This is the first installment of the SEC Power Poll round table. For those of you unfamiliar with this "round table" format, the questions are hosted on one blog and each participating blog posts the answers to those questions on their own blog. After it's all said and done, another post on the host blog will highlight some of the comments.
Ken is on vacation this week, so I'll be taking this one on myself. The Round Table will be conducted every three weeks during the the college football season.
1. Pretend for a minute that Vanderbilt wasn't 2-0, then answer this question: What has been the most surprising thing in the SEC so far this season?
Alabama taking Clemson to the woodshed at the Georgia Dome. I don't think anyone could have seen that one coming. Satan Saban had the whole college football world buzzing, and I'm sure I saw a glint of fear in Mark Richt's eye.
2. Conference action has either just begun for most teams, or will Sept. 20. (The exception is Kentucky, which I believe plays I-AA teams until mid-November.) From what you've seen so far, how will your team fare in your division? If it's not going to win, which team will?
What the hell is the, "Let's all join together and make fun of Kentucky's schedule," crap anyway? UK's strength of schedule is firmly mid-pack in the SEC, and although it is very weak early it is certainly beneficial to our young quarterback and receiving corps. Imagine how ugly it could have been if UK played Georgia in week 3 instead of MTSU.
But to answer the question, I expect Kentucky to wind up somewhere along a normal distribution curve between 4-8 and 8-4 with 6-6 as the mean. Kentucky is highly unlikely to win the Eastern Division of the SEC, as it is arguably the toughest subdivision in all of college football.
As to the winner, I'll pick Georgia at this point, probability 55% or so, over Florida.
3. Which SEC player that few of us are paying attention to is poised to have a breakout season? Try to choose someone not on your team.
I think Emanuel Cook, junior strong safety for South Carolina, is poised to have a breakout season. He is currently second in the the SEC in unassisted tackles and seventh in the nation.
Despite the distractions last year of an appendectomy and a firearms charge that was later dropped in a preliminary hearing, Cook now seems focused on football, and is really making an impact for the Gamecocks.
Maybe Spurrier should move Cook to quarterback ...
4. Both Arkansas and LSU have had games delayed because of hurricanes. If you could choose a game on your team's current schedule to get postponed because of inclement weather, which game would you choose and why?
Vanderbilt. Kentucky's open date comes after the Vandy game, and I would love to move it before. UK needs that game very badly, and an extra week to heal and prepare after what promises to be a brutal battle with the Georgia Bulldogs would certainly be welcome. Yeah, it would be nice to beat Tennessee this year, but the Vandy game could be the difference between a bowl and no bowl for the 'Cats.
I am all about getting to bowls, even minor bowls, every year. That's what has made Kentucky competitive, and that's what will improve UK's recruiting.
5. So, the Large Haldron Collider hasn't destroyed the Earth -- so far, anyway. But had the world ended Wednesday morning, which SEC game would you have most regretted missing? Assuming, of course, you had been around to regret it. (Head...hurts...)
Easy one. The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party this year could well be the game that determines the SEC East winner. Richt & Co. riled up Meyer's Gators with their little stunt last year, and Super T and his dad Urban will have worked up some serious blood lust by the time the WLOCP comes around. I'd hate to miss that, because, “That wasn’t right. It was a bad deal, and it will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team.” Forever ... in ... Uban's ... mind (Lighten up, Francis Uban).
With the bad blood that has developed between these two teams, the kickoff of this game could be the collision that forms the black hole that eats the world.