Power Poll – Week 6

1) Auburn Tigers (Overall 4-0, Conference 1-0) [Last week 1] – I make no bones about it.  I am keeping Auburn here, as the defending conference champions, until they get beat.  The schedule toughens from here on out, so we can hope they move down soon.

2) Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0) [3] – The Tide is playing as well as any team and the league and if I had any sense, I’d have them no. 1 here.

3) Texas A&M Aggies (5-0, 2-0) [2] – The Aggies weren’t nearly as impressive in their win over Arkansas as they were against South Carolina.  Is that because the Hogs are improved or perhaps we jumped on the A&M band wagon a little too early?

4) Missouri Tigers (4-1, 1-0) [8] – This season has already had it’s share of ups and downs for the Tigers, but right now, they are in the driver’s seat in the East.  If they can get by Georgia on the road in two weeks, they will go a long way towards locking up a second straight division title.

5) Ole Miss Rebels (4-0, 1-0) [4] – The Black Bears looked a little sluggish against Memphis, but that’s too be expected with Alabama coming to town this week.  The Rebs have the top-ranked defense in the league and need a great game from Bo Wallace to move up next week.

6) Georgia Bulldogs (3-1, 2-1) [6] – Todd Gurley is carrying this team on his back.  The Dawgs better hope that back don’t get tired.  Otherwise, this is a very average football team.

7) Mississippi State Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0) [7] – The Dogs celebrated their win over LSU with a well-placed bye week.  Things are about to get exciting in Starkville as MSU hosts Texas A&M and Auburn over the next two weeks.

8) LSU Tigers (4-1, 0-1) [9] – The Tigers’ season is on the line this Saturday at Auburn.  Lose and the Tigers are done in the West race.  Win and they’re right back in the middle of things.

9) Arkansas Razorbacks (3-2, 0-2) [10] – The Hogs look much-improved, but they just can’t quite get over the hump.  They’ll take a week off and then try again against Alabama.

10) South Carolina Gamecocks (3-2, 2-2) [5] – The ‘Cocks dropped a game late to Mizzzou and guess what?  They are now toast in the East.

11) Tennessee Volunteers (2-2, 0-1) [11] – Like Arkansas, you can tell this team is improved.  Unlike Arkansas, I don’t think there’s as much improvement.

12) Florida Gators (2-1, 1-1) [12] – Will Muschamp’s boss says he gets to wait until the end of the season before he gets canned.  Well, if the Gators get stomped in Knoxville, they may re-think that logic.

13) Kentucky Wildcats (3-1, 1-1) [13] – Kentucky is as least competitive this year.  The ‘Cats will visit Columbia this week and try to surprise the Gamecocks.

14) Vanderbilt Commodores (1-4, 0-3) [14] – This is a very bad football team.

Power Poll – Week 5

1) Auburn Tigers (Overall 3-0, Conference 1-0) [Last week 1] – Were cracks in Auburn’s vaunted HUNH exposed or was it just a bad night in the little apple?  It will be a couple of weeks before we start to find out.

2) Texas A&M Aggies (4-0, 1-0) [2] – The Texas league is over and the Aggies step back into SEC play with a visit this week from Arkansas.  Not much has slowed the A&M offense down so far and we’ll see how the defense holds up against an improve Hog offense.

3) Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0) [4] – An off week comes up for the Tide after they passed their litmus test against Florida.

4) Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, 1-0) [6] – The Rebel Black Bears moved up two spots after an off week.  Another easy non-conference game, Memphis, stands between the RBBs and Alabama.

5) South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1, 2-1) [7] – The ‘Cocks survived an early scare against the dregs of the SEC.

6) Georgia Bulldogs (2-1, 1-1) [8] – The Dawg offense rolled big against Troy.  You have to love it when that happens.  (Inside joke.)

7) Mississippi State Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0) [10] – The Dogs beat LSU for the first time since 1999 and jump a couple of spots in the process.

8) Missouri Tigers (3-1, 0-0) [3] – The out-of-conference schedule is over after the loss to Indiana.  Now lets see how good the Tigers are.

9) LSU Tigers (3-1, 0-1) [5] – Despite a last minute surge, the Tigers lost ugly to State.  A loss to the Dogs every 14 years doesn’t sound bad, until it happens.

10) Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1, 0-1) [11] – Arkansas looks to be the most improved team in the league.  Too bad they play in the SEC West.

11) Tennessee Volunteers (2-1, 0-0) [12] – The Vols try to bounce back from their loss in Oklahoma by visiting Georgia.

12) Florida Gators (2-1, 1-1) [9] – Florida isn’t a very good football team.

13) Kentucky Wildcats (2-1, 0-1) [13] – The ‘Cats stay put at 13 following an off week.

14) Vanderbilt Commodores (1-3, 0-2) [14] – The ‘Dores scored 34 more points and I’m still shocked.

Power Poll – Week 4

1) Auburn Tigers (Overall 2-0, Conference 1-0) [Last week 1] – The defending conference champs take a Big 12 road trip to tough Kansas State. Until proven otherwise, I’m not sure this offense can be stopped with Nick Marshall at the helm.

2) Texas A&M Aggies (3-0, 1-0) [2] – The Aggies are a legitimate top 10 ten team right now.

3) Missouri Tigers (3-0, 0-0) [7] – Central Florida isn’t an easy out, so the Tigers’ second half dominance of the Knights was particularly impressive.

4) Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0, 0-0) [4] – The preseason is over and now we’ll start to see just how good this team can be.

5) LSU Tigers (3-0, 0-0) [5] – Like Alabama, the Tigers have a few question marks. Their defense, however, may be a bit better than the Tide’s.

6) Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, 1-0) [8] – The Rebel Black Bears are ranked in the top 10 this week. So goes Bo Wallace, so goes the RBBs.

