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SEC Power Poll (Week Nine): "Gone With the Wind" Edition

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It’s Sunday morning (cue Kris Kristofferson), so it’s time to fill out my SEC Power Poll ballot. Yeah, yesterday stunk, but, as was pointed out in one of the comment threads last night, tomorrow is another day, so here goes:

You know what? It turns out I’m not there yet. It turns out that the "Gone With the Wind" line that best describes my mood isn’t Scarlett’s line about tomorrow being another day, it’s Rhett’s line about not giving a damn. This was the most eviscerating Georgia loss since the 2008 Alabama game.

Any rational human being must acknowledge that Mark Richt’s stewardship of the Bulldog football program has seen dramatic strides in the right direction in comparison to what came before. Obviously, the Red and Black are better against every other rival under Mark Richt than they were under Ray Goff and Jim Donnan, but even Coach Richt’s 2-8 record against the Gators is of a different kind and character from Coach Goff’s and Coach Donnan’s combined 2-10 record against Florida. Eight of ten losses to the Orange and Blue between 1990 and 2000 were by double-digit margins, whereas five of our last seven setbacks against the Sunshine State Saurians have come by a touchdown or less.

That fact is equal parts encouraging and maddening. Frankly, Georgia reasonably could have won six in a row in Jacksonville between 2002 and 2007, and the law of averages alone ought to have accounted for at least a couple or three extra victories in the last decade. It was one thing losing to these guys in the 1990s, when the Gators were just plain better than the Bulldogs; except for last year, Florida has not come into the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party as the markedly better team since 2000.

In short, there’s absolutely no way the Bulldogs should have lost that game, and, until I come to grips with the fact that they did, I frankly don’t care about the order in which the twelve teams of the Southeastern Conference are ranked.

Don’t be surprised if this theme continues throughout the week.

Go ‘Dawgs!