As we all know, and have said over and over, Kentucky took a big step back on Saturday versus Mississippi State, the second time in three years that the Bulldogs have come into Commonwealth Stadium and left with a Wildcat scalp.
Naturally, that did not help Kentucky in the Power Poll ballot, but some other teams' poor performance did (or in the case of Vanderbilt, lack of sustained performance). The top spot keeps flip-flopping back and forth between Florida and Alabama, and Florida's abuse of the Bulldogs in the World's Largest Cocktail Party makes it hard not to put them in the top spot, even if the Elephants did not play last week.
South Carolina also benefits from the failure of other teams recently even though they were bitten in the hind parts by Ol' Smoky, and Auburn returns to the top half of my ballot with an impressive win over the Ole Miss Rebels on the Plains. All in all, the entire thing is a mess south of the top three teams, and there is very little separating 4-7 and 8-11 as discrete subgroups. Vanderbilt is clearly the weakest team, and Florida or Alabama clearly the best with LSU remaining in the conversation. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.
The aggregated results from all voters are at Team Speed Kills, as always. My ballot follows the jump.
|Team||cWL||W-L||bWL||SoS||This week||MoV||PF-PA||Next opponent||Polls||Remarks|
|Florida||6-0||8-0||6-0||47.11||Vanderbilt||25.0||288-88||at South Carolina||1,[1!]||Tebow took away the Dawgs bone, and sent them home from Jacksonville without any supper.|
|Alabama||5-0||8-0||6-0||48.51||LSU||20.4||254-91||at Mississippi State||3,(3)||Open date, drop a spot.|
|LSU||4-1||7-1||5-1||45.68||at Alabama||14.3||211-97||Louisiana Tech||9,9||Beat up on Tulane, but next week they get to pick on a pachyderm their own size.|
|South Carolina||3-3||6-3||4-3||41.80||at Arkansas||2.9||197-171||Florida||37,31,35||Okay, so they got ambushed on Rocky top. But the Gamecocks have to go somewhere, and I can't see them behind Auburn yet.|
|Auburn||3-3||6-3||4-3||48.37||Furman||5.8||287-235||at Georgia||28,29||Big win by the Plainsmen over a fading Rebel squad.|
|Tennessee||2-3||4-4||2-4||50.72||Memphis||11.4||233-142||at Mississippi||35,37,32||Had some Palmetto State pullet for dinner, and now they get a weak CUSA squad.|
|Arkansas||1-4||4-4||2-4||49.93||South Carolina||8.5||287-219||Troy||45||This team can score, but can they stop an SEC team from crushing their defense?|
|Georgia||3-3||4-4||4-4||52.09||Tennessee Tech||-3.6||206-235||Auburn||After the debacle at the Cocktail Party, the Dawgs are in a bad way. Is it possible that they could wind up with a losing conference record?|
|Kentucky||1-4||4-4||2-4||53.92||Eastern Kentucky||1.9||207-192||at Vanderbilt||Kentucky has no excuse – You have to hold serve in the SEC against similar foes. Kentucky must now work hard for a Pizza bowl bid.|
|Mississippi State||2-3||4-5||2-4||54.96||open||2.3||242-221||Alabama||Anthony Dixon trod the Wildcats into the grass beneath his cleated feet.|
|Mississippi||2-3||5-3||2-3||41.77||Northern Arizona||12.9||231-128||Tennessee||41||It's a long way down from where the Rebels were back in September to where they are now.|
|Vanderbilt||0-5||2-7||0-6||41.33||at Florida||-3.8||164-198||Kentucky||For a half, I thought the 'Dores were going to deliver a shocker. But alas, the Yellowjackets insisted on playing that pesky second half.|
So there you have it. Some might quibble with my placement of a few teams here, and I am not at all sanguine about many of them, but I really don't care that much. Most of the teams in the SEC this year could as easily wind up in the bottom third as the middle.
Your comments are welcome and encouraged.