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SEC Power Poll: Week 3

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We here at OverThePylon were asked to be a voting member in the SEC Power Poll this season hosted by Team Speed Kills. It’s a collection of the best and brightest SEC blogs throughout the college football landscape. Each week we’ll be posting our ballot, and an expansion of the little blurbs we have to put forward with our votes.

General Power Poll Philosophy
In general, it wouldn’t really make sense for us not to start off with the teams already ranked on our CBSSports Blogpoll. So that’s the starting point. From there it’s an exercise in resume evaluation, accomplishments, and expectation. Clearly an imperfect sort of exercise, and one that will hopefully gain clarity as the season progresses. This early, much like the blogpoll, it’s far from an exact science.

Off we go for this week’s ballot…

  1. Alabama 3-0 (0-0): This was the week that Alabama overtook the top spot, thanks largely to a lackluster performance from Florida. The Tide have the marquee win in the SEC this season with their season opening victory over Virginia Tech, which is something Florida cannot match. Yet.
  2. Florida 3-0 (1-0): The Gators slip to #2 in our Top 25 ballot, and they slip to #2 here as well, though it’s more like 1a and 1b between the Tide and Gators. Two blowouts over marginal teams at best, and an underwhelming win against Tennessee drops Florida. For now.
  3. Ole Miss 2-0 (0-0): Still no conference wins for the Rebels, but at least they blew someone out. Granted, it was Southeastern Louisiana, but still… the Rebels finally looked worthy of the Top 5 rankings they’ve been commanding.
  4. LSU 3-0 (1-0): The Tigers struggled in their season opener against Washington and cruised against Vandy and Louisiana-Lafayette. Hardly impressive, but coupled with the talent on the roster and the expectations for LSU, they’re firmly entrenched here at #4.
  5. Georgia 2-1 (2-0): Probably the most frustrating team in all of college football this season, as well as the team that is most puzzling. The Bulldogs get credit for a tough early schedule, and are the only team with two conference wins. The Dawgs have allowed 88 points through 3 games, and that’s not making it any easier to keep the Bulldogs in the Top 5.
  6. Auburn 3-0 (1-0): The Tigers had a marquee win on Saturday against West Virginia, and have already rang up a conference win against Mississippi State. A high octane offense is pacing this team and making Gene Chizik look like the front-runner for Hire of the Offseason.
  7. Kentucky 2-0 (0-0): The Wildcats’ two wins so far has been against hapless Miami (Ohio) and Louisville. It remains to be seen whether or not the closeness of the Louisville game was a result of rivalry emotions, Louisville’s talent, or Kentucky’s lack thereof. This weekend’s contest against Florida will tell a lot about what kind of team Kentucky has.
  8. Mississippi State 2-1 (1-1): A loss to Auburn is looking more and more respectable, and the Bulldogs did beat Vandy on the road. Hardly a stellar accomplishment, but road wins in the SEC are worth recognizing. As the teams below them who simply have no wins and at least one loss in the conference begin to get W’s, this ranking will slip for MSU.
  9. South Carolina 2-1 (0-1): After a season-opening win against NC State that was far from impressive, the Gamecocks then got outshot by Georgia in their lone conference game. A win over Florida Atlantic does little to quelch the doubts and questions about this team, which are plenty and significant.
  10. Arkansas 1-1 (0-1): One of the teams destined to move up as the conference season continues, Arkansas only has two measurable results to evaluate: an FCS win, and a loss to Georgia… the most befuddling team in all of FBS. What is nearly a given is that with the offensive explosion taking place at Arkansas, they will beat someone notable this season. It’s a virtual certainty.
  11. Tennessee 1-2 (0-1): Some will give credit to the Vols for keeping it close against Florida, and in some respects, they did. For anyone who watched this game though, the closeness was a result of Florida’s lackluster effort and nothing done by Tennessee, but the Vols do move up a bit on our ballot (from 12th to 11th) thanks largely to Vandy just looking worse. The only positive for fans in 09 has been a blowout of a 1st-year FCS program.
  12. Vanderbilt 1-2 (0-2): The Commodores are the first team to two SEC losses this season, and they haven’t even gotten to their East division brethren yet. After a season-opening win against Western Carolina, the Dores have dropped games at LSU and against MSU. The positive thing to take away is neither game was exceptionally out of reach or ugly. Congrats?

It’s a mess but getting less messy. Right now, you’re being asked to evaluate a team with no common opponents, an FCS tomato can win, and a heaping helping of expectations versus a team that has tangible results against markedly better foes. Next week we should see quite the shake up on this thing…

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