I Now Believe the SEC West is Overrated- The Week 9 Power Rankings
Having grown up a
fan (I don’t believe in conference solidarity) viewer of another conference, I understand the hand-wringing associated with the perceived ‘SEC media bias’ that exists to prop up the conference versus the other power-5 players. While I don’t think it’s some grand conspiracy to protect ESPN’s investment in the SEC Network, I do believe that members of the SEC tend to get the benefit of the doubt.
After beating former #8 LSU, Mississippi State vaulted (hey, that’s the name of our sponsor! click to download!) from unranked (they should’ve been ranked in the preseason anyway, but I digress) to #12. Then #3 after beating a Texas A&M team which achieved a high ranking by– you guessed it– dumping a top-10 SEC team in week 1.
On the flip side, it seemingly takes forever for the pollsters to adjust downward for SEC teams. South Carolina survived near-losses to ECU and Vanderbilt (VANDERBILT!) before dropping out of the top 25. An LSU team that needed a miracle to beat Flo-by-God-rida is inexplicably back in the top 25 (remember how they lost to Auburn?).
I have found a trend that I’m going to investigate further. SEC teams (and moreso the West) are a lot slower to drop than teams from other conferences. Michigan State dropped 8 spots after going to Eugene and leading Oregon for most of the game in week 2, yet Auburn’s de-pantsing against #CLANGA cost them four spots.
1) Ole Miss: Another week, more self-vindication for jumping on the Ole Miss bandwagon while everyone was feeling MSU. Still third in the nation in YPP on D behind Stanford and Louisville.
2) Alabama: As I said last week and this week, I tend to lean on Ole Miss and Alabama to be the tops in the SEC West because of how the schedule plays itself out. And then Alabama put the final nail in the “Texas A&M is good” coffin, and we all enjoyed having one less thing to worry about.
3) Mississippi State: The best thing the Bulldogs have going for them is my intense (yet unintentional) apparent hatred for them. I just don’t believe yet, as I’m even LESS impressed with the LSU and A&M wins than I was a week ago.
4) Georgia: Up one spot into the fray of the national top-5 teams, Georgia cruises into the bye with two solid road wins against… without… you know the deal. That’s what good teams do, and Georgia may be the most confident team in the league heading into the stretch run.
5) Auburn: Really excited to see them (hopefully) fall off the map in November. In the ‘that is kinda nuts’ category, assuming the four teams above hold serve, Auburn will play four top-10 teams for their SEC road games this year.
AND THEN THERE WAS A DRAMATIC DROP-OFF…
6) LSU: In sticking with the theme of the initial diatribe, how high would LSU jump in the polls were they to beat Ole Miss this weekend? 13?
7) Texas A&M: This says a lot about how bad the SEC East is, and nothing more…
8) Kentucky: A team that just lost 41-3 to LSU is almost in the top half of the league on the strength of having wins in the SEC and not wanting to prop up Arkansas. Go figure.
9) Arkansas: Bret Bieliema don’t need no proppin’ up. 0-4 and still a threat, and still hypothetically the second best team in the SEC Easy.
10) Missouri: Can we rehash this one more time? Mizzou won a game (by 29 points, mind you) in which they:
– totaled 119 yards of offense
– threw for 20 yards and 1.1 yards per attempt (Palmer was right, Maty Mauk is bad)
– had 8 more penalties than their opposition
That’s what happens when you return a fumble, interception, kick, and punt for a touchdown. Their three scoring ‘drives’ (one TD and two FG) totaled 63 yards in 24 plays. Lord.
ANOTHER (LESS SIGNIFICANT) DROPOFF
11) South Carolina: They’re the actual second-best team in the East, I think, but with a loss to Tennessee could easily miss a bowl. Thank God they get to play Clemson at the end of the year.
12) Tennessee: Serious question: is there an SEC win on UT’s schedule? They finish up with Bama this week, @South Cack, Kentucky, Missouri, and @Vandy (oh yeah, they get to play Vandy.) Scratch that.
13) Florida: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
14) Vanderbilt: If ever there was justification for a collegiate relegation system…
Posted on October 22, 2014, in Alabama, Arkansas, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee, Texas A&M, The UGA Vault, Vanderbilt. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.