My SEC Power Poll ballot, Week 4

Two things about the conference become more readily apparent each week:  the bottom part of the conference is worse than it’s been in a while and the superiority of the West has vanished.

We’re a third of the way through the season.  While that’s not a definitive sample size (Ole Miss hasn’t played a conference game yet), it’s enough to start drawing some general conclusions about a program’s health.  I’ve added net yards per game numbers to the ballot this week as illustration.  Given the time of year, the cupcake factor is outsized, but on the other hand, any team running a net negative ypg figure now is not going to contend for a division title in 2012.

  1. Alabama (+240).  The Tide just keeps on keeping on.
  2. LSU (+242.5).  That’s actually the best net number in the SEC, but playing a tight game against a weak Auburn squad doesn’t strengthen the Tigers’ case.
  3. Georgia (+186.7).  Given the suspensions and the reliance on true freshmen at key spots on offense and special teams, it’s fair to say that so far things have gone as well as Mark Richt could have reasonably hoped.
  4. South Carolina (+124).  The defense hasn’t missed a beat without Ellis Johnson.
  5. Florida (+102.5).  A bye week and then it gets interesting with three top six teams in the following four weeks.
  6. Mississippi State (+49).  Undefeated, but the net yardage figure suggests that’s something of a mirage.
  7. Texas A&M (+182.6).  Played Florida close in the opener and overwhelmed two cupcakes.  In other words, we really don’t know much about the Aggies yet.
  8. Tennessee (+121.5).  The Vols handle another non-conference opponent with ease.  Too bad they’ve got four straight games against ranked SEC foes coming up next.
  9. Missouri (+31.5).  South Carolina exposed the Tigers’ weakness on both lines.  This year is shaping up as a tough one for Mizzou.
  10. Ole Miss (+114.7).  Enjoy that shutout high, Rebel Black Bears.  This week’s game is going to be short and brutish.
  11. Vanderbilt (+56).  Weirdly enough, I look at Vanderbilt and think the ‘Dores should be doing better than they are.  Is that a culture change?
  12. Auburn (-121.5).  A quintessential moral victory:  made LSU sweat bullets, but in the end found themselves essentially eliminated from the SEC West race after two conference games.
  13. Arkansas (-66.3).  If Kentucky had been able to play Maxwell Smith against the Gators, I suspect the Hogs would still be in my cellar.  Them’s the breaks.
  14. Kentucky (-25.5).  Morgan Newton’s passer rating against Florida:  23.96.  Funny, I thought it would have been lower.
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20 Comments

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20 responses to “My SEC Power Poll ballot, Week 4

  1. FisheriesDawg

    Did Tennessee really handle Akron with ease, though? The final score says so, but that was a one-score game until 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter.

  2. TennesseeDawg

    Sadly, Kentucky played pretty good defense. Why is Morgan Newton even allowed on the field anymore?

  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    So we are 4-0 having played nobody that matters.

    Now begins “The Big Worry”, which is sorta, kinda an appropriation of Pet Daah’s A-men Conah

    Tennessee, despite what some folks want to believe, is a good bit better football team than last year.

    Rumor has it Tennessee’s receivers run their routes in practice carrying car windshields.

    For those of you with short memories, or who were not born yet, daddy wore red pants. Knoxville is not exactly a cauldron of new ideas. Thus, hedges and a dog.

    UT’s big, fast receivers against our little slow guys….the stuff of nightmares.

    • Joe Schmoe

      I think Tennessee will definitely score a few points on long pass plays against our defense, but the overall secondary should be improved with Rambo coming back. But our ability to make UT one dimensional by eliminating their running game (which is improved but still not great) will enable us to blitz the crap out of Bray making those long developing pass plays a dicey affair for him. Dawgs will pull away in the 2nd half as our depth wears them down. I think something like 41-17 or so.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      It would be hard to overstate how important it was for our freshmen (and Beard) to get a lot of quality playing time in those 4 games. And now we’ll have everyone back from suspensions for the stretch run. If we’ve gotten Barber’s shoe color right, we could. go. all. the. way.

    • shane#1

      Smith may be little, but slow? I think not! You didn’t get him mixed up with Bob Berry did you?

  4. hunkerdowndawg

    Morgan Newton throwing the football was so bad that a running play for a short loss or no gain was a better outcome than letting him attempt a pass. I believe I saw a Tweet that his passer rating in the 3rd quarter was something like -49. Meanwhile, there are a couple hundred quarterbacks playing in lower divisions or as backups in 1A who would/could/should be starting at Kentucky.

    • Jrod1229

      Newton isn’t UK’s starting QB.. Maxwell Smith is and he was injured and kept out of the ensuing blood bath.

  5. RocketDawg

    I can’t see how you can keep LSU second after that abysmal game against a truely awful Auburn team. Mettenberger didn’t play last year for a reason he is worse than Jordan Jefferson. I get that their D is nasty, but so is ours and we still aren’t at full strength and we have an offense to go along with it! Granted I am looking at things through Red and Black glasses but still, LSU to me doesn’t pass the eye test of a championship team. I also wouldn’t have any heartburn with the Chickens ahead of LSU either, Connor Shaw looked good on Saturday and they still haven’t had to ride Lattimore to a win yet.

    Florida beats LSU in the Swamp and Mettenberger has at least 2 INTS.

    On another note: ——–> Hahahahahahahah Arkansas Hahahahahhaha

    • About those R&B colored glasses and nasty defenses… LSU is currently ranked fourth in the country in total defense. Georgia is 45th.

      I get that the Dawg D will likely improve with the return of Rambo and Ogletree, but that’s a subject for future Power Poll ballots to address.

      • Joe Schmoe

        I think that at this point LSU gets the benefit of the doubt over UGA after the last fews seasons. Georgia certainly looks like the more balanced team as far as the combination of offense and defense, but let’s just see how things progress over the next month or so.

  6. Objective Bama Fan

    I don’t know if I would agree that the West is not still superior to the East. Certainly top to bottom the East is better. Georgia, Florida, and USC all look like contenders. But I think LSU and Bama are still slightly better.

    • Xon

      Sure, but that still proves the point, which is that one division has perhaps the two top teams, but then the other division has the next three teams, and all five of them are on the verge of being in the nation’s top 10. With that division of quality (1-2 in one division / 3-5 in the other/ all 5 are marginally close to one another), it isn’t clear that one division should be deemed superior to the other.

    • Rick

      I don’t think anyone could argue with your assessment – so it all depends on the definition of ‘superior’. While it would not be shocking to see an east team win the conference, I don’t think most UGA/USC/Florida fans would lay money on it.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      And nobody in the East is even close to Bama. Nobody.

      • Cojones

        I think Tenn is closer than we are, depending on the mileage.

        Whoa! You aren’ sneaking a drink of their Koolaid, are you? That shit will make you go blind, just like playing with yourself when you were a teen. If the palm of your hand starts growing hair, then I’m certain you are drinking their grog.

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Nope….say, from Bowden to Tuscaloosa is closer than say….Jackson, to Tuscaloosa. I don’t drink not stinking Tide Koolaid, but I do watch the Taad play football, me.