The SEC Power Poll will be released shortly this evening; here is the RTT ballot. It's based on the same computer engine that is currently tripping out over the BlogPoll, but with one caveat: the actual power poll ballot submitted is slightly different than the calculated rankings. This is because the calculated rankings were last tweaked after the ballot was submitted. This makes no significant difference, even despite flipping a couple of teams, because some teams are too numerically close to care about their differences at this stage anyhow.
- Florida Gators
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- LSU Tigers
- Auburn Tigers
- Kentucky Wildcats
- Mississippi Rebels
- South Carolina Gamecocks
- Tennessee Volunteers
- Mississippi St. Bulldogs
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Vanderbilt Commodores
- Arkansas Razorbacks
Explanations after the jump.
Here are how the teams currently ranks in the RTT computers:
The only real difference between this and the ballot was that Tennessee edged out South Carolina in the revised computer tally. However, their difference is so slight (1 point) that it's really the same as saying they're tied in the computers. Despite Tennessee's extra loss, their better numbers in most categories make them indistinguishable in the computers. Some interesting in-conference notes:
- Arkansas and their lack of defense: Look at those defensive numbers. For a rough guide, anything that's -1 is pretty bad. Numbers around -1.5 (3DO - 3rd Down Offense) to -2 (PED - Passing Efficiency Defense) are outright horrific. Since they basically only pass the ball and neglect all other phases of the game, anybody looking for supplemental scouting tape can dredge up old 1980s WAC games. They'll do in a pinch.
- But... having a bottom score of only -19 is phenomenal for a conference. No other conference has a better bottom end.
- Georgia suffers a similar malaise. Their opponents have overall been better, but UGA still has no defense. Improve Arkansas's 3rd downs and decrease their 1sts and 2nds, and you have Willie Martinez.
- Balanced is best. The top five teams all have very well-balanced metrics, which seems to be the running theme in the computer in general. More on that in coming weeks as the numbers stabilize.
- Tennessee's defense is really that good. If you compare Florida's offense numbers (anything ending in an 'O') to Tennessee's defensive numbers, you see that both units are among the best in the league. Factors in that they account for a third of each others' scores, and the effect is remarkable.
Looking around the league, here are how the conference averages stack up:
The SEC is still on top. Something else to note is that, despite the -efenses of Georgia and Arkansas, the SEC has the best defensive metrics of any conference, leading in Pass Efficiency Defense and Total Defense, and third in 3rd Down Defense. Among the major converences, only the ACC and PAC-10 have higher strengths of schedule at the moment, so it's not entirely a cupcake problem.
If you're surprised to see the Big East at number two, don't be. So far, none of the Big East teams have had truly sucktastic starts, and minimizing the bottom end is the biggest difference between the top conferences and the middle of the pack so far.
The MWC is leading the mid-major battle by a considerable margin, but last weekend really hurt them. Before then, they were actually 5th overall, and wins from BYU and Utah would have had them most likely at 4th or 3rd. But hey, that's why the games are played. I'm not sure the MWC can recover enough to get back into the top six, but it'll have to come from the bottom of the conference, where San Diego State, Wyoming, and New Mexico are dragging the anchor.