Between the drag-ass Georgia-Auburn game and the fact that Florida's 56-6 anal vivisection of South Carolina was the only matchup of ranked teams Saturday, last weekend kind of sucked. Except for "Quantum of Solace" and a couple of home-cooked meals, of course.
Games watched: Second half of Miami-Virginia Tech, Georgia-Auburn, Alabama-Mississippi State.
Waiting room: Georgia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss.
Dropped out: South Carolina (17), North Carolina (18), Florida State (22), Virginia Tech (24), Air Force (25).
· Another shuffle in the top three sends a couple teams down a notch apiece -- despite the fact that neither of them actually lost last weekend -- but Tony Barnhart is right: At the rate they're playing right now, Florida is capable of beating anyone in the country, and badly. Here was a South Carolina team about which everyone and their brother (including me) was like, "Plus-21? Oh, that's way too big a spread," but the Gators had that covered by the end of the first quarter. Woe be unto any Bama fans who think that any of Urban Meyer's guys are going to be intimidated by a #1 ranking.
· Other than that, the top 15 is pretty quiet, save for Boise State and Georgia switching places (sadly, I had to do something to the Dawgs after barely escaping Auburn with their lives) and Oregon State moving up after dispensing with California. Seriously, how awesome would it be for someone other than the Trojans to win the Pac-10 this year? (The mere fact I said that, of course, means the Beavers are going to lose 54-7 to Oregon this weekend.)
· Below that, it's the usual muddle: Maryland rockets up way more slots than they probably deserve, but the fact remains that they're 7-3 and have been knocking off ranked teams like it was their job; Boston College gets back in after whacking Florida State; and LSU drops five spots after spotting Troy a 31-3 lead on Saturday, a feat so dubious that even Troy's Sun Belt opponents have been hard-pressed to match it. (Of the SBC teams they've played, only hapless North Texas ever trailed the Trojans by 28 points or more.)
· Newcomers: Maryland, BC, Connecticut (who apparently forced Syracuse to finally fire Greg Robinson already), Da U, and Oregon. I've gotten a few comments asking why 10-0 Ball State isn't in here, and that mainly has to do with the not-exactly-earth-shattering revelation that the MAC sucks, but I'll cut you a deal: If the Cardinals beat Central Michigan on Wednesday night, whether it's by one point or 30, they'll be in my next ballot. Promise.
And the SEC Power Poll ballot:
1. Florida -- In my neck of the woods, some Alabama fans -- certainly not a majority of them, but they're there -- are already looking ahead to the national title game. Oh, what fools these mortals be.
2. Alabama -- They're not really taking anyone out behind the woodshed and just beating the crap out of them from the opening gun these days, but then again, that was a complaint frequently lodged against the '92 team, too.
3. Georgia -- Sloppy play and ill-timed defensive breakdowns are turning what should be blowouts into close games. Georgia Tech is good enough to make them pay for this in a couple weeks if they don't get it straightened out.
4. LSU -- The fact that they still rank this high after nearly being humiliated at home by Troy tells you just how much of a step the SEC as a whole has lost compared to last year.
5. Vanderbilt -- Bowl-eligible for the first time in more than a quarter-century -- honestly, I was starting to think they didn't have it in 'em -- and they've still got a chance to pad their bowl résumé against Tennessee and Wake Forest.
6. Ole Miss -- Total offensive domination, and yeah, it was against ULM, but a sixth win is a sixth win.
7. South Carolina -- From very early on against Florida, they looked desperate in a way that you don't usually see Steve Spurrier teams look, and I'm not just talking about the dumbass throwback attempt on the kickoff return.
8. Kentucky -- Wonder if Rich Brooks is already trying to come up with ways to drop 50 on Tennessee in his final regular-season game.
9. Arkansas -- I kind of figured their loss to South Carolina did 'em in as far as bowl eligibility, but would you really be that surprised to see them knock off LSU at this point?
10. Auburn -- Played with a ton of heart against Georgia but managed to match the Bulldogs stupid mistake for stupid mistake. If I were Alabama, though, I'd be wary of a team that's playing for both bowl eligibility and, potentially, their coach's job.
11. Mississippi State -- Couldn't depend on John Parker Wilson to hand the game to them this time around. Hey, it happens to the best of us.
12. Tennessee -- If they can't get up off the mat any better than they did against Wyoming, then a 3-9 record and the title of "Worst Team in Tennessee History" are all that await them. Does anyone in Knoxville even care at this point?