Games watched: Miami-Georgia Tech, Boise State-Fresno State, flipped back and forth between Cal-Minnesota and Kentucky-Louisville, Florida-Tennessee, Georgia-Arkansas, the end of Auburn-West Virginia.
|Last week's ballot|
Dropped Out: Brigham Young (#7), Georgia Tech (#13), Nebraska (#16), Utah (#17).
The next five: Brigham Young, Nebraska, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Washington.
· Two teams I may have misjudged in this week's ballot: Oklahoma, who jumps a lot, and USC, who drops by even more. Oklahoma deserves some credit for shutting out an offense as prolific as Tulsa's, but subconsciously I think I'm also just correcting for under-ranking them in the wake of a BYU loss that looks highly anomalous now and, I have a feeling, will look even more so by the end of the season. (Should we just apply an asterisk to that game once Sam Bradford comes back?) USC, meanwhile, had to play under similarly uncomfy circumstances at the QB position, but c'mon, that was an opponent that hadn't won a Pac-10 game in nearly two years; I don't think one has to be an overconfident Trojan booster to assume they should've rolled against the Huskies regardless. Oklahoma has bounced back from a tough loss and looks pretty good right now, while USC seems to be getting worse with each passing week.
· Miami jumps into the top 15, while Georgia Tech drops out entirely. Two more overreactions, I suppose you could say, but the 'Canes looked terrific on both sides of the ball, while both of the strengths that made Tech so good last year (unstoppable running game and a stout front seven) were completely absent Thursday night. Coming on the heels of a near-collapse against Clemson, it looks like some major weaknesses are being exposed in this year's Jackets.
· But Georgia isn't in the poll, either. I know I said I'd rank 'em if they won at Arkansas, but . . . we're on pace to finish the season with a -28 turnover margin and the nation's 112th-ranked pass defense. We might yet luck out and win seven or eight games like that, but a top-25-worthy team we are not.
· Instead, Auburn rockets into the rankings thanks to yet another terrific offensive outing; yes, their defense struggled at times against West Virginia, but it still looks more solid than ours, faint praise though that may be.
· Other new teams in the poll: Florida State, who will probably lose at home to South Florida this week and fall right back out again, because that's just how they appear to be rolling this season; and Notre Dame and North Carolina, inching into the bottom of the rankings after wins over non-terrible opponents.
· Joining Georgia Tech in the unemployment line: BYU, who apparently wasn't that interested in a BCS bowl after all; Nebraska, who lost to Virginia Tech; and Utah, whose nation-leading win streak was snapped by that same Oregon team that got bitchmade on opening weekend.
And here's the SEC Power Poll ballot:
1. Florida -- It really seemed like once the Gators realized they weren't going to beat Tennessee by 60, their attitude shifted to "Let's just run out the clock so we can all get the hell out of here."
2. Alabama -- Now that's how you eat a cupcake, Bama.
3. Ole Miss -- After two cupcakes and a bye, the Rebels finally get a test when they visit the Gamecocks this weekend.
4. LSU -- Nice defensive effort against the Ragin' Cajuns, but they still haven't put together anywhere close to a complete effort on the other side of the ball.
5. Auburn -- Another 400 yards from the Tiger offense. I'm pretty sure that was specifically mentioned in the Book of Revelation somewhere.
6. Georgia -- A second straight game in which the Dawgs made it harder for themselves by coughing up the ball all over the place and digging themselves a double-digit hole in the first quarter. It's almost like Richt is telling them to do that so they'll build character. How much can you really learn about yourself if the win is too easy, after all?
7. Tennessee -- Not that moral victories have ever meant much in the SEC, but if I were a Tennessee fan I'd be pretty happy about the way the Florida loss went down. Not only that, but they've provided a blueprint to the rest of the SEC for containing Tebow! (Note: Must have Tennessee's defense to qualify.)
8. Arkansas -- If they ever wake up on defense, the rest of the West better watch out. I'm already terrified about the prospect of having to face Mallett again next year.
9. South Carolina -- Took forever to get in gear against Florida Atlantic. That's another team that just wanted to get the game over with and go home.
10. Kentucky -- Don't know yet how bad a sign it was that they got chased by Louisville for so long, but I can't think that it was a terribly good one.
11. Mississippi State -- As SEC wins go, that wasn't terribly aesthetically appealing, but then I thought the Bizarro Bulldogs were going to go oh-fer in conference play this year.
12. Vanderbilt -- Looks like Bobby Johnson has come up with an answer to the question, "Is there any way the Vanderbilt offense could look even worse than last year's?"