Because I know you’ve been on pins and needles waiting for the season-ending edition of WBE’s SEC Power Poll and BlogPoll ballots, you’ll be happy to know the wait is finally over …
1. Alabama. The SEC of the past two seasons hasn’t been quite the murderer’s row of some other editions, but 26-2 over two seasons–with two West titles, an SEC crown, and national championship–is still a joke.
2. Florida. Cincy’s defense was a shambles, but still: where was that kind of aggressiveness the rest of the season?
CAVERNOUS YAWNING GAP
3. LSU. That’s right: the third-best team in the SEC never did beat a top-25 team this season. Oh well.
4. Georgia. The bad news is that between the new QB, defensive losses, and fresh DC, the Dawgs won’t be a whole lot better next year than they were this year. The good news is that they weren’t that bad this year.
5. Auburn. Anyone questioning the quality of the bowl win should note that that was the same Northwestern team that beat Iowa on the road, mauled Wisconsin, and led Penn St. when their quarterback got hurt.
6. Ole Miss. I’ll never say never with Nutt, but with McCluster and Hodge both gone–those two only accounted for 341 of the Rebels’ 364 yards vs. Okie St.–it’s awful hard to see where the 2010 Ole Miss offense is going to come from.
7. Tennessee. Ah, Crompton Classic: you tasted just as good in that first half of the bowl game as we remembered.
8. Arkansas. It’s rare that a football game rises to the level of outright highway robbery, but the Hogs’ 10-points-off-of-turnovers-plus-ECU-kicking-meltdown con job in Memphis qualifies with ease. Why can the Hogs never show up for a bowl game, no matter who’s the coach?
9. Kentucky. With a rebuilt o-line, big defensive losses, and Joker’s inevitable hiccups learning the head coaching position, I wonder if this wasn’t the final year in the ‘Cats’ resurgence to respectability. Then again, I thought the same thing as this time last year.
10. Mississippi St. Really, really wish MSU hadn’t blown the LSU or Houston games so we could have seen them in a bowl game … except for the part where their already terrifying rushing attack would have gotten 15 more practices in. Nevermind.
11. South Carolina. If you’re Marcus Lattimore, and you’re watching UConn pound away while the ‘Cocks give their RBs 10 carries (for a whopping 29 yards) … aren’t you thinking you’d rather just go play for the Huskies?
12. Vanderbilt. Wait … is Ted Cain still employed? He can’t be, but I don’t remember hearing anything. Did I miss it? ‘Cause I mean … Ted Cain.
|Last week’s ballot|
–Holy crap, did the PAC-10 take a beating in bowl season. It’s one thing to go 2-5 with zero wins over non-ACC/MAC teams, it’s another for only one of those 5 losses to come by single digits. Calibration readjusted from midseason “they’re all good” to postseason “they all suck.” Stanford’s lucky they didn’t get the boot, too. (The reason they’re still around: who replaces them? Clemson? West Virginia? Those guys don’t have Oregon wins on their resume. I’d rather have Auburn, frankly.)
— Boise’s gotta be No. 2. Gotta be. Two wins over top-10 teams and no losses? Easy call.
— Yes, TCU stays in front of Texas. Maybe the Big 12 looked a little better after Oklahoma’s and Nebraska’s wins … but the Mountain West looked a lot better and TCU laid waste to everyone (save, weirdly, Air Force) in their path in league play. Still think the Frogs have the better season overall.
— Yep, four Big 10 teams in the top 14. I’m as surprised as you are.
— USC looks high, I know, but they’ve still got that win at Ohio St. on the resume. It’s still the best road win available in the entire poll.
— I don’t think Central Michigan’s a slam-dunk for the top 25–Troy and Michigan St. are still their best wins, and the Arizona loss looks a little less great these days–but seriously, the best candidate to replace them is Auburn … and 12-2 still strikes me a little more worthy than 8-5.