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It was an exciting yet ultimately uneventful Saturday in the Southeastern Conference, as a couple of upsets almost happened but didn’t. Accordingly, the SEC Power Poll looks much the same as it looked last week. Here, from first to worst, are the twelve teams of the SEC:
1. Auburn Tigers (11-0): Yesterday, the Plainsmen were idle. Insert your favorite age-old cliché about the devil’s workshop here.
2. LSU Tigers (10-1): Let me get this straight; Les Miles didn’t go for it on fourth down even once, the opposing coach went for it on fourth down five times and moved the chains on four of those attempts, and the Bayou Bengals still won? Somewhere, Daniel Webster is preparing the closing argument he will deliver on behalf of the Mad Hatter.
3. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-2): I recently ran across a cool food weblog called Southern Fried Curry. I don’t mention that for any particular reason; it just occurred to me to pass that along to everyone instead of offering some smart-aleck commentary on Alabama’s most recent game.
4. Arkansas Razorbacks (9-2): If the placement of the two sets of Tigers atop my ballot did not provide enough evidence that there is no justice in the world, Bobby Petrino’s team beating Dan Mullen’s team in double-overtime surely proved it beyond a reasonable doubt.
5. South Carolina Gamecocks (8-3): At halftime, an astonished Steve Spurrier said the Palmetto State Poultry had never had a game like their outing against Troy, and he indicated that he intended to run the ball and play his reserves in the second half. Who are you, and what have you done with the real Darth Visor? More to the point, how the heck did the Evil Genius become the easiest coach for whom to root among the conference’s top five teams?
6. Mississippi St. Bulldogs (7-4): The Western Division Bulldogs probably are going to finish the autumn with eight regular-season wins, and they narrowly missed out on victories over my first- and fourth-ranked teams. Mississippi State has been the pleasant surprise of the season in the SEC.
7. Florida Gators (7-4): Give a Florida fan a bottle of bourbon or some sodium pentothal, then ask him whether he wishes Urban Meyer had stayed retired and Jeremy Foley had hired Dan Mullen to replace him. If you find a Gator booster who tells you he’s glad Nikki Meyer didn’t get her daddy back, let me know.
8. Georgia Bulldogs (5-6): For the seventh Saturday this season, some or all of the Georgia coaches and players took the weekend off. Unfortunately, the first six such Saturdays fell on days on which the Bulldogs had games scheduled.
9. Tennessee Volunteers (5-6): The Vols are one win away from earning a bowl trip to some exotic distant locale like Memphis or Nashville.
10. Kentucky Wildcats (6-5): Yes, I’m going ahead and counting the Blue and White’s upcoming loss to the Big Orange. You know as well as I do that the Kentucky fans have already moved on to basketball, anyway.
11. Mississippi Rebels (4-7): LSU-Ole Miss may be the conference’s most underappreciated rivalry. In the future, to save time, the league office may just want to give both teams 30 points and let them play for six minutes.
12. Vanderbilt Commodores (2-9): Bobby Johnson’s sudden change of heart about coaching this season makes a lot more sense now.
The order in which I have the SEC teams ranked seems pretty cut-and-dried to me, but, as always, I welcome your constructive criticisms and questions in the comments below.