Tuesday, October 27
Poll dancing, week 8: Pardon our progress (and lateness).
Sorry for the delay in getting around to BlogPoll/SEC Power Poll matters; packing, you see. Anybody want to do this for me? (The packing, I mean; I can make uninformed snap judgments about football teams just fine on my own.)
Games watched: UTEP-Tulsa, Florida State-North Carolina, Alabama-Tennessee, Florida-Mississippi State, a little bit of LSU-Auburn.
The next five: Brigham Young, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Kansas, Michigan.
Dropped out: Arkansas (14), Texas Tech (17), Nebraska (19), Brigham Young (20), South Florida (21), South Carolina (22), Kansas (24).
· Alabama retains the top spot despite a much-closer-than-it-had-to-be outing against the Vols. Their overall body of work this season is still stronger than any of the other unbeatens', but Texas finally figured out how to stomp on an opponent's throat from the get-go rather than spotting them an entire half. If that continues, they'll be very close in Bama's rearview mirror.
· Rest of the top 10 is unchanged except for USC sliding down two spots after back-to-back close calls against Notre Dame and Oregon State.
· A lot of teams fall out of the top 25 this week for losses of varying degrees of embarrassment; South Carolina is the exception, but beating Vandy by only four at home is not my idea of a top-25 performance. I have to heap particular scorn onto the Arkansas Razorbacks, who made me look like an absolute fool for vaulting them into the top 15 on the basis of their performance against Florida. A hearty mea culpa to you commenters who warned me against doing such an idiotic thing, and an equally hearty fuck you to Bobby Petrino. Even when I say something positive about you, you screw me, you slimy, petty, two-faced waste of human skin.
· The replacements for the dropouts include Arizona, Pittsburgh, Cal, and Utah, all of whom probably jumped into the poll higher than they really needed to, but about whom you could also make a case that I've been undervaluing them for a few weeks now; Oklahoma, who proved they're not quite dead yet in a convincing win at Kansas; West Virginia, whose only loss so far has been to Auburn, back when Auburn was good; and (sigh) Notre Dame, even though this made me seriously consider doing otherwise. Everything I just said about Bobby Petrino also applies to Jimmy Clausen, which I doubt comes as a shock to any of you.
SEC Power Poll ballot follows:
1. Alabama -- For the first time all season, the Tide not only looked beatable but looked like they were fixing to get beat. The fact that they waited until the very end of the game to look like that means they get to hang on to the #1 spot, but their problems in the passing game don't appear to be going away anytime soon.
2. Florida -- Another drag-ass game against an inferior opponent. Dare I hope this habit continues in Jacksonville this weekend?
3. LSU -- Hanging out on the BCS fringes and gathering some steam. Alabama is not a lock to beat them at home next week.
4. Tennessee -- The box score doesn't lie: Crompton was 21-of-36 for 265 yards, one TD, and one pick against Alabama. Which means UT's surge over the last couple weeks may not be a fluke.
5. Ole Miss -- Terrific game from Snead in a game where I honestly thought he'd be back to struggling again.
6. Georgia -- I'd like to think they have a shot at beating the Gators this weekend, but my reasons (bye week, our record against defending national champs) are obviously based more on intangibles than anything related to on-the-field data.
7. South Carolina -- I'm still trying to figure out how the Gamecocks could have 431 total yards and no turnovers and still only beat Vandy 14-10.
8. Arkansas -- That's the thanks I get for showing confidence in you last week? Schmucks.
9. Kentucky -- Beginning to look like a M*A*S*H unit with all the starters who've gotten injured. Not a lock to beat Mississippi State this weekend.
10. Auburn -- Feels like their offense has regressed to 2008 form in little more than the blink of an eye. Not a good place to be with Ole Miss, UGA, and Bama still on the schedule.
11. Mississippi State -- How much tail do you suppose Johnthan Banks got in Starkville over the weekend? I don't know how the women roll in your neck of the woods, but around here, "Hey, baby, I had two pick-sixes against Tim Tebow" is cash money as a pickup line.
12. Vanderbilt -- Remind me why Bobby Johnson was in such a hurry to make Larry Smith the starter again?