It's really hard to imagine a 5-5 basketball team as the third best team in a conference, but that's where the Kentucky Wildcats wound up in the SEC Power Poll, the final results of which you can find at Garnet and Black Attack. I myself did not put them that high, which you will see in my ballot a bit further on.
One thing that must be said, though, is that the hardest part of Kentucky's schedule is clearly behind them. Four out of the remaining six conference games are at home, and although the 'Cats still have such worthies as Vanderbilt, Florida and Tennessee on the schedule, all but Tennessee are at home. You have to figure if Kentucky loses to these teams by a basket or so on the road, a victory at home should be much more likely. Also, I'm not quite ready to pencil in the L at the Tennessee game as some others are. Some of Kentucky's losses on the road have been a bit unlucky, and I think that luck is likely to change.
More after the jump.Here's my ballot:
|1||Florida||20||5||The Gators are on a 4-game win streak and are the class of the conference so far. They are not winning pretty, but they are winning.|
|2||Alabama||16||8||Robbed at Vanderbilt, but the Tide now face a very favorable schedule from here on out, and Florida's gets tougher. Advantage Tide.|
|3||Vanderbilt||18||6||This team is very fortunate to be here, but wins are wins. The rest of the schedule is likely to expose them with 4 out of 6 on the road.|
|4||Kentucky||17||7||1-5 on the road is not what top teams do. Tough loss at Vandy, but really good teams find ways to win those.|
|5||Georgia||17||7||Exposed by Xavier, but got a good win in Columbia. But their road looks really tough from here on.|
|6||Tennessee||15||10||That loss Saturday in Gainesville has got to sting, but the Vols get four out of the next six at home.|
|7||Mississippi||16||9||After a 3 game streak, the Rebels are back to form. But beware, the Rebels could win out from here.|
|8||Arkansas||15||9||Arkansas has pulled only one upset so far, at Vanderbilt. They only beat who they are supposed to beat.|
|9||South Carolina||13||10||The Gamecocks are in a slow death spiral, and I don't see a single win left on their schedule.|
|10||Mississippi St.||13||11||Occasionally beats somebody, and Sidney is improving, but without Ravern Johnson, they might not win three more games.|
|11||LSU||10||15||On an eight-game losing streak. That about says it all.|
|12||Auburn||9||15||Big win against the Mississippi St. Bulldogs, but I don't see another one in their future.|
- The Georgia Bulldogs have a reasonable case for being ahead of UK, but they looked really bad losing to Xavier
on the roadat home.
- The Tennessee Volunteers looked very good against the Florida Gators in Gainesville, and even though I have them way down at #6, they probably will wind up higher soon.
- The Auburn Tigers arguably deserve to be above the LSU Tigers. I just couldn't quite get there yet.