Aaron M. Sprecher
The SEC Basketball Power Poll is back, and this is A Sea of Blue's ballot prior to the first full week of the conference season, which means it is based purely on the non-conference schedule.
The SEC schedule starts this week, and coming in, here's how I see the teams. Further remarks follow the ballot below:
|1||Florida||10-2||0-0||Class of the conference so far|
|2||Missouri||11-2||0-0||I still have grave doubts, but so far they have performed.|
|3||Kentucky||9-4||0-0||Getting better fast. Beware.|
|4||Mississippi||11-2||0-0||If they learn to shoot the 3 and free throws better, they could be dangerous.|
|5||Arkansas||9-4||0-0||Defensively awful. Must improve to challenge contenders.|
|6||Alabama||8-5||0-0||Mirror image of Arkansas. Could be dangerous if they could score.|
|7||Louisiana St.||9-2||0-0||Weak competition make this sterling record suspect, as does their defense.|
|8||Tennessee||8-4||0-0||Maymon's loss hurts their chances, but they defend so well that they are going to beat people they shouldn't.|
|9||Texas A&M||10-3||0-0||Schedule also suspect, but may deserve to be higher than this.|
|10||South Carolina||10-3||0-0||Great record against the third easiest schedule in all of Division I. Average opponent rank is 236.|
|11||Georgia||6-7||0-0||Beating only who they should, and nobody they shouldn't.|
|12||Vanderbilt||6-6||0-0||Vanderbilt is shooting 57.9% from the FT line, when they're usually at or near the top of the SEC. Loss to Marist intolerable.|
|13||Auburn||6-7||0-0||When just over 6 points separate your defensive and offensive efficiency, you are not very good.|
|14||Mississippi St.||5-7||0-0||Young team. Bad team. Efficiencies close to equal.|
- I really have no idea what to think of Ole Miss and LSU. I think Ole Miss is going to be solid, but despite their gaudy record, I am not so sanguine about LSU.
- Arkansas really just needs to defend a little better. They are a sleeper to rise up to the top tier of the league.
- Vanderbilt is a really young team, and so is Mississippi St. It will be interesting to see which improves the most over the season.
- Missouri got the nod for the #2 spot, but not without some resistance. They just beat Bucknel, which I'll admit is a decent team, by only 2 points on Saturday.
- I really have no idea past Florida, Missouri, and Kentucky who are going to rise into the top five. I'm not sure the SEC will get more than four bids this year to the tournament.