The 2011 SEC Power Poll does not yet have a logo. I am not inclined to criticize my colleagues at Team Speed Kills for having all summer to get ready for something they knew well in advance was coming, and when, yet being totally unprepared for it when it arrived, because I am a Georgia fan, and I was in the Dome on Saturday night, so, hey, I’m used to that sort of thing. Here is how the twelve---it is still twelve, right?---teams of the SEC shake out after Labor Day weekend:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide: When you’re the preseason No. 1 team on my BlogPoll ballot and you do what you’re supposed to do in week one, you’re at the top of my SEC Power Poll ballot.
2. LSU Tigers: When you’re a top five team and you exceed my expectations straight out of the gate, you earn the No. 2 spot on my SEC Power Poll ballot.
3. Arkansas Razorbacks: All right, at this point, I’m just cutting and pasting from this week’s BlogPoll ballot, but, really, I have no reason to doubt this placement.
4. Mississippi St. Bulldogs: I don’t know whether this team would win the SEC East, but I know it can go to Memphis and trounce a Conference USA opponent, which impresses me, for some reason.
5. South Carolina Gamecocks: Ignore the mediocre effort against a halfway-decent opening opponent. The Palmetto State Poultry do this every year, and they always give the ‘Dawgs everything they can handle, and then some, in week two.
6. Florida Gators: They’re still the Florida Gators, unfortunately.
7. Tennessee Volunteers: The Big Orange had the lead at the end of 60 minutes of play, yet held on to win the game. Baby steps, people, baby steps.
8. Vanderbilt Commodores: The Commies took care of business at least as well as expected, which is more than may be said for any of the four teams ranked behind them.
9. Mississippi Rebels: When two opponents battle, and one of them is making a bid for independence, the Mississippians lose. Duh! Does this mean Vicksburg has fallen to the Mormons, and, if the Latter-Day Saints now control portions of the Magnolia State, does that mean it’s now allowed for you to marry more than one of your siblings there?
10. Georgia Bulldogs: Read this. Then read this. Then tell me I’m not being charitable by ranking the Red and Black in the top ten in the league.
11. Auburn Tigers: Ordinarily, a defending national champion needing a late rally and an onside kick to fend off a visiting patsy would have turned in unquestionably the worst performance of the weekend.
12. Kentucky Wildcats: This ain’t ordinarily, though.
Given my present state of mind, I could be wrong about any or all of that, so, by all means, let me know in the comments what I got wrong on my ballot.