Having already cast my preliminary BlogPoll ballot, I turn now to the SEC Power Poll, which may or may not line up with my top 25, because, as a member of the State Bar of Georgia, I reserve the right to plead alternately and inconsistently. The twelve teams in the Southeastern Conference stack up as follows:
1. Florida Gators: No evidence yet suggests that the Sunshine State Saurians are not the best team in the country. If you’re the best team in the country, you must also be the best team in your conference. Unless you’re a Big 12 team given a free pass to the BCS national championship game, of course.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide: The Red Elephants are a somewhat shakier pick for the second spot this week after struggling to put away Nobody State, but put away the West Bumble Wheat Shuckers they eventually did.
3. Mississippi Rebels: This is still based purely on preseason speculation, since Ole Miss had an open date, which also is called a bye week. I did not, however, use the term "idle," because, for all I know, Jevan Snead got some laundry done and completed a term paper. I’m not going to accuse the Rebs of sloth just because they didn’t play a game.
4. Georgia Bulldogs: The Red and Black manufactured some offense, won a shootout despite getting maybe the best effort ever by the Palmetto State Poultry between the hedges, and, perhaps most impressively, parked a couple of kickoffs in the end zone.
5. LSU Tigers: The Bayou Bengals are this close to making a disbeliever out of me, but I’ll give Louisiana State the benefit of the (growing) doubt for another week. Whenever I question Les Miles or trust him, he always proves me wrong.
6. South Carolina Gamecocks: Steve Spurrier can still call a good game. Although a lack of depth generally causes the Big Chickens to fade down the stretch (which is why they tend to struggle more with Florida and Tennessee late than with Georgia early), the defense is fundamentally sound and Stephen Garcia is coming into his own. Boy, I sure hope that’s the case.
7. Arkansas Razorbacks: The Hogs are clicking offensively, but can they get it done on defense before Bobby Petrino abruptly quits to
replace Dan Hawkins at Colorado replace Al Groh at Virginia take the Florida job after Urban Meyer bolts for Notre Dame pursue other opportunities?
8. Auburn Tigers: Was that actual offense we witnessed last weekend? Well, I’ll be danged. Now if only they could spell.
9. Kentucky Wildcats: The next five Saturdays will tell us whether the Bluegrass State Felines are bowl contenders. After taking last weekend off, the ‘Cats are set to tangle with Louisville, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, and Auburn. Win two of those and another postseason berth is a pretty good bet.
10. Tennessee Volunteers: I told you so! If the Big Orange flop the way we all expect them to do against the Gators, Rocky Top will have hit rock bottom. I may rank Tennessee 13th in the SEC next week.
11. Vanderbilt Commodores: The Music City Sailors showed grit and heart against LSU. Unfortunately, what they did not show was talent, which seems to have a disproportionate impact when deciding the outcomes of football games.
12. Mississippi St. Bulldogs: The good news is that the Western Division Bulldogs’ offense has improved. The bad news is that their defense’s regression has outpaced the offense’s progess. Still, you have to admire the methodical way in which MSU stinks at one thing at a time.
That, at least, is how it appears to me, but your estimation may vary. Let me know what you think in the comments below.