Tide Bits Power Poll – Week 2

We’re one day later with this baby thanks to Tennessee scheduling their season opener on a Sunday.  Thanks, Vols.  Anyways, here we go…

1) Auburn Tigers (Overall 1-0, Conference 1-0) – The Tigers are the defending conference champs and there’s no good reason to move them out of the top spot until some cracks start to show.  There were none last Saturday against Arkansas as the Tigers pulled away in the second half.  After one game, Cameron Artis-Payne looks like a worthy successor to Tre Mason in the Auburn backfield.

2) Texas A&M Aggies (1-0, 1-0) – It was tempting to put the Aggies in the top spot after their beat down of South Carolina, but since these two teams will play later in the year, things will sort themselves out.  After Kenny Hill’s bust out performance on the road against Carolina, I’m for sure giving Kevin Sumlin’s system more credit than I have in the past.

3) Georgia Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0) – The Dawgs mealey-mouthed around with Clemson for one half Saturday night and then played like world beaters in the last two quarters.  Are Georgia’s defensive problems solved?  I’m not sure that the contest against against Clemson proves anything.  Georgia also may have some quarterbacking issues, but they for sure have a stable of running backs, led by Todd Gurley.

4) Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0, 0-0) – Overall, I wasn’t pleased with Alabama’s play on Saturday and they look like a team that will lose a couple three games this year.  But that’s not necessarily because of new quarterback Blake Sims.  That’s because of sub par defensive play from a unit Nick Saban labeled as soft at half time.  Without a better pass rush and without better corner play, several teams on the schedule will give this Tide defense fits.  

5) LSU Tigers (1-0, 0-0) – It wasn’t pretty, but LSU pulled out a win against a fired-up Wisconsin team.  We’ll see later just how impressive the win was, or not.  The Tigers have a stable of running backs, but have a major question mark at QB.  Anthony Jennings won the job and made a couple of impressive passes, but overall his play wasn’t at the level to win in the SEC.  Like Alabama, LSU may be labeled as one-dimensional and may have a tough time keeping up with or out-scoring several teams on their schedule.

6) Missouri Tigers (1-0, 0-0) – These Tigers posted a ho-hum 38-18 win over FCS division South Dakota State.  In the process, I don’t think very many questions were answered about Mizzou.  Maty Mauk played well and the defense was average, I suppose.  The Tigers have another cream puff this week (Toledo) and then we’ll find out more in week three when they host Central Florida.

7) Ole Miss Rebels (1-0, 0-0) – The Rebels helped kick off the 2014 season with a Thursday night win over Boise, 35-13.  The Broncos were clearly out matched, but Ole Miss did their best to help Boise stay in the game.  Quarterback Bo Wallace struggled in the first half with turnovers, but played like one of the Mannings on a couple of second half occasions.  And therein lies the rub.  This team will ultimately go no farther than Wallace can take them.  So how far can he take them?  First-half Wallace will take them to 6-6.  Second-half Wallace could take them to 8-10 wins.

8) Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0) – It’s always good to see your team take care of business in early season out of conference games and that’s exactly what Dan Mullen got with his team’s win over Southern Miss.  They didn’t beat a very good team, but they got a shut out, played well offensively and got the season off to a great start.  The Bulldogs have two more out of conference games (UAB, South Alabama) before traveling to LSU in week four.  That’s when we’ll find out more about these Dogs.

9) Tennessee Volunteers (1-0, 0-0) – The Vols actually looked like a decent football team as they ran way from Utah State 38-7.  Despite returning no starters on both sides of the line of scrimmage, UT handled the Aggies with no problems.  If the Vols can avoid a let down against Arkansas State this week, Sunday’s win makes the trip to Oklahoma in week three a little more interesting.

10) Florida Gators (0-0, 0-0) – Well, at least the Gators got to get dressed up for a game and return one kickoff.  After finishing 4-8, I’m sure they’ll take anything over another loss.  The Gators are likely to be better this season, we just don’t know how much yet.  Next up for Florida is Eastern Michigan.

11) Kentucky Wildcats (1-0, 0-0) – Mark Stoops’ gang picked up a nice win against UT-Martin in week one.  Yes, they were only playing UT-Martin, but they did what they were supposed to do when an SEC team plays an OVC team.  That hasn’t been the case recently for Kentucky football.  The ‘Cats look improved this season, but it’s too early to tell how much.

12) South Carolina Gamecocks (0-1, 0-1) – Carolina is probably better than the 11th-best team in the SEC, but they for sure didn’t look like it in the opener against the Aggies.  Both sides of the ball need major work in Columbia.  This week’s game against East Carolina will give us a gauge as to how bad the ‘Cocks really are.

13) Arkansas Razorbacks (0-1, 0-1) – The first game is for sure too small of a sample size by which to judge the Hogs this year.  They went on the road to face the defending conference champions and had to play in some nasty weather.  The final score, in my opinion, wasn’t a surprise.  There was no way Arkansas could hang with Auburn.  Are they better than the dregs of the league this year?  We’ll I have to wait and see.

14) Vanderbilt Commodores (0-1, 0-0) – Really no question here.  The Dores stumbled hard against the Owls in a game most expected them to win.  Wins were already hard to come by this year, so things could get ugly again in Nashville.