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.

Tuesday Numbers – Week 4 (Wednesday Style)

A day late and a dollar short.

All of the stats below are from cfbstats.com

Florida was horrible offensively last year, so we wondered all preseason how much better the Gator O would be this year. So far, for Gator fans at least, the results are promising. They are averaging 593.5 yards per game, good for second in the league, and have run 86 and 94 plays in their two games. The 94 plays, obviously, includes a slow first half and three over times against Kentucky.

The Gator defense is ranked second in the conference, allowing only 287.5 yards per game. Kentucky, however, gained 450 yards them.

Alabama’s defense is allowing only 47 yards per game on the ground this year. The Gators are gaining 248 yards per game on the ground on 5.57 yards per carry. Something will have to give in Tuscaloosa this weekend.

Alabama is 12th in the league in turnover margin with a ratio of -.67 per game. Florida is first at +3.50.

Take away a horrible first half against Boise State Bo Wallace’s family is already trademarking a nickname. But even with those first half numbers, he compares very favorably with Kenny Trill. Consider these stats through three games: 1,023 yards passing, nine touchdowns and four interceptions, 75.5% completion rate and quarterback rating of 190.03. So far, so good for Dr. Wallace.

Through three games, Arkansas is averaging 362 yards per game on the ground. If they are anywhere near that average by the end of the season, the Hogs will head to a nice bowl game.

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.

14 Thoughts to End the Regular Season

14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…

14. Kentucky (previous 14) (2-10, 0-8) – Kentucky was clearly the SEC’s worst team in 2013.  There’s no where to go but up for Mark Stoops’ team.

13. Florida (13) (4-8, 3-5) – Florida clearly digressed offensively as the season wore along.  By the end, other than Kentucky, I’m not sure if they could have beaten any other SEC teams.

12. Arkansas (12) (3-9, 0-8) – Too bad the Razorbacks played Florida in October and didn’t have Kentucky on the schedule.  At least the Hogs showed a pulse at year’s end by taking LSU to the limit.

11. Tennessee (11) (5-7, 1-7) – It took the Volunteers all the way to game 14, but they finally found in Kentucky a league foe they could beat.  This team should get better as Butch Jones improves the talent base.

10. Ole Miss (9) (7-5, 3-5) – So far the Rebels have equaled their win total from 2012, but a loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl definitely takes some of the shine off of the season.  The Black Bears were young this season and showed the related lack of discipline.  The RBBs appear to be a quarterback away from being really tough to handle.

9. Mississippi State (10) (6-6, 3-5) – The Bullies are bowling and that’s a big deal for them.  Before this season, Hugh Freeze certainly had the state of Mississippi’s momentum headed Ole Miss’ way, but Dan Mullen has stopped that for now.

8. Vanderbilt (8) (8-4, 4-4)- I thought Vanderbilt would take a step back this season and I was clearly wrong.  James Franklin is building a solid program at Vandy.  Will he hang around? 

7. Georgia (7) (8-4, 5-3) – Kudos to Georgia for pulling out a win in their annual rivalry game against Georgia Tech.  The were down big before rallying.  Could the skies be clearing in Athens?

6. Texas A&M (5) (8-4, 4-4) – The luster certainly faded off of Johnny Manziel as the season progressed.  Head coach Kevin Sumlin received a contract extension, but Manziel most likely won’t bring home a second Heisman.

5. LSU (5)  (9-3, 5-3) – LSU as the SEC’s fifth best team should tell everyone how deep this league is.  Tiger fans have to be pulling their hair out over this up-and-down team.  Clobber Auburn.  Manhandle Manziel.  Lose to Georgia (albeit a healthy Georgia).  Lose to Ole Miss.

4. South Carolina (3) (10-2, 6-2)  – Steve Spurrier has built an impressive, solid program at Carolina.  But how ironic is it that Tennessee kept the Gamecocks out of the SEC title game?

3. Alabama (1) (11-0, 7-0) – The run is over for the Tide.  What happens next?  That’s the big question now.

2. Missouri – (4) (11-1, 7-1) – The Tigers had an uphill home stretch, but pulled off an improbably SEC East title.

1. Auburn (2) (11-1, 7-1) – The Tigers took care of business against Alabama and move on to Atlanta.

 

14 Thoughts for Week 14

14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…

14. Kentucky (previous 14) (2-9, 0-7) – Of all the ugly losses Kentucky has suffered though in 2013, last Saturday’s loss to Georgia was perhaps the ugliest.  I’m very doubtful Mark Stoops can turn this program around because, well, because it’s Kentucky.  On the other hand, Tennessee is also in the SEC East.

13. Florida (10) (4-7, 3-5) – You can’t lose to a FCS team without a major drop in the poll.  The Gators did and, well, here they are.  It’s hard to imagine Florida keeping Will Muschamp after how this team threw in the towel on the year.

12. Arkansas (13) (3-8, 0-7) – Rank the Hogs ahead of Florida?  Yup.  At least for a week.  The Pigs are bad, but at least they have a direction.  Head coach Bret Bielema knows how he wants this team to look, he just doesn’t have the pieces yet.  In other words, they aren’t rudderless like the Gators.

