SEC Power Poll Draft: Insanity Reigns

This week, we're doing the Power Poll draft before the BlogPoll draft because the SBN BlogPoll ballot entering-thingy isn't up as early as it used to be in the past.  Rather than re-edit the post for the shiny ballot widget, I just prefer to do it once.  Here's the draft, which is a straight rundown of the computer rankings:

1 LSU 1.678 0.987 0.799 1.579 0.363 1.873 -1.089 1.212 -0.690 0.609 112.612
2 Alabama 0.995 0.748 1.217 1.086 0.792 1.070 1.648 1.443 0.864 1.254 104.284
3 Auburn 1.678 -0.178 -0.158 1.240 1.018 0.432 2.187 0.439 1.404 0.478 101.604
4 Arkansas 0.858 0.001 1.006 0.361 -0.408 0.958 1.541 1.233 1.115 0.779 67.889
5 South Carolina 0.858 0.832 -0.840 0.921 1.904 -0.058 1.292 0.756 -0.147 -0.341 67.831
6 Florida 0.312 0.520 1.016 0.740 0.325 0.888 -0.519 0.584 -0.871 0.478 43.344
7 Mississippi St. 0.312 0.030 0.111 0.845 1.303 0.540 0.275 0.919 0.459 0.163 43.177
8 Mississippi 0.038 -0.628 -0.758 0.790 -0.261 -0.012 1.075 -0.976 0.553 0.712 -4.041
9 Kentucky -0.372 0.008 0.579 -0.897 0.301 0.291 0.804 -0.671 0.704 0.136 -6.947
10 Georgia -1.055 1.102 -1.148 0.894 0.061 0.751 0.917 0.564 -0.209 -0.653 -16.864
11 Vanderbilt -0.781 0.243 0.546 -0.749 -1.827 0.263 -0.217 0.354 -0.492 0.954 -41.179
12 Tennessee -1.055 0.874 0.387 -0.065 -1.704 -0.317 -0.324 -0.336 -0.897 0.107 -47.025


As always, my thoughts follow after the jump.  Also as always, we'll finalize revisions tomorrow night since the final version is due Tuesday night.


Ok, let's back the train up a bit and look at this one.  LSU is ahead of Auburn because of SOS and defensive metrics.  But Auburn is far and away the better team on offense.  Still, numbers are numbers.

But I want to look at LSU's defensive numbers first.  They are tops in the league in both run defense and total defense (Woo Chavis!), but the last two SEC teams they've faced are Tennessee and Florida, who are effectively tied as the worst to offensive teams in the league.  (And with Demps out, Florida's run offense has suffered.)  North Carolina is also a bad offensive team this year, and West Virginia is only slightly above average.  That leaves Vanderbilt, who is 4th worst in conference in offense (behind Tennessee, Florida, and LSU in order).  In short, while LSU's defense looks good, it hasn't played a strong offensive squad yet either, so it's hard to tell exactly how reliable the numbers are right now.

What I'm saying is this:  I think there's reason to bump Auburn above LSU, if you think such an action is in order.  I'll leave things alone until I have feedback on that, but I can see a strong argument for it.

Arkansas/South Carolina

They're tied.  Which order do you prefer?  Also, we now have that pesky Arkansas / South Carolina / Alabama beatpath.  I don't care much which game was most recent, though I can note that Alabama was on the road in both contests.  Still, what's the thought here?  [EDIT 1:22 PM EST:  The beatpath argument is invalid.  SoCar lost to Auburn, not Arkansas.  The SoCar/Arky game hasn't happened yet.  That'll teach me to comment without validating.]

Florida / Mississippi State

Also tied. 

Mississippi / Kentucky

Also tied.

Vanderbilt / Tennessee

Also tied [sniffle].  Yet Vandy has won a conference game while Tennessee has not yet had a bye (and therefore has that win percentage thing working against them).

For funsies and self-loathing

If Tennessee had beaten LSU (basically, just change the records and see the W/L difference), LSU would be a solid third in the list (87.3) and Tennessee would be a solid ... 11th at -21.7.

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