7) South Carolina Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1) [10] – The Georgia game proved the Gamecocks can win their remaining games. Will they? I doubt it.

8) Georgia Bulldogs (1-1, 1-1) [3] – I guess Clemson wasn’t as good as Dawg fans and Kirk Herbstreit thought.

9) Florida Gators (2-0, 1-0) [6] – Florida escaped with an overtime win over Kentucky. What kind of message will that send to these Gators? We’ll find out in Tuscaloosa this week.

9) Mississippi State Bulldogs (3-0, 0-0) [9] – The Dogs continue their typical early season roll.

10) Arkansas Razorbacks (2-1, 0-1) [12] – The Hogs scored and impressive win at Texas Tech. Will they have the same success running the ball against SEC defenses?

11) Tennessee Volunteers (2-1, 0-0) [11] – The Vols are still a season or two away.

13) Kentucky Wildcats (2-1, 0-1) [13] – The ‘Cats fought hard in Gainesville, but lost a heartbreaker to the Gators. Mark Stoops has this team ahead of schedule.

14) Vanderbilt Commodores (1-2, 0-1) [14] – I’m still shocked the ‘Dores scored 34 points, eve if it was against Massachusetts.

Oregon, we hardly knew ye and some BCS Scenarios

Stanford and Oregon played a great game last night.  Old guy football won again and, unless something extremely weird happens, the Ducks are out of the BCS chase.

Obviously, Florida State fans must be ecstatic with the results.  And Ohio State fans probably aren’t sad, either.

In terms of making it back to Pasadena, last night really didn’t create a ripple in ‘Bama’s pond.  IF Alabama takes care of business and wins out.  But could last night’s upset be good for the Tide if we manage to stumble somehow in these last games?

Perhaps.

Let’s for a moment look at a bad case scenario*.  That would mean a loss for ‘Bama in one of the final games and that would mean next man up and FSU would slide to number one and Ohio State to two.  The Seminoles have Wake Forest, Syracuse, Idaho and Florida left in the regular season and probably a rematch against Miami in the ACC championship game.  I like their chances to win out, but the rematch against the ‘Canes could cause some trouble.  OSU has Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and then a likely Big 10 title game match up against Michigan State.  I really like the Spartans to knock off the Buckeyes in that one.

So, if the Buckeyes lose and the ‘Noles win out, what would that mean?  It could mean that Baylor – if they win out – moves up to number two.  That’s entirely possible, but it’s not a guarantee. I think there’s a great deal of mid major sentiment associated with Baylor and I think a won loss school like Alabama or Oregon would received a lot of support to play in the championship game instead of the Bears.  There’s also the fact that the Big 12 doesn’t have a championship game.  If either FSU or Ohio State losses (one, not both), then it’s possible the Tide could slip back into the picture.  In this case, an early loss for ‘Bama (like against LSU) would be better than a late loss (I think) and a good loss (overtime or close loss) would be better than an ugly loss (duh).

In any case, I vote for making it easy on ourselves and just winning out.

[* Bad case scenario isn’t the same as worst case scenario.  We’ve already lived through the worst case scenario in the 2010 Iron Bowl.]

Hazing “an epidemic”

I saw this in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal:

Financial hazing is “an epidemic,” said NFL agent David Canter. “I think it’s why so many players end up broke.”

At first glance, I think that quote’s a bit strong.  Hazing is why so many players end up broke?  Really?  I would have thought paying for a posse and making it rain at strip clubs would be more of an epidemic than financial hazing, but I’ve never been an NFL player.

 

Saturday Thoughts, Week 10

* As the week has progressed, I’ve gotten more and more bullish on Georgia over Florida.  The Gators don’t have much offense and what they have the Dawgs can probably stop (running game).  The UGA play calling was horrible the last time out against Vanderbilt.  If Todd Gurley is back – and he should be, this one may be fairly easy for Georgia.

* There’s been a fair amount of chatter that concerning Arkansas pulling an upset against Auburn.  Vegas only has the Tigers as about a touchdown favorite, but I can tell you, folks, the Hogs ain’t winning this game.

* The Missouri – Tennessee game will, I think, be another fun game to watch.  The Tigers are 10 point favorites or so, and that sounds about right, but I’m interested to see how the Vols respond to a new quarterback.  I don’t think too much needs to be read into last week’s mop up time scoring against Alabama, but Joshua Dobbs is more of a Butch Jones-type quarterback, so it’ll be interesting to see if a dual threat quarterback gives the offense some giddy-up.  Of course, folks want to see how Mizzou responds to last week’s collapse at South Carolina as well.   I think Mizzou will respond just fine.

* Florida State and Miami are both 7-0 but don’t let the records fool you.  One of these teams is much better than the other.  That would be FSU, of course.  The ‘Noles are loaded with talent and appear to be the real deal.  The ‘Canes could fool me and make a game out of this, but don’t count on it.

Just What Auburn Needs…More Lowder

According to some, Auburn needs more Lowder:

“More than any person I’ve known at Auburn, Bobby Lowder was capable of making tough decisions about athletics, no matter how controversial they might be,” Marshall wrote. 

“I’m not suggesting that Auburn find a power broker who puts the school’s academic well-being at risk. It is imperative, however, that Auburn find someone who has the perspective to understand how power affects athletics in this state.”

Yeah, I was thinking Auburn needed some more of that, too.  It seemed to work out well the first time.

There are a couple of things that flash like neon lights about this article:

* AL.com has posted a story, quoting a reporter from another sight.  If you need an example of their business model, this is it.

* Perhaps someone in the Auburn family isn’t happy with whoever is charged with making the tough decisions now.

* Or perhaps no one really is making the tough decisions.