It's been a while since I have gotten a ballot in to the SEC Power Poll because, well, the Lil Poseur 2 doesn't like naps and I still have to go to work. Sleep has taken a back seat to simple survival, as has watching a bunch of football. So I've made the effort to catch up, rank the SEC, and top 5 of each Power 5 conference as well.
1 Alabama. Remember when the SEC West was supposed to be an incredibly tight tournament of seven evenly matched teams? No one told Bama.
2 Ole Miss. The Rebels are one freakish play and one incredibly fortunate penalty, from still controlling their own destiny in the SEC. What a bummer. Breaks my f'n heart.
3 Florida. The fact I couldn't put anyone above Florida speaks volumes to how poorly the rest of the conference has played. Struggle against Vandy? Okay. It happens. But Florida Atlantic?
4 Mississippi St. Dan Mullen has quietly had an amazing year. This team suffered from a ton of graduation, and it only skipped a beat.
5 Georgia. To give them credit, very few Georgia fans tried to pull the "well, Georgia Southern is actually quite highly rated by advanced metrics" card.
6 Tennessee. They are at least still pretty good in the first half of games, which is better than what most of the SEC can say.
7 Arkansas. It's a shame they didn't realize the football season started in September, not November.
8 LSU. Lost three consecutive games by double digits for the first time since 1966. If you set a team mark for futility that was NOT achieved by a Curley Hallman team, you deserve whatever criticism comes your way.
9 Texas A&M. Aggie fans are discontented with an 8-3 record. They have truly arrived as an SEC program.
10 Auburn. Playing their best football of the season! Would almost have to be.
11 Vanderbilt. That defense is legitimately good. So they have that going for them.
12 Kentucky. Remember that hot start? Seems like a different season.
13 Mizzou. At least they aren't South Carolina.
14 South Carolina. The Citadel?! Are you kidding me?!
1 Iowa. Yes, they have played an easy schedule. You know what? Winning 11 straight is hard.
2 Sparty! Few things bring the world as much joy as Sparty derailing an Ohio St bid at an undefeated season.
3 Michigan. You hate to say it is now a one game season, but... one game season.
4 Ohio St. Watching Buckeye players bicker in public is like listening to a perfect Beethoven symphony.
5 Northwestern. That was utter BS, but it counts as a win. Can't put Wisconsin ahead of them right now.
1 Oklahoma. How did this team lose to Texas?
2 Baylor. The Bears could score 40 points with a random member of the Old Baylor Line taking snaps at quarterback.
3 Oklahoma St. The ride had to end at some point, but they went down swinging. They can still win the conference by winning Bedlam, so it ain't over.
4 TCU. This team makes no sense. Lays an egg against Kansas and then comes within a conversion of beating Oklahoma.
5 West Virginia. Believe it or not, will be favored in their next two, putting them on pace to win eight games.
1 Clemson. Just sailing along at this point.
2 Notre Dame. Not getting enough credit for how they are playing with a ridiculous string of injuries.
3 Florida St. Jimbo is about to be very nostalgic for schedules this easy.
4 UNC. Undefeated in conference play, and a loss to the worst team in the SEC away from being the ACC answer to Iowa.
5 Pittsburgh. A distinctly uninteresting team.
1 Stanford. Watch them beat Notre Dame and make the playoffs over the Big 12 champs. It'll be hysterical.
2 Oregon. Look who is back.
3 UCLA. Huge win over Utah puts them back in control of the division.
4 Utah. This year could have been special. Instead, it'll just be pretty good.
5 USC. Still has a chance to destroy the Bruins season. I'm sure they won't be motivated at all.
GROUP OF 5
1 Navy. Not out of the woods yet, but the Middies look like the new front runner for an honest to God major January 1st bowl. Not sure how that works with the Army game still pending when bowls are announced.
2 Houston. The UConn game screamed trap. Four turnovers later, they were ensnared.
3 Temple. Yes, that's three teams from the AAC, and still no mention of Memphis.
4 Toledo. The dominant power of the Mac. Break up the Rockets.
5 Western Kentucky. Make sure you tune in on Friday afternoon to watch them tussle with Marshall for the C-USA East division title. Should be fun.
MY PLAYOFF BALLOT
1 Clemson. The Notre Dame win looms large, and they will get a chance to further improve the resume in the ACC title game.
2 Iowa. Their best win is Northwestern, which isn't that great of a win, but they are unbeaten with a decent OOC win over Pitt.
3 Notre Dame. Wins over Navy, USC, and Pitt plus the best loss of the bunch. Stanford game is huge.
4 Oklahoma. Wins over top 10 Baylor and top 20 Baylor. OOC win over Tennessee. OK, the loss stinks, but it's a rivalry game, and I care more about wins than losses.
5 Alabama. Through no fault of their own, their resume keeps getting worse. They only have one win over a top 25 team thanks to LSU's collapse, and that's AP #23 MSU. Lost to AP #19 Ole Miss. Their OOC win over Wisconsin is good, though it lost some luster, and is the same quality as Iowa or OU's. They really need Florida to beat FSU to give them a top 10 opponent in the SECCG.
If Alabama misses the playoffs due to LSU's complete implosion, then maybe, just maybe, the implosion will have been worth it.