Tuesday, November 24
Poll dancing, week 12: Congratulations to our new Kentucky overlords . . .
. . . Now if you'll excuse me, I believe there's a ledge I need to fling myself off of.
Games watched: Oklahoma State-Colorado, the end of Florida State-Maryland, parts of Texas Tech-Oklahoma, fourth quarter and OT of Connecticut-Notre Dame, Ole Miss-LSU, parts of Clemson-Virginia, every last miserable minute of Kentucky-Georgia.
The next five: Brigham Young, Utah, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Arkansas.
Dropped out: Nobody.
· Sure enough, Stanford made me pay for my confidence in them every bit as badly as I predicted. Their tumble from the top 10 allows Oregon, Ohio State, and Iowa to creep up, and now it's Cal's turn to squander everyone's renewed respect and goodwill; fortunately, they have a bye this week and can wait to do that until they get upset at Washington on December 5.
· Not much more than incremental movement in either direction below that, though Oregon State and Southern Cal both dropped a bit despite not losing, while Arizona went up a spot despite losing in double-OT. Not quite sure how to square this, but Ole Miss had to get a little credit for taking care of LSU, even if Les Miles helped them out quite a bit in that regard.
· Speaking of which, I debated over how much to penalize the Tigers for Miles's awe-inspiring last-second brain fart in Oxford, and ended up deciding on "a lot." They're still in the poll, since eight wins in the SEC is still eight wins in the SEC, but at the same time, what's their "signature win" this season, exactly? On the road vs. Georgia? So's Kentucky's. (We all know what Rich Brooks would say about this situation.) If you can make a case that any of the "next five" teams are more deserving, I'm all ears.
And on that note, on to the SEC Power Poll ballot:
1. Alabama -- Nothing fancy against UT-Chatty, just a solid game plan executed well enough to put to rest any idea that they wouldn't be prepared or focused. Man, I miss that.
2. Florida -- I have no idea what scoring 62 points on Florida International proves, but I hope they enjoyed themselves.
3. Ole Miss -- That's three years in a row now that Houston Nutt has completely punk'd Les Miles, and he owes Miles a fruit basket and a good bottle of wine for this last one.
4. LSU -- Miles is getting paid the GDP of a small Pacific island nation each year, yet his final decision against Ole Miss was one any random LSU fan in the stands would've been smart enough not to make. That's not getting good value for your money, Tigers.
5. Arkansas -- Didn't do anything particularly special against Missy State but picked up a seventh win, and if Les Miles' current brain state is any indication, could well pick up an eighth in Baton Rouge this weekend.
6. Auburn -- Welcome to your future, Coach Chizik. Friday afternoon determines what your life is going to be like on the Plains, for better or for worse.
7. Tennessee -- Played well enough to earn bowl eligibility, let Vandy hang around enough that they can't be considered a lock to beat Kentucky for the 25th straight time.
8. Kentucky -- Word of warning to the Vols: If you give Kentucky the ball a lot, they'll, you know, score a lot of points and stuff.
9. South Carolina -- Steve Spurrier isn't gonna like being 0-2 against a guy named Dabo, but given the Gamecocks' recent history in the month of November, there's little reason to think it's not gonna happen.
10. Georgia -- Lost to Kentucky, got knocked down to the Weedeater Bowl, David Greene's career wins record got broken, and our dog died. How was your week?
11. Mississippi State -- Had a chance to upset Arkansas but faded late; Dan Mullen's clearly gotten as much out of this team as he can get this season, but watch out for them in 2010.
12. Vanderbilt -- From "First bowl win since the Eisenhower administration" to "winless in the SEC." But maybe Vandy fans are grateful they were capable of falling that far to begin with.