Burn It Down, Arkansas, Clustering the Bottomfeeders, and Complaining About CFP Rankings: The Half-Hearted Week 10 SEC Power Rankings
On this very column last week, I declared myself ‘self-vindicated’ for jumping on the Ole Miss bandwagon instead of the Mississippi State bandwagon.
1) I don’t know if self-vindication is a real thing.
2) If self-vindication is a real thing, it’s the most self-indulgent thing of which I’ve ever heard.
We’ll go with a self deprecation theme this week.
1) Alabama: I really enjoyed the four-week respite from Alabama on top of these rankings, but they’re the annoying inevitability that just won’t go away. Death, taxes, and Alabama.
<insert Lane Kiffin gunshot gif here>
2) Mississippi State: I was interested to see how they would perform on the road for the first time in, like, six weeks…and unfortunately (although good for Georgia’s SEC East chances) they held off Kentucky. They really are the most balanced team in the SEC, but I’m still seeing losses ahead for them.
3) Georgia: Too high? Jinx?
Well, turnovers in college football are somewhat random and the Dawgs lead the nation in TO margin. I refuse to acknowledge that I say anything incorrect about Georgia in this column.
RETURN OF THE MACK COUNTDOWN: two games (or 16 days, 23 hours, and 53 minutes from the moment this posts).
4) Auburn:I realize Georgia lost to South Carolina, but I was appalled at how good Auburn’s defense made Dylan Thompson look on Saturday night. As long as Nick Marshall, the stout O-line, and Duke Williams are doing their thing, it may not matter.
5) Mississippi: Huge loss to LSU was mitigated by their #4 ranking in the first CFP polls. The loss of defensive anchor Denzel Nkemdiche may hurt worse.
Also, okay, I’m going to go on a tangent here. How in the happy hell is Ole Miss ranked ahead of Oregon in the CFP poll? Clearly, there was a heavy head-to-head component, but Oregon lost to the #16 team, a one-loss Arizona squad. Mississippi lost to a largely inept LSU squad ranked #24. Their best wins are a wash (if you can remove conference blinders): home against Michigan State and home against Alabama.
6) LSU: Yeah, I just got done calling them ‘largely inept’, but this LSU team is coming around as I predicted in August.
I think this young team manages to go 10-3 and set up another run of national championship-caliber teams in 2015-16.
7) Random thoughts on the next four teams:
A&M is going to reach bowl eligibility with a win over UL Monroe this week. Their other wins? South Carolina, Arkansas, and three directional Texas schools (seriously, where is Lamar?) What a resume.
Kentucky visits Missouri in an SEC East elimination game. It’s in Georgia’s best interests to go ahead and get Mizzou its second league loss (though it seems impossible they don’t have that yet).
BONUS FUN MIZZOU STAT: Maty Mauk is 38/96 for 390 yards, 2 TD’s and 5 picks in his last four games (Vandy and SC’s D’s were included). An average adjusted QBR of 28.7. Amazingly, that’d only be 7th-worst in the country if expanded over the whole season.
Arkansas. I got nothing. Win an SEC game and upset the balance in the West. Like, yo. Please lean heavily on one of those Mississippi teams.
11) Random thoughts on the last four teams:
South Carolina. Florida. Tennessee. Vanderbilt. In that order.
All of these teams can suck it.