11. Tennessee (12) (4-7, 1-6) – The Volunteers moved up a spot this week despite losing to their in-state rival, Vanderbilt.  I guess the Vols should send UF a thank you card.  Vandy’s a decent team and the Vols hung in for almost the entire game.  Like Bielema, Butch Jones is a coach who knows how this team should look and play, he just doesn’t have the pieces.

10. Mississippi State (11) (5-6, 2-5) – The Bulldogs need one more win to go bowling and that win will need to come against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.  I’ll bet Dan Mullen isn’t so fired up now about playing Oklahoma State in the opener.  Had the Bullies scheduled another cupcake, they’d already have a bowl secured.

9. Ole Miss (8) (7-4, 3-4) – The Rebel Black Bears failed their latest test, their moment in the sun again, against Missouri.  If there was a way this team could flub around and make a mistake, they did it against the Tigers.  Next week brings the Egg Bowl against State and this should be a really good game.  After this tough defeat to Mizzou will Hugh Freeze be able to rally his boys and keep State out of a bowl?

8. Vanderbilt (9) (7-4, 4-4)- The ‘Dores have wins over Florida, Georgia and Tennessee in the same season.  Good work, James Franklin.  Vandy will be looking to finish off this bright, shiny season with a win over Wake Forest next week.  What is that rivalry called?  The Big Brain Bowl?

7. Georgia (7) (7-4, 5-3) – Yes, I do on-purpose have the Bulldogs ranked higher than Vandy, though the ‘Dores did beat UGA earlier this year.  Why?  Well, because it’s my poll for one, and two, I think if they played again this year, the Dawgs would win.

6. Texas A&M (5) – Johnny Football will be back on CBS at 2:30 this week against LSU.  That usually means a lot of points.

5. LSU (6)  (8-3, 4-3) – The Tigers thoroughly embarrassed Johnny Manziel and the Aggies last Saturday in a game that must have been bittersweet for LSU fans.  How could a team shut down a player like Johnny Football and lose to Freeze, Bo Wallace and the rest of the RBBs?  Next week’s win over Arkansas will close out a decent regular season for the Tigers.

4. Missouri – (4) (10-1, 6-1) – The Tigers made it passed their elimination game with Ole Miss and move on to the A&M round this week.  All they have to do to lock up the SEC East is beat Manziel and A&M at home.

3. South Carolina (3) (9-2, 6-2)  – The Gamecocks destroyed Coastal Carolina in their warm-up for Clemson.  I can’t wait to hear how Steve Spurrier will zing Dabo Swinney this week.  Just wait, it’ll happen.

2. Auburn (2) (10-1, 6-1) – The Tigers are fresh off a bye week and ready to host the Tide.

1. Alabama (1) (11-0, 7-0) – ‘Bama pasted Chattanooga, as expected, in their tune-up for Auburn.  

14 Thoughts for Week 13

14 Thoughts is the Tidebits version of a PowerPoll…

14. Kentucky (previous 14) – If I could rank the Wildcats any lower I would.  Thankfully for ‘Cats fans, basketball season has started.

13. Arkansas (13)- There’s hope for hope yet for the Hogs.  This week they play Mississippi State and a win could send them up a least a spot on this list.

12. Tennessee (12) -It’s simple for Tennessee.  At 4-6, the Vols must beat Vanderbilt this week and Kentucky the following to go bowling.  At this point, I’m guessing no holiday plans for the Vols.

11. Mississippi State (11) – After a loss to Alabama, I guess State is now the best 4-6 team in the country.  The Dogs need a win this week against Arkansas and a win in the Egg Bowl to go for real bowling.

10. Florida (10) – The Gators are 4-6 and the doors are all but beat off their bus.  Georgia Southern (remember them boys, Tide fans?) is up next and will most likely be win number five.  Win number six will have to come against (gulp) Florida State.

9. Vanderbilt (9) – Vandy is coming off of a win over Kentucky and plays Wake Forest in two weeks.  Does that make Tennessee this week a trap game?

8. Ole Miss (8) – Get ready for another 15 minutes, Rebel Black Bears.  The Missouri Tigers are up next and most of the football watching world – at least those folks interested in the SEC – will be watching to see how the East shakes out.

7. Georgia (7) – After losing to Auburn, the only trip this year for the Dawgs will be in two week to play Georgia Tech and, perhaps, later to the Chick-fil-a Bowl.

6. LSU (6) – How does a four loss season sound Tiger fans?  That’s what I thought.  But with a game again Johnny Manziel and the Aggies this week, you better get used to the idea.

5. Texas A&M (5) – Johnny Football will be back on CBS at 2:30 this week against LSU.  That usually means a lot of points.

4. Missouri – (4) – Here comes the stretch run for the Tigers.  Ole Miss this week and Texas A&M the next.  If Gary Pinkel was a fan of the nine game conference schedule, I’ll be he isn’t any longer.

3. South Carolina (3) – The hay is in the barn for the Gamecocks with their SEC part of the schedule finished.  All they have to do now is wait for Missouri to lose.

2. Auburn (2) – It’s now a one-game season for the 10-1 Tigers.

1. Alabama (1) – The Tide is 10-0 and has a bye week Chattanooga up this week.