A reminder to everyone who’s about to jump my ass with this post – this is a power poll. I’m not guided by resume ranking (if I were, UT would be no worse than third); this is about which team would beat which team if they faced off in the here and now. That’s not to say I’m ignoring the week’s results. I’m not. It’s that I’m looking at them to see which teams are answering preseason questions.
Minor gripe: this is absurdly early to run a power poll. (Others’ mileage may vary, of course.) There’s no way we’ve got a sample size of events worth a durn (especially when one team didn’t even see the field). Were it up to me, you wouldn’t see anything until every SEC school had a conference game under its belt. But as I’m not the one calling the shots, here goes:
- Alabama. LSU kickstarted its 2011 run at the top with a win over a top ten team, so it only seems fair to return the favor to the Tide. Besides, you never want to get between Nick Saban and a signature game.
- LSU. If ‘Bama is #1, there really isn’t much choice as to who goes in the second slot.
- Arkansas. Obviously, a big drop from second to third. Not the strongest of starts, either, trailing a 1-AA team in the second quarter.
- South Carolina. 3B to Arky’s 3A. With a road division game on the line, S. Carolina came back to win with a one-armed quarterback. That’s what good teams do, people. Shaw’s health is a concern, of course.
- Georgia. 3C, although I’d move the Dawgs with no suspended players ahead of both Arkansas and South Carolina. If you’re a Georgia fan, you’re probably not happy the Dawgs failed to cover a cupcake game. But if you’re somebody who identified running back and special teams as weak spots this season, Georgia may have answered a few questions.
- Tennessee. Had one of those wins that’s hard to evaluate fairly until we see more from NC State. But it doesn’t look like the Vols are going to miss Da’Rick Rogers.
- Missouri. Destroyed a 1-AA team. That’s nice. What, you want a cookie or something for that?
- Mississippi State. Ditto.
- Florida. Deploying Brissett and Driskel together on the first play of the game? That’s a clown call, bro.
- Texas A&M. Can you have a bye-week bounce when you haven’t played a single game?
- Auburn. Defense gives up 528 yards but only 26 points. Brian VanGorder, master of the bend but don’t break approach.
- Vanderbilt. The flip side to what I said about South Carolina: blowing a lead and losing to a team with a one-armed quarterback doesn’t even qualify as a moral victory.
- Ole Miss. The Rebel Black Bears won, if you want to call it that. Losing to a 1-AA team midway through the third quarter isn’t exactly the stuff of legends.
- Kentucky. The Wildcat defense yielded scoring drives of 99, 85 and 93 yards on its first three series. It’s gonna be a long year in Lexington.