means the data from which we are working are exceedingly few, so I am going to apply some (albeit only some) common sense here. Yes, I know Tennessee beat a much better team than Louisiana State did, but I’m not going to vote the Vols ahead of the Bayou Bengals because, come on, dude, get real. Based upon their respective week one performances, I stacked up the 14 Southeastern Conference clubs in the following sequence:
2. LSU Tigers (1-0): It’s not that rolling North Texas, 41-14, isn’t impressive; it’s just that it isn’t as impressive as rolling Michigan, 41-14.
3. Tennessee Volunteers (1-0): Enjoy the lofty poll position while you can, Big Orange fans. Meanwhile, the rest of us will enjoy the thought that Derek Dooley just bought us all an extra year of making fun of his hair, his pants, his press conference comments, and his disciplinary practices.
4. Missouri Tigers (1-0): If Mizzou wanted to legitimize itself as an SEC program, lighting up a bad Division I-AA team from the Pelican State was as good a way as any to start.
5. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (1-0): I’m not going to bother with trying to distinguish between Jackson State and Jacksonville State; I’m just going to give the nod to the Bizarro Bulldogs for beating their tomato can, 56-9, while the Hogs bested theirs only by a 49-24 margin after being tied at the end of the first quarter.
6. Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0): Brent Musburger sees it differently, but I think this team is going to get ridden hard and put up wet by ‘Bama, though John L. Smith’s debut went well.
7. Texas A&M Aggies (0-0): It was a masterstroke to schedule an away game in the path of a hurricane so it could be postponed, thereby sparing the Aggies from displaying the league-wide malaise that infected most of the rest of the conference.
8. South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0): The Garnet and Black are in sole possession of first place in the SEC East. That’s about the best that can be said of Thursday night’s performance.
9. Vanderbilt Commodores (0-1): Evidently, the “new Vandy attitude” is to lose close ones the way the Commies always have, but to be jacklegs about it in the process.
10. Auburn Tigers (0-1): That’s going to be the Plainsmen’s last trip to the Georgia Dome for a while.
11. Georgia Bulldogs (1-0): It could have been worse than leading a MAC team by eight points at the half; the ‘Dawgs could have been tied with a MAC team in the third quarter.
12. Florida Gators (1-0): It could have been worse than being tied with a MAC team in the third quarter; the Gators could have been trailing Central Arkansas by six points at intermission.
13. Mississippi Rebels (1-0): It could have been worse than trailing Central Arkansas by six points at intermission; the Black Bears could have gotten skunked by a Big East team.
14. Kentucky Wildcats (0-1): It literally could not have been worse.
You are, as always, encouraged to give me feedback and constructive criticism on my SEC Power Poll ballot. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.