clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

SEC Power Poll, Week 15: It Had To Happen This Way.

Thomas B. Shea

Way back in July, 238 college football writers covering SEC Media Days cast votes for the winners of the conferences two divisions. None picked either Auburn or Missouri, the two teams who will meet in Atlanta on Saturday for the SEC title.

And that tells you everything you need to know about this season in the Southeastern Conference. This weekend the last vestiges of order and sanity were shredded from the carcass, and we were left with the fractured bones of what had been hailed as the nation's premier football conference back in August. And who was it who did the deed? It was us. All of us. The SEC ate its own this season with a vicious ferocity which we have all known was possible but which has been largely avoided over the past few seasons. This injury-infested, upset-riddled, jalopy of an SEC season was headed in the general direction of HAM-ville all year long. The fact that it took this long to get there, to the land of utter chaos, is really the biggest surprise.

Now we have several good but not undefeated college football teams, all of whose losses are utterly defensible but nevertheless there for the voters to see. Oh, and we also have Kentucky and Arkansas. Let's not forget them. As best I can do it, here's my ranking of the SEC's football teams, top to bottom. As usual, you can compare it to the infinitely more defensible final poll results posted at Team Speed Kills.

1. Auburn. Are the WarTigerGlorylandPatrons lucky? You bet your ass. But they've also managed to be there at the end against excellent football teams to give luck a chance to happen, and then capitalized on it when it did. If nothing else I can take solace in the fact that luck has a way of turning around on you, and Gene Chizik had a heckuva rookie campaign, too.

2. Missouri. Seriously? Missouri really only has one loss? How the hell did that happen? If nothing else, Bulldog fans can take heart from the fact that Missouri had the kind of injury luck Georgia has in 2013 during their 2012 campaign.

3. Alabama. I'm not sure why Nick Saban ain't got no special teams coordinator or a better tacklin' kicker, PAWL.

4. LSU. I know what you're thinking, how can I have a 9-3 LSU squad ranked this high? The answer: This is a power poll, I watched them bludgeon Texas A&M recently, believe (although some would disagree) that they'd do the same to South Carolina, and the Georgia team they fell to earlier this year is now lost to the sands of time and orthopedic surgery.

5. Texas A&M. We now know that Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans are good for 8 wins pretty much by themselves. They damned sure didn't get any help from the Aggie defense. On the bright side, Kevin Sumlin now has 6 years to figure out how to groom incoming QB Kyle Allen into the next Johnny Football, or get paid obscenely to try.

6. South Carolina. {In his best Perry Como voice} Although it's been said . . .many times, many ways . . . Clemson gonna Clemson.

7. Georgia. Oh, what might have been. On the bright side, the defense held Tech below its offensive season averages and the team pulled together and came from behind to win despite a couple of emotionally devastating weeks of football. The 'Dawgs can now look forward to a likely Big Ten bowl opponent and 15 practices to get a head start on 2014. Hutson Mason isn't Aaron Murray. But when you look at the field of SEC quarterbacks returning next season, neither is any of them.

8. Vanderbilt. What did Jim Grobe ever do to you, you monsters!!!

9. Mississippi State. Dan Mullen's team winning the Egg Bowl made no sense. The game itself made no sense. Dak Prescott is clearly some sort of gimpy-shouldered wizard whose best spell is making Dan Mullen's hot seat disappear.

10. Ole Miss. If only Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss brain trust had the foresight to find Dak Prescott's girlfriend a scholarship and some spending money.

11. Tennessee. Clearly better than Kentucky but obviously a step behind Vanderbilt is not where Volunteer fans want to be for the long term.

12. Florida. Ended the season with a seven game losing streak which was equal parts tragic and hilarious. Quit on Will Muschamp with the sort of dedication and zeal Gainesville residents usually reserve for the Black Friday sale at Jorts-N-Stuff.

13. Arkansas. The Bielemas will be a big hit at Karma Bowl festivities.

14. Kentucky. Go rest high on that mountain, Wildcats. Your work on the field is done.

Am I wrong? Does it really matter anymore? Where are we, and why are we all in this great big bloody hand basket? Feel free to answer any or all of these questions in the comments below. Